This post was sponsored on behalf of Dairy MAX via One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.
To say I am unprepared for the 2017 school year is an understatement.
Half the summer I contemplating putting my 7-year old twins into public school because LIFE.
I do not love homeschooling. Nor do I think I am particularly good at it. I frequently feel my children are behind academically, and guess what? I only have myself to blame!
But, the reasons we chose to homeschool still remain – the schools here aren’t great, we value family time, we want them to learn right and wrong from us, and we want our kids to be kids and have freedom and playtime.
Every year that my twins get older, the more pressure I feel to be a better homeschool mom. And every year there also seems to be more lumped onto my plate.
This year I continue to work from home, late into the nights, as a blogger to make sure we can afford life, have savings in the bank, and pay for our homeschooling too.
I also have a full-fledged toddler who gets into stuff constantly and a 4-year old boy who wants to learn and do preschool this year. I am also pregnant (again) with our fifth child, due the end of January, halfway through our next school year. I am also still the Primary President at church and have the annual Primary Program to write, plan, and prepare the kids for.
Oh, and my husband’s crappy schedule will likely continue, with him gone 10+ hours a day Monday through Friday, on top of him traveling several times this next year and him applying for jobs (or likely me applying for jobs for him).
What this all means is I have to get my act together!
Despite what people often say to me when they find out I have four (plus) kids and homeschool and work from home is that I “must be so organized!” The truth is I am not. Nor am I a morning person. And some days I feel so lazy and depleted and worn down that I don’t want to do anything. I am not a Type-A person.
We generally follow a schedule during the school year, but babies have a way of screwing them up, along with bad attitudes (from all of us).
This year I desire to be more structured. This summer has taught me how being completely unstructured kills me and turns the kids into whiners and complainers. Without set days for doing things, without a real schedule or things to do this summer, we’ve floundered instead of flourished.
I know there will be growing pains for all of us once school starts again, but it needs to happen. My girls need to become better readers and learn a whole lot more math, and lots of other great things too.
So, here’s my plan. It’s still a bit of a work in progress, but here goes:
2017 Homeschool Schedule for 2nd Grade
7 AM – Wakeup and Breakfast
Every day, Monday through Friday, I will actually get myself out of bed at 7 am. The kids are usually awake around 7:15am anyway (sometimes before 7am, other times after 7:30). We will all eat breakfast together, and I will read scriptures to them at the table.
7:30 AM – Chores
Afterward, we will clean up and the kids will do their morning chores: unload the dishwasher, bring down their laundry, get dressed, brush their hair, brush their teeth, and make their beds.
8 AM – Walk or Exercise
Once that’s all done at about 8am, we will take a walk as a family around our neighborhood, doing some fun exercises along the way. The bigger kids may bring their bikes occasionally too or we may otherwise play outside.
9 AM – Smoothie Break
I hope to be home by about 9 am. And I am thinking about trying a new tradition – making a daily smoothie.
Smoothies are a quick and simple solution for a healthy snack.
Our diets lately have been subpar and often lacking in good fruits and vegetables, so I think a smoothie would be a great way for us all to get in some nutrients via dairy, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains all blended together.
With cow’s milk, I will be getting needed vitamin D (which I recently tested low for) as well as nine essential nutrients, 8 grams of protein per glass (8 times more than almond milk offers), and vitamin A. With the cold milk, yogurt, and frozen produce added in our smoothies, it’s likely to be a refreshing treat after our walks outside, and it should fuel the kids for good learning.
For important nutritional info on dairy, crafts and games for kids, recipes, and farm family stories, visit Dairy Discovery Zone. The Dairy Discovery Zone is brought to you by Dairy MAX, a non-profit affiliate of the National Dairy Council, funded by dairy farming families across Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and southwest Kansas.
Another benefit of the smoothies is getting my kids involved in the process. They are very excited to try out different combinations and see how they taste. Obviously, I want it yummy enough we’ll all still actually eat it, so it’s helpful for the kids to have input in its creation.
I hope it’ll be fun to do together during the school year, and that we’ll all be healthier for it.
9:20 AM – Reading Time
After we get our smoothies, I want to have reading time.
I will spend time reading to them, and they’ll read to me, and we’ll all read together for quite a while.
Some days this may include attending the library story time instead (and we’ll try to do a Walmart Grocery pickup for right after our library trip).
Reading together needs to be a priority, and thankfully is also something that my toddler enjoys sitting through and will stay content during. It’s really hard to do table-work with a toddler and preschooler running around, so I’m hoping that before nap-time a reading time will benefit us all.
10 AM – Creative/Art Time
After reading time, or at about 10am, I think we’ll have creative time painting, coloring, drawing, play-doh-ing, crafting, playing the piano, listening and dancing to music, and so on. We’ll spend time at the end cleaning up as necessary.
10:30 AM – 11AM – School Time
Though my toddler will likely still be awake, we’ll try to begin work on English, writing, spelling, and grammar. I recently decided that we will be trying out The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts & Literature curriculum. I hope it goes well!
11 AM – Toddler Nap Time
At about 11 AM, I’ll quickly lay down my 2-year old for her nap.
11 AM – 12 PM – School Time
We are using Math Lessons for a Living Education for math this year, like we did last year. The kids really enjoyed it. I’m excited to see how it goes this year for us.
We are also using What Your Second Grader Needs to Know for History and Science, as well as supplemental subjects like visual arts and music as I see fit. We used What Your First Grader Needs to Know last year for History and Science and I loved it. It’s written like a story and written in a way that’s perfect for their age to understand.
I will try to do some preschool instruction for my son as well, or let him watch a Leapfrog video, Sesame Street video, or play an educational app on the iPad like ABCMouse.com or Zap Zap Kindergarten Math.
12 PM – Lunch
We’ll all eat a good lunch, clean up afterward, and pack up our school supplies for the day, unless we still need to work on something.
1 PM – Quiet Time/Work Time
After lunch, it is quiet time and work time. The three kids can watch a movie (I might make them only watch educational ones during the school year!), read a book, play chess, work on a puzzle, create something, play pretend, go outside, or whatever. I may also have them work in some additional school books we picked up (from Five Below) for them to work through at their leisure.
I will spend this time getting some work done (finally) on the computer until my toddler wakes up from her nap.
2:30 PM – End of Nap
When my toddler wakes up from her nap, hopefully at about 2:30 or 3:00, I’ll feed her a snack, change her diaper, and play with her.
3:00 PM – Playtime
Honestly, I’m not really sure what we are going to do late afternoon. It’s typically been playtime and more work time for myself, if needed. Or running errands. Or hanging out outside. Or family movie time, while I take a nap on the couch.
4:30 Dinner Prep
We’ll eventually do some pre-dinner, laundry folding and putting away, pre-dad-coming-home clean-up.
I will start to make dinner (my least favorite chore of the day!) and, hopefully, my husband will be home when we sit down to eat dinner at about 5:30 PM or 6:00 PM.
6:30 PM – Family Time with Dad
And then it’ll be family time with dad until bedtime, doing whatever.
7:30 – Bedtime Prep
All of the kids will have to quickly clean up, get their pajamas on, and brush their teeth.
Then, we will read scriptures and say prayers together as a family, followed by hugs, kisses, and tucking in.
8:00 PM – Bedtime
After lights are out, my husband will read a book (currently Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) to the kids as they lie in bed.
8:30 PM – Work Time
And then I’ll begin my workday at about 8:30 pm until midnight. Only to have my day repeat the next day.
And then it’ll all repeat again the next day….
Being consistent, being motivated, being dedicated to this schedule is always, always the hardest part. I will need some serious prayer to get me to commit to this schedule!
And like always, there will be days during the school year that will throw the schedule for a loop – sickness, a toddler who refuses to nap (it’s almost guaranteed to happen in the next 6 months), potty training, travel, homeschool co-op field trips, exhaustion, etc. Some days we might spend more on a subject than we did the day before. We may at some point realize that a curriculum we picked just isn’t working for our family and have to switch gears.
Stuff will come up, a baby will be born at some point, and we will not be able to keep this schedule 100% every day.
But, I’ll be darned if my kids don’t learn a lot this year and have a fantastic year despite a new baby and everything else that’s sure to come.
If you homeschool, I’d love to know what your schedule kind of looks like.