Creating a schedule which works for the family is always an challenge. How do you find one which will meet your needs, the needs of your children, and the needs of your house?
It’s enough to drive you insane!
The Joys of a Block Schedule
That’s just what I was facing as Christmas break was ending and January was looming. I needed a schedule which would provide sanity to my life!
This year I have two high school teenagers and two little 1st and 2nd graders. Trying to combine my 12th grader and my 1st grader is an exercise in futility! I’m treating my kids like I have two homeschools, if that makes sense.
The high school teens and the little kids have no classes in common.
This left me with a scheduling problem. How do I meet the needs of both groups without driving myself batty?
In the fall I tried jumping from my high school teens to my little kids and back again. Quite frankly, it’s hard switching back and forth between the two groups.
Let’s chat about counting and adding. Now let’s discuss the intricacies of sine, cosine, tangents and the Pythagorean Theorem. And now we’re going to talk about turning 10 pennies into 1 dime.
Back to the drawing board and a new schedule. This one based on blocks.
The Block Schedule
The block schedule means you divide your day into large pieces or block off time on your schedule. Each block has it’s on type of task if that makes sense. The purpose is to allow you to focus on one item at a time without trying to switch back and forth between the house, work, and the homeschool!
In my case the before breakfast hours are for blogging.
After breakfast, the family complete a few chores before settling down to homeschool. And the little ones have the first homeschool block.
At 9 am my youngest kids and I sit down at the kitchen table to begin school while the teens begin their studies.
My 2nd grader sits down on my left to read and work on penmanship and spelling. She doesn’t need much help, but I’m on hand for any questions that pop up. At her age, she doesn’t want to sit by herself with a pile of books as she gets lonely.
Remember that kids gradually grow into independent work. And early elementary kids need their mom nearby! So don’t fret if your little 8 or 9 year old wants you nearby while homeschooling. In a few years you’ll be searching for your teenagers as they curl up in odd places to study.
My 1st grader sits on my right and we work through his reading, writing, and math. Then he runs off to play.
And I’m free to focus on my little girl.
After she’s done, the three of us gather together again. We’re slowly reading through Story of the World vol. 1 for history, working through Elemental Science: Grammar Stage Biology, and memorizing a poem or two. I’m keeping it short, sweet, and fun!
Now it’s lunch time and the end of the first homeschool block. Did you notice, no housework or teens? The block’s focus was on the little kids.
After everyone eats, I run a couple more chores and then sit down with the high school teens. This block is all about homeschooling high school!
We begin with a short morning time in which we work on Shakespeare, discuss their studies, and I answer any questions.
My part of the homeschool is finished by 1pm. The teenagers finish the last of their schoolwork.
The next block’s focus is the specific household chore scheduled for the day. I just need an hour or so, but it’s hard to fit in the chore between history and science! Now there’s a time blocked off just for the daily household chore.
I’m loving this schedule!
It allows me to have a balance between the house, my high school teenagers, and my little elementary kids without feeling whiplash. Enough time is planned to complete all my younger children’s studies, so I’m not rushed trying to cram everything into the day. And the high school teenagers have enough time planned to sit down, chat with me, and discuss their various assignments.
And I even have time for housework during the day.
The block schedule has brought be homeschool sanity!
Have you tried a block schedule?