Daily Homeschool Schedule {Getting It All Done}

by Edie Wadsworth on August 24, 2010


This has become one of the most frequently asked questions about our homeschool.   How do we fit it all into a day?   And still sleep and eat and relax.

And I remember those early days when I was researching homeschooling.    I wanted to know every detail.  I poured over Susan Wise Bauer’s daily schedule to try and imagine what my days would look like.   I’ve been tweaking our schedule ever since and I think I’ve finally found a method that works for us.   My girls (8 and 9) are doing 4 grade-ish work mostly and we follow a neo-classical curriculum (as classical as it can be in 2010).   I wanted to come up with a method that gave them more ‘ownership’ of their work;  where they would be motivated on their own to work hard and finish on time.   The problem with that is that we still do a lot of work together.   I read on average two hours aloud to them everyday.    So how do we combine our  ’together’ work in a way that still gives them a sense of independence and accomplishment?

This schedule is how we do it.   I tweak it depending on the day and print this schedule off every morning, giving a copy to  each girlie.   They love checking things off  the list and it’s been a great tool to help them learn self-discipline.   The harder they work during their independent time, the more time they have in the afternoons to play.

5-7:30am I wake up and do my morning thing:  listen to Issues as I unload dishwasher and tidy the kitchen and living area, finalize the girls’ schedule for the day and print it out,  make sure all supplies, books etc are ready for our school day,  go for a run (depending on the day, the mood, the alignment of the stars),  go to the grocery store (depending on the day),  work on blog posts or answer emails, get the laundry going.

7:30 Wake up the girls with a bright sunshine-y song because I’m a very annoying morning person and hope to help them love and appreciate mornings!  They roll their eyes get dressed, have breakfast, do their simple chores (make beds, tidy room, personal hygeine).   We usually put on some classical music (whatever composer we’re studying at the moment) and have it playing in the background as we start.  Right now, we’re studying Chopin so we listen to him.

8 or 8:15 ish   Bible and Memory

Start our school day with ‘together’ time.   We always start with a prayer from the Lutheran prayer book, read by one of the girls.   Each week, they take turns being the helper for the week, so whatever needs to be done (praying aloud, copying, fetching mom’s diet coke) the girl of the week is in charge.    We also do Bible study (we’re working through the OT) and memory period during this time.

Memory period takes us about 30-45 minutes each day because not only are we memorizing new pieces all the time but we’re always reviewing the stuff we’ve already memorized from the last two years.   The girls LOVE this time of day.  Although memory work can be difficult, it’s so rewarding to be able to recite from memory a huge stack of poetry, bible verses,  random facts, etc.

9:00-10:00  Spelling,  Handwriting,  Writing,  Piano Practice {independent}

This is their first ‘independent’ slot.   They can work on anything from their independent list and they tend to do really well with this and can usually check at least two-three things off the list during this time.   For instance, they both almost always do their spelling, handwriting and either piano practice or  their writing assignment, and sometimes all, during this period.    I usually make beds and start dinner.   They often need little bits of help during this time so I stay close and am ready to help.     I’ve been working on my kindness and patience with their questions and pleas for help.   I find that when I’m more patient, they have less questions.   If they sense that I’m frustrated or really distracted (which I sometimes am!) they seem to need an endless amount of help.   So I talk to myself and try to use a kind, encouraging voice and even if it’s the thirteenth time in 2 minutes that someone needs my help, I try to remember that this is why I’m here—to help them and teach them and guide them.    And I think it’s working.    They seem to need me less the more accessible and pleasant I am.   Go figure.

10-10:30 History {together}

We usually read a chapter in our history book or work on a history related project or read a chapter in a biography about one of our history characters.    They often play legos or do handstands or knit while I read.   Those kinesthetic learners will drive you crazy but I often find that they remember more details if their hands and feet are moving.  We try to incorporate some of our extra reading, memory work and writing into our history lesson.   For instance, we’re studying Elizabeth I this week so 1) we’re memorizing a portion of her speech at Tilbury  2) Our writing assignments will all be about her  3) at the end of the week, the girls will use their writing assignments to give a short oral presentation on her life.

Our curriculum is history and literature centered as much as is possible.

short break (10 min) for snack or taking the dogs for a ‘run’ on the golf cart or dancing (them, not me) etc.

10:30-11  Literature

Read alouds together.  On M,W,F, we read Shakespeare from Charles and Mary Lamb’s book.  We usually read one play per week.  The girls love Shakespeare but it’s better to take it in small bites because these writers use complex language structure which can be hard to follow.   I’m usually the one confused.   They’re always explaining to me what just happened.  They each have their own literature book (Elea-The Princess and the Goblin,  Emme- Hedge of Thorns) and sometime during the morning, they read a chapter or two each and read aloud to me.   We work it in

11-11:45 Math, separate but together.

We do a new lesson each day which I teach to the girls together and then they individually work with me on flash cards and timed sheets while the other one works on the new lesson, then we switch.   Math at our house usually involves weeping and gnashing of teeth.  We’re working on this.   I think it’s getting better since we’ve starting doing the review sheets every day.   They both lack a sense of mastery with math facts and thus easily get frustrated.  My goal is to help them truly master the basic facts so they don’t have to think and count and cry and scream.    Wish me luck.

11:45-12:10  Literature

They each have their own literature book (Elea-The Princess and the Goblin,  Emme- Hedge of Thorns) and sometime during the morning, they read a chapter or two each and read aloud to me—usually a page or two.   We usually do it right before lunch.

Lunch and breaktime.   Stevie comes home for lunch so we almost always have lunch together and then the girls play while we visit.

12:30-1:30 MWF  Latin with Mrs. Harms.

We are so blessed to have Susan back with us this year.   The girls and I love her and they’ve learned so much.   They’re working on noun declensions.  I listen in amazement and really should just take the class myself.   I’m always so conflicted because I have so much I could ‘get done’ during this hour.

Usually I clean or craft or cook or blog or run to the store.    Carpe diem, right?

Rest Time:   Cue the drums.  This hour will change your life.

This is the most wonderful amazing brain child of Susan Wise Bauer.    Watch how she does it here. The rules are, you ‘rest’ in your room, by yourself and may listen to books on tape or play quietly with legos or crafts, etc.   You may not come out unless you’re bleeding.   My girls LOVE their alone time.   It’s good for everyone.   We’re thinking of extending longer than an hour.   It’s wonderful and we meet back together refreshed from the solitude.

1:30-3:30  Science and Grammar/More independent time

We usually have science and grammar to finish in the afternoons.    If we have read-alouds we didn’t finish, we do them here too.  We almost always finish by 2:30 or 3.   But alas, today we will have to finish grammar when we come home from dance.   We had a busy, productive day but couldn’t fit it all in.

We follow this basic schedule on Monday-Thursdays and then use Fridays for more literature, art, music, library time and math.   We study one artist at a time and try to relate some of our art projects to our science, history or literature.    This week, it works out brilliantly because we’re studying the Renaissance and King David so we’ll talk about Michelangelo and his somewhat antagonistic relationship with daVinci and their work on the Sistine Chapel.   We’ll study the sculpture of King David and gaze at our own replication of King David’s bust.   We also will paint different birds since we are studying birds in science.

The girls have dance 3 afternoons a week and piano lessons once per week.

To see a host of ‘daily schedules’ visit Heart of the Matter’s Blog Hop.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
You are not authorized to see this part
Please, insert a valid App IDotherwise your plugin won't work.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Whitney Lee August 24, 2010 at 11:03 am

I was just telling my husband yesterday how inspiring you and your girls are. I crave the stimulation they get; they seem to have such a great environment for learning. Thanks for posting your schedule. Maybe it will inspire me to have a better schedule for myself!

Reply

2 Tara August 24, 2010 at 11:26 am

love the schedule…it’s always so helpful to see how others do it….helps in the fine tuning process with my own schedule.

homeschooling is such a great accountability for time management!!

Reply

3 Jessica August 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

Thank you for sharing your day. I just began homeschooling in January and now will have both my girls (8 and 10) home. Our first day will be 9/7 but we have been doing projects all summer. I appreciate your detailed schedule. I cannot get everything done by 12:30 or 1:00 like many people claim to do. Our days are structured yet relaxed. Each girl will have a checklist similar to your schedule so they know what each day will bring. Some days we have finished early. Other days we have stopped early if we have a class at the Audubon or Brownies. But generally Monday through Thursday we put in a full day. I am excited, anxious and a bit nervous to begin. I think my 10 year old has deschooled enough to have an easy transition to home learning. I have planned and prepared and now pray for the best!

Reply

4 Kellye August 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Thank you so much Edie for your schedule!!! I have been following your blog forEVER and since you are such a homeschooling rock star :) it is so nice to see how you fit it all in. This is our first year and our schedule looks alot like yours!!! I hope you have a great year!!!!

Reply

5 Heather August 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm

WOW!! Thanks so much for sharing this – it is very inspiring and is making me reconsider my own plans. Love, love, love the rest time idea. Susan Wise Bauer is the best!

Reply

6 Karrie Ann August 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm

God Bless You, Edie! Thank you for sharing!
Peace of Christ,
Karrie

Reply

7 Karrie Ann August 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm

God bless you, Edie! Thank you for sharing!

Peace of Christ,
Karrie Ann

Reply

8 kristen August 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Edie, thank you so much for posting on this! I live and die by the rest time too!!! I don’t know how other homeschoolers do without it.

Blessings!

Reply

9 kristen August 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Edie%2C%20thank%20you%20so%20much%20for%20posting%20on%20this!%20%20I%20live%20and%20die%20by%20the%20rest%20time%20too!!!%20%20I%20don’t%20know%20how%20other%20homeschoolers%20do%20without%20it.%20

Blessings!

Reply

10 Jessica Washburn August 24, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Wow…it’s kind of crazy how similar our days are. I’ve got to finish my post of ‘a day in the life’, I’m still doing laundry and trying to get rid of all the sand we brought back. I love the girls’ beautiful butterflies!

Reply

11 Rhonda August 24, 2010 at 3:50 pm

What a chance for me to live vicariously…

I found your blog while searching “turquoise cabinets”, and found so many things to relate to and enjoy while here!

I so wanted to homeschool, and TWTM was like a sweet indulgence (I even liked the feel of the smooth book pages!). My husband, though, while not opposed to homeschooling, thought we lacked the discipline to end up with educated children! He was probably right, and, regardless, I knew that we both had to be completely on board for it to ‘work’ and for our family to have peace and harmony – more important for our kids than homeschooling.

Nevertheless, I consider it a little taste of sweetness to read about your experiences!

Reply

12 sara's art house August 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm

I loved this post! I either totally agree with you and do what you do- or in some cases don’t do what you do but love the ideas and want to try it (like the Shakespeare and classical music). Thanks for the inspiration. Keep up the great work!

Reply

13 Lauren August 24, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I love your schedule. I am such a schedule oriented person, and I hope I can create something that works well like this for us, once I start homeschooling my son – - he’s only 12 months right now. And listening to classical music and Chopin. How relaxing and peaceful. I am a classical pianist and hav so much respect for classical composers, and those people like you that respect them as well!! :)

Reply

14 nell ann August 24, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Just last night my hubs and I were discussing homeschool. I was all excited because he finally convinced me I wouldn’t forget anything important (like the letter U or the number 14?) and then I read your blog and I am overwhelmed and feeling less than capable again. Good thing I have four more years before he’s ready for school! : )

Also, for your math facts, when I tutored elem math, I set up all the multiples to music and that seemed to really help! Perhaps your girls can even write piano music for it or use some of your classical inspiration. The key is to make each set (fours vs. eights) sound very different so there is less confusion. I can still sing along all the songs we made up for the kids. : )

Reply

15 the domestic fringe August 24, 2010 at 7:14 pm

I love the idea of having ‘rest’ time. I’m definitely going to try and fit that in! Thanks for the idea. Right now I feel like I’m being a bit too ambitious with our schedule. We’ll see, I guess.
-FringeGirl

Reply

16 Crystal August 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Thank you for sharing your schedule. I am always tweaking what we do, and I often get ideas from what works for others.

Reply

17 Janette August 24, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I am with Nell Ann. We did a certain movement skip counting the numbers and then got to the facts. Also, only flash card the ones they do not know- there are probably very few.
I love 4-6th grades. Those are the best!

Reply

18 Sarah August 24, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Hey Edie, this is fantastic, you have done an awesome job at setting up your homeschooling day. I just give glory to God for the creative ideas He gives to us and His ever present help during the wonderful moments and during the weeping moments. Have a beautiful week you beautiful lady with your beautiful little ladies! xxx

Reply

19 Kim August 24, 2010 at 10:55 pm

I want to go to school with your girls! Love what you do!

Reply

20 jennifer August 25, 2010 at 3:54 am

seperate is spelled separate. it’s simple to find out with a spellchecker. i love your blog and i don’t want to be a brat, i just found it annoying when you’re talking about “schooling and such” and you don’t have proper spelling. ya know?

Reply

21 Becky January 4, 2011 at 7:56 am

Don’t proper nouns start with a capital letter Jennifer?

Reply

22 Vicki K August 25, 2010 at 11:04 pm

I loved reading your schedule – thanks for the glimpse into your day. You mentioned checklists – there’s something just rather magical about those for my children – they really loved ‘seeing’ where they were going and marking off what they had done.

How do you schedule your breaks? Every so often or traditional school holidays?

Reply

23 Vicki K. August 25, 2010 at 11:04 pm

I loved reading your schedule – thanks for the glimpse into your day. You mentioned checklists – there’s something just rather magical about those for my children – they really loved ‘seeing’ where they were going and marking off what they had done.

How do you schedule your breaks? Every so often or traditional school holidays?

Reply

24 patty August 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm

i still don’t get how you do it all, edie!! :))

Reply

25 Kristi August 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I love reading your schedule! We did the quiet time as well and it was SO WONDERFUL!!!! And I CRACKED up at your math section, that is what happens here too. Math comes VERY hard to my son Kris.
We are trying the part time school part homeschool this year. Praying this is the right thing to do! And today is our last day at VBS at the Lutheran church and the kids LOVED IT. I have to drop them off in a little while. They have a closing ceremonty tonight (for the parents too), can’t wait to go :)
Kristi

Reply

26 Kim August 31, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Jennifer said “seperate is spelled separate. it’s simple to find out with a spellchecker. i love your blog and i don’t want to be a brat, i just found it annoying when you’re talking about “schooling and such” and you don’t have proper spelling. ya know?”
____

Jennifer, I’m sure you are a very nice person, but sentences should always begin with capital letters. Also, you neglected to include a conjunction between two independent clauses. Tisk tisk!

Edie, you are just amazing! How blessed your children are to have a mother and teacher like you!

Reply

27 Bec January 8, 2011 at 5:03 am

Thanks for sharing your schedule! You seem to achieve so much in a day. I never used to enjoy math either but then came across a great free website that has lots of hands on activities and games to develop number sense:

http://www.k-5mathteachingresources.com/1st-grade-number-activities.html

Has made math time so much more enjoyable and my daughter’s fact fluency has improved considerably!

Reply

28 Dena February 23, 2011 at 4:30 am

What a joy it was to read your schedule. I chuckled often because of being able to relate. I too have a kinesthetic learner. I think I might try letting her play with our geometric shapes or teach her to hand sew or knit. Also I am Lutheran and just found it interesting. Thanks for sharing :)

Reply

29 Mick1020 November 23, 2011 at 12:41 am

I’ve looked at so many schedules over the years and this has to be one of my favorite. Thanks for sharing!

Reply

30 Lyork January 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm

so you do rest time on tues/thurs?

Reply

31 Tabitha April 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Thank you for sharing your schedule. I was really interested in the memory work and the quiet time portions. Our memory work has stagnated, but I think I need to be more involved. I had heard about quiet time a long while ago and didn’t keep it going. Wow! My 9-year-old has loved having “me-time” and my almost-4-year-old loves having time to build train scenes without the fending off the toddler. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t give myself a break before. It’s been a huge a-ha! discovery. I don’t have to stay up late working on lesson plans or other things that need to get done? Amazing. It’s life changing to get my evenings and weekend back. I appreciate you sharing because I finally “get it.”

Reply

32 Jess December 8, 2012 at 1:22 am

I found your website while doing a google search for homeschool schedules. I play with the idea of homeschooling my children by “playing school”. The oldest starts next year, and I have two younger ones. I want to homeschool because I feel like I can offer a much broader education than a public school. I went to public, and honestly I think the only thing I learned was reading, writing, and basic math. But my other reason is to shelter them from the social pain and negativity that children experience in public school. I feel guilt in wanting to protect them from this because it is a huge part of “growing up” for a lot of us. I still have the old fashioned socially sheltered ideas of homeschooling in my mind, and I know that it has changed. How do you ever know if you’re making the right decision to send your child to public school, or home school?

Reply

33 Anna January 13, 2013 at 12:25 am

Do you eat lunch? Because this is very important in our house lol! Is it during the “rest time”? I don’t know if my kids can wait until that late, but I’m copying you on the rest of the schedule :)! It’s awesome!

Reply

34 Anna January 13, 2013 at 12:27 am

Okay I see it now lol! Lunch from 12:10-12:30 :).

Reply

35 Landon December 6, 2013 at 9:00 pm

My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I should check things out.
I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to going over your web page for a second time.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: