5:30 am – get up, COFFEE or hot tea, Bible reading, personal reading
6:30 nurse a baby, put back to bed (hopefully)
6:50 get dressed (if I was lucky)
7:00 start laundry, begin making breakfast,
7:30 wake up children (only the ones learning academics)
7:30 – 8:00 breakfast, morning chores, more laundry
8:00 Bible reading – together
8:20 Begin math with one of the children
Yes, I had to get up at 5:30 if I wanted personal quiet time. (It may work for you to stay up late!) Many times, though, an early riser would join me and I encouraged them to sit quietly with me. Did it always work? No!
The remainder of the morning is used trying to spend one-on-one time with each child on math and reading, dealing with constant issues, and continuing with laundry (which the children helped me fold and put away after lunch).
11:30 EVERYONE OUTSIDE! (while I make lunch)
12:30 lunch clean-up
1:00 – rest of day This time was used for piano practice, personal reading, chores, etc.
We always had a “rest time”. That was no less than 30 min of QUIET. This was for me, more than for my children. They didn’t have to sleep, but they did have to be on their beds with no talking. During this time I would determine what I needed the most. A nap? More cleaning? More planning? And many times, the time was spent just getting children to be quiet! And 30 minutes goes by VERY quickly!
For several years when I was teaching 4 or more children at once, I would prepare weekly worksheets for each child. This would take approximately 3 hours each Sunday. It was a difficult process, but necessary to the success of the following week, in regard to academics. This worksheet would list the various subjects each child was learning, and would include reading and writing assignments for each day. This enabled me to work individually with each child without so many interruptions or more time spent telling them what needed to be done next. When each assignment was completed the work was to be given to me to be checked. After I checked the work, it was given back to be corrected on that same day, even if it had to be finished after our normal “school hours”.
For my very young children, ages up to 4, I tried to keep them busy with something while working with an older child. This takes constant effort to teach them to give you a few minutes of time for another child, but it can be done.
For 4-5 year olds, I try to begin teaching numbers, letters, beginning phonics, etc. This is done in short time intervals, maybe 2-3 times within a day. And many times, an older child helps with this.
6-8 year olds are able to do math flash cards alone. We used Math-It (a speed drill using small flash cards). They can also do a few worksheets on their own.
9 and up should be able to begin doing more and more independent work, working with and helping care for younger children and taking more responsibility for the housework.
Again, this schedule was a daily goal. It was a time-frame we would aim for together. We worked hard at it everyday. I would say we were consistently less successful with hitting the times than we were successful! But that is life, right?
If you don’t already have one, I recommend a schedule.
We’ll work on it tomorrow.