After I made my 12 week schedule for our Middle Ages unit study (see this post – Keeping Organized with Schedules – Part 1), I then did another spreadsheet that shows me what we should be doing at what time. I put the times in to help keep me on track. You could also do a schedule that showed general blocks of time, for instance: 8:30-12:00a.m. Unit Study, 1:00-3:00p.m. Independent Study.
As I said, I did mine with specific times for each part of our unit study to help me to be able to just move from one thing to another without having to put any thought into what is next on the agenda.
On my spreadsheet I made 5 columns across the top. The first column heading says Time and the other four columns have the days of the week. Our school week is only 4 days a week at this point. It seems that if I schedule 5 days there is no breathing room if our days do not go as planned. Sometimes my husband needs their help or we’ll have visitors or other distractions. It’s also nice to have a day to focus on other things.
Are you like me? Do you get frustrated if your days do not go as planned or do you take it all in stride? I have determined this time to not make an overambitous schedule (which I am wont to do) and to trim things down to where it’s manageable for the children. I really like the four day week and of course, the children do, too, although this does make the 4 days longer since it’s not spread over 5 days.
The other day when I was reading aloud to them, Black Fox of Leorn, I went over time. Seeing this, I was able to realize, because of my schedule, where the problem lay. I now have moved that to the evening (before bed) for our ROL time.
At this point, I only have Monday times filled in. I wanted to be sure that it would work okay. It seems to be going well so next I will fill in the other days. Some days will be different because we’ll have Artist Appreciation, Rummy Roots & Nature Study.
A schedule is never perfect. Someone once told me that everything seem to work for awhile and then it becomes no longer effective (chore charts, rewards, etc.). This has been completely true in my family. I do not have kids begging to go to the schoolroom. This is normal, I think. Although they enjoy learning and I do, too, there are days when you just want to do something else. My schedule may be fine for us at this season but in a year (or less 🙂 ) it may need to be reworked.
I often lose sight of the fact that we are unique individuals – what works for one may not work for another. For instance, when I see the amount of subjects Lindafay of Higher Up and Futher In covers with her children, I’m amazed. Are we doing something wrong that we’re not able to do the same? Sometimes I feel like we are but then I try (Oh, Lord, help me to do more than try!) to remember that other peoples lives may be on a different track than ours, we’re unique from each other, BOYS are different than girls (highlight and underscore that!). I must never forget that God is directing our family.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD
So, if these ideas on schedules can be a help, I would be so happy. But do not feel that you are failing or are a terrible mom/teacher if you do something completely different.