We are on our 8th week of homeschooling and by all accounts and purposes, it's going great. Everyone is still enjoying school and are still motivated. There's a little bit of frustration over new topics as we're starting to move past reviewing the last year, but overall it's going smoothly.
But we were having this horrible problem of a chaotic morning. It all starts because I am a night owl. I love the quietness of the nighttime, and I would go to bed after midnight every night if it didn't affect the next day. But it does, and we weren't waking up until almost 9am every morning. Which meant breakfast was close to 10am, school didn't get started until around 11am, and we weren't ready for lunch until 2pm. Which messed up nap-time, afternoon subjects, snack time, cartoons, and pushed dinner and even bedtime later, which then started the whole mess over again. That may work for some people, but I'm a traditionalist and I think lunch should be at noon, so it wasn't working.
Because of all of this, I decided to get serious and start a new schedule. I made a list of everything that needed to get done during the day, and divided it into "morning", "afternoon", and "evening" sections. Most of these things are pretty simple like meals, chores, naps, etc, usually happen around the same time everyday. Then I figured out how long each of these things should take, and kind of worked around set times like bedtimes, lunch (of course at 12pm), and favorite cartoons. Our kids love Wild Kratts and it's really the only cartoon they HAVE to watch everyday, so I wanted to make sure they were able to watch it.
I wanted to have set times for each subject because I found myself having a pile of workbooks to check, and by the time I checked something, they were already halfway done with another subject, and we were going back and forth from subject to subject, and I really didn't feel like they were grasping the concepts, they were just getting the work done. So with set subjects for set amount of times, they don't have to rush and make mistakes, and there's plenty of time to check work and fix mistakes that do happen. There's also not the competition of "I got done before you did!" and "What subject are you on? I only have one left." that breeds discontent and causes others to hurry and not concentrate.
So here is our daily schedule:
Carter Family Schedule
7:30- Wake up, Get Dressed, Read your Bible, Start Chores
8:00- Eat Breakfast, Have Family Devotions
8:45- Clean up breakfast, Finish chores
1-2:30 Rest time
2:30-4- Afternoon Session
4-5:30- Free Time
8:30- Anna and Elsa bedtime
8:45- Kayla and Lela bedtime
9:00- Noah bedtime
10:30- Mom and Dad bedtime
There are a few times on there can be moved or changed, depending on what we have going on (or what went on the night before), but for the most part, if we stick with this schedule, we will get everything done.