Steps Toward Success in Homeschooling: The Schedule

left side of the face of a clock

Sooooo. To continue with improvements we’re trying to make around here let’s talk about item number two: the schedule. Up until 2 weeks ago the general plan was to wake up when we wake up in the morning, then roll with school after breakfast. The burden was on me to get the boys to get started working, and then to urge them to continue all day. This? Was not fun.

I believe that children should be allowed to sleep as long as their bodies need to sleep. Hubby is pretty firm about bedtime every night, so if the boys need to sleep longer before we get working, I try to let them. We started seeing more chatter after bedtime, with boys awake much later. That translated into sleeping later in the morning. See above paragraph about me shepherding people through their responsibilities every day.

Love and Logic says that the child should be the one responsible for their mistakes. A child in public school pays a price if they stay up too late; it was difficult to get that same result at home. And let’s face it, I like to be up late and sleep in myself.

I’ve tried all sorts of schedules and lists in the past and they all eventually fell apart. Yes, I probably had a lot to do with that. The stakes are higher now. So, a schedule was made. I wrote up the younger boys’ plan, then handed it to the older ones so they could make up their own. We now have a strictish starting time every morning, and planned break and playtimes. It doesn’t matter what we’re working on, the clock rules. So if we get to recess and they’re in the middle of something, they’re still allowed to rush outside and enjoy the weather.

Also, we quit at 1:30 every day. Even if they haven’t gotten all their work done, that’s the end of school. I explained that this means they’ll most likely work into the summer, but those summer days will be like the ones we’re having now: relaxed. The boys assure me they’re fine with this plan.

I like this plan. The boys seem to like this plan. The next few months will definitely test whether it was wise or not. Up until now I’ve been working like crazy to keep the boys moving through their schoolwork so as to be done when all their friends are done for the summer. The problem with that is the public schools measure their year based on how many minutes children are in school. I measure the year based on the children completing the work assigned for each subject. There’s no way to compete with the public school’s plan. If they get to the end of their minutes without finishing a book, the year ends anyway.

I think the new schedule balances that out a bit. We’ll see what it feels like in June.

Earnest Parenting: advice for homeschooling parents.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

View all contributions by

{ 15 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment


four − = 3

CommentLuv badge

  • Sarah March 23, 2010, 1:32 pm

    Smart time management and a strict schedule is a key to success if you want to raise a self-reliant person.

    Reply
    • Amy March 28, 2010, 11:58 pm

      Sarah, do you really think that the strictness is important for self-reliance? I’m pondering that one deeply. I think you may be right, but I wonder about making the transition from me controlling the schedule to the boys doing it themselves. If I’m handing over that control to them so that they become independent, then I can’t be strict because I’m not in control. Does that make sense? I’m glad you made the point, it’s giving me a lot to consider!

      Reply
  • Tina@RideOnToys March 24, 2010, 5:22 am

    I think I like this plan too! It will be interesting to see if the boys continue to enjoy it after the public school kids are done for the summer. I’m betting that they’ll be fine with it!
    .-= Tina@RideOnToys´s last blog ..The Radio Flyer Big Wheel =-.

    Reply
    • Amy March 29, 2010, 12:00 am

      Oh Tina, I hope so. The older boys have been perfecting the art of wasting time while I’ve managed to keep the younger ones mostly moving along. So it’ll be especially interesting to have the younger ones done before the olders. Especially since second grade work just goes faster than sixth.

      Reply
  • Francis March 25, 2010, 7:46 am

    I have to say that you sound super organized with all the home schooling! Your kids will for sure thank you for it one day.

    Reply
    • Amy March 29, 2010, 12:07 am

      Awww, thanks Francis! I’m guessing they won’t get around to the thankful part for a good long time though. I’m still in the Annoying Mom phase, as far as they’re concerned.

      Reply
  • Cinema fan March 25, 2010, 3:51 pm

    The main thing not the plan – and qualitatively executed work

    Reply
  • Bruce "the Mid-Life Mentor" March 26, 2010, 12:45 pm

    Congrats on the new plan. Question: do you belong to a homeschool association? Maybe you could have some “students from other schools” over to do a joint lesson or project of some sort.
    I admire your persistence and your philosophy that school is over when learning is done.

    Reply
    • Amy March 29, 2010, 12:14 am

      Bruce, where we happen to live there’s not a strong network of homeschooling families. It’s rather odd actually, but there you have it. If we’re willing to drive about 45 minutes, there are many resources available. I wasn’t willing to try that before now. The younger boys were too young, I’m as bad about wanting to stay home as the boys are, and trying to keep up with all the schoolwork while meeting the calendar demands were all reasons to not bother. However, I’ve been talking to Hubby about that very issue and we’ll likely take the plunge this summer or fall and join a more established network. We’re set to go check out one place next month, just to get a feel for it.

      Thanks for the compliment about the persistence. I can be a bit, ummm, stubborn sometimes. 🙂

      Reply
  • trampolines March 30, 2010, 1:58 am

    homeschooling isnt easy coz it’s really tempting to be out of sched since your at home and you can see that there are a lot of things to do

    Reply
    • Amy March 31, 2010, 11:08 pm

      trampolines, exactly! Distractions abound, and then there’s the couch that calls my name at naptime every day…very hard to ignore.

      Reply
  • fort lauderdale interior designer April 2, 2010, 12:47 am

    The problem is the public school this year is measured by how many minutes children are present completing assignments based on measurements for each subject.

    Reply
  • crm software June 2, 2010, 2:44 am

    it is really nice to handle such sleeping boys with work.thanks

    Reply
  • dev from executive mba June 2, 2010, 11:25 pm

    Is not a good habit to sleep late.

    Reply