Thursday, August 30, 2012

A "Doable" Schedule

Here's my #1 sneaky guy who loves to tamper with my schedule

I know I said in my previous post that I had posted my schedule from last year, but in looking back I realize that it was from the year before......boy does time fly!  
I love schedules and over the years I have learned that the best thing about a schedule is that it gives you a plan, kind of like a skeleton for your day.  I don't think anyone, especially moms of little ones, should be a slave to the schedule or put timers all over the house to keep everyone on task. I'm not that rigid.  But many people think that schedules are too restraining, but really I think they are freeing.  To know that you have your day planned and will get done what really needs to get done and not just let the day get away from you, is SO nice.  If you haven't tried a schedule, please do.  A great book if you have 2 or more children and especially if you homeschool, is "Managers of Their Homes", by Teri Maxwell.  I know I have recommended it before, but it can give you a vision for schedules.  It's a little "over the top" and now I just do a version of what she does.  You can see the picture of my daily homeschool schedule down below.  But I will write my schedule easier to see without all the specifics.  One thing I do for my homeschooling hours, is divide my morning into 30 minute segments and have the children rotate through the "segments." But pay attention!.... One thing you must do if you have little ones, is to build margin into your schedule.  So, even though it really might not take 30 minutes to clean the kitchen or for a child to practice piano, you have time built in for the unexpected.........the baby has an explosive diaper, the child can't find their piano books or school books, the 7 year old is starving and must have a snack,the toddler dumps out a whole box of cereal (these things happened to me today during our morning : ) The 30 minute segments I have for my 1st-6th graders are as follows:
math on the computer
practice piano
time with mom
seat work to finish assignments
watch little ones

So here is our daily schedule:

6:00 Wake-up, outside for daily walk/jog
7:00  Quiet time, prayer and Bible reading (this includes                  
          all those awake)
8:00 Breakfast,clean-up, morning chores, kids get dressed
9:00 Dress little ones then I shower.  Older kids start 
        school, ie math drills, hand writing and whatever else
         they can start on their own.
9:30  Group time with everyone.  This includes prayer and
         Bible reading, Classical Conversations memory 
         work, history or science reading. Brief snack time.
10:30-12:30 Kids do their 30 minute increments and I 
          spend 30 minutes with each child going over their
          school work.
12:30 lunch and clean-up
1:00  my time with Christian and kids have "recess"
1:30-2:30 Reading time and finish assignments for school
          age kids and little ones down for naps (I rest and 
           read too)
2:30 If kids have read and done all their school, then 
        they get to watch one TV show (reruns of course : ) I 
         catch up on emails and blog.
3:00-5:00  Extracurricular activities, play outside, chores
5:00  Dinner prep, play with little boys
6:15 Dinner, family time, clean-up
7:00-8:00 Baths, reading time with Dad, little ones down
8:30-9:00  Others to bed
9:00-10:30 Read, watch news, time with hubby
10:30  Lights out


  1. I loved reading your schedule. I only have 5 1/2 kids, but I've found that scheduling my day helps SO much. Even though we're not crazy strict about it, that structure just helps us all know what is going on and we get so much more done when we do our best to follow it. Glad to know I'm not alone!

  2. Hi, Becca! I've been reading your blog for a while now (you were still pregnant with Patrick when I started), but this is my first time to comment. Thanks so much for sharing your schedule! I only have two little girls (2.5 and 10 months), but I was REALLY impressed with how much time (or how little time) you allowed for meals and clean up. Some days I feel like half my day is spent preparing, administering, and cleaning up meals...and, trust me, what I prepare isn't complicated! Are you good about meal planning? Do your "older" younger children help you with the kitchen clean up?

    1. Ashley, I don't spend too much time on breakfast or lunch. Our breakfasts are usually a high protein smoothie with toast/cereal/oatmeal/frozen waffles or eggs with toast/bacon/grits. Our lunches are sandwiches, left overs or frozen pizza. So they don't require too much time on prep or clean-up. Dinner, on the other hand, usually takes about an hour of my time. I do have a child assigned to each day of the week to be the "kitchen helper." They help me with prep and clean-up and also are in charge of unloading and loading the dishwasher. This saves me a lot of time.

  3. I totally agree with you; having a schedule is actually very freeing. I have tried homeschooling many different ways since we started. And we can only manage our time effectively and get things done with an organized schedule. It also helps teach the kiddos good time management, etc. But I am also flexible as well not staying as rigid as Managers of Their Home. I really, really like that book too!! But I also agree with you about not being quite that rigid. I also like to be led by the Holy Spirit knowing that He truly is the One to be surrendered to. I know sometimes He could lead us to do things off the schedule.

    Thank you for sharing your schedule. I like how you set things with thirty minute time periods. I think I need to do more of that in order to get everything done each day. I think I allow too much time for activities that could be much quicker. We began our school on Monday. This was sort of a test week to see how I want to organize the schedule and get use to our new curriculum, etc. I am enjoying being back in a routine because we got totally off any routine this summer. My oldest daughter got Mono and actually got really, really ill with it. And my other kiddos also began manifesting symptoms of it. And I was in my first trimester of pregnancy. SO, there was lots of resting with the littles going in and out catching lizards and bugs, water playing, etc.,etc. But it is good to be back into school again!!

  4. I love MOTH!! It's wonderful to know what you'll be doing and actually be able to squeeze more than you think possible in there. Like fun and projects and crafts :-)

    Thank you for sharing. I love to see how other large families organize their days. I am always encouraged and walk away with a new idea for our family.


    1. yeah Cinnamon, we've been finishing school earlier than 12:30 so I've been able to squeeze in crafts and nature walks right after lunch. Those things can be like a "reward" for finishing school on time or early : )

  5. Thanks for your posts!

    I'm trying to figure out how to juggle it all with 6, and was looking for some ideas. I read elsewhere you do Saxon math dvds. Do you do it with all the kids? I'm wondering how you fit in going over all their school in the 30 min.per kid. Are you grading their school work at night and that is what you go over with them in the 30 minutes, plus new topics, say in spelling writing or such?

    For example, just with my second grader it takes the minimal of 45 minutes of just going over the 2nd grade abeka math, spelling words/rules, and reading a short bit out of their reader.

    The same with my kindergartener- about 45 for phonics, abeka math, and handwriting. Even more for the 3rd grader-same subjects, plus grammar.

    This doesn't include time grading or going over what they missed.

    How are you juggling or is their something you're not doing?

    Thank you for your time!

    1. Hi Happy Mama, sorry I am just replying to your comment
      My children do either Saxon on the computer and I grade it with them or Teaching Textbooks (my new favorite math because it grades for you : )
      I have done Abeka in the past and found that it does take alot of time compared to other curriculums. It seems much more teacher driven. I do agree with you though, that with a new reader, usually K or 1st grade, my time is more like 40 minutes with them. I usually give them thier handwriting and drills to do alone. I find those do not need any of my help and then we do Bible, Science, and History all together. So my time alone with them is just going over what they missed in math, spelling, grammar and composition. For my little guy, he has math, phonics, reading lesson and readers. Hope this helps. I would encourage for next year to maybe look at another curriculum. Blessings!


Thanks so much for your comments! I love them and they keep me writing. I really do read each one.