Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Home School Schedule with Multiple Kids

As most of you know, I am a homeschooling momma.  I have 4 kids that I home school (or intend to homeschool in the future!)  My kids are 8, 6, 4, and 1.  So I have elementary down to toddler aged.  Sometimes our days can be hectic, but I have found that keeping a schedule helps so much in making sure things get done when they are supposed to.

When I say schedule, I do not mean a strict do this at this time, but more of a do this in this order.  My schedule hinges on summer.  I take two weeks to sit and prep my curriculum for the year.  I get everything printed, organized and separated out into days of instruction for my oldest child.  I save everything from her work, so I don't have to do that again for the younger children.  After putting all her work together, I go through the stuff for my oldest son, the curriculum I had made a few years before for my daughter. I find out where he is, and just readjust it for his level.  Takes me 2-3 days to do this.  By doing this, planning each day of schooling for my children is super easy and takes very little time.

Because I plan everything out by the day, I can just grab what I need and it is there in its own folder.  If I have any games or activities to prep, they are in that folder as well, or there is a note telling me to grab it from the cabinet.  It usually takes me 10-15 minutes to get the school day set up each morning.

So, on to the actual schedule!  We, as a family, wake up sometime between 7 and 8 each morning.  My girls are usually awake first and my 1 year old comes in my room to snuggle a few minutes before we really start our day.  This time also includes breakfast.  Once all 4 are awake and moving, they all eat breakfast together.  After breakfast, they have free play time, whatever they want to do for about an hour.  I then prep school work, start laundry, clean breakfast, and just really start my daily routines.  

After our morning wake up, we usually start our school time around 9.  I work with the three older kids while the baby plays.  First thing I do is to start my preschooler on his activity.  He usually has something to color (he loves to color) and some sort of hands on activity.  His older brother (6) joins him in this until I can start him on his activities.  My oldest is doing online videos for English.  After starting the preschooler, I get her started on one of those.  She can do those independently, so that helps me assist her brothers.  Once she is done with her video, her brother also has a video he watches, so they will switch places for his video.  This usually takes 20 minutes total.  Then we move to math.  I have my oldest work on math facts while I do her brother's lesson, then I do her lesson.  We usually spend about 30-45 minutes in math.  So by 10:30 we are done with the bulk of our school day.  

Science and Social Studies are done together and not everyday.   We do a lot of impromptu science, especially while playing outside and exploring.  My oldest does have some grammar, writing and reading her chapter book after 10:30, but she is usually done before lunch time.

We usually have lunch between 11:30 and 12.  After lunch, its clean up and chores.  The older three clean up their toys and school stuff.  Once everything is clean, they are able to have free choice play time.  During this time is when I can work on chores as well, usually laundry, sweeping, etc.

From 2-4, the baby naps, so the older ones have quiet time as well.  They have to find quiet activities to do.  This is when I rest, work on my business, and really just unwind.  This is our general schedule right now Monday-Thursday.  Fridays are special "fun days" where we do science experiments, art projects, games and just not do any book work.  We don't follow any schedule, except for when they eat!

Schedule Snap Shot

7am-8am --- Wake up, breakfast

8am-9am --- Free Play

9am-11:30am --- School Time, free play when done

11:30am-12pm --- Lunch

12pm-1pm --- Chores, clean up

1pm-2pm --- Free Play

2pm-4pm --- Nap Time, quiet activities

After naptime, it's dinner, a movie, baths, and bed. All of my kids are in bed by 9pm.  

I think the most difficult part of homeschooling with multiple ages is coordinating who is doing what when, and how to do that efficiently so you are not schooling all day long.  I find having review activities that can be done independently not only boosts confidence, but also gives me room to work with other child.  

Our routines and schedules are always revolving and changing as needs grow and change.  I am sure our days will look different 6 months from now when we start our new school year and what works for us may not work for others, but I wanted to provide a general idea of how we work so others can see that it can be done!


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