A few weeks ago I shared all about our curriculum choices for the 2022-2023 school year. When you put it all in one blog post it looks like A LOT! In reality, I kept it really simple this next year.
Over the past 5 years of homeschooling, the most valuable lesson I have learned is that less is more! Adding too much is overwhelming and stressful for you and your children. There are so many great curriculums out there, but you don’t have to use them all and especially not all at once!
Today I’m sharing how we fit all the curriculum I shared into a homeschool day/week! This year I will have a 3rd grader, 1st grader, and preschooler, as well as a toddler causing chaos in the background. This is the daily/weekly rhythm that has worked really well for us and we will continue this fall.
I like to keep morning time short and meaningful. We usually complete this while we are eating breakfast at the table together. At the beginning of the week we will read our weekly Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit story, talk about the character trait, and Bible verse. We may also complete a coloring or handwriting page that goes with the story. Tuesday- Thursday mornings we will read a story from the Gospel Storybook Bible and discuss it together.
Time with Jesus
After our morning time, we break off individually and have our “time with Jesus.” This is new to us this year and I’m really excited about it. Each of us, including myself, will have our own area and spend time reading (or listening to) our Bibles and praying. I’m excited to teach my children to have their own relationship with the Lord and to grow in that. You can see all the resources we are using for this time HERE.
One day each week I will do a Bible lesson with my 3rd grader and another day do a Bible lesson with my 1st grader during this time. We use the Faith and Life series from Ignatius Press.
**New blog post all about Independent Work– how it works & what we use.
After Bible time, my kids do their chores (get dressed, make their bed, tidy their room, etc.) and have a short time to play. Then we start with independent work first (for my older 2.)
I think independent work is so valuable and I start teaching my kids a little about this as early as Kindergarten. Independent work holds them accountable, shows responsibility, and is a great way to see if they are grasping the concepts you are teaching when they have to do it on their own.
For independent work, my kids do one page of handwriting, one page in Explode the Code, their Daily Science questions for the day, and the independent practice in their Language Arts and Math curriculum that is at the end of the lesson for that day. *I also substitute their handwriting with a page from their Building Writers once or twice a week.
✨If you are not familiar with the Good and the Beautiful curriculum, each lesson in Language Arts and Math has a quick daily warmup, the lesson, and then independent practice/review. The independent practice/review at the end of each lesson is more than likely practice on concepts they learned in the previous days lesson, not what they are learning in that current days lesson. SO, I have them do it on their own without me for independent work before we work on the lesson for the day. This saves a lot of time when I sit down to do the lesson with them later and we don’t have to do that part (I just check it really quick.)
While they start their independent work, I work with my preschooler. I will work on his lesson from the Good and the Beautiful PreK course, which really only takes 10-15 minutes. Working with him first gives him the attention he needs and then he is more likely to run off and play while I work with the older kids.
After I am done working with my preschooler I will do a Language Arts or Math lesson with one child while the other continues to finish their independent work. After that I switch to the other child to do a lesson, while the one I was just working with continues to finish their independent work. (If they are done with their independent work, they can play until it’s their turn with me.) So while I am working with one, the other is still occupied and busy. I will go back and forth until both LA and Math is complete for both kids.
All our core lessons are done for the day and it’s time for a break! My kids play until it’s time for lunch. All of their independent practice and lessons only takes us about an hour and a half total. 👍🏼
During lunch we always do our read aloud. I read while the kids eat. Then they go off to play and I get to eat alone in peace. HERE is a great blog post on how to introduce read aloud books as well as a great list to start with. This year our read alouds will go with the country we are studying about as well as many Magic Treehouse books with our Passports to Adventures curriculum.
After lunch, my youngest goes down for a nap. This is when we do our history and science lesson all together. Each day varies whether it is reading books, watching videos, doing a craft project, or writing. Since we aren’t distracted from my youngest, these lessons are usually pretty quick.
After our history/science lesson, it’s time to relax and read. Each of my kids reads for 20 minutes. My 3rd grader has a chapter book that will go with the country we are studying (sharing more soon). I give my 1st grader 2 books to read on his own and then 1 to read to me. He loves Dash into Learning readers, Biscuit, Elephant & Piggie, and Frog and Toad books.
Then we are done for the day! If I put everything together we really only do “schoolwork” 2-3 hours each day, but we are constantly learning and doing fun things all the time. The rest of the day is for play, exploring, and extra curricular activities (dance, gymnastics, baseball.)
This year I’m also starting a simple nature club with some other homeschool families. We will be meeting up in the morning once every other week to study a nature topic. On the days that we do meet up we won’t do any other formal lessons, other than reading in the afternoon.
We homeschool only 4 days a week. Usually Monday through Thursday, but our day off can be moved around any day depending on special outings or appointments. Friday’s are usually left open for a catch up day, to finish any projects, get to something we didn’t get to during the week, or field trips!
This year we will also be trying a Sabbath schedule: 6 weeks on and one week off. After doing schoolwork for 6 weeks straight, we will take one full week off. I only plan 6 weeks at a time, so I will use this free week to plan for the next 6 weeks, pick up library books, and catch up on any household chores. I think this will really help with homeschool burnout too for myself and my kids. (I have a whole highlight about planning on my Instagram.)
Our schedule and rhythm is always changing with life, but having a consistent routine helps tremendously. The kids know what to expect each day and what is expected of them, so their isn’t much battling on getting things done. We love learning together and the freedom to change anything whenever we need to. We are excited to start another great year in August!