August 29, 2011


I have a hard time with scheduling for the traditional reason: so many GREAT IDEAS and so little time. This year I wanted to start Spanish and even without that, our days feel packed. Maybe it is because my children have resisted getting back into a routine after our 6 month Harriet hiatus. Or maybe it is because it suddenly turned hot enough to fry our brains.

Regardless, scheduling is hard. Always.

I had an epiphany over the past few weeks. I don't have to do as much as I do. I know, I know, basics that I can never quite grasp. This time the point was driven home though for several reasons.

Reason 1: Harvest season.

Reason 2: Being the RS pres is busy. Very, very busy.

Reason 3: My house is a disaster and I don't have time at night to catch up (see reason 2).

Reason 4: I want to enjoy this year at least a little bit.

SOLUTION: Here is the good part. I scheduled in half days on Tuesdays and Thursdays to accommodate harvesting and bottling, and I love it. Love it. Instead of having science/history/music in the mornings we just have devotional and jump right into our normal afternoon subjects--math, spelling, handwriting, English. That way, we are still doing school but I get an afternoon to catch up. Two actually. It is wonderful.

So our schedule (right now) works like this:

Monday/Wednesday--devotional, music/dancing, science/history then lunch and quiet time during which Miriam and I read our scriptures and Miriam reads silently for 20 minutes. After quiet time we do math, spelling, handwriting, English.

Tuesday/Thursday--devotional, core subjects, lunch, quiet time, free time.

Friday--devotional, core subjects, lunch, quiet time, art.

I might end up switching the days around to accommodate Miriam's Liberty Girls and Book Group, but the plan will stay the same.

Now, my next challenge is figuring out when Miriam should do her Rosetta Stone and piano flashcards. I sit down with her every morning to facilitate her piano practice (translation into real mom speak: make sure she counts) while Cowen does the dishes, but I haven't managed to work in flashcards yet. She's still relying too much on learning by ear instead of mastering the notes.

Also, I've been super good about making sure Cowen reads, but I need to make sure Emeline gets her 15 minutes of reading also.

Sometimes it feels like I have a lot of kids!

How are your schedules working out? Gotten all the bugs out yet?


  1. I have my daughter, and all my other students, do piano flash cards first thing when they sit down to practice. I also tell them all that when they can pass all the cards off in one minute or less I will buy them a king sized candybar.
    Shelly (who for some reason can't post on people's blogs unless the comments are in a pop up window....go figure.)

  2. I just found your blog from some homeschool link and the funny thing is our kids are so similar in age. Any way, I homeschool with UTVA although I have thought of switching to my own curriculum. But I just had a thought about the Spanish. We have tried several programs and they are so hard to fit in, but what we do now is learn one new Spanish song from the Children's Songbook each month. The kids love it and I love that they have really good Spanish phrases going through their heads.

  3. You guys are brilliant!! Thanks for the great ideas. Miriam will not work for chocolate, but there isn't much she won't do for strawberries.

    I should have thought about Spanish songs. I still remember some of the songs I learned in Spanish class in junior high.

    Thanks for the help!

  4. do you have rosetta through your charter/curriculum provider? curious - the price is ludicrous, but the program is oh-so-effective. let me know.

  5. We're not quite to your stage of home school craziness, my son is only 7 and the other two are still really little. But I can still very much relate to the busy-ness of life. I agree that it's important to find the basics and stick to them. That's what get's me through on the very busy exhausting times. We cover a lot through units. So I'm really grateful for your willingness to share your units with us! Keep up the great work!