Homeschool planning

I thought you might be interested in seeing how I’ve got our mornings planned for fall homeschooling. The green blocks indicate subjects that I’m directly teaching. At lunch time I am planning to read a book to the kids, a bit each day. I think we’ll start with The Trumpeter of Krakow. The peach and purple colors are computer time, and tell the kids which computer they’ll be using for that particular assignment.  You should be able to click on the picture to enlarge it.
I’ve been making schedules similar to this for years, and find them to be a real help with organizing our school days. The schedule isn’t rigid– I don’t come unglued if breakfast happens 15 minutes late or if we only spend 10 minutes on history.  But it does provide a backbone for our day, and a place to jump back in if we get off track.

Since I know people are going to ask, here’s some of the curriculum we’re using.

  • Math:  Saxon(16 yo), Teaching Textbooks (most of the kids), AlpahOmega/Horizon (5yo)
  • Spanish: Rosetta Stone
  • Typing: Typing Tutor
  • Grammar:  Grammar Girl,  Simply Grammar, Daily Guided Teaching and Review
  • Science:  Apologia Chemistry, Apologia Botany
  • Phonics: ABeka



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  1. I love the schedule! And I love the look of it too. I was wondering are the white blocks then independent learning the childs part? I always start off with my 8th graders teaching everything and then as the year progresses I end up grading and they do much of it if not all of it independently. I do tend to have to read some on my own also so if there are questions, but I was curious how your older children learn?

    • I will be checking my 16 yo son’s writing assignments, and talking with him about any math problems that he can’t ask an older sibling about. (Often my big kids help younger ones with math.) My 4 oldest kids have done well with learning independently by the time they are 14 or so. (According to standardized testing, anyway! 🙂 ) Some of my younger ones will need more support for longer. I think that is something a parent needs to judge case by case.

      • Thanks for the response. Today I had to leave my children with a friend and I left their assignments..we started out this year with a structured schedule…but due to my oldest’s (13 almost 14) love of cars and a good friend with a auto repair shop he has been doubling his days up so he can go work at the shop. (no pay..just learning) It has been a great motivator to get him to work and he is helping this gentlemen with the cars and learning how to maintain a car and fix many parts of the car. Thursday we (my boy and I) will be rotating our tires after our school is done for the day at this shop…so as I wish for a stuctured schedule like yours I am finding I have to alter my childrens, but loving the freedom of it. At the same time today..I had to leave them to a friend as I had to attend a funeral 5 hours away…Tomorrow I grade their work and I am curious how the independent study went. 🙂

  2. Realizing that learning is a 24-hour process and not intending to minimize that, do you consider ‘school’ to be over at lunch?

  3. I only posted the morning plan. After lunch kids read for an hour, run half a mile, do 30 minutes of housework, and have free time. Anyone who has been poky with morning subjects finishes school during free time (that happens a couple times a week). But the bulk of school is done by lunch.

  4. Wishing you a great year. What’s your first read-aloud? (I’m guessing that’s what “mom’s story” is.) We just started The Hobbit. (Haven’t decided if I’m going to break out my Gollum voice or save the vocal cords.)

  5. I think it’s really amazing that your homeschooling your children! What a wonderful gift you’re giving them.

    Just wondering, do they actually finish their showers in 10 minutes?!? My 6 y.o. will stay in the shower for an hour if I let him! He’s such a fish!!

  6. Sometimes yes, sometimes no on the 10-min showers. But we try!

  7. I am amazed that you are usually done by lunch. Not so for us. What history curriculum do you use? And what do you do for science with the youngers?

  8. Hi Emily,

    First, let me just say this is the way WE do school– not THE ideal way. We focus hard on math and reading but don’t do tons of history and science in elementary years.

    We are doing Apologia Botany for our 7th-8th graders. The 5 and 8 years old girls listen in and do bits of the lessons– for example, collecting and drawing pictures of leaves…

    We have done The Light and the Glory for elementary American history in the past. This year I picked up a cool-looking book, The Complete Book of World History, by American Education Publishing that is heavy on visuals. We’ll see how it works.

    I am NOT the kind of homeschooling mom who tries to cover EVERY base always. I would not be a happy momma if we spent all day schooling– a lot of days I barely make it til lunch. 🙂 There are LOTS of homeschooling moms out there who are better teachers, but by God’s grace I’m adequate, and my kids are learning.

  9. I am so glad you posted your schedule. I have five children and my oldest twins are doing 6th grade work. It’s a little intimidating this year and being able to see how you do things set my mind at ease about some things. Thanks!

  10. Thanks for posting this!! We just made up a similar schedule at our house except my husband is the busiest student (he’s doing 2 MA’s at seminary)and his study schedule goes from 6:30am until 11pm!! I was encouraged to see that not only am I using the same curriculum as you (ABeka Phonics and Horizons math)for my almost 5-year-old, but that the amount of time I have planned for her in a day is similar to yours!
    Hope your year goes well!

  11. Mary,

    Two really great resources for World History are “The Mystery of History” and “Story of the World.” One caveat though – You HAVE to get them on AUDIO CD!!! It is great! The kids can listen to them while coloring or playing w/ legos or in that free time before dinner or in the car. It is a great “passive” way to pick up on SO much history! My kiddos LOVE both! The older ones especially love SOTW.

    I like your schedule. I have a similar one, but it isn’t working well yet. . . need to tweak it still. I might try implementing some math and copywork b4 breakfast! Good idea.


  12. Like it a lot. Good of you to be open to sharing this with all of us. Blessings as you go forward with the year – hope it is getting easier with your older girls.

  13. I am really inspired by your schedule…you are so organized. I have been homeschooling for many years but always was more of an unschooler. This year, due to the needs of some of my kids, I have to be structured and organized and it is a struggle for me. Seeing that other people can do this and succeed gives me hope. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sharla’s post describes me exactly. I have been mostly unschooling because I have no sense of structure. I feel like I need to be more structured this year as my kids are getting older and I now have 5 in the house. I came across this blog thru Bowen’s Heart and I feel like it is another way God is equipping me to learn what is necessary for this life He has called me to. He often brings little things into my life that I later look back and realize it was just what I needed- like an excellent phonics video or an inspiring magazine article or like this post. You make it seem like scheduling is not so difficult and I think I can take this format and make a schedule that is not intensive but that will serve our family well. Thanks again for giving us a glimpse inside your home. <

  14. LOVE this post!!! Would love to see more. 🙂 Looking so forward to seeing you next week! 🙂


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