I’ll share today about how I’m organizing our homeschool days. But if I’ve learned anything during the past 18 years of homeschooling, it’s that flexibility is key!
In many ways, as I sat down to write this post I wondered if someone else could write it for me. :) How exactly am I supposed to organize our homeschool days? Our high school sophomore can do most of his work on his own (if I help him stay organized with these planners). But our first grader needs almost constant direction. Meanwhile, our babies have turned toddler and well, they are busy.
I considered doing all of Brayden’s school work with him during the babies’ afternoon nap. But I need part of their naptime to:
- Do my blog work.
- Breathe and have a little downtime after a very full morning.
I prayed about this quite a bit, because who’s better to offer direction on what seems to have no solution but the One who gave us all these kids in the first place? So here’s what we’re looking at for our 2020-21 school year:
How I’m Organizing our Homeschool Days
1. Kid Folder Solutions
I created a very simple but brilliant folder solution for both Brayden and Malachi. Before a new week begins, I’ll fill the boys’ folders with work for the week ahead. This means that if it’s a printable, I’ll print it and put it into the folder. If it’s from a workbook, I’ll tear it out and put it into a folder. Instead of asking Brayden to “go get your math book” then “go get your handwriting book” then… I’ll simply have him get out the days’ folder and everything we need will be in one easy place.
(Club Members will find this printable pack of resources in both the “Printables Collection” section and the “eCurriculum” section of the membership site. Come and get it! Get yourself organized. Work yourself out of a job.)
Also – I’m using the Homeschool Planners here for both Malachi (10th grade) and for myself. He needs a list to work off of to help him stay focused. And I need plans out of my brain and onto paper. These planners reallllly help us both!
I actually experimented with this idea during the summer before officially beginning our new school year, just to see how it would work for all of us. BRILLIANT!!! I’m loving this so far!
Which leads me to…
2. Printables and workbook pages are working for us.
They haven’t always, because my boys all tend to prefer hands-on learning. But I’ve found that it’s working well right now to have simple math, handwriting, and enrichment pages ready to pull out of each day’s folder (fresh pages go in the right pocket, completed pages in the left).
Brayden and I work on these at the kitchen counter in the mornings after the babies have had their breakfast and are content to play (and make a monster mess) in the living room while we work. I can watch babies and help Brayden at the same time, mostly. This is actually helping Brayden learn to already become an independent learner, which is very good for him.
Once the babies are bored with playing in the living room and Brayden has worked his way through as much as possible…
3. Brayden takes a worksheet break and we move on to free play.
Since the weather is so nice, we use this time to take long walks. The babies love strolling with us and are content for at least an hour! So they stroll while Brayden and I walk and learn. We’ve discovered new kinds of flowers, caterpillars in cacoons, varieties of train cars, food people have growing in their gardens, construction workers and machines — everything can be educational! And while we’re walking, we are talking (non-stop, ehem) and learning.
Once winter hits, these times of walking-and-learning will end. But we’ll find new ways to explore and learn, no doubt!
Smoothies for the road are highly recommended. :)
We play more, we have lunch, we check on how Malachi is doing with school work and video editing work (he is working remotely for Asa!)
4. After the babies go down for a nap in the afternoon…
Brayden and I sit and read. History books, read-alouds, and Bible. This takes about 45 minutes, then Brayden has some screen time while I get some blog work done (and drink coffee, obviously).
Our little experiment has worked well so far, and hopefully this will be our basic structure for the upcoming school year. But again – flexibility is key. We have no idea what this school year will bring. So we’ll make adaptations as needed.
What is your upcoming school year looking like at this point? Know that I am praying for all of us as we head into many unknowns this school year. :)
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