Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When the Schedule Goes Out the Window

I had an intense first-week-of-school schedule all planned out. Monday morning started out pretty well. Dad was home sick, so that put a little damper on the beginning of the new school year. As the day wore on, it became apparent that Dad was not the only one sick in our household. The two older kids were also soon confined to the couch.

There were so many new things this year that I was nervous about: lots of new subjects for my oldest who is in 4th grade now; a new child added to the school year (she's super excited, by the way!); trying to figure out scheduling and how to fit everything in while not letting it stress me out. And here we are sick.

Well, I found that it was actually a very good week for us. The kids requested Masterpiece Theatre's "Much Ado About Nothing". I thought we'd watch 15 minutes at a time to "get through it". They loved it! Elizabeth bonded with Beatrice in-between fevers and medicine and doctors and other ....... stuff. They were very relaxed by old and new pieces of music from Chopin and Mozart. When they weren't too bad off, I was able to read each of their readings from the schedule to them. Some books were on Librivox, which was awesome since I lost my voice by Friday. Elizabeth reviewed times tables toward the end of the week as she felt better.

The Charlotte Mason education using Ambleside Online worked wonderfully for us during this week of sickness. We got all the schoolish essentials done gently without tears or stress.

I have adopted a schedule recommended by an AOer. It's just a list of everything we want to accomplish for school in a week. Each child has their own list. Each subject gets the number of circles beside it for the number of days we need to complete that subject. See Jonathan's schedule below. I thought about trying a very detailed daily schedule with every 15 minutes for every person in the house written down as to what we needed to be doing. I actually spent hours coming up with this and printing it out. We did it for half a day. As you can imagine, it did not help the stress level of the home! So we're just going to keep to the weekly school schedule and get a certain number of subjects done a day (Liz is choosing her own now; I choose for Jon and Phoebe). And by the end of the week, it should all be checked off! Oh, and I'm finding several things like Nature Study and Handicraft get accomplished well on weekends when there's some time in the afternoons to spend on longer projects and time outside.

The list at the bottom of Jonathan's schedule are things we do together as a family. So Elizabeth and Phoebe also have that list and it all gets done together. The top part of the list is specific to Jonathan.


Mom-Elayne-Mimi said...

Wow! All I can say is I am totally awesomely impressed!!!! I think I would like to take some classes planned by you. Any chance? Love you, Elayne

phillipsgirl said...

I'll plan anything, Elayne! Don't know how good it will turn out, but I love to plan!

Nadene said...

Life happens and homeschooling is the most wonderful flexible way to keep things sane.
I wrote about how to recover from disturbed schooling too.

Jennifer Clouse Photography said...

Good job girl way to adjust :)People who learn to adjust quickly inspire me :)

Gina said...

I LOVE your schedule idea! I find I need to have an idea of where I want our week to go - without scheduling everything out specifically. When I look back on the week, I can see what we did without stressing that it all happened on the proper day.

phillipsgirl said...

Good, Gina! Kudos to Kathy L from AO Yahoo group (and whomever she got the idea from :-).

amy in peru said...

nice. I found that scheduling everything out specifically was helpful only for determining how much we could actually get done on one of those exceptionally rare and perhaps boring days, and for figuring out those things I wanted most to do. I don't really think there's much point to being slaves to a schedule though. over time, we've come to live best using our weekly checklist for the most part too. even that gets some adjustment! ;)

sounds like the sick days were quite helpful in the end!

amy in peru