Now that all of our traveling is over for a while, we’ve jumped back into “full-time” school! F is just beginning second grade (about 40 lessons in) and Su is just finishing first (about 40 lessons left) and W is always ready to “do gool too”.
Last year the two bigs did school separately from each other since F was gone in the mornings, and while I really enjoyed focusing on one child at a time, if I do school that way this year, I’ll do nothing but school!
I had begun the “year” by doing school from nine or nine-thirty until eleven but not only were the last thirty minutes or so frustrating for everyone, we also weren’t accomplishing as much as I wanted.
I talked it over with S and we decided that a 4 days a week schedule would work better than a five day one and that we needed to remember that even when we weren’t sitting down with books there was learning going on. We also decided that every third week would be a “week off” that we could use to catch up if needed or to do field trips, extra household projects or just rest…
This was great and I also (with considerable help from S as Excel makes my brain glaze over)laid out a year’s worth of lesson plans which I will share with you at a later date.
Still school was taking an hour and a half to two hours in the morning and we were only enjoying about half of that time. Not what I want. These children love to learn and I felt like our schedule was making learning more of a chore than necessary.
Well last Monday something happened. We started school as we always do with Penmanship, and then each child did another subject. This took about half an hour. At that point J needed to nurse and go to sleep so I sent the others outside for a break. This was supposed to take fifteen minutes but they were playing nicely and I took the time to do a few household things. As I was doing those things it hit me: why not break school into three 20-30 minute sections scattered throughout the day?
I already knew that playing together for more than an hour tends to be problematic. Perhaps if I broke school time up with play time and playtime up with school time we would do better.
For the past week we’ve been doing something that looks like the picture above and so far it’s been working well…..
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