About a year ago, I read quite a number of home education blogs discussing schedule/ routine/ typical days etc. Some of them were helpful, but others (which probably intended to encourage) were frankly discouraging to me as they showed photos of beautifully coiffed women with at least half a dozen smiling children discussing how they rise before the family at 04:15 in order to spend time with God before starting preparing dinner at 05:27, and then doing the first load of laundry before the children start to wake at 06:30. (I think you may have read blogs like that!).
But in fact, one of the beauties of home education is that you can fit your schedule around your strengths, the needs of your family, the place where you are living, the ages of your children, any unusual circumstances etc. We do well to remember the dangers of unfavourably comparing ourselves with others. Nobody else has the same family as you do. Nobody else has the same strengths and weaknesses. It is to you that God has entrusted your children, to raise in the way you believe to be right and best. I've written more on this in the linked posts.
Even if you don't realise it, you will have some form of schedule. I notice it most when my schedule gets interrupted! On the days when I am home with the children, it will be a bit like this:
05:30 Middle boy wakes for the toilet. We persuade him it is 'still the middle of the night' and pray that this manoevre is successful. It works about half the time, and the other half, he gets up every 20 minutes thereafter until his brothers wake. (When we were in West Africa, I used to just get up and use this hour or so as time before the Lord. It was always worth it, as I read the Bible and prayed whilst the fresh beauty of the African dawn unfolded; somehow this is not a habit or routine I have managed to continue in the UK. Even writing this challenges me that I should try again!)
07:00 Get the boys up and dressed
07:15 Breakfast. Always always a variation on porridge
07:30 Bible. Always a Psalm, sometimes another story at the boys' request. Singing. Prayer.
07:45 Baby (18 months old) goes back to bed for about an hour and a half
08:00 'Table time' - painting/ drawing/ writing/ 'educational' games (the ones which are tricky with a toddler)
09:30 Baby gets up, we get ready to go out
09:45 Morning adventure. Often a 2-3 hour walk in a couple of parks, exploring nature, studying wildlife, foraging, climbing, running and jumping, maybe having a picnic lunch. Sometimes a trip into town, to the museum, art gallery, docks. Occasionally we do more home based activities - cooking, craft etc, but we feel a need to be outside for at least an hour.
12:30 Home. Snack (often cheese on toast)
13:00 Nap. May last between 1-2 hours. 4, 3 and 1 year old all sleep. Mummy does some work.
15:00 Afternoon adventure. If we haven't walked much, we will do that now. Sometimes see a friend (but a tricky time for those with school age children). Sometimes cooking/ baking. Reading books. Singing
18:30 Bath (if having it)
19:00 Bible (we alternate a book of the old and the new testament), singing, prayers, bed
(19:00-20:00 Sometimes bedtime antics. Currently a tricky spell!)
19:30 - 21:30 Parents do some work
There will be variations in what we actually do, but the basic structure is there. The variable bits are what we do during the morning and afternoon - and that's where I try to keep an eye on things, making sure we cover a broad curriculum, that we do a wide range of different things, and that we spend enough time with others too.
- I am a Christian mother of five, and our highest goal as a family is to serve God in every aspect of our lives. Jesus promised His disciples 'life in all its abundance' (John 10:10) - that has been our story, a rich life, not devoid of challenges, but certainly abundant. Previously writing at www.homeeducationnovice.blogspot.com, we have come to realise that education is just one area where our faith shapes our choices and direction in life. This blog seeks to share our adventure.