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Our Un-Schedule with Grades 12, 10, 7, and 5

I always like to see how others run their homeschools and homes.  It’s interesting to see what works for people, and I often get an idea or two.  Assuming you may feel the same way, I’ve put our routine into words.

Note that word ‘routine’.  It is not a detailed schedule like some I’ve seen.   Detailed schedules, it seems to me, work best in families that don’t have animals or gardens and that don’t live close to nature.  If we overschedule in a situation like that, we can lead our children and ourselves into burn-out.

Another thing to note is that we do not try to do everything.  We are human, have limitations, and struggle with sin.  Perfection is not one of our goals, but ‘doing all things as unto the Lord’ is.  And this routine is just a tool to help us do that in a sensible, low-stress way.

I hope you’ll enjoy this peak into our un-schedule.  Note that this is what worked for us last year, with a few tweaks to make this year even better.  Also note that all times are approximate.

  • Before 7:00.  Free time, internet time.
  • 7-8:00.  Chores, breakfast, Bible time.
  • 8-12:30.  Schoolwork (after dishes and after breakfast clean up.)  Mr. 17 has a before school child care job.  If all goes well, Miss 9 will be finished her school work before 12.  We try to have an outside recess and snack time most mornings.  I usually manage to get some laundry done as well.
  • 12:30-1:30.  Lunch, read aloud time, clean up.
  • 1:30-5:00.  I have a half hour rest and then do school work, house work, exercise, gardening, or writing.  Mr. 17 and Miss 14 do schoolwork until they have finished for the day, and Miss 12 will probably also have to work for an hour in the afternoon this year.  We have snack time. Mr. 17 goes to his after school child care job.  Once the schoolwork for the day is finished, the children have free time, outside and inside.
  • 5:00-6:00 or 6:30.  Chores, supper preparation, free time.
  • 6:00 or 6:30 to bedtime:  Eat supper, clean up, showers, internet time, story time, reading, playing. Two nights a week Mr. 17, Miss 14, and Miss 12 are out, to catechism and judo.

Once a week Miss 9 and I take the morning off to shop for groceries.  I’m toying with the idea of doing this in the afternoon instead, but that may take more energy than I’ve got.

Occasionally we take a day or half a day off for big jobs like making salsa, harvesting squashes, butchering chickens, or field trips.  We’re looking for some sort of co-op for the children as well, one that is close by, doesn’t take up more than half a day, and is free.  And the older three may again volunteer with therapeutic riding this fall term.

During most of the school year, Saturday morning is for chores and judo.  Afternoons are free for the children and catch up time for me.  I also try to chop the vegetables for our huge pot of Sunday lunch soup.

On Sundays we attend church, hang out with people from church, and rest.  There is no schoolwork, the minimum of housework/food prep, and no internet.  It’s a great and special day.

For peaks into other people’s homeschools, check out what the other Curriculum Choice authors do or visit the Carnival of Homeschooling or the Not Back to School Blog Hop at iHomeschool Network.  To peek into all sorts of mom’s days, visit A Day in the Life at Day to Day Joys.

14 Comments

  1. [...] these famous lines. The question is: how can we make this practical?” She also shares her Unschedule with Grades 12, 10, 7 and 5, saying, “Detailed schedules, it seems to me, work best in families that don’t have animals [...]

  2. Carmen says:

    It is neat to see how others manage things. Often there are ideas we can use in our own homes. I have yet to see two families do things the same way! We need a detailed schedule simply because the ratio of teacher to people that need help is so high. Someday I hope to make it more open, but for now that’s what we have to do. :)

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Yes, four kids are a whole lot less than ten to teach! I’m sure that must make a huge difference. It seems to be working for you, though! :)

  3. JoAnn says:

    Sounds like a good ‘schedule’ and similar to ours, though I have no times like you have. Our morning times and evenings are different depending on our husbands schedule. I’m waiting to see if our schedule would continue to work with both of our children in high school, since they have more work. I just have more grading to do. :)

  4. Lauren says:

    Thanks for sharing your day. We’re unschoolers in Australia and love hearing about other homeschoolers’ lives and meeting them as we travel!

  5. Tricia says:

    Afternoon grocery shopping takes more energy than I’ve got. I do everything better in the mornings – I’m with you! I so enjoyed taking a peek into your day. Your unschedule with room for rest and tweaking. ~Tricia

  6. [...] you still aren’t sure about your schedule… here’s one for you. Annie shares her Un-Schedule with Grades 12,10, 7, and 5 at her blog Tea Time with Annie [...]

  7. It’s so true about the animals and nature! If we kept to schedule, we wouldn’t have seen half the creatures we’ve seen this year! Your schooling plan looks great.

  8. briana says:

    I like your schedule. It’s neat to see how other families homeschool. We also take half days when we need to get some work done. I love the flexibility of homeschooling.

  9. Ann says:

    Enjoyed seeing your schedule. It reminds me a lot of the routine we have as well. Having blocks of time in which certain things happens is a great idea, and one that is certainly less stressful than set times.

  10. Annie Kate says:

    Thank you, ladies!

  11. Jenn4him says:

    I like reading other’s routines, as well. Ours is pretty much “do what’s next,” and we always seem to do the same things around the same time, but it is not scheduled that way.

  12. Annie Kate says:

    I think that’s the best way to live. :)

    Elisabeth Elliot always used to say, “Do the next thing,” and that’s such good advice.

  13. [...] these famous lines. The question is: how can we make this practical?” She also shares her Unschedule with Grades 12, 10, 7 and 5, saying, “Detailed schedules, it seems to me, work best in families that don’t have animals [...]

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