Our Homeschool Routine

Our homeschool year will start early September. Celeste will be starting fifth grade and it will be my 9th year homeschooling.

Over the years, our homeschooling evolved from a classical influenced style to an eclectic style. Learning what works for each child and for us as a family is what drives most changes. The flexibility of homeschooling is wonderful and now that I have only one child left at home, I can completely adapt our homeschool to her. 

"Routine" is a better fit for us than "schedule". We are not bound to the clock, there are no buzzing alarm at the end of each hour or ninety minutes block as in a public school. We can take as much or as little time as necessary for each subject or project. We can include nature walks or some extra time outside to take advantage of nice weather if we want. Flexibility is a huge advantage!

I have noticed over the years that a plan, written at the start of each school year, is a necessity for me. I have done this planning the same way for several years now and it works for us.

Here is what I do:

After making my decisions on which curriculum or resources to use for each subject and for each child, I sit down and make a routine plan. I look over all the subjects and find out how often each needs to be done per week in order to cover the material over the entire school year. 

Here is a photo of our homeschool routine for this 2014-2015 school year:

When planning, I still prefer the pencil and paper method. 

At the top of each day, I wrote *First Fitness. Celeste and I want to start our days with some fun exercises. We both need this and missed it most of last school year. Depending on the weather, we will bike or walk outside. We can also hoop outside. Dancing, yoga, or using our Wii U for fun fitness games are other options. We are planning on 20 to 30 minutes of *First Fitness before our school day starts. With my teens leaving the house by 8:30 am, I think this will be the best time to fit fitness in. 

Some subjects, like Math and Language Arts, are to be worked on five days a week. 

Language Arts: We use the Brave Writer program. We like the routine suggested in the Partnership Writing program. It works well with the Arrow and includes copywork, grammar and literary elements notes about the novel currently studied, poetry tea time (Tuesday afternoons), word games (Wednesdays), writing activities based on the monthly novel, and freewriting exercices (Fridays). 

Science: The second level of R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey includes lessons, a regular lab, a microscope lab, learning about famous scientists, and weekly reviews. Science, this year, will be done each day of the week. I think spreading it out this way will be better for Celeste, instead of trying to fit it all in two days a week. 

History: with History Odyssey, we will plan on doing the weekly lessons over 3 days. The lesson, narration, and colouring page on Mondays; the map + activity on Tuesdays; extra reading (library books or novel) + activity on Wednesdays. 

Geography: I plan to do our USA States Study on Thursdays and Fridays. Thursdays will be reading, map, poem, colouring, cooking and the start of art project. Fridays will be more reading, poem, activity page, and finishing the art project if needed. We will see how this works out, since we haven't used this study before. 

Art Study: I have put together our own art study this year, using a few different resources. If it works out well, I will share my plan with you later on in the year. Thursdays and Fridays afternoons will be for Art Study. 

Projects that Celeste chooses, nature study, and life skills do not appear on my written plan, but are part of our homeschool. There is a lot of free time added to this plan and with our flexibility, room to include these. 

I included some family time routine to the bottom of the plan. For many years, we followed a plan for fun family time (see this post) and Celeste mentioned that we should start that again. I completely agree with her! Making time for family activities like these simple ones is so important, I believe, no matter what the ages of our children. 

Monday nights will be board games or card games, Tuesday nights will be Sketch Tuesdays, Thursday nights will be Movie Night, and Fridays will be Dance Night. 

Having two of my children in public school means that we do follow their schedule for the year. It just works better this way. When they are on a school break, we take a school break. It wasn't always this way, when all three were at home, we homeschooled year round, taking breaks whenever we needed them or when my husband took his vacation from work. 

Celeste and I are looking forward to more one on one time this school year again, learning and exploring together. If you are curious and want to read more details about our curriculum and resources choices, check out my "planning our 2014-2015 homeschool year" post

Updated August 13, 2014: I am linking this post to the iHomeschool Network 6th Annual "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop! There are many participants, over 500 so far, check it out here!! I will try to write posts for the other categories soon.