Ideas for a Daily Schedule
Morning: Read a devotion/scripture to your kids after breakfast and pray.
Ideas to Get Started: The Bible Project has some great videos summarizing the books of the Bible giving a great overview of each book and historical context. Pick a book of the Bible, watch the video about it on The Bible Project, then read a chapter from the Bible book you chose. Memorize some scriptures that address anxiety and fear.
Midmorning through lunch: Work on the three “R’s”: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic in the morning when kids are fresh. These are the most important academic subjects-- in my humble opinion. J If your child can read and comprehend, write well, and do math, they can easily learn all the rest there is to learn!
Postpone fun media (video games, movies, etc.) until after all work is done to incentivize tackling schoolwork and not getting sidetracked.
Ideas to Get Started: Create a list of academic tasks for the day for each child. (Just a brief outline will do!). Kids appreciate knowing ahead of time what they need to accomplish for the day. They can look over the list and complete independent tasks while waiting for you to be available to help them with tougher subjects.
Once they finish their work, reward them with free time and play. (If they work fast, resist the urge to pile on more work! J You want them to see that being efficient with their time pays off.)
Eat Lunch. Have fun and teach some cooking lessons maybe!
Post Lunch: Read aloud a book to all your kids. This is great for all your kids regardless of age! Hearing the written word read aloud helps your kids be better writers, expands their vocabulary and comprehension, and leads to some of the best conversations you’ll have with your kids.
After each chapter, ask younger kids to give a brief synopsis to check for comprehension. With older kids ask deeper questions such as “Why did the main character do what he/she did in this chapter? What’s their motivation? Would you do the same? What lesson is the author trying to teach? What’s the author’s worldview and do you agree with it? Why or why not? What would you have done differently and why?”
(Warning: after 45 minutes or an hour of reading aloud, you may need a nap! J If this need arises, tell your kids you’re going to close your eyes for 20-30 minutes and when you wake up their break will be over and you’ll all get back to work. You will be surprised at how quietly they can play and keep each other quiet! They figure out pretty quickly that quiet play means a longer nap for mom and a longer break for themselves. J Just a tip to keep you sane. )
Ideas to Get Started: Pick up a classic such as The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, or any Charles Dickens novel. I know many of these books might be above your child’s reading level. That’s good!! You can always stop and help clarify the story for your kids, and you will be pushing their vocabulary and comprehension to new heights. You will also help them not be afraid of dense books and high literature. And there’s usually a movie version to watch once you finish the book!
Afternoon: cover fun subjects such as science or history and give your child at least one chore to tackle. (Because, well, that’s a life lesson! No matter what they do in life, they will always need to tidy their dwelling, wash up dishes, and fold laundry, etc. Teach them now that no one is above a little housework. Their future roommates and spouses will thank you! )
A note about the other subjects: I love history, science, geography, foreign language, etc. Those are the fun subjects for me. However, when you are homeschooling in a crises or under surreal circumstances, don’t sweat it if you “fall behind” in these subjects. Focus on those “3 R’s” as I wrote earlier. If your kids can read and understand content, clearly express their ideas through writing, and calculate numbers, they can do anything! They will easily catch up with history, science, and all the rest. (Okay, if you’re learning another language, it does pay to practice frequently. ) My point is to try to streamline your child’s academic life during this season so you don’t lose your mind and your kids don’t lose their joy of learning.
Before bed: Gather your kids together and pray. It might feel awkward at first if this isn’t your regular habit. But, we’re living in weird times and we all need the comfort of coming to the Lord and asking for His help and wisdom! J
Thank you to HEART's veteran homeschool mom, Julie K.!