Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our School Week

Because of our move we started school a bit late this year and yesterday was our first day!

I'm thrilled to say it went extremely well, too! Surprisingly, I found myself to be a little nervous in the morning as we got dressed and ate our breakfast. I actually had butterflies in my stomach! I've been doing learning related activities with James for over a year now, so in theory this day shouldn't have been that much different to me.

But it was. Because this day marked the true beginning of our homeschooling journey and I logged in my first hours as a homeschooling parent. Yes, I realize it's "only preschool", but since we've decided to homeschool indefinitely I have the larger picture in my mind and heart.

It was an exciting day and I'd say we're off to a great start. While I'm sure we'll make changes to how our days run as we see the need (reason 1,001 why it's SO nice to homeschool), I wanted to share an overview of how our school week runs.

We have school Monday-Friday, 8:30am-12:00pm. (Note: the following times are approximations - flexibility is key.)
Before 8:30am: We're early birds so we're up and at 'em by 7am. I'll have tidied the house, we'll have made our beds, eaten our breakfast, gotten dressed and brushed our teeth before school starts at 8:30am.
8:30-8:50am: 1st Circle Time. We cover topics on our school calendar, sing songs, etc. I'll write more on this in a couple of days.
8:50am-10:00am: 1st Work Time. This is when James works on whatever he chooses from our shelves. I'm in the room the entire time to guide him as needed and to work with him on new concepts.
10:00am-10:15am: Snack Time. We go to the kitchen where James chooses a snack and prepares it himself (he LOVES doing this). He has a shelf in the fridge and a drawer in the pantry where his food/bowls/utensils are stored.
10:15am-11:00am: 2nd Work Time.
11:00am-11:20am: 2nd Circle Time. We come together for a story, another song or two, a prayer and a few minutes of mindful rest.
11:20-12:00pm: Recess Outdoors. We might play movement games, explore the yard, go for a walk, play with our animals and if it's warm enough we'll swim in our pool.

After recess is lunch and then 1 hour of quiet time where James plays quietly in his room (or naps on very rare occasions).

Each week day afternoon is planned as follows:
Mondays: Baking Day
Tuesdays: Grocery Shopping Day
Wednesday: Playgroup Day (I run this group and it's a great place for James to hang out with some friends).
Thursday: Kindermusik & Errands Day
Friday: Field Trip Day - we'll do any number of things on this day, such as take a bus or ferry trip to another part of the island, visit the aquarium or plan a get together with friends.
And our weekends are all about family time (and laundry!). :)

Our week has a really nice flow to it and I'm thrilled about having our rhythm back. During the 3-4 weeks when we were moving, I was amazed at how differently James behaved. He wasn't naughty or anything, but he was definitely "off". He seemed aimless and wasn't listening as well as he usually does and was totally forgetting all the wonderful habits he had (such as cleaning up his toys without asking). Like all children, he craved structure and routine. I'm glad to be able to provide that for him once again.

Linking up to The Preschool Corner & Montessori Monday.

~Thank you for your comments!~


Anonymous said...

ooo yay! Love that picture! Glad I wasn't the only one that took a picture with a backpack for the first day of school! I need to find another rhythm what we were doing wasn't working.. trying something new this week!

Montessori Beginnings said...

Sounds so wonderful and exciting! What a super brave, dedicated mama you are!!
I totally know what you mean about children being out of sorts or loosing their focuss when their little worlds are disrupted. Happens around here as well.
I'm so excited that you are back posting and I'm looking forward to all of your upcoming posts.
It was also such a treat to read you comment on my blog : )

Eva said...

wow your routine looks great :) rising early is always good too, I really need to create some more structure in our days, thanks for sharing!

Debbie said...

Looks like a great schedule! Looking forward to reading all about your homeschooling!

Jen said...

"Only" preschool? Ha! These are very important years! And anyway, you do more in your preschool than they do in most outside-of-home schools. Your schedule looks amazing and full of enrichment. Baking Day? Seriously, how fun is that?!

I'm so proud of you for doing this, Mari-Ann. I wish I had your patience and abilities to do the same for my kids. You're a wonderful mother and you're doing a good thing.


PS: James looks sooooo cute in his backpack! But I have to ask, what was in it, anyway? LOL

Jessie, The Education Of Ours said...

Hooray for new year! I love the backpack for staying home :)

Jane and Jee Kim said...

what a great routine! thanks for sharing your life, and of course your great ideas! :)

Unknown said...

I commented on your FB page, but I basically just agreed with Jen anyway!

Kylie said...

Fabulous and sooo exciting. You are so organised, well prepared, attentive....all of the things he needs. I am sure you will have a fabulous year!

The Nunnallys said...

Love the schedule. Looking forward to reading more about your circle time. What types of snacks does your son make on his own. This sounds like a great idea.

Linda said...

First of all, I love your blog! I'm so glad your unpacked and blogging again. Secondly, I really like your preschool schedule and daily rythm. I might use them as an inspiration for my girls. Third, I just got lost in the links you posted (and the links from the links...)

sbswtp said...

Yay!!! :) I love the picture with the bookbag...we took one too :) I totally know what you mean about being a little nervous (excited) when the school year begun... I can't wait to see what you come up with next :)

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

It sounds like you found the rhythm that works for you. Baking day sounds awesome, and I am curious to know what James selects from the list of activities are available to him.

Corrie said...

when do you clean and cook? do you have other kids?

Counting Coconuts said...

@Corrie: I cook a meal for my family each day and I usually start that at around 4-4:30pm. As I mentioned in the post, I tidy up the house before we start school, but as far as major cleaning (floors/toilets), I allot time for that once every two weeks on a Saturday. Thankfully, I have a great partner in life, my husband, who realizes what's on my plate and we work together to keep the house clean. Finally, no, we've not been blessed with any other children as yet - hopefully someday!


Corrie said...

wow! you are amazing and an inspiration. great job!

phasejumper said...

Cute picture! I love to hear about other people's schedules...I'm a big fan of routine!

Cara said...

I LOVE reading about other people's schedules. We had a great summer rhythm going, but now that Finn is in preschool 2 1/2 days a week, and my husband has started working from home 3 days a week, we're still adjusting. I need to stop flying by the seat of my pants, and create a schedule and "themes" for the days like you have!

Martianne said...

I have organization in mind much like yours, but have yet to actually put it into practice after our Not-Me-Monday start of the school year (http://traininghappyhearts.blogspot.com/2010/08/not-me-monday-in-unprepared-environment.html) and simply too much going on since. But, the kids are still learning, so I am happy.

Unknown said...

I just found your blog. It is the coolest blog ever!! I can't wait to read all of your post and start putting together a rhythm for my 2 little ones!! Thank you thank you!!

Tasha said...

I'm getting ready to start homeschooling my girls next year and I've been searching for ideas wherever I can find them. I can not tell you how helpful this post was for me. I feel like it gave me a peek into a functional routine and a jumping off point for us to start from. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

Aurora Suzanne said...

This is great! love the schedule. My question is, will you keep this schedule once he starts grade 1? I'm curious about homeschooling and of balancing housework/running errands. I just want to get your take on it for when they get older and if you'll keep this same schedule.


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