t h e m a y f i l e s is foremost a family blog, chronicling everyday life. Life including natural, healthy eating (with recipes thrown in at random), home educating (with ideas popping up sporadically), an attempt to homestead on .2 acres (with very meager yields), raising 3 of 4 children with a rare genetic disorder, and lots of highly personal family triumphs and failures. You may also find an eclectic array of musings on politics, exercise, sewing, emergency preparedness, backyard chickens, and religion. This blog isn't a campaign to glorify anyone or anything. Just simply a record.


Homeschooling 2013 Schedule

Most things get better with time and experience.  Homeschool is one of these.  This year, things have fallen into place so beautifully.  I find myself often just stopping for a moment and thinking to myself, "Wow...This is how it should be."

Maybe it is because the kids are getting older, or the curriculum choices...I'm not certain.  But things are  running like a well oiled machine.

4:30 AM  until 7:00 AM

Rise and Shine Rebecca.  Two hours of exercise and socialization keep me completely sane.  I get up and do a crazy hard workout at Bootcamp, the track or canyon.  Sometimes I mountain bike.  Many times I do a couple things.  I'm always with other women and adults.  I wouldn't give up the socialization for sleep.  My kind of sociality is the wee hours of the morning.  It is a perfect fit for me.

6:00 AM until 6:45 AM

Ellery's alarm goes off.  She promptly gets out of bed and wakes up Callista, who is dead to any and all alarms of all volumes.  Snuggled onto the couch in the bonus room, Callista sets up Ellery's vest and they take 20 minutes of chest therapy and whatever Netflix has that makes them happy that morning.  It is a nice slow wake up for the two of them, and a treat to watch TV.

They head downstairs, eat breakfast and "usually" get dressed and make their beds.

6:45 AM until 10:30 AM

This block of time is for our instruments, math and science.  Each of the girls has a 2 hour time slot for the piano.  Usually at least 1-1 1/2 hours of this is with me sitting beside them to closely monitor.  Whomever is not on the piano is practicing their other instrument for 30-45 minutes independently.  They spend the remainder of the time working on their math and science.  I am available for help to them, but they try to be as independent as possible.

Still in pajamas :)
Brent, Emmett and Berkeley usually roll out of bed sometime around 7 AM.  They slowly get dressed and eat breakfast.  Emmett and Berkeley play Odyssey and Starfall on the computer and color.  I also squeeze in some warm snuggles with their soft little bodies, freshly hatched from sleep!

As in years past, piano practicing proves to be the most difficult task of the day.  Ellery is moving towards maturity and independence.  Callista still needs quite a bit of focussing.  Most days include very mopey moments and multiple sprints away from the piano in tears.  To her credit she always quickly returns and never wants me stop helping her.  Even though my "help" is pretty brutal and strict.  We have some serious character building during piano practicing.  However.

10:30 AM until 11:30 AM

Bertha our spanish tutor fills this hour for the children.  They read stories, complete workbooks and worksheets, play games, color and paint, dance and cook.

I use this time for several things:  to take a shower, if I haven't had one yet, run an errand or attend an appointment, make phone calls, get dinner and lunch prepared, and write out daily task lists for the girls.  I also often use this time to do reading with Emmett and Berkeley.  If I have an especially hard workout, I sometimes lay down for 15 minutes and take a rest.

11:30 AM until 12:45 PM

Brent arrives home for lunch sometime during this slot, and we eat together as a family.  We break for about 20-50 minutes when he gets home.  The kids have a little recess to play outside, work gymnastics, listen to music, read, whatever they want. Most of the time they just want to hang out with mom and dad.

12:45 PM until 2:45 PM

Our daily task lists have been an excellent aid this year to help things run smoothly.  I have small lists for each child to accomplish independently and with my help.

We spend this 2 hour block of time accomplishing these tasks.  This allows me to move between children smoothly, keeping everyone engaged and learning.

During this time the children finish any math or science they were unable to complete in the morning.  They work on poetry, memorization, language arts, spelling, grammar, history, and writing.

The little ones sometimes take naps during this time, or I spend some time reading to them.  Emmett also works on his Odyssey online kindergarten and our math and copywork.

2:45 PM until 3:15

This half hour we get ready for our afternoon activities.  Do hair.  Drink a smoothie.  Change clothes.  Grab snacks and water bottles.

3:15 PM until 7:15 PM

The girls picked up dance this year instead of soccer.  It is actually far more convenient for me (it is just a mile or so away from gymnastics).  They are taking Jazz and Ballet and love it!  Between dance and gymnastics the girls are busy every afternoon.  Emmett has gym 2 afternoons a week and Berkeley started for an hour once a week.  The children thrive on the vigorous exercise and socialization of these activities.

While the big ones are away I get some one on one with the little ones.  We often do more kindergarten reading and math, if we didn't squeeze it in earlier, go to the park, play barbies, color or play legos.

We have a simple dinner with the Brent and then he goes to pick the children up.  Emmett and Berkeley head to bed between 6:30 and 8:00 pm depending on if they napped that day.

7:15 PM until 9:00 PM

Wind down time.  The girls have a snack and showers and head up to bed.  They quiet read, practice guitar or singing, or fun pop piano.  We chit chat a lot and snuggle into bed.   Lights out at nine.  Brent works out.  I snuggle with kiddos and lights out before 10 PM, unless I am engrossed in a fabulous book (which happens more than it should).

Odds and Ends

Mondays from 9:30 until 10:30 AM Callista has puppetry and Ellery has voice lessons.  We finish piano during our afternoon slot.  

Wednesdays we have music lessons.  Flute from 8:30-9:30 AM.  Cello and guitar from 12:30 until 1 PM and piano from 1:15 until 3:15.  Bertha does not come for spanish and we have a working lunch.  This allows us to get everything we need to done by 12:15.  Bertha watches Emmett and Berkeley while I attend lessons with the girls.

Fridays we break after spanish for a field trip from 11:30 until 3:00 pm.

It may seem exhausting but our family works very well on a tight schedule.  Weekends we play together all day.

Coming Soon...our curriculums!  We are using some fantastic materials this year.  I can't wait to share my reviews.


Erin said...

This is great. I LOVE your ideas. I talked to my mom, and she is going to assign my son a classical piece that is just above his method books. I'm excited. I think it'll be a great addition. It'll give him the chance to memorize, work on finger agility, something to perform, and slow him down so he doesn't whiz through his method books too quickly. Excited to see your curriculum.

Erin said...

PS I'm still totally blown away by your girls' performance. I cannot believe how good they are. I think we will slowly bump up our time. It was very motivating for Levi to see your girls play. He has been more cooperative the last few days practicing, and he even agreed to practice more, because he wants to play like them :) Great sign! Oh, and piano is just one thing, but I get lots of other ideas from you, too.

Erin said...

Last question: Do your girls still take sewing?

Brittney said...

I love reading about your homeschooling routines! Your kids are so lucky to get to be involved in so many things, and to have you there with them for so much of it. Amazing! Again, I'm really sorry Ellery has struggled so much. I hope you're doing okay with this awful weather and can still keep doing all of these great things!!

Hiedi said...

Question: when in the world do you clean and do laundry? Seems like it would be hard to fit in...and I am just talking basics here, not keeping it all done all the time.

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