Hey there friends,
We are officially half way through the year, and what a year it has been right? In California schools and teachers are preparing to have children back in the classroom come September, and while I believe their efforts are amazing we’ve decided as a family that we will keep our daughter home from her final year of preschool and homeschool going forward. It was a hard decision, but for our family it made sense. Since our daughter has just turned 4, she would be technically be entering into pre-kindergarten, with her formal education beginning next year in 2021 (kindergarten). The pre-kindergarten curriculum is fairly simple and straightforward, so the curriculum I have chosen to use is of my own design (which I will discuss in a later post).
Today, I thought I would share our time block schedule that I implemented last week. My plan is to not really stop teaching during the summer months, but instead take this time to introduce her to this new routine and get her in the habit of a more structured “paper” learning time.
What is time blocking?
Time blocking is simply grouping like tasks together in a specific chunk of time. For example, if you have several administrative tasks to complete either for work or for the home, you could group them together in a specific time block.
5:00-7:00 - Mom up. I’m up anywhere within this time period. I take this time to pray and read a devotional and then look at our budget and cash flow. I then jump in the shower and perform my personal routine. My goal is to be sitting on the couch in our bedroom answering direct messages from instagram when my Daughter walks in the room.
7:00-8:00 - Gentle wakeup. During this time block my Daughter and I will read 2-3 books in my room, then she will get dressed and brush her teeth and hair. I will make her bed (ts a bit too high for her to make herself), effectively resetting the upper floor and then head downstairs.
8:00-9:00 - Breakfast. Over breakfast we read 5-10 books (I’ll be posting about this later this month and how exactly I do this), and then clear up to reset the kitchen.
9:00-9:30 - Gardening. We have a victory garden that we tend to about 30-60 minutes a day. Right now we’re actually not growing anything, so it’s fairly quick maintenance.
9:30-10:30 - Outdoor play (weather permitting). During this time we play in the sandbox, with chalk, whatever my daughter wants to do. This is completely child led play, with very little direction coming from me.
10:30-11:30 - Indoor art or music. Unless we’re having way too much fun outside, we move indoors to have fun with art or music. We were incredibly lucky before the pandemic began to be learning piano with a wonderful teacher who gave us teaching materials. We have a keyboard that we use along with the ‘star’ sheets that she gave us to practice music. We also use other musical instruments we have and rock out. For art we will color, paint… whatever we feel like.
11:30-12:00 - Lunch prep. While I’m preparing lunch for myself, Husband and daughter, she will continue with the activity we were working on or help me prepare food.
12:00-1:00 - Lunch time. My Husband usually has his lunch in his home office, so my daughter and I will have our lunch at the kitchen table and read an additional 5-10 books. After we’ve finished lunch we reset the kitchen and get ready for “paper” school time.
1:00-2:00 - “Paper” school time. I call this time paper school time because this is when we use workbooks and activities that I’ve set out the day before. Again, I will get into more detail about this in a follow up post soon.
2:00-4:00 - Quiet time. This time is important to both of us.. In this time my daughter is free to watch TV as she chooses (normally its Doc McStuffins, Bluey or Dinosaur Train). During this time is when I read my MacArthur study bible for 60 minutes, work on An Organized Life and perform any outstanding household administrative tasks I can. Sometimes I’ll spend 3-4 working beside my daughter as we watch TV together. Maybe you don’t like TV, that’s cool and I pass no judgement on anyone and how the run their household. For us these 2 hours is our downtime.
4:00-4:30 - Recalibrate. TV is a high sensory activity so I spend 30 -45 minutes redirecting my daughter’s energy. Lately that’s been by playing Zingo or a puzzle. Whatever fully engages her.
4:30-5:00 - Dinner prep. My daughter will either help me prepare dinner or play by herself.
5:00-5:30 - Dinner. Dinner is with all of us around the kitchen table. No reading is done at this time, but instead we discuss our day, how we’re feeling, joke, and enjoy our food. Then we tidy up the kitchen and close it down for the night. #cleankitchenatnight has always been a game changer for us.
5:30-6:30 - Family time. Some day’s this includes swimming or a walk around the block. Other days its my Husband and daughter playing while I maybe tie up some loose ends.
6:30-7:00 - Bedtime routine. This is my daughter’s bath time, we read 2 books then sing and she goes to sleep.
7:00-9:00 - Our time. This is just with my Husband and I. Sometimes we work, other times we sit outside. Depends on the day!
I designed this schedule so our daughter is learning hands on during the day for the most part. As we move into September I will begin looking to families that are also homeschooling to set up some socially distanced playdates to ensure she has the social development she needs. Playdates would probably move the quiet time out for a day or two a week, which is fine I will reassess when the time comes.
How about you? Are you homeschooling or excited to send kiddos back to traditional learning? Either way its. a totally personal decision and specific to you and your family.