Our classroom has evolved over the past few years. It started as a little space at the sop of the steps. Then moved to the kitchen table. Then my kids expanded the classroom to the entire house, and really this is still our classroom. However, I did want a space that we could gather in the morning, take care of a few things together, then send them off to their own studies. A compromise of learning together and learning independently.
Some of the things I am stressing this year is time management, especially for my older son. He is twelve, and is heading towards the age of having to be organized and thoughtful of his tasks. When I taught middle school, I never thought I would have a child in this age group, and I assure you it is not easy. But if I help him to develop these qualities, he will have an easier transition to high school and college. My other two students are beginning to learn these qualities earlier, and I am so happy with the results so far.
We do have a schedule, and as much as I would love the unschooling aspect, it just does not fit with my family. We need a routine. We are so busy, that school would never get done. Plus, I like schedules. I have tried to change this part of me, but darn it, if there isn’t something to seeing my tasks neatly printed out that gives me a little thrill!
Each child has a drawer system with their classes labeled on each drawer. This system is really handy to keep things organized. They each have a binder with dividers for classes. The part of the drawers that I am loving is the to be graded drawer. In this drawer, they have an accordion folder that has their classes labeled. When they need a paper to be graded and I do not have time at that moment, they place their paper in it, and later I can come back and grade. Love it!
Here are a list of classes we do together:
Science (Middle and Little Bits)
History (Middle and Little Bits)
We start our day at 9 am, and I have found myself being strict on the end time at 330pm. This way, I can actually get stuff done. What ever they have not gotten done, they must do as homework, but I do not grade it until the next day. Plus I am not always available to help. Again, time management.
For me, this schedule works, and I think it has a great deal to do with being a public educator for so long. But I have noticed that my family thrives when I lay out these plans. It is a great deal of work at first to keep everyone on track, but totally worth the effort!
How are your days planned? Would love to hear from some of you. Not just homeschoolers, but traditional school folks as well.