In the very beginning of our homeschooling journey, I had one incredibly bright little boy who loved to read. We breezed through his lessons covering every subject, every day. The next year, I had two sweet children to teach. Our days still progressed easily as I 'ping-ponged' between the two. Fast forward a few years, and, now, this year, there are four.
Ranging in age from a preschooler to a seventh grader, I knew I needed a more structured routine for our days. We had tried adapting other homeschoolers schedules to our days, but it never worked as well for us.
Last summer, I decided to look outside of the typical homeschooling mainstream ideas. I began to ask just who else has been successful at teaching children with large age and academic differences.
That's when inspiration was found. Well, technically I saw and bought the book in a gift shop at an amusement park. It was a book that documented one room school houses.
Reading through the experiences of the teachers and students, I found a plethora of information on how the classes were taught. There was even a few sample schedules to view.
It was a gold mine!
After each chapter, I wrote down a few notes on what I could use or alter to fit our family situation and homeschooling style. By the end of the book, I had devised a lose plan of action for our days.
start the day as a group with Bible reading and prayer
work on the harder subjects first (for us: math, reading, grammar)
start individual instruction with the youngest first while the others do independent work
proceed through the ages, instructing the oldest last
have a mid-morning break (outdoor play, snack away from the school work)
begin the next section of classes as a group (we do history and aesthetics together)
work on the other subjects (for us: Bible, spelling, logic, Latin)
again, use the youngest to oldest approach
break for lunch
afternoon session of classes for nature walks, science observations, extra projects, co-op homework, etc
That first morning in August, as we began a new school year, we started using our new routine. Though I have tweaked it over the ensuing months, it has served us well, and we will continue using it for as long as it works for us.