Okay, I’ve technically homeschooled once before. Three years ago in Oregon when it was just my son for kindergarten. Which means my goals were to teach him how to read and do basic math, with a smattering of history and science. The prep was easy, we had a teacher who visited us every other week to check in and help, and then we moved halfway through the year back to Texas and everything fell away except reading and math.

But y’all, in 20 days, the first day of the brand-new Carpenter Academy will begin. All summer long that date has seemed absurdly distant. But ever since we decided to homeschool back in May I’ve been dutifully researching, making decisions like a BOSS, and gathering materials. And finally, as of next week, I will have every last piece of curriculum tucked away into the Hoosier cabinet we’re using as our Homeschool Hub.

hoosier cabinet, homeschool organization, homeschool storage, curriculum storage

Which means now all of the glorious idyllic ideas in my head are becoming terrifyingly tangible. Reality!

But fear not. I’ve got it together. Example: I’ve worked out a daily schedule and I’ve written it down…in pencil. I know it will change. I repeat this to myself often–this schedule will change. Along with You are a strong flexible woman who can handle change. If I say it enough times, it’ll become true, right?

I decided on a paper planner because as much as I love and live by Google Calendar, I just can’t keep this kind of thing online. I need the physical so I can doodle and erase and make weird inscrutable notes in the margins. I need the mess and imperfection of paper.

I picked up this planner at Target as I walked by it on the way to the checkout lanes. That’s right. I impulse-bought this. Hallelujah! Instead of researching and agonizing and taking all of the fun out of it, I just flipped through, liked what I saw, and went for it!

Maybe I am becoming that strong flexible woman.

My two kiddos–Benjamin and Madeleine–are 8 and 6 respectively. Benjamin is entering 3rd grade and Madeleine 1st. I know that in homeschool, grade levels are rather arbitrary, but since they’re coming straight out of school, I’m using them as a guideline. But for example, both are advanced readers which means I can bump them up in some areas, and both are starting Singapore Math, which means Benjamin is starting a level lower than his grade level to help him catch up.

So a morning of schoolwork should provide more than enough time to accomplish Carpenter Academy Academic Goals…. Hmmm, maybe I should write some. Seriously. That’s a good idea. *Adds it to list.*

Our Ideal Schedule

So here’s how I envision the schedule playing out each perfectly healthy and happy morning…. (I’m strong, I’m flexible)

Monday / Wednesday / Friday Schedule
7:30   Breakfast
8:00   History
8:45   Math (Benjamin) / Handwriting + Spelling (Madeleine)
9:15   Math (Madeleine) / Handwriting + Spelling (Benjamin)
9:45   Snack Time (because otherwise, what is life?)
10:15  Reading

Tuesday / Thursday Schedule
7:30   Breakfast
8:00   Science
8:45   Math (Benjamin) / Handwriting + Spelling (Madeleine)
9:15   Math (Madeleine) / Handwriting + Spelling (Benjamin)
9:45   Snack Time (because otherwise, what is life?)
10:15  Reading
10:45  Around the World with Picture Books

I wonder if I should add more buffer time for the inevitable moaning.

Group Lessons

The kids will be together for History and Around the World with Picture Books since those involve read alouds. Have I mentioned how excited I am about Around the World? No? I’ll be doing a post about it soon. I just can’t wait!

The science curriculum bases most lessons around science demonstrations versus experiments, which we’ll obviously be doing together. The nerdy rule follower academic in me has already been given permission to not do every single recommended activity. I know my children. I know what will work and what can be changed and what will ultimately save us all from needless frustration. (I’m strong, I’m flexible)

Individual Lessons

The rest of the subjects I’ll teach one-on-one. So one will do Math while the other does Handwriting / Spelling. I’d like to look at Life of Fred: Apples together between their Math lessons and also introduce and review Memory Work at that time too. Which is temporally impossible. Which I suppose means I should just move the Memory Work to the beginning of Reading and call it good…. And done!

Our Learning Spaces

I’m envisioning that we’ll generally spend our time in three learning spaces. For most of our morning, we’ll sit together at our large dining room table that has helpful built-in drawers for the kids to write on and for them to store some of their work in.

During math and reading time, I’ll separate the kids so that they don’t distract each other. Which means each child will take a turn at the little table in what would be the kitchen’s eat-in area but is actually a plant stand catch-all table.

For some of our read alouds, we’ll head either to the living room or the front room, where the kids can draw, play, or stretch out easily on the couches.

And if our daily read-aloud time looks even remotely like the photo above, I shall sigh and then swoon. And then get back to reading.

Aiming for Sanity

BUT I still have 20 days to tweak and change all of this. In fact, just writing this post helped me see a few issues and adjust them. Ultimately, I’m aiming for Sanity for All! Sounds like a good school motto.

 If I can create a learning space with clear expectations and flexibility to roll with the inevitable punches, then I’ll declare it a success. I already know I will be setting aside time at the end of each unit to pause and assess how I’m doing, how they’re doing, and how we’re doing as a family and as a little school.

It’s going to be great. You know why?

Because my husband works from home and can help me if I start to go crazy. Right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *