Well, I must be honest and tell you that we really don't have a typical day. It's amazing how many things can happen in a day to keep it from being typical! But as the years have gone by, we have settled into a routine that works well for us.

When we first started to homeschool, I made very detailed lesson plans. As time went by, I started to become more and more frustrated when all that I had planned was not being accomplished. I had these feelings of things being incomplete, or feeling as though I were failing and not teaching well.

Then I started to use the journal approach, whereby I simply wrote down what we did each day in a spiral-bound notebook; I've continued to use this approach. I stopped making lesson plans, and I started to take one day at a time and simply take things off the shelf as I felt I wanted Michael to do them. I know that may sound odd, but it actually worked into a nice routine. We've always started our school day with Bible study, then math, followed by reading. Everything after that was chosen based on my attitude and/or Michael's. If I sensed he was extremely cooperative, I would choose more in-depth work - to especially include writing. If I could tell he was having a hard morning, I might choose to do more verbal work, or I would read to him. This may sound a bit indulgent, but we accomplished so much more when I would consider our attitudes as well as what needed to be done . I always knew what I wanted to accomplish for the year and I simply kept going in a forward motion. I don't restrict us to the theory of "I only have this school year to complete this book." We have actually carried several items over into this year from last year. We school year-round so we are never pressured to absolutely finish something by a certain date.

There are three reasons why we school year round:

1. We can then take off other days throughout the year without feeling as though we have lost time. We once took off the entire month of December and had a blast getting ready for Christmas! We also have more freedom to simply change our day and not do school so we can go somewhere with Rich, or check out a sale for books! <g>

2. I don't think it is healthy for Michael to have that much idle time for the three summer months.

3. I don't want to spend the first several weeks of the new school year reviewing and re-teaching.

This school year, I do have a schedule made. But it is not detailed. It is basically what I have been doing the last few years, but I didn't have it written down! I'll show it here in a minute. When you look at it, take these things into consideration:

- We don't spend a lot of time on any one subject. Our Bible time takes 30 to 45 minutes, math is 20 to 30 minutes, but the other morning subjects go fairly quickly -- 5 to 15 minutes per subject.

- My husband works afternoons, so Michael and I actually have all afternoon and evening to occupy ourselves until dad gets home! This allows us to spend as much time as we want on some of our activities.

- We can (and do!) read for 1 - 3 hours in the evening!

It's an unusual schedule, but we've been doing it for such a long time, it is simply a way of life. You'll notice that our history and some of our unit reading is done in the evening. This never seems like school. We've been reading in the evening since Michael was a baby. Everything we read at this time is so enjoyable!

Here is our schedule for this year....

1997-1998 Schedule:

9:00 am - 12:30 pm
break for lunch
continue 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
evening reading

Monday ........ For Instructions In Righteousness (Michael chose Judging Others to start)
Tuesday ....... Study in Wisdom
Wednesday .. The Narrow Way
Thursday ...... Searching for Treasure
Friday ........... Star Ways

Read - Family On Maple Street (when finished, Bird Life in Wington)

Sunday evening - Keepers of the Faith 7:00 pm
Tuesday evening - Royal Rangers 7:00 pm

Read two books per month on own time. Books chosen for September -
1. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Treasury by Betty MacDonald (3 books in one)
2. The Secret Castle by Anne Colver

Reader for during school hours -- Runaway Home by Elizabeth Coatsworth (Alice and Jerry 6th grade reader)
Occasional phonics review

Monday ........ Mortensen Pre-Algebra
Tuesday ........ Ray's Arithmetic
Wednesday ... Ray's Arithmetic
Thursday ....... Math Smart Junior
Friday ............ Math on the computer

Italics and Copybook:
Monday ......... Copybook (Michael chooses material)
Tuesday ......... Italics Book E
Wednesday .... Copybook (Mom chooses material)
Thursday ........ Italics Book E
Friday ............. Copybook (Michael chooses material)

Wednesday and Friday ....... Mario Teaches Typing

Monday ......... Easy Grammar (always verbal, 3-5 pages at a time)
Tuesday ......... English Activities (1950's American Book Company)
Wednesday .... Latin (Martha Wilson's)
Thursday ........ Latin

Monday ........ Speller (1910 National Speller)
Tuesday ........ Speller
Wednesday ... Spelling on the computer - Spell It 3
Thursday ....... Spelling on the computer
Friday ............ Test and/or review

Units for the Year --
A. Beavers (in progress) and Oceans
B. Astronomy and Trees
C. Biology

Kits --
Electronic Experiments
Bonsai Tree
Slime (we've started these experiments - very cool!)

Read - Child's Story of the Animal World by Edward G. Huey (very good!)
Start Oceans unit during afternoon, beaver reading in evening.
Private Eye as desired!!

Monday ....... You and Your Health (1953 text)
Tuesday ....... You and Your Health
Wednesday ... Road to Safety - Who Travels There (1938 text)
Thursday ...... Road to Safety

Physical Education:
Bowling League
Other activities as we choose them

Continuation of Geography Smart Junior, traveling to states in a car, countries in a boat.
Occasional work with maps

Capitalism for Kids
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy
Understanding Business (a college textbook!)

Art School by Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom
Mark Kistler's Imagination Station

God Made Music
Prince Melody in Music Land
Learning to Play Our Guitars

Evening Reading:
History - continue American Revolution reading, and Story of Liberty
Inventors Unit - start with John Deere (Childhood of Famous Americans)
Occasional poetry/literature - Shakespeare and Longfellow especially
Balance is pleasure reading to include devotional

This is what the week then looks like:

Monday morning:
Mortensen Pre-algebra
Copybook (Michael chooses)
Easy Grammar
Monday afternoon:

Tuesday morning:
Ray's Arithmetic
English Activities
Tuesday afternoon:
Tuesday evening:
Royal Rangers 7:00 pm

Wednesday morning:
Ray's Arithmetic
Copybook (Mom chooses)
Computer - Spell It 3
Wednesday afternoon:

Thursday morning:
Math Smart
Computer - Spell It 3
Thursday afternoon:

Copybook ( Michael chooses)
Spelling Test and/or Review
Computer Math
Friday afternoon:
Other Computer Programs
Other Art Projects
Other Science Projects/Kits

Contenders For the Faith 7:00 PM

Does it seem like a lot? It really isn't. We don't spend long periods of time on most subjects, and the afternoon and evening work is almost never perceived as "school" by Michael; we have too much fun! We are actually able to do our morning activities in two hours or less (even though I show a longer period of time scheduled).

Do I always stick to my schedule? Absolutely not! I like to follow it, and I do try to stick with it, but I am very flexible. My daily journaling helps me to see where I am on my schedule. Many times we will take time on the weekends to do things we didn't do during the week. Other times, we just forget about it and catch up the next week.

What is important to me is that *I* am in control of my schedule, and it does not control me. :-)

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