Thursday, June 6, 2013

Scheduling for nemesis.

A month has passed without the official school schedule that we follow August-early May. And it has been good. Very good.

Early morning exercise. Back to sleep (that’s the best part of my day). Leisurely breakfast. Pool time. Read some books. Laundry/housework (as needed). DISCLAIMER: I’ve begged everyone to either wear clothes for 4 days in a row or go buck naked so I don’t have 5 loads of laundry a day for the summer. Okay, back to reality. Lunch outside. Play some more. Read some more. Avoid housework/emails. Snack. Watch Wild Kratts. Play even more. Get in the pool again.

It’s been a good time had by all. But, then, I start to get this itch that reminds me that I need to do SOMETHING for school so that it doesn’t slap me in the face come August 1st. So, I try to do ONE thing per week that will make school go a little easier in the fall.

Last week I tackled the school room and cleaned it out and got rid of things we no longer needed. Old books put up, new curriculum on shelves. Make a list of all the things we needed (it was quite short this time).

This week we are tackling the dreaded schedule. WIth five kids learning at the same time, this Momma needs a schedule. Now keep in mind that this schedule can change at a moment’s notice and will likely have to be modified depending on how children are doing with each subject and how the time of day affects them.

Here’s how we do it around here.

1. Recruit one organized child to help (that would be Madison in this case).
2. Locate as many colored sticky notes as possible (we found six I think).
3. Use one color for all the kids names and put that at the top of our board/table (whatever is big enough to lay out the schedule on).
4. Use another color to lay out the time slots (we do increments of 20 minutes from 8:00 am - 12:40). Then, we have another block for the afternoon (since the older girls have extra work to do then).
5. Subjects are divided into three colors - ones that require Mom teaching, independent work, and subjects that someone else will teach (Kaitlyn teaches language to Jett and Madison teaches Bible to Zeke and Elly).
6. Each sticky note has the student’s name in the upper right hand corner just to verify that it’s in the right place. Then, we add the subject and how much time it will take. It only took us 5 times to rearrange the subjects into a format that we thought would work best.
7. Add the work to the computer and make sure it looks accurate (using different colors for #5).

There are several factors that I must consider:

- What are the kids’ hardest subjects?
- Is there a time of day that works better for a particular person with a specific subject?
- Not everyone can practice piano at the same time!
- Some students can work in the school room while others need to work at the table.
- Too much independent work (consecutively) for any student without Mom checking up on him/her can cause issues later...

So, here’s a look (just a screen shot) of our final product.

How do you do it? Plan for school for multiple kids? Would love to hear your ideas!!!