It is appropriate that I’m writing about scheduling now, as my days have been over packed with stress these last two weeks. Between dentist’s visits, emergency room visits, and in-law visits, there’s been a lot more on my plate than I had intended this Lent. In brief, everyone is fine, some are less intact than others, and nobody is sick or dying. It has just been a wild lenten season, and I’m just barely catching up to being a human being–let alone husband, father, son-in-law, caregiver, chauffeur, teacher.
But let’s talk scheduling!
This is an are of my life which I’m still learning to develop. My personal discipline in time management has always been in ebb ever since I was handed my books and told to be in charge of my own school time. I work hard, I play hard, and I always get assignments done; but I have never been someone who maintains or follows a disciplined daily schedule of activities. This has been an area of personal growth for me, and I’m excited by the new freedoms it has created for getting things accomplished throughout the week!
I said in my last posting about scheduling, that I approached our day with a very clear intention to follow the PNEU schedules because not only had they worked all those years, but they were developed and approved my Mason herself. These daily schedules keep me, the teacher accountable, and the students accountable as well to the time spent in lessons. It’s also helpful to have a list of when things will take place and how long they will take for the students to reference as we go through the day. It helps them to see and take ownership of the time spent in lessons and to let them know that their school time is not interminable.
If you choose to use the timetables that I wrote out for myself, you will at least get a handle on what the day looks like. Here are some principles to remember when building your day.
- short lessons
- varied lessons
- mornings are best
- free time
(As to the last principle, it was CM’s policy that any time between the end of the planned lesson and the next lesson on the schedule was free for the use of the child. It’s not chores time, it’s not do extra work time, it’s not start another project time. It’s free time for the child to use in his or her pursuits until the next lesson begins. Set a timer, and you’ll be amazed–not only at how much work your student completes, but also how much time it actually takes to complete a task!)
When building your day, consider the elements that are important to you, and how many of them should reasonably done during lesson times. Morning prayers for us while learning the various troparia is a no-brainer, but you’ll notice that I didn’t put “devotions” as a school lesson. (Bible time is not the same as daily devotions.) That comes later. You’ll also take note that I didn’t put any of our afternoon occupations or activities on the daily schedule. I limited these to only lesson times, because after school is done, much of the day is left up to the child for further reading, activities, games, playing out-of-doors, field trips, appointments, et.
How has building your day progressed in your home school? Let me know in the comments below!