Saturday, September 6, 2008

Routines


I'm late this week on my Homeschool Memoires post. Partly because I've been busy, and partly because, quite frankly, I'm just not good at routines. The best scheduling method I have found for myself really isn't a schedule at all; it is essentially a prioritized to-do list. Those things that have top priority for the day (or week, etc.) go at the top of the list and get first attention. For a homeschool day, my list might look like this:

Scripture Study
Outdoor Time
Music Practice
Habit Development
Math
Reading
Science

Things can move up or down in priority on a given day, although the things at the top tend to stay out the top; these are the things I really want to do every day or almost every day. I'm not too concerned at this point if we don't study math every day, as long as we are doing it on a reasonably regular basis. Obviously the need to focus on a particular subject or area will vary from child to child, or year to year. I wrote in an earlier post about my spreadsheet tracking method--if I notice on the spreadsheet that something (say, history) has not been getting much attention I might move that to a higher priority on the daily list. Similarly, if a child is week in a particular area that subject can be moved higher up the priority list.
I like this system. It follows the principle of first things first--generally, the things at the top of the list are accomplished towards the beginning of the day, before too many things can happen to interfere! There are of course exceptions--for example, if we are working on developing a habit of going to bed early, we obviously need to focus on that towards the end of the day. But if that item is sitting un-checked-off at the top of my list, it will be attracting my attention all day and is much less likely to be neglected!

2 comments:

Violin Mom said...

Paula, I like the idea of a priority list. It is more realistic, and of course, it makes sure the focus is what is on important! I might consider doing something like this. I confess, there are some days when we do violin practice but never get to scripture study! Oops. Thanks for visiting my blog. I will answer your question here - we get to violin practice too late - it is anywhere between 7 and 9 in the evening before we get started, and practice for two children can easily top an hour (but not if we get too late a start on it). Thanks for visiting my blog and reading my posts.

Blessings,
Violin Mom in FLA

Mary Elizabeth said...

That's an interesting way to get things done. The important thing is that it works for you! So if it isn't broken, don't fix it. ;)

My schedule is very flexible, and I adjust it as needed. In a way, it's not all that different from you're doing, just set up with each day already defined. That's not to say that we don't shift things around as needed, because we do.

My girls usually spend the night with my parents once a week. The day they are at my parents' house, they do a light load of schoolwork (that I send with them). Then we have to double up on some subjects the next day.

My thought is that as long as it gets done by the end of the week, we're fine. Um, sometimes, my thought is that if it gets done by the end of the month we're fine. And, then, I even have the thought of, ehhh, it can wait till next year! ;)

Mary Beth