Planning our school year

Hello, I hope you all are having a great start to your week.  I have to admit, even though I had all my children’s school ready to go, I was still feeling a little anxiety about how it was going to all unfold.  Like how would we get chores done, meals made, schedule time for our extra classes, work with the two little ones for school, oh and just how was I going to make life work?

Last week, I had a day where I just took the entire day and got our life “somewhat scheduled.” I don’t believe in strict scheduling because when things go wrong, its very stressful. I do believe in having some sort of healthy structure to keep things moving smoothly.   So I put together some charts and schedules to help our life move in one positive direction this school year.

One of the first things that I did, was to take and schedule or write out each child’s school  requirements for each day.  I don’t mind how or when they do their papers but I wanted them to know what was required everyday.

This was for the 3rd grader, Autumn.  I printed it off and slid it in the front of her binder.  That way she can look and know what is required of her each day.  She is my child who wanted to “drop out” of first grade:)  We let her stop for a few months when we started and then picked back up after Christmas.  She is more my free spirited child.  I was very happy to see that she was excited to begin school.  She started the day I handed her the pile.  I am happy to say she has already completed one week of school!  She was part of my “stressing out”  just because I didn’t know how much time I was going to have to work with her.  I don’t mean it badly, just more anxious on how I was going to get everyone’s school done each day.  She did hers real quick and did great! 

I did the same for Jadyn. Then I handed her her set of binders and devotional. I said, “You don’t have to start until after Labor Day, but if you want to get ahead, you can.”  She took her stack and placed it in her room on her shelf.  She hasn’t wanted to start yet, maybe this week:)

As you can see, I have her wake up and get her morning routine finished.  Then begin her chores.Then start school.  I wrote what she has to do and about how long it will take to do each part.  I over figured so that it would give them plenty of time to get it done. 

I did the same for Brooklyn, she has her pile of books and has already finished one week of school! 

Brooklyn’s schedule is pretty much the same as Jadyn’s.  Just a list of what she has to do each morning. Very simple.  She should be completed around lunchtime each day.

I did the same for Evan and placed his books in his bedroom.  He is going to be doing two years of school in one year’s time.  I told him to work Monday through Friday and through most of the “breaks” that we take and he will probably finish up mid summer.  Depending upon how many breaks he takes.  He is motivated as he wants to get ahead and get finished.  I gave him a bunch of teen devotionals that I like to have my boys read.  Great books by Bob Schultz.

  • Created for Work
  • Boyhood and Beyond
  • Practical Happiness
  • I kissed dating goodbye–by Joshua Harris

These are excellent resources, spend the money and buy these for your boys.  Great life lessons and wisdom from a man:) Each book has around 30 simple readings. I think he will be able to do one per month.

Then I had to plan out my next biggest “stress” of the day……making sure to get all the younger sets morning routine done:)  I decided to go back to simple mark off charts.  I printed them out and placed them on the refrigerator.  This way they can do their chart and mark off the day on their own.

Download (PDF, 151KB)

As you can see from the PDF I made a simple chart for each of the children. I don’t have them get dressed, because we will stay in our pajamas unless we are going somewhere each day.  They will—-I get dressed each day:)  My main focus is to get everyone’s teeth brushed.  Then the three have simple chores that they help with each day.  It will help me from reminding everyone, “Did you get………..this done…….or that…….?”  Eliminates me asking so much:)

I also did our new chore schedule for the school year. I went back to one of my original ways of scheduling and aimed to do a major task each day. Monday is mainly laundry, Tuesday, easier cleaning day, Wednesday is our baking day, Thursday is my office day, Friday is cleaning day and errand day.

Download (PDF, 261KB)

I broke up our day into having just the minimum done before school. I like clean floors and dishes put away before we begin our day.  Then after everyone does their school and they need a break, I give them a few chores to do each afternoon.  This way we aren’t trying to get a bunch of chores done before school and stressing out or not getting them finished at all.  It will work.

I then placed extra copies in my binder.  I printed off about two months worth of the younger ones mark off charts.  I slid them in my binder and paperclipped them together. I also made a few index cards of things that I need to get done each week, but I just don’t know how often because it varies every week.  Dusting, windex, and towels fold.  This will be good to hand out to the children that might need a few extra chores that day.  I do have on Tuesday for myself to Windex and Dust, but if I can’t get to that each week, I made a card that I can have someone else help with.

Download (PDF, 497KB)

On Fridays we are going to do “bigger house cleaning.” I broke up our home into different areas and will focus on an area each week of the month.  On Fridays, I will pull this page out and leave a highlighter by it.  Each child can choose a different job to do and then when it is finished mark it off.  This prevents the questions asked over and over of “Who did this?”:)  I printed off a few copies to place in my binder with a paper clip.  I will pull these out each Friday or Saturday if we have to get out the door for something.  This will ensure that our home gets cleaned properly each month.  It also helps for if someone is not home to help, there is no figuring out who is going to do the extra chores. We will just all work together.

This has helped me greatly in figuring out how I was going to make everything work out.  We did start some school last week, I started two in first grade and that has helped me figure out how much time I need for them.  I figured it would be good to get going in the morning and then around 10:30 I will meet with the older ones and we will start our Bible reading together.  That will probably take almost 1/2 hour to 1 hour. Then it will be lunch time. We will eat and clean up and then start our Science together.  After that, anyone needing to finish up school can do so, complete their chores and then they will be free to do whatever they want.

I suggest that if you are stressing out about how you are going to figure it all out and get the day done, like me, take the time today and get some sort of plan ready for how you will work things out for your days.  I knew what my stress areas were—scheduling and chores—and I planned and broke everything up into manageable schedules.  Pinpoint the areas of stress—then work a manageable plan out.  Try and implement your days before your “official” start day of school.

This week we will probably do school each day. We only have one week left for the lake before it closes, but with the hurricane season upon us, we get rain and cooler weather.  I hope we get a few afternoons of sunshine so we can swim, but if not we will definitely head to our park for scooter riding and playing.

I hope you have a blessed Monday, sit today and do some planning out for your school year–if you haven’t already!  Be blessed!


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