Sample Homeschool Schedule


{Ideal for Younger Children}
Scheduling continues to be one of the most requested topics I get asked about from other mamas.
  New-to-homeschooling moms are dying to know how to even begin to structure their day to "fit in school" plus everything else, and even veteran homeschoolers are often seeking help in this area of time-management and the establishment of routine.
There is a reason we all want to tear into these sample schedules like hungry vultures.  
Each of us desperately craves routine, order and organization.  
We are aware of how full our plates already are as stay-at-home moms, and when you add homeschooling to that?  It can be intimidating and overwhelming to say the least, especially for those just starting out.  
Ultimately, we all want to find what works for us, and maybe if we see what works for someone else, we can get started on our own goals.  At least that's the idea.  
My fear, however, is that someone out there will take a sample schedule like the one I have provided here, and they'll lock into it, and stress out over it when it doesn't work for them...but guess what? it wasn't designed for them, it was designed for us.  And each of us are vastly different.  
I also  hesitate because someone will read this schedule and feel exhausted before they've even begun.  It's just sorta crazy seeing it all SPELLED out like this. is so very, very, very full when we have little ones underfoot.  But I am reminded that the days won't always be so full, and that these precious years are fleeting, and that I desire to be a woman who numbers her days aright, and lives life fully with those whom God has granted me to journey.  

I also remember as I was just beginning our homeschool journey, someone at a workshop handed me a sample schedule, and I clung to that thing like it was precious gold.  It looked crazy-busy, yes, but it gave me an idea of what I was getting into, and how I could possibly structure my home and school and life in an organic way where everything flowed together seamlessly.
3 years into it, we still haven't reached seamless, and certainly never will, but I am grateful to see how school and home-life truly have blended so beautifully in these past couple years for us in particular.  
Still, this is worth repeating:
This schedule is NOT how life looks for us everyday.
Remember, this is the ideal.  
I am not locked into the times and what needs to be done when, nor do I beat myself up when I fail to follow this routine.  Quick example.  No-where in the below schedule will you see anything about grocery shopping, running errands, paying bills, volunteering, doctors visits, or co-op days.   Of course those things do happen here--on a weekly basis, just the same as they do in any home.  
And obviously school looks different on those days.

This schedule is what an ideal day (spent at home with my children) looks like.  
Because that IS my aim--to be home, 90% of the time with them, serving and loving them well during these years.  Babies and toddlers especially don't do well being carted all over town and so I try to keep my weekday running to a minimum.  
I hope this sample schedule is helpful as a guide for those of you who are looking for a place to start, and who desire to have school and home function together a bit more smoothly.

(To print, click each page of schedule, save as photo and print)

Additional Helps:

Interested to read more about our daily tea-time? I've got a post coming for you soon! 

Linking up with Trivium Tuesdays

Hands-On Homeschooling Workshop

You're Invited...

Those in the greater Pgh area are invited to join us THIS Saturday, March 8th for the 
29th Annual Greater Pittsburgh Homeschooling Workshop & Curriculum Fair 
where I'll be offering a dynamic workshop titled 
with Joanna Silveira

Join blogger and Classical / Charlotte Mason homeschooling mom of 4 (<---That's me, ya'll!) as she shares how to make active, meaningful and creative learning a regular part of your homeschool.
**Are you homeschooling elementary aged kids with babies, toddlers or preschoolers underfoot? Are you wondering if it's possible to do more hands-on learning without getting totally burned out in the preparation & clean up?
Joanna shares how she incorporates in-depth unit studies, lap booking, art, history reenactments, and continuous nature study in a one-size-fits-all-ages style where mom is relaxed and learning is always an adventure. 

Can't wait to see familiar faces and meet many others at this year's Fair. Please consider attending if you are local~you can even register late right at the door. Here is the workshop link for you (brochure is not fully updated, but general info is correct).

Hope to see many of you there!

Winter Shoe Box Diorama


This week we pulled out this wonderful little shoe box diorama that the kids and I made last February. It's a perfectly calm and quiet wintery scene and pretty much mirrors this month's weather here in western PA.
Because we utilized the box's lid as well, we were able to close it and store it easily on a closet shelf and bring it out from time to time for imaginative play.

To make this diorama, we started with a very sturdy shoe box and painted a sunset scene with acrylics on the bottom (which becomes the back when you stand it up on its side).

We then gathered some crafting moss, pebbles, glass rocks, sticks from outdoors, and some of our leftover artificial snow and mini trees from our Christmas display.  These were hot-glued down into the box to create the woodland scene you see.  We added some confetti snow flakes on the back of the box, and then added in our forest animals.  The small cardinals are from the craft store, as is the bit of fencing we added.

Playing at breakfast...lookout little deer, I see a wolf!

 Children tend to love dioramas~maybe because they are their own little magical worlds, and lend themselves so well to imaginative play.  Perhaps we'll celebrate the changing of the seasons by making a spring box this year.  But for now, we're enjoying this winter landscape from indoors!  

Homemade Valentine's Day Boxes


Do people still decorate Valentine's Day boxes to hold the special cards and notes received on February 14th? As a child, this was one of my most favorite parts about Valentine's Day, and my mom always let us bust out the craft supplies and she'd sit with us around the table as we created our special boxes.

Now each year, I enjoy taking a bit of time to help my own kids design and decorate their own card-holders the week before the holiday.  We are still working on this year's boxes, which I promise I'll share with you if once we get them finished, but today, I thought I'd round-up the boxes we've done in the past for you to see.

This post features the birdhouse box, as well as my oldest son's first car box.

This post details the instructions for making this ultra-cool race car box  My 5 year old is still using his as a keepsake box/ piggy bank up on his shelf.  
How cute is this guy? And yes, that is a homemade Valentine's Day box.  I never shared the instructions for this puppy dog box I made with my son last year, so I thought I'd give you a quick photo tutorial of that one...
Supplies needed to make this super-cute Valentine's Day pet box: 

:: 1 small oatmeal or coffee canister :: 
:: Faux craft fur (got mine at hobby lobby)::
:: Foam ball ::
:: Half of a paper cup ::
:: 1 black craft pom for the nose ::
:: 1 Pair of extra large googly eyes ::
:: 4 Wooden dowels for legs (you could also use tp rolls) ::
:: Hot glue ::
:: Utility Knife ::

*One thing we did to add some extra stability to our puppy dog was to wire the foam "head" onto the "body" using a thick piece of wire.  This kept the head from popping off, since toddlers are not exactly gentle with their toys, and sure enough, a year later, our puppy is still hanging around the house in pretty good shape...though the boys did take it upon themselves to give it a haircut a few months ago, leaving him a bit bare in some spots. 

Looking for something a little different than the traditional shoe box or tissue box to start with? 
Last year, my daughter bought a paper mache mailbox and decorated it similar to this one, and it turned out great.

Need some more all-BOY box ideas?
Check out this mama's post!  I am lovin' this guy's airplane!

My 3rd wanted to make a minion box this year, so that's what we've been working on with this pic as the inspiration:

And my daughter and I are working on something fairy-ish at this point--though, with construction about to begin in our house this week, I will be amazed if it gets finished in time. Fingers crossed!

Happy Valentine's Week, and enjoy creating some special things with your kiddos.

Favorite Homemade Valentine's Day Cards


With Valentine's Day looming, I thought I'd better round up some ideas for ya'll.

My kids, like most, really enjoy Valentine's Day~making special cards for their friends and family, and call us old fashioned, but we still enjoy decorating Valentine's Day boxes to house all those special love notes.

But this year, I gotta admit, I'm behind.  I don't have as much time to do what we've done in previous years, and those ready-to-go Valentine's from the grocery store, with the little red  heart stickers are sounding mighty tempting right about now, but I think in the end, my older ones especially, will still want to make their own Valentine's cards.

So here is a round-up for you of cards we've actually made and loved.  Some are very simple, while others are more elaborate, and/or more sugar filled.

Hopefully there is something here for everyone! Enjoy!

My daughter had an owl theme going last year, and together, we made about 20 of these ridiculously cute owl treat boxes.  Each one held 3 or 4 chocolate candies. Find my full tutorial here. 

Candy Airplanes
We found these featured at this blog, and my oldest son kinda went crazy when he saw them.  All that candy in airplane form!  What is not to love?  They were fun to make, but to keep cost down, we only did a few.  I'm not actually sure he even gave Valentine's Day cards with them, ha! I do remember they were well-received. :)

Candy Robots
My (then) 3 year old loved making these robots so much last year, he's already asked to do them again. The heads are made of starburst or tootsie rolls (how cute are the "pigtails"?) and the bodies of the robots are mini hershey candy bars, wrapped in various colored papers.  We accordion folded arms and lets and added googly eyes, hearts, and smiles, and they were done!  So cute!

Owl Love You Forever Pencil holder Cards.
Looking for a  non-candy card option?  These were a hit last year.  Totally great as a last minute option--we printed from here and it couldn't have been easier. My daughter gave them to the members of her Keeper's Group.  Another great printable that's totally free! We printed on white card stock and used dollar-store heart pencils on each. 
Here is yet another printable owl card that is adorbs. 

My boys are really into Star Wars toys and so I've already printed a pile of these cards for our card-giving this year.  
At the site, you'll find directions for how to make your own, but unfortunately, no downloadable printable option.  I made it work by copying the photo above, cropping it a bit, and printing the image right onto card stock.   Now they're waiting for my son to fill with glow sticks or pixie sticks for the light sabers.

Another easy printable card we've done in the past
I printed, my son filled a baggie with a car and the candy, then we stapled the bag topper on and they were done.  Easy Peasy. 

Heart People
I've saved my favorite for last, because, honesty, it doesn't get much easier or more homemade than this.  Cut a whole bunch of hearts out, provide markers and glitter, and googly eyes and buttons and yarn...then let your kids have a great time decorating them and giving them personalities to suit the friends who will be recieiving them.  I've almost convinced my daughter to go this route this year. 
If she does, I'll be sure to post photos of what she comes up with for her designs.

That's it, see you soon for another Valentine's Day Roundup.