Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WFMW: Bare minimum homeschool scheduling

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If you've been reading along, then you know that we are following a unit study approach in teaching L this year.

Sometimes though, things just don't come together like I want them too.

Maybe the baby is sick is grumpy, and I don't have much time to plan.

Maybe we have to hurry through school, because we have somewhere else we have to be.

Maybe L just won't settle down enough to do everything I had planned.

Last year, any one of those things would have basically left me having to call school off for the day, for lack of a better plan.

This year, before school even started, I came up with my "bare minimum plan". Basically, it consists of activities that don't require any planning or prep time, and yet are sort of the essence of what I want L to be doing this year anyway.

(Keep in mind that L is only 4 years old, and in preschool. An older child's bare minimums would be different, but the idea is still applicable. If you stripped out all the bells and whistles, and the busy work, what would you be left with?)

Here's our "bare minimum schedule":

Reading for at least 15 minutes. (We split this up about half and half between Bible reading and other books.)

Worksheets. L likes to do them, and they are an easy way to reinforce what we're learning, and also check his progress. L whizzes through them, but we shoot for doing 2 or 3.

A game. This could be a board game, games on his Leap Pad, or more often, games on the PBS website.

A sensory experience. This could be an art project, helping me make a snack, or playing with Play Doh.

This whole routine would take about half the time of our usual schedule, and still constitutes a pretty good day of preschool.

Simplifying when things get crazy works for me. To read lots of other WFMW tips, check out


  1. I have a similar bare minimum schedule for my boys too which is basically the three R's. On busy or sick days, my 11 yr old needs to complete math, English, and independent reading. My 5 yr old's bare basics are some kind of phonics (this could just be reading a BOB book, doing a OPGTR lesson, or reading some phonics flashcards), a lesson in ETC, and some file folder games. If the 3 and 1 yr olds are read to by someone at some time during the day, I am happy. lol
    We like to use educational computer games during sick days too.
    On busy days when we're gone a lot, we actually get some history in with the SOTW cds in the car! We listen to other books on tape/cd too while driving.

  2. I like to have a helps me get through the day!

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  3. I too do that. It seems to help me make sure and get something done.

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