Home Education Schedule for the Fall

For those who were interested after last week's post on the curriculum I've chosen, here is our daily schedule for home educating this fall:

Homeschool fall schedule 

A few notes:

  • Circle time is when the kids and I sit together and work on activities that don't require tablework, like memorization, read alouds, narration, devotions, etc. Abbie will also read aloud to me during these times.
  • I've split our read alouds into fiction and non-fiction. This is just to give us some variety. On fiction days we'll read novels, nursery rhymes or poetry, or illustrated children's stories. On non-fiction days we'll read books on any variety of topics that interest us, like insects or clouds or the human body. Though we already have a pretty good library built up (considering how young are kids still are), we will depend a lot on visits to the library for this purpose.
  • Our math work looks pretty minimal, but it will take us through 1 unit a week, which is currently a really comfortable speed for the level Abbie is at.
  • By "delight", I simply mean that we will spend this time (approx. a half hour) studying things or doing projects that interest us. This might be researching an interesting topic, finding a brief educational video online, working on a poster or lapbook, or even productive free time (my MIL's term for time when the kids aren't doing "school", per se, but they are working on something creative or worthwhile, like building with lego or making animal sculptures with playdoh).
  • I wanted to have one day a week that has more time available for projects that will be more time and energy intensive, so I've chosen Fridays. This will be the day that we do more involved science projects, get out a big messy art project, take a field trip, etc. To allow for this time, we won't do any math or language arts bookwork, but only a brief circle time.

So that's what I have planned at the moment. I'm anticipating that learning time will take about 1 1/2 hours per day, give or take.

I'm sure we will not stick to this schedule exactly every day, especially while adapting to baby #3 in the early months, but I like having a framework and it helps me to stay more on task and focused. I think it will also provide some useful structure for the kids, as they get into the routine as well.

For those wondering, the toddler will either participate or simply do activities near us. During circle time, I expect that he'll sit and listen and I'll probably throw in a few younger things (like a short picture book or song) to help keep his attention. I'll also let him look at his own books or toys while he's sitting with us. During our table time, I will give him his bins to play with, or else set him up to color in his high chair. The baby will either be napping or in the sling, most likely. Or nursing. Or just in my arms. Guess we'll see how it all fits together with 3 littles! This will be new territory for me!

How do you like to schedule your home education times? Do you prefer a more structured schedule or do you like to keep it more loose and flexible? Hints for occupying babies and toddlers? :)

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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  1. Just stumbled upon your website. Great stuff! I am also begining K/1st work with our 4 1/2 year old. I sometimes worry that we may be taking on to much but they say to work at the child’s pace not yours so here we are. I have a 2 year old that we will be keeping entertained during our school days- I also am wondering how this will work. Good Luck!

  2. We just do basic stuff for preschool (she’s only 3.5) but I have found that using our moby wrap during that time, or now the ergo, meant the baby slept on me during the time and therefore did not wake up right in the middle of doing something with the older child. Its going to be different though when we start up again in the fall (we are taking the summer off here). But by no means is what I do complicated or taking a lot of time at this stage for us so I don’t know much about it really.

  3. Great schedule! I’ve got a newborn and a toddler on top of my school aged one, so I love finding other people’s schedules to see how they do it. :)

  4. Oh and I thought I commented on this but…I love your ideas of a circle time! What a cute name and great idea! It would be more cozy to do this like on the floor with floor pillows etc and work on Bible memory etc…! THANKS!

  5. I remember seeing somewhere that a gal put together a whole bunch of gallon ziplocks with different activities (like a few blocks or a sew card with a piece of yarn etc) and let her toddler pick one to play with during times when she needed to work with her older child. Last year with my dd doing preschool-y stuff, for the most part I just included her younger brother or let him play or had him go down for nap…
    Oh, I like to have a schedule/routine of sorts, but always want to be open to any ‘life learning’ opportunities…I include chores, which the kids & I do together, as part of school! My style is a little book learning with a whole lot of life learning and exploring! :-)

  6. Ooooo!!! I’m working on my schedule for fall and really enjoyed reading yours! I love your titles/ideas for things like “circle time” etc…I am so excited to start this fall!


  7. Hi Stephanie,
    I was just wondering where school fits in with the rest of your day? Are you able to post the rest of your typical weekly schedule ie. when do you cook and clean?

  8. Oh, very detailed post,my baby is newborn, i’m using Baby Einstein dvd now to help his growth, he is very cute, I ‘m proud of him!lol

  9. Oh, very detailed post,my baby is newborn, i’m using Baby Einstein dvd now to help his growth, he is very cute, I ‘m proud of him!lol

  10. I am only 18, single, and have no children, but my friend Lisa is married with 5 children. The oldest is 6 and they are starting a new curriculum this year. the next she works with in basic things, he is 4, the twins are 2 1/2 and she generally has them have play time in the play room. It’s nice because they learn to work with each other and play together while she is helping the other too. The last one is only a few months old and will most likely be napping and such as she is helping the older two with school.

  11. Cottage Comtesse, thanks for sharing your perspective as a more experienced mom. I appreciate the input and words of wisdom! :)

    Sarah, I’ve already purchased a sling for that very purpose! :) And yep, Laura’s are gorgeous, but I did go with a different style in the end.

  12. Depends on how reliable your toddler is not to stick things up their nose, but my little one likes beans. Just plain old dry beans, moving them from cup to cup or counting them on the floor, etc. Obviously we use beans that we don’t intend to eat, if they get on the floor. Have a special little bag or box of beans. Pintos or other colorful ones are nice.

    With my new baby we’ve been having “floor time” when I need him occupied–he kicks on his back for a while on a blanket on the floor, while I sit on the floor nearby and work with his sister. Then I’ll flip him over for some tummy time. He gets his workout, and my toddler gets some fairly focused attention from me.

  13. re: occupying baby, your new baby would probably really enjoy being worn by you while you teach the others. Laura L. makes really beautiful slings. xo

  14. Great schedule and looks like fun! Doing school with my children has done more to build a relationship than almost anything else we’ve done. I believe it is because we are spending time together, delighting in learning, and struggling through the tough stuff together. It isn’t always easy and it certainly has helped show me where I need to build patience and compassion (for my child who doesn’t get things quite as fast as her sisters).

    I have done some time of homeschooling for nearly 13 years. Structure is always best, however, that does not mean every minute is sitting still in a desk. It means that Mom has a plan with goals and some idea of what will be accomplished that day – even if it is a nature walk outdoors, reading a book, etc. I am not a proponent of “unschooling”. School should NOT be a dirty word. It is up to the parent to make it a glorious and exciting experience while teaching skills of discipline, concentration and attention in small amounts, growing that amount of time as the child grows.

    As for toddlers and such, I often used the high chair and playpen with specially selected activities, much like your boxes, Stephanie, that you made. Many people think a playpen as cruel, but it is actually a safe and fun place for little ones if you start before the age of one, keep the time limited to a quarter of an hour and work up to an hour by the age of 2, and give them special toys for that space. Enjoy your school years! They are a blessing. I’ll be sad when mine are over.

  15. Tsh, Abbie is 4 1/2 also. She’s a bit of a keener so she learned to read quite quickly (when she turned 4), which is why we’re doing more of kindergarten/Gr.1 work.

    Sarah, I love the idea of working outside. Unfortunately, our yard isn’t fully fenced in (and it’s a rental, so we won’t be paying to do it). I simply can’t do things outside that take too much of my focus off my little guy, or else he’s around the front of the house and towards the street in 2 seconds flat. :) It’s a great idea, though! One day, in a different home, perhaps!

  16. We structure our days similarly to yours, except we do the same schedule every day. My kids need A LOT of structure to stay on task, and they need to know what is coming next, so we do the same school schedule every day. As far as occupying little ones during school goes…your guess is as good as mine!! :) This year, we’re going to do school in the afternoon while my 2 year old naps.

  17. Your framework schedule looks great! I am a classroom teacher and I love to see how others set up their days. Thanks for sharing!

  18. I find it really helpful when parents post schedules like these! Thank you for sharing yours!

  19. This sounds like a great learning schedule! I might snag some of it. ;)

    Remind me again — how old is Abbie? Mine is 4 1/2, so we’re doing basic preschool, mostly just learning how to read.

  20. We just started back this week and I posted yesterday on our new schedule. If you can do some of your learning activities outside, that might encourage your little one to go off and play.