Last week we started a new semester of homeschooling. Mercedes started her second year of kindergarten. Emerald started her second year of preschool. It's really important for us to have a structured schedule and routine to follow. The girls behave much better when they know what's expected of them and what's coming next. They like the consistency and having things to look forward to every day. 5 days a week, this is what our day looks like.
I made sure to only schedule 30 minutes of sit down school time at a time for each girl to give their brains a break. With the exception of Mercedes' reading time because sometimes she gets overwhelmed and needs a few 5 minute breaks during her reading time to help her concentrate. That's why I scheduled an hour of phonics and reading for her. I also basically switched 30 minutes on 30 minutes off for each girl so they would both be getting my one on one attention throughout the day and nobody would get too bored or lonely. Emerald has actually been sitting in on most of Mercedes' reading, health and social studies lessons and participating in the science projects and activities so they really both have fun, get plenty of attention from me and learn a ton every single day! They have been extra happy and cooperative since starting school. They are loving all the structured learning and scheduled mommy time!
In between scheduled school time and activities, the girls play on their phones (we've got lots of educational apps for them on their phones!) or they play toys (their favorites right now are Barbies and Disney Princess Magiclip dolls!) Since they are getting so much one on one attention from me during school, they have been much better about playing independently and even sleeping independently! As of two weeks ago this is the first phase in 5 years that neither of the girls has needed cosleeping.
I also made a plan for our evenings and weekends. It includes a family game night, a family date night (toy store, movie theaters, frozen yogurt or ice cream, etc), and a mommy daddy date night while the girls are at Awana. I do this to make sure we don't get into a TV watching rut in the evenings and we are getting plenty of family time once Daddy comes home every night. The girls also joined Dazzlers Christian Dance team so they will be attending classes two nights a week as well as attending Awana at church once a week (I chose not to post a photo of this schedule as it includes exactly what day, time and location we will be at each activity throughout the week).
Lastly, I wrote out a daily lesson plan for the girls to follow so they know how much work they are expected to do in each subject each day. In each subject, I divided how many pages are in each book by the number of days in the school year to figure out how many pages a day the girls would need to do in order to finish each book by the end of the year.
The girls and I are all very excited about this school year and are having so much fun! Our days go by fast with so many things scheduled for us to do and so far both girls have been cooperative and enthusiastic about their school work. I try to make learning fun for them and incorporate plenty of games, projects, crafts, experiments and hands on learning opportunities to supplement their book work. We are still fairly new at homeschooling but we are loving every minute of it so far!