Fixing a Homeschool Schedule That Isn't Working

Today started out like any other Tuesday... but better!

I am so sick of nagging the boys to turn off everything on Tuesday mornings and get ready for karate.  It's the only day of the week that we need to be ready and out of the house by a certain time and I find that by the time we're all piled in the car I feel like we're back in public school.

I've more than likely yelled, sighed, nagged, and reminded everyone to have ALL their stuff.

I figured there had to be a better way!

I decided that rather than try and get our schoolwork done before karate we'd wait.

I hoped that using some motivation would help them get ready on their own.... without my nagging or anyone yelling.

I find that when there's a part of our schedule that is consistently not working it's time for me to think outside the box and try a few new strategies to find something that will work.  

The kids were ready in record time today!  Instead of settling down to work on their schoolwork as soon as they were ready they were allowed to play Minecraft! Talk about motivation!!  By starting school after karate for once we had a nice laid back morning.

It worked out beautifully!

The boys had a great class and really enjoyed the vigorous circuit training style of the fist part of the class.  Evan was overjoyed to be taught his second form and was so proud that he only had to do it once before the teacher told him to get back in line with all the others.  He had been telling me that he was teaching it to himself watching the other kids and I guess he was right.

After karate we were ready to focus on school.

Finding time for Reading:
We listened to some more of The Red Pyramid in the car while driving.  We would have listened to even more once we arrived home but everyone was hungry so we went in for some lunch.  During lunch I read another chapter in Harry Potter and then we all cleaned up and got ready to focus on school.

Making Time for Math:
All three boys started with math again today. Evan completed two pages on fractions in his Star Wars book and he asked to count up how many pages were left.  I was stunned to see that we only have 16 more pages in this second grade book.

 Ian worked on the next two pages in his book dealing with perimeter.

Alec worked on reviewing multiplication facts by completing a few speed trial pages.  Each boy also completed a Verbal Math lesson with me too.

Independent Reading:
Alec read some of his Guardians of Ga' hoole book in his room.  Ian and I read another chapter in The Hunger Games and with only 9 chapters left we'll be starting on the new book by the end of next week!  He willingly read all three pages right at the start today and sung the song out loud to me before asking me to take over.  Evan read Scat, Cat to me and then completed a page in his Star Wars writing book.

We finished School in record time and turned to some additional work using self- guided learning:

 Alec decided to come up with a code for us to write messages back and forth to one another this afternoon.

He copied a second set of codes for me and then decided that rather than writing in code we'd speak in code.  He assigned each picture he drew for each letter a name and then spelled out each sentence for me (in code).  It was really cute and creative.  I'll admit it was a bit tricky to remember all the names and keep track of the words & letters in my head but we were having fun.  He was patient enough to repeat when I needed him too.

Alec shielding his secret code "Mom, you can't
take a picture of it for your blog because then it won't be
a SECRET code!"
Cooperation and sportsmanship:
     He asked to play a game together (in code) and then went to pull out our Skylanders Trouble game.  Evan came in midway through the first game and asked if he could play.  It ended up being a pretty long game since we both kept landing on one another's spot and sending each other's guys back to home.  When Alec and I finished up our game and we played a second round with all three of us.  The boys are finally at an age when they laugh instead of cry if they're loosing.  Especially with this game; no one seemed able to roll a 6 for great lengths of time.

Science and Logic Play:
We cleaned up and the boys headed outside.  The sun finally made an appearance this afternoon and Ian was already outside playing.  Evan and Alec played on the swings for a bit and then they migrated down back to watch and play with Ian.

 Ian and his friends had built a large pond with some tunnels and dams on our beach over the weekend and so Ian was filling up his bucket and pouring water into them.  Alec and Evan helped build more paths for the water and each took a turn throwing the bucket into the water to fill it.  Ian had the idea to tie a long rope to the end of the bucket so that he could throw the bucket out into the water to fill it up without getting soaking wet himself.  The boys were sandy, wet, and filthy but they didn't care.  They were having a great time playing and they were all getting along so nicely.

Our day turned out so much better than I had hoped.  

I feared that by starting school after karate we would never finish up our work but the boys were more than willing to in the afternoon and we got our work done quickly leaving lots of time for fun, discovery, and play!

Usually it takes a few different tries of fixing our schedule before it actually works!

Linking Up With:

Live Live Well Pin


  1. Awe, I love that you weren't afraid to change your schedule up! A schedule change can be so refreshing at times.
    Also, I've been looking at the Starbucks Wars math workbooks for my son. Do you recommend them?

    1. My youngest son LOVES his Star Wars math books; I can't say they are super comprehensive or the best we've ever found but just seeing the Star Wars guys motivates him to work in them everyday. I mostly keep using them because he loves them and then I just supplement with added games or activities when I see an area they've missed or if there's something he's struggling with.

  2. Thanks for sharing! Sometimes it seems that "perfect time" is so elusive!!

  3. You are such an inspiration! I feel like I tell you this all the time but this is so much what I want for my little when she gets older. Thanks so much for linking up to #fridayfrivolity! Xx

    1. Well, thank you! I can't say it ever gets old hearing that. :)

  4. This is such a great reminder! I homeschool for the flexibility, so when something is like pulling out teeth, I need to make some changes. I am doing better at this as the years go by, but could still use some help at times. ;)

    Thanks for linking up with us @LiveLifeWell



    1. Me too; I am far to willing to plug along and cajole, put up with tears, and struggle through for much longer than I probably should. I'm trying to be more intentional and more flexible but it can be so hard to do.

  5. Every time I read your post you encourage me to embrace the flexibility and fun of homeschool! This post is no different. Thank you for your encouragement and inspiration for us moms that have a hard time with flexibility. Thanks you for sharing with us on #livelifewell.


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