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Monday, April 6, 2015

Real Life at Chestnut Grove Academy–Schedule


I have 4 kids – Ages 8, 6, 4, and 17mos (Grades 3rd, K, PreK and Tot)

Most days my oldest is up before the crack of dawn….thank goodness he can entertain himself, I am NOT an early bird!  It’s good for him though because he spends time with his dad and then on a ‘good’ day he hits the computer and gets his computer school work out of the way.  Other days he just entertains himself quietly, though in the past he would typically get into things and most often mornings started with him getting in trouble for something…to the point I dreaded getting up!  But as he has gotten older, those days are few and far between (knock on wood!).  He makes fairly good use of his time in the morning, which is nice.  I think he enjoys the alone time now that he is older, where in the past he would get bored.  He has also learned that waking Mommy makes me grumpy. 

Typically Everyday

Well the following morning routine is typical Monday through Friday.  The exceptions would be field trip or co-op days (mentioned below)

630/700- Baby girl wakes up, most of the time she will entertain herself quietly as well, though some times she will yell for C.  He will sometimes come and get her, other times not.  I guess it depends on how much he is enjoying his early morning alone time. 

700/730 - I tend to get up around this time.  I get a shower, get dressed and all of that and also check my email, do my blog stuff for the morning and then make breakfast. I will throw a load in the laundry and pull something out for dinner, typically.  The other 2 boys start to wake up about this time too.  Though Z has been known to sleep as late as 9, it varies.

800/830  - We recently implemented our morning scripture study during breakfast.  It’s one of the few times we are all in one place (well, minus hubby, so we do it again at nigh.  This also makes it a little more fool proof, so even if we forget one, we still get in one study a day!).  I also read a story from The Friend magazine (a church magazine subscription for kids).  This has seriously CHANGED our homeschool!  I notice such a HUGE (and not good) difference on days we don’t do it!  The kids notice too!

I recently made a post Homeschooling Isn’t Always Rainbows and Roses, it mentions our previous routine (which we still do, the above mentioned is in addition so that ALL are getting scriptures in the morning!). 

900 – I send C down to get started on school while I clean up the kitchen a bit, get baby girl dressed and then we all head downstairs.  I put on Signing Time for the little ones while I go in with C and do scriptures myself, and get him started on his day.  First thing I do though is turn on the diffuser and the classical music!  Man do these make a difference also!  Signing Time is a new introduction, I don’t really promote TV viewing especially for younger kids, BUT, I spent most of the morning taking her off of tables and chairs and it was making school stressful with her screaming and me getting frustrated.  Signing Time buys us a bit of time (about 30mins).  Then I can at least get my scripture reading in beforehand and it helps me deal much better! 

1000/1030 – About this time I get baby girl a snack and bring one down for the others too, typically a cheese stick or some trail mix (with nuts)…more protein!

1030/1100 – I call the other two in to start their school work (they have been having freetime and/or watching Signing Time as well).  On Monday’s and Wednesday’s I also put baby girl down for a nap!  (Otherwise she won’t get one b/c of our busy afternoons!).  This also makes it much easier to help C with the parent led lessons.

1200 – I start in on lunch.  I wish I was inventive for lunch, typically it’s leftovers, PBJ or Mac and Cheese….I tried to get more creative, but I fizzled! 

During lunch or directly after is when I do our read aloud story.  Right now we are reading Rush Revere The First Patriots, I usually only read 1/2-1 part of a chapter.  So we are at it for awhile.  I much prefer audio books, my voice gets tired! 

This is the most ‘structured’ time of the day, though it’s still subject to change and open to changes any give day!

Now, here is where our routine begins to vary by day-

Monday and Wednesday

1300 (I use to be military!) – We load up for Mixed Martial Arts.  Make sure they each have a water bottle and head to the car!  It can be so time consuming getting them all in, luckily 2 out of 4 can buckle themselves (most days). 

1330-1430 – The 3 boys are at MMA and I run my errands.  Most typically it’s a trip to the grocery store and/or the post office.  I’ve tried to sit through class but baby girl gets so restless.  I usually arrive for the last 15mins or so.

1700 – Monday - c has speech, typically hubby takes him while I get dinner ready!

1900 – Monday – Family Home Evening - FHE always has a treat too, so the one night a week we get dessert (unless we also have company, like the missionaries, sometime that week).

1900 – Wednesday – C has Lego Club (JrFLL)

Tuesday and every other Thursday

These are either a Field Trip Day (though they can happen any day really) or it’s a stay home and chill day.  I’ll put Baby girl down for an afternoon nap so that we can get some art in or play some games.  We will sometimes get some educational TV time in.

1900 - Tuesday – C has Cub Scouts from 7-8p, Hubby works with the Boy Scouts, so he is gone to.  I have bed time duty!

The Other Thursday

0800 – Leave for co-op, co-op is about 45mins away.  I try to leave by 8 in case we get stuck behind a bus or hit some traffic.  We are always early, but it’s better than being late!
0900-1300 – Co-op

1900 – I go out with the Sister Missionaries, typically only every other, but sometimes every…just depends on their needs.


1000 – Leave for swimming
1030-1200 – Swimming – they get 45mins of lessons and 45mins of free swim!  It’s a great set up!


1500 – Finish computer school and/or FREE TIME! If they didn’t get everything done that morning then they have to finish it up (within reason, if they put forth a really good effort, I will usually let it slide).  Their FREE TIME usually consists of Legos, Kindle time, reading books, or sometimes I’ll let them watch an educational show or two.  If it’s nice the older ones will go outside, and I use the time to do my blogging work.  This is generally when I will read to the littlest one too.  K (Baby girl) loves to be read to, though I have to say I’m about to hide MOO, BAA, LALALA if I have to read it ONE MORE TIME!   Oh how she loves it though! C has a few extra computer assignments on Tues, Thurs and Fri.  A computer session on one of these days takes no more than an hour, on a Monday/Wednesday it takes about 25mins. 

1600 – Hubby gets home around this time and takes over the kids!  Thank goodness!  This frees me up to do planning, blogging, picking up and getting dinner started!  Sometimes I’ll just veg for a bit and catch a short show myself.  I also try to do my 7min workout while everyone is outside!  It really invigorates me for the rest of the day….BUT, I am not always very good at doing it.  I need to work on that…I really do feel the difference when I do it!

1700/1730 – Dinner

1800/1830 – Baths – Hubby has bath duty! 

1830/1900 – Baby girl goes to bed.

1930/2000 – Scriptures, Prayer, Stories and Bedtime, Hubby’s job as well!  (Though Scriptures and Prayer is as a family)

I spend the rest of the evening cleaning up, blogging, planning and setting up for the next school day. Setting up for next day consists of making copies I may need (if I didn’t already) and making sure their workboxes are ready to go! Hubby exercises and we take turns doing dishes, depends on how much I have to get done.

I typically head to bed around 2200 and read for a bit.  Asleep by 2300. Then it begins again the next day! 

So that is a typical week.  Some times we get a few curve balls thrown at us and change things up. For instance, If we miss one of the martial arts day time classes because of a field trip, we can pick up a Thursday night. 

The schedule may appear rigorous, but it is actually very flexible.  They play a lot too (though I may have it ‘scheduled’).  My kids thrive on structure though, which is why we school year round.  Too much ‘free time’ and chaos ensues.  But, I also do not run the day with timers set.  We do things in a general order in a general timeframe. 

Chores:  I don’t have a specific chore time scheduled, I know some people do.  It’s on ‘as needed’ basis.  If the dishwasher is full, I’ll ask someone to empty it.  If I need to wash the boy’s laundry, I’ll ask someone to take it down.  The kids do have chores and are expected to help out when needed.  They are paid for ‘some’ chores, though other chores are considered responsibilities as part of the family. 

How do I keep it all straight?  I use Cozi free app and I set the alarm on my phone!  I set it to go off about 15mins BEFORE we are suppose to leave,so that we have time to get ready to go.  If I don’t I forget things! 

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

This is part of a School House Review Crew Blog Hop, click the graphic above to see Real Life Homeschool with other Crew members. 

Part 1 – Schedule
Part 2 – Curriculum
Part 3 – Our Day in Photos (Wordless Wednesday)
Part 4 – Homeschooling with a Toddler
Part 5 – Week in Review

Here are a few of the 52 participating! 

Every Bed of Roses
Ben and Me
Footprints in the Butter
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling
Counting Our Blessings
Homeschooling for His Glory
Ozark Ramblings 
Only Passionate Curiosity
Farm Fresh Adventures


  1. Looks like a nice schedule! Moo Baa LaLaLa is a favorite book of mine. I have it memorized from 2001!!! Still!!! LOL!

  2. What a busy day...but "organized". I love that you aren't an early bird either. LOL. Fortunately both of my boys are NOT either, so no one is getting up too early.

    thanks for sharing your day!

    ps. Can you fix the link to my blog? It needs to be http://farmfreshadventures.blogspot.com which it is not right now. I need people to come to my blog not my email. Whoops. LOL.

  3. Loved reading about your day. I miss having the younger students....my baby is now 9!

  4. There are + & - to every age I think :)

  5. I loved reading about your day!Very busy :-)

  6. yes! Who said homeschoolers stay home? I treasure the 'at home' days sometimes! lol Running with 4 kids in tow is not easy! But we still love it!

  7. I am not that organized! I am however out of the house that much too! Who said homeschooling took place at home? lol

  8. Wow, we are so close on the kids. I have: 8, 6, 4, and one due end of June. I was getting up about 7:30 until the pregnancy, now it is sometimes late as 9. I could not do all the running around you do:-)

  9. Yes it is, things will calm down in summer, I hope!

  10. You need more sleep now, get while you can!

  11. Nice schedule. I am super impressed that your kiddos wake up at 8, mine are lucky to be up at 10. But then we do a lot more school work in the evening. I guess that is the nice thing about Homeschooling.

  12. I would not be opposed to my kids sleeping in until 10! lol But, I do like that they go to bed early, so I guess you can't have it both ways! And that is so true about homeschooling, it can feet any ones lifestyle! :D


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