t’s so easy to feel overwhelmed when you start trying to blend all the ages of your kids into one, what you would hope to be, a cohesive, well organized homeschool schedule. Today I want to take you along with me on my thought process when it comes to blending my 3 young children into a homeschool schedule you can make sense of.
f you’re like me, you probably felt silly to even ask what in the world does one even plan for an upcoming school year? Like, how do you start thinking of what to do??
First off, it’s not a silly question. It’s a valid question and when you think of all the different ages you might be trying to schedule and when to start and what books and what the flow of your day is supposed to look like… well all of that is very daunting to think of at once.
So let’s start right at the beginning, what I did was figure out what core curriculum I would be using for my eldest child. That was going to set the pace for the rest of my schedule. Since I’ll be using myself as an example, I’ll give you some concrete stuff here. This 2021-2022 school year, I’m planning a yr 2 (my daughter), my son (kinder) and my toddler son (preschool 3).
Curriculum for the 2nd Grader
I did a video recently on my Yr 2 planning process. You can check it out in our YouTube Channel. But in short we’ll be following pretty strictly the Ambleside Online Yr 2 schedule for all subjects. The only book we’re excluding is Trial & Triumph.
Curriculum for the Kindergartner
If you saw one of my last YouTube videos, which I’ll pin here for you, you saw that we plan to use Gentle + Classical Primer with him for literature and his enrichments. This curriculum also touches upon catechism, virtues, manners, hygiene, and memory work along with literature, and some letter & math work for literacy.
We’re using the older version of the Good and The Beautiful Math K that we started last year and depending on how that goes we will either progress to the next level or dive into Life of Fred for my Kindergartener.
As I mentioned before, we’re blending quite a bit for many subjects, so more on that in a minute.
Curriculum for the 3 yr Old
I’m not doing any written or scheduled planning for my 3yr old. I will track whatever we do just to give me guide to follow the next day using my preschool open checklist. I made this last year for my middle little. You can download this checklist for free from my blog. I’ll put the link below for you.
The “school” we’ll be doing is to invite him to sit with us at the readings and wonder tales as well as mirroring his brothers kinder morning binder with a preschool binder for him. I also have purchased this Montessori sticker book and have other open play items, matching games and other educational activities to keep his mind and hands busy when I’m working with the two older kiddos. Truly though he will be tagging along with my Kinder’s schedule with lots of open play indoors and outdoors.
The one thing I will be really working on with him with much focus and energy is toilet train him.
Ok so now that you know where we stand with all the curriculums we’re using, next thing to do is figure out how to schedule out a sample first week. I say sample because things might change as you see your days unfold. Don’t go crazy and write out all 36 weeks at the very beginning. Set aside time before the start of every week or at the end of each week to plan your schedule out for the following week or perhaps commit to planning things one term at a time knowing that there is potential for scratching things off and moving things around.
Blending the Schedules
Here are all the subjects we blend the kids and do together:
Enrichment Loop (Artist, Composer, hymn and Folksong Study)
Religion & Bible Verse memorization
Music Notes Drill
Nursery Rhymes and Poetry
Then on Fridays we will do Nature Study / Science together as well
We’ll also do our On Mission Cultural studies which will have a weekly change in focus. Subjects within this area include: geography, new terminology and vocabulary, food and culture, handicrafts, stories and poetry. We’ll be taking one full term to dive into each On Mission magazine we’ve chosen for this year.
Making the Schedule
I am so thankful for Ambleside Online and their weekly schedule. Based off of that all you have to do is spread out the readings among the days of the week. Many AOers simply print out the weekly schedule and just highlight as they go. Super easy peasy.
I make things a bit more complicated, because if I don’t SEE it as something that needs to get checked off for the day I have the tendency to put it off for the next day. So I’m the kind of person who likes & needs a daily schedule.
I am sooooo grateful for the incredible community that is Ambleside Online Facebook Group. A very organized mom in this group already did the heavy lifting of spreading out the weekly schedule into a beautiful daily plan.
What I did was I saved her shared Canva template for the year I’m planning, Year 2. And then I started to tailor it for our own homeschool. To be super specific, I changed the colors so that my printer wouldn’t be overloaded with having to print out too much in color. I change the font, personalize the schedules, and then start editing the content for my Yr 2 first.
For a more detailed view of exactly how and why I laid out my schedule for my two kids in the YouTube Video above at the 9:05 timestamp.
Next you’ll want to print out one of these year at a glance calendars and map out your year. I recently made a host of subject cover pages, logs and this year at a glance package so that I’m setting my portfolio up to be well organized from the beginning of the year. I’ll link it below so you can check it out in more depth down below in my Etsy shop.
Some people go ahead and highlight their school weeks on and which will be off. Personally I like doing something a bit more fluid where I pinpoint our start date in pencil and then count out every 6 weeks and figure out which weeks you’d ideally like to make your off weeks. I highlight the weeks as we finish them during the year. We do exams on our off weeks by doing 2-3 exams in the morning and then we have the rest of the day off.
As far as scheduling extracurriculars, I’m still in the search for a co-op we might be able to join. That’s also another reason why I only plan one week out completely at the very beginning of the year. Sports are generally in the late afternoon so we shouldn’t have any issues scheduling those in after school is done.
Piano practice and piano class is also scheduled in the afternoon.
Something else to think about adding in to your calendar are holiday units for Christmas, Easter, and any around National holidays. We enjoy adding in Christmas and Easter Units. We have purchased both from Gentle + Classical Press and from Gather Round Homeschool.
I’d love to hear what your extras are that you add in, tell me down below.
The Ideal Flow of the Day
I also like to write out and think about my ideal flow to our homeschool day, knowing that this is an idealistic view and must be viewed as a fluid ever changing thing. However, small children do well with routines so I like to write out how I would like the day to go. One thing you might consider is getting these schedule cards and putting them up for your kids to see as a visual aid.
I simply write it out for myself and keep it as reference for the days when I can’t think straight. Tell me I’m not the only one that has those days.
I have a binder on the side this year where I’ve already put my new Subject cover pages and logs for both kiddos. I have our schedules for the first week printed out, our ideal flow of the day handy, books in their place, morning basket ready. I think I’m ready to rock this next year with these three kiddos! What do you think? Am I missing something, lol.
I’m ready to enjoy summer now that that’s done. Thanks for hanging in with me on this long one friends. If this video was helpful to you, please consider liking and subscribing to my channel so we an connect on here again soon!
See you soon!
Mom of three beautiful kids, married to my best friend, finding daily ways to bring joy!