Sunday, August 9, 2009

Beginning and Ending Routines

Tomorrow is the First Day of what I hope will be a good learning year! I feel lucky to have the three kids still left, even though the homeschool is getting emptier with four kids now attending high school and college and work elsewhere.

If you read my Year 1 Timetable you probably saw that I have put a Morning Routine and a Finishing Routine in there for my two little ones.

This was something I had always sort of resisted because it felt "schooly" to me, but I was thinking it over and realizing that it's probably actually a real life skill to be able to have a beginning and ending routine. I spent so much effort a few years ago trying to establish a "routine of having routines" when I was struggling with my life having a medically fragile toddler and a high risk pregnancy plus five school-age kids. So if it's worth the effort when I'm an adult out of school it's probably not just an artificial thing.

So here's my Morning Routine for the children, subject to revision of course -- this is for the transition between breakfast and study time:

  • Clean up breakfast things.
  • Brain Gym or similar exercise to jumpstart mind-body connection (important for my 10 year old with motor processing difficulties, and probably a good thing for my lively 6 year old too).
  • Oral quiz/review -- I'm visualizing this as a way for them to show off things they know well -- I was quizzing Aidan on body parts a few months ago and Paddy just LOVED it and wanted me to keep asking him questions.
  • Maybe some kind of calendar time or weather talk here.
  • Short talk about plans for the day, then prayer time, maybe short reminder or story about saint of the day.
  • Freehand drawing while I read something short to them.
  • Then Study time proper.... go to workboxes, Morning Time, or whatever.
  • It feels like a song is needed somewhere here but I have trouble with that.

Leaving Routine

  • Clean up school things, put in proper places.
  • Check list or schedule sheet to see if everything is done for day (can have a simple paper sheet, or make a manipulative with places to stick printed checks, whatever seems to work best).
  • Prayer
  • Review day quickly, high points, what was learned, etc.-- give them a chance to talk.
  • Go outside or do something family-like together before going about rest of day.
I'll be "reality-testing" these and so this is probably a Beta, not Final, version.


  1. Willa, we are beginning school officially tomorrow as well, and this is exactly what I have been pondering and needed to see articulated! So, thank you. I am amazed at the grace that God has seen fit to inspire me so much this week through the plans of others (your lesson plans have been a big help to me as well, and the lessons and ideas of others this past week are wonderful tools!).

  2. "Beta" version ... LOL!!! I like the idea of consistent beginning and ending routines. It'll help give a nice rhythm to the day.


I would love to hear your thoughts on this!