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I am a home schooling mom to three amazing kiddos.  We primarily use the Montessori pedagogy to guide our journey.  We also enjoy aspects of classical education and are part of Classical Conversations community. 

I write a Montessori column for Practical Homeschooling Magazine.

I am still a geek at heart and at times miss my former career as an Information Architect/SharePoint Specialist.  I don't have much free time but if I do, it is spent on comic books and video games.
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Our Daily Routine

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I am the highly disorganized, free spirit type.  What I like to see as creative genius poses some interesting challenges when the word schedule sends shivers down my spine.  If you've been around here long, you may have seen some of my past posts on how we structure our day.  Much is the same, but much is different too.



For the most part, we aim for a routine.  I have a traditional schedule with times listed, but that's more of a utopian dream.  We get most of it in most days, so I'll take it.

I know everyone has a different approach to folding Montessori into their home and homeschool, each equally valid.  My prerogative is an approach that is closer to what is found at a Montessori school for a host of reasons.  You'll see that influence in our day.

Here it is:


6:45                     Mom up (Exercise, Pray, etc.)

8:20                     Breakfast

9:00-12:00          School Work Period

12:00                   Lunch

1:30                     Additional Work Time for Older Children if Needed

2:40                     Cleaning/Chores

3:00-4:00            Personal Project Time

4:00                     Afternoon Activity (Art, Music, Science Experiment, etc.)

5:00                     Start Dinner (Children Assist)

7:40                     All Family Pick Up/Clean

8:00                     Start Bedtime Routine

8:30                     Bedtime for L and W - E Later

8:45-9:45            Personal Project Time (Mom)



A few things I want to point out:

Our week isn't entirely consistent.  The evenings can vary considerably depending on the day and the outside activity.  We attend our Classical Conversations community once per week.  We're often able to recoup some afternoon work hours on the essentials.  There are days where our work period shifts to the afternoon.  Between medical issues and other activities, there are times we have to be flexible to make it all work.

There is definitely space here and there for everyone to play and choose activities, which is important to me.  The personal project time listed is technically for me.  I'm trying to spread out my projects into daily, bite-sized chunks versus the procrastinate and panic mode I'm currently in.  My children are becoming quite independent these days with how they spend their time, so it gives me the space to focus.  I'm amazed at how often they chose something I would consider an academic pursuit.

Achieving a three-hour work period has always been important to me.  It is something Maria Montessori advocated for.  There are differing views on this when applied to a homeschool, and I certainly don't see it as a must for being successful.  But for us, it has worked well logistically.  With four of us involved, which includes me giving presentations, we have to line up our work time, or I will be flitting in and out of our work space all day.  Honestly, I think the idea of focusing for a solid three hours is more challenging for me than them.  But I am needed to that degree if I'm going to observe and guide each of them.  They also work well together as they are close enough in age to present some lessons to each other.  I love those moments.  Overall, I find we have a far better flow when we're in a solid word period routine versus falling out of one.

We tend to tackle our Classical Conversations work at the beginning of the work period.  It takes around 20 minutes to cover it.  I treat it as our circle time.  There are other elements of our CC work sprinkled throughout the classroom in other activities, such as the science shelves and books options.

We've taken a slow jaunt into elementary.  My oldest struggled for some time when she went through some aggressive medical treatments.  She's flourishing now, which is fantastic, but it makes pacing a bit odd compared to how a normal child moves through the scope and sequence.  She is obsessed with language, and I'm honoring that.  She jumped a grade level in a month.  I've also found that the elementary work we're tackling can be challenging to approach when you aren't dealing with a proficient reader.  The beauty of this age range is that children can work more independently.  I am able to assign additional work in the afternoon that doesn't require my direct involvement.  Eventually this will turn into research projects and the like.  I think we're close to a more formal elementary work plan that will allow her to manage more of her own education.  

Make sure you understand your state laws in regards to homeschooling.  Our laws only regulate days of attendance, not the total hours spent.  However, there are states with far more stringent hourly requirements.

If you noticed, there are points where I schedule myself and that's even more apparent in my version of the routine.  I removed a few line items to focus on the homeschooling aspect.  I used to think it was only the children that needed guidance.  However, by giving myself flexible boundaries as well, I'm able to address more things for me.  And whether I like it or not, I'm the one that sets the tone of our school day and home life.  I've placed an emphasis on meeting my needs lately, and our days have become instantly calmer.



As always, this is a work in progress.  The heart of Montessori is observing and addressing what the current needs call for.  There are still some things I want to address differently.  I need to arrange more field trips.  It used to be a major part of our experience, and I've dropped the ball a bit there.  I'm playing with the idea of adding another work period on Saturday - essentially following the same routine through lunch time.  The kids have been in an eager learning phase lately, and I'd like to capitalize on it.  We struggle to get back on track on Mondays, so I'm hopeful that keeping more consistency on the weekends will help.

I hope you find some inspiration here, even if it's simply in the fact that I don't have it down to a science either.  But as always, find the routine that works for you and your family.  We're all unique.


-Bess

If you are homeschooling, please join me at Montessori Homeschooling.

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This post is part of the 12 Months of Montessori Series.  I am truly honored to be part of this endeavor.  I want to encourage you to visit all the participating blogs to learn more about Montessori in our daily lives.

A Day in the Life of Montessori Busy Hands | Christian Montessori Network
Our Daily Routine | Grace and Green Pastures


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