Our Afternoon Block Schedule
Over on my old blog, I wrote a few posts about how we have mostly divided up our homeschool days. When I had four students and a toddler my days looked very different than they do now that I have four graduates and one student. I tried all kinds of scheduling, and the one method that worked for many students and just one is the blocked afternoon routine. Like all good ideas, I had inspiration from several sources. The first edition of The Latin Centered Curriculum and The Bravewriter Lifestyle were both instrumental in helping me see what would work for us. Of course, neither of these (as written) would work as written for our family, so I took what worked and left the rest.
Although I tried, we were never really Latin-centered, and I love choosing our books so I could never go with the current Bravewriter list of books no matter how hard I tried. Charlotte Mason was too little, and the Well Trained Mind was too much. And so, I tweaked until I came up with what would work.
Focusing each afternoon on a particular subject did work. Dual history tracks also worked. We spend the mornings getting our daily work out of the way. This year we'll be using Oak Meadow 6 for history and science, Beast Academy for Math, and MCT for Language Arts and a lot of books. Even with a full academic load, early afternoons are often empty without a plan. This plan is what has worked for us:
Monday: We either watch a movie that was a book that we've read or I use it as a chance to catch up on classic kid movies that are on our family's must watch list. It's a great way to start the week. The must do daily work gets done, and we ease into the week after the unstructured weekend with ease.
Tuesday: This is almost straight out of the Bravewriter handbook. We grab poetry books and a sweet snack and plop down on the sofa. When it's nice out, we'll sit outside on the patio and have popcorn and lemonade with our books.
Wednesday: Ideally, this is our outside Forest School inspired day. I use this time to work on outdoors skills like fire building and knot tying. Sometimes that just isn't possible, and we use it as a more traditional Science day. Oak Meadow always has a ton of cool activities in their manuals, and we'll choose from them out for outside hands-on activities.
Thursday: Traditionally Mythology just doesn't get enough love. I'll admit that as the Viking Academy we read more than our fair share of Norse mythology but we usually just peruse the library shelves for whatever looks interesting. This year we are focusing on Mythology with our Ancient history so I think we can concentrate on American History Thursday afternoons.
Friday: In art history, formalism is the study of art by analyzing and comparing form and style. Exploring and Creating art on Fridays is a great way to end the week. We're usually drawing, painting or when we are lucky, we wander around the Art Institute.