We’re in the home stretch! We’ve talked about planning the Big Picture, Your Year, Your Term, and Your Week. (If you’ve miss any of the first four steps, you can read them on our blog.) Planning your day is the final step of the simple 5-step process.
Before you ever put pencil to paper, take a minute to find your comfort zone. Are you the type of person who likes to run her day according to the clock? Are you most comfortable knowing exactly what time you should move on to the next item of the day? Then your comfort zone is using a timetable to schedule your day. A timetable looks something like this: 8:30 Math, 8:45 History, 9:00 Geography, etc. Charlotte Mason used a timetable approach in her schools’ classrooms.
If, however, running your day by the clock stresses you out, your comfort zone is probably using a time-box approach instead. (Don’t feel guilty; Charlotte didn’t have to deal with new babies, laundry, and preschoolers disrupting her school day.) With a time-box approach, you simply divide your day into blocks of time (called time boxes) and determine which Subjects you want to accomplish during each block. For example, you might have a “Before Breakfast” time box in which you want to have the children do their morning chores; a “Between Breakfast and Lunch” time box in which you want to accomplish History, Math, Picture Study, Copywork, and Typing; an “After Lunch” time box, etc.
(In case you’re wondering, yes, you can still do short lessons with a time-box approach. Simply start the timer when you’re ready to begin the lesson within that time box. When the timer dings, that lesson is done. The main difference is that it doesn’t matter whether you start that lesson at 9:30 or 10:08; you simply make sure you do it some time during that time box.)
Once you have found your comfort zone, make a simple chart with your students’ names across the top and your timetable or time boxes down the side. Then look at your Weekly Schedule that you created last time. All you have to do is transfer the Subjects listed under Monday to a Monday Daily Schedule, then transfer Tuesday’s Subjects to a Tuesday Daily Schedule, and so on until you have a Daily Schedule for each day of your school week. It’s up to you whether that schedule is laid out in 15-minute increments or flexible time boxes. Do what works best at this season of your family’s life.
If you would like to see some examples of Daily Schedules, you’ll find some in our Planning section here on the site. The schedules given there use the time box approach, but you could easily adapt them to a timetable approach.
So what’s your comfort zone at this season of life: timetable or time boxes? Leave us a comment and let us know.