Thursday, February 18, 2016

Block Scheduling - A Peek into Our Days

Due to Amber's medical appointments, homeschool co-op classes, other lessons outside of our house, and random fun teen gatherings, we recently found it difficult to stick with our long adopted daily school schedule. In years past, even if we had to alter the schedule a bit on particular days, we always stuck with the type of schedule that let Amber work on most subjects each day. Perhaps some subjects alternated days, like science and foreign language, but she still attempted to complete some of each subject each day.

This eighth grade school year has been particularly difficult in scheduling daily lessons and we've had to think differently. We are currently in our 4th week of block scheduling, where Amber only works on two or three subjects per day for longer periods of time than when each was studied daily. In the end, we still have the same amount of available school hours. However, with our new schedule, Amber no longer feels rushed to move on to the next subject in order to complete all the lessons scheduled for the day. As a bonus, we are also completing a wider array of subjects with the block scheduling than when we tried to work on four to six subjects per day.

Block Scheduling for homeschooling high school. Take a peek into our day.

Below is a peek into how our school days now run. This particular day did not have any out of the house appointments, although we did run a couple of needed errands.

Morning block:

Amber got a later start than is ideal. She had been sick with an intestinal virus over the weekend and was still suffering from the dysautonomia flare that resulted. While she slept, I took are of quiet household items, school planning, and online research (it's what the parent of a chronically ill child does in their free time).

Amber's morning school block was spent taking her morning meds, eating breakfast, showering, and getting ready for the day. Some days it's just how things have to go. 

Lunch break:

We left a little early before our lunch break should start to run errands. We needed fresh fruits and vegetables from the grocery store and new shoes for Amber. Her brand new orthotics only fit into one pair of fairly heavy athletic shoes and she needed lighter weight indoor shoes for the orthotics. 

We made it home shortly before our lunch break should have been over and had a quick lunch of dinner leftovers. Amber also switched her orthotics into one of the new pairs of shoes for the remainder of her wear time for the day. 

Block Scheduling for homeschooling high school. Take a peek into our day.
New indoor shoes to fit the orthotics and working on her math lessons.
Afternoon blocks: 

When time allows, we try to complete Amber's prescribed cardiac workout and strength training at the local gym instead of in our basement; it did not fit into this day. 

Amber started formal lessons with a block of Math. She's currently working through Life of Fred Advanced Algebra and loves it. She completed three lessons in math before needing a mental break. While Amber stretched and worked through her home physical therapy routine, I prepared her afternoon medications and drinks. 

Next we moved on to a literature block. At the moment, we are using Beyond the Book Report: Season Two to study poetry.  We were able to go through four days of video lessons and assignments together.  It was a longer than normal second afternoon lesson block, but we were enjoying the lessons together. 

Block Scheduling for homeschooling high school. Take a peek into our day.
Our extended poetry block
Late Afternoon: 

Amber took a brief rest after her last lesson block while I took care of some household items, then we trekked down to our basement for her cardiac daily workout. At home she uses our recumbent bike, yet at the gym she walks the elevated track. 

Once her exercise was complete, Amber was free spend the time before dinner in creative pursuits. She choose to reconstruct her LEGO journal lock, then doodle more of her story ideas. 

Block Scheduling for homeschooling high school. Take a peek into our day.
Amber's least favorite part of the day. But she survived

We met my husband for dinner on his way home from work for an easy meal and relaxing time out. Once home Amber continued her creative time and practiced her flute before we all gathered to watch our one weekly television show. 

Block Scheduling for homeschooling high school. Take a peek into our day.
LEGOS, Dinner & doodling.

Although most of our days have varying schedules, using subject blocks has allowed us to keep up with all of Amber's subject equally. 


Check out how school days run for other Review Crew members by clicking below. 
A Day in Our Homeschool


  1. We have used a variation of block school in the past. Thanks for the peek.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. This is so interesting! I love seeing into the days of other homeschoolers :)

  3. I like that idea. rather than a little every day do blocks... that would work for many thing except math... :)

    1. Yes, I agree. But math has been on the side burner mostly while we worked through a special finance curriculum. Now that it's finished we are going to need to figure out how math fits in.

  4. A typical day sure has change a lot for you since I first met you guys! I'm so impressed with how much you manage to fit into one day despite all the challenges you face!