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Not enough free time?!?

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Help!! We need more unstructured time!! The kids are 3rd & 4th grade. "School" can take anywhere from 3-6 hours depending on *ahem* focus :). We do one co-op class a week, TKD 2-3xs/week, music lessons 1x/week. Somehow, I feel like we don't have enough unstructured hours. Maybe we just don't use them very wisely :/. I KNOW we could stand to start our day earlier. Any words of wisdom??

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I felt like that too. It seemed like every single day we had somewhere to go or something to take care of, which included usually attending our homeschool group's weekly activity, TKD once a week, piano lessons once a week, band lessons once a week, plus church activities. My kids were far enough along in their music (already a few years in) that I talked to their teacher and cut their piano lesson back to every other week. That also freed up some time since we had two weeks to fit in one week's worth of practice. It also helped me to have certain days that had more of the activities, rather than splitting it out into dribs and drabs every single day. It was nice to look on the calendar and say we had that day free to just be at home and be unstructured. It was also good motivation to finish up school work, since the rest of the time would be free. Do you feel you could cut back on anything, even if it was only partially?


Erica in OR

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I was just about to open a similar thread myself. We have just started 2nd grade and we are sure having a hard time fitting it all in. My two 7YO sons are ready to rebel. It has been hard for them to adjust. This is what we are doing:



Bible & Memory Work

SOTW / God's Design for Science (we do each of them 2 days a week)

CLE Math


FLL ( I think this is suppose to be 3 days a week so we will likely skip one day)


Read Aloud - I read to them about 30 to 45 min

Read to Self - They read to themselves 45 min

Prima Latina - This is the only thing new since 1st grade. I'm thinking we may have to put this off one year, with hopes they will be writing faster/easier by then and will have mastered the summarization/dictation of WWE2, as it is taking quite a bit longer now.

Music Practice


Friday - co-op 9-12






They both take swimming lessons weekly.

One takes Piano lessons; the other takes violin lessons.

They are both in Cub Scouts and AWANA.

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We are in the same boat during parts of thr year. Perhaps unstructured free time is more important than co-op or Spanish 5x a week or philosophy 1x a month etc. Just because we can do all these things (theoretically) doesn't mean we should. It is not easy to make those evaluations, though.

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Start school at 8am and aim to get done before lunch. Four concentrated hours of work, with two short breaks, puts you at 12:30 for lunch.

Start with the work that requires concentration and focus, such as math. Save free reading and read alouds for later; if anything needs to pushed into the afternoon, these will be easy to accommodate.

Even if you have one two hour activity daily, this would leave several hours of unstructured time for your kids.

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