I recently shared on Instagram how I plan out an entire week of A Gentle Feast lessons at a time using my Anna Vance Paper Co. Homeschool Planner to help me stay organized.
I also talked about moving a few subjects around to make sure we’re able to fit them all in.
I thought it would be helpful to share my planning process on the blog with clear pictures and a step by step explanation. It’s okay if you don’t you use the same curriculum or planner, I still believe this could be helpful if you’re trying to fit everything in without burning out.
You can read more about our morning basket schedule from last year HERE.
This year we are following a 4 day school week again. It’s been nice to keep that 5th day open in order to play catch up if needed. There are sample 4 and 5 day schedules from AGF that were wonderful starting points for me. Unfortunately, they didn’t end up working for us, but I’ll show you how we changed it up!
A Gentle Feast suggests starting the day with their morning time plan they call “Beauty” which includes Bible, poetry, hymns, composer/picture study, and fables.
Then they suggest moving on with the “Main Course” (main lessons) by looping history and geography every other day, and also looping foreign language and natural history every other day. Language arts/phonics/reading, math, and various music/singing lessons are done everyday with a 15 minute break scheduled somewhere in between.
A four day school week for one student you should take around 2.5 hours before lunch (probably less). You will need to plan for more time with each student you add.
After lunch you will have the “Dessert” which is a teatime/family read aloud, and a loop of handcrafts, art lessons, or nature study.
Here’s what the suggested sample schedule looked like for our family dynamic when we first started using AGF. I realized pretty early on, that this wasn’t going to work for us.
1.Morning time on the couch with all of the kids AFTER breakfast (Bible and ONE looped beauty subject)
2. Language arts with one kid
3. Language arts with another kid
4. Language arts with another kid
5. Gather EVERYONE for foreign language and geography
6. 15 min break
7. Back to the table for one-on-one math and reading with one kid
8. Math and reading with another kid
9. Math and reading with another kid
10. Gather everyone back up for music
11. Lunch/Chores/book basket/quiet time
12. Loop through one of the following: handcraft, nature journal, creative writing, art lesson, baking/poetry teatime, etc.
13. Afternoon tea/family read aloud
But not to fear! Even in the early weeks with AGF, I knew it was going to be a gem of a curriculum for us. We just needed to get our footing and figure out a rhythm for us! After a lot of tweaking, I was able to find something we actually stuck with for the rest of the school year.
The first thing I did was expand our morning basket. My kids could easily handle listening to me read a little longer.
I decided to move some of the “Main Course” subjects such as natural history, foreign language, music, and geography to morning time. I also added the copywork passages from the language arts packet for my oldest to work on.
Now, our new rhythm looks like this:
(Our day typically starts around 8am and officially ends with teatime around 3pm).
Morning time with all of the kids BEFORE breakfast. (They get a light and non messy snack).
All the kids work on writing/drawing/copywork while I read a selection from the Bible.
We then do one of the looped beauty subjects (composer/picture study, poem, hymn, folk tale).
We also choose one of the looped “feast subjects” (geography, foreign language, music, natural history). Occasionally, geography will be completed at a later time in the day if the lessons take too long.
(We accomplished SO much in less than half an hour all before breakfast. The kids are focused and attentive, happily snacking on their dried cereal, bowl of fruit or smoothie while they soak in all of this beauty first thing in the morning).
Language arts/math with one kid
Language arts/math with another kid
Language arts/math/history and narration with another kid
Loop through one of the following: handcrafts, nature journal, creative writing, art lesson, baking/poetry teatime, etc.
Afternoon tea/family read aloud
Lastly, I want to say that if a rhythm isn’t working for you, then don’t be afraid to change it. This particular one works for us now, but it wouldn’t have with a newborn in tow. No way would I have woken up in a functional state to do lessons before breakfast. In which case, we would have moved the morning basket to later in the day, and the family read aloud would be right before bed. In other words, do what works for you. Remember the “home” in school. Reading time can be done on a couch, outside, in your bed, or at the table. Main lessons can even happen in the evenings or weekends when you might have extra help available to you. You can decide what works best!
I would love to know more about your schedule! How do you start and end your school days?