First, home school does NOT take as many hours as traditional school, in which kids are occupied from 8:00 until 3:00. On a good day, we finish our school work in about two and a half hours and use the rest of the day for other home and family activities. (On a bad day, we struggle to find the time for everything we have planned. We are still figuring this all out.)
I would love to say we have a set schedule, that we start math at 9:00 and reading at 9:30, etc. But I am not that scheduled a person, at least not yet. So instead, let me tell you how we do our mornings and afternoons. Remember, our school work is divided into five 30-minute blocks, and they don't have to be done all at once!
Morning. What our morning looks like depends totally on what day of the week it is. Our days are actually so different from each other that I had to write out a totally different schedule for each one just to keep track of them all. Two mornings a week, we are out in the community - one day we go to MOPS or a MOPS-led Bible study, and one day DD goes to the YMCA for a home school P.E. program. On those days we work on her Bible lesson and Daily Notebook before we leave the house and save the rest for later. One day a week, we meet with our Classical Conversations community. On the two mornings a week that we are home, we do lessons in the morning, all one after another. But that is only two days a week.
Afternoon. On the days when we have done lessons in the morning, DD has time in the afternoon to play and to help with chores around our home. (Yes, she has chores at the tender age of five.) Sometimes, we don't finish everything in the morning - we get a late start or we get distracted with something else, or little brother needs extra attention, and then what's left leaks over into the afternoon. On days when we have been out and about in the morning, the bulk of our lessons are saved for the afternoon, which is NOT when DD is at her best, unfortunately. The good thing about afternoon lessons is that DS still takes an afternoon nap, so we have some quiet time while he sleeps.
One more thing - people are always concerned about homeschoolers getting enough "socialization". While the whole topic of what that really means is for another day, I will say that if our five-year-old was any more social, we would be in the poor house from our gas bill. In a typical month right now, she is involved in American Heritage Girls every other week, church programs twice a week, Homeschool Swim & Gym at the YMCA once a week, soccer, Classical Conversations weekly, and play time with friends at my MOPS meetings and Bible study. It is a rare day that we are home all day. Also, because of our flexible schedule, we are able to see Daddy for lunches often and to go over to Grandma and Grandpa's house at different times. Our children socialize with people of all ages during the week, and are learning how to get along in a variety of situations.
So that's it - how we are "doing home school". I'd love to hear scheduling ideas from anyone for the day when I am ready to be more exact with how we use our lesson time!