Our Charlotte Mason Homeschool Schedule (and tweaks for bipolar kids)

Aug 26, 2013

As much as I enjoy participating in the blog hop each year, I have to be honest. I wasn’t excited about today’s posting of schedules. At least not posting of my schedule.

There are two reasons for this.
1. My schedule doesn’t really change year to year. I use a Charlotte Mason schedule. Our material changes but not much else.
2. I haven’t been able to implement our schedule for quite a while now.

Our Scheduling Challenges

You see, my girls have bipolar disorder. This means they’re circadian rhythm is “broken”. It means they naturally sleep in the day and are up at night.

We fight this constantly. A normal day/night schedule reduces the frequency and intensity of the mood cycles. It is best for their emotional and mental stability to be on a normal sleeping schedule.

Unfortunately, it’s a never-ending battle we usually lose. There are periods of normal day/night sleeping which drift (or suddenly leap) right back into what their body naturally wants to do.

In addition, the girls are rarely on the same schedule. Perhaps one has her sleeping under control but the other doesn’t. Maybe Alexis is awake 3am-4pm and Lorelai is awake 4pm-8am. 
I never know what’s going to happen, I just wing it each day.

I stopped freaking out over this this months ago. I realize what I can control and what I can't. If I see the schedule will “flip” on any given day, I just go with the flow, hope for the best and drink lots of coffee. 

An Ideal Schedule and a Real-Life Schedule

We were scheduled to resume our school year on August 5th. Due to the many writing and social media projects I've been involved with, we aren't resuming until Sept. 2nd. I now have one week until the start of Term II of our year.

My plan is to use the schedule we've been using all along. The only changes I really make are to the length we focus on a subject. This changes according to their age and attention span. 

This is the planned schedule:

click image to enlarge

This is how my day should pan out:

What I think will really happen is that I’ll have to adjust to their individual sleeping schedule on any given day.

For instance, if Alexis is up 3am-4pm and Lorelai is up 4pm-8am. Obviously we could get our “Family Studies” done at 5am. Alexis could do her individual studies at 7am and Lorelai could do hers at 7pm.

Gosh that sounds confusing and difficult to me! I’m all about schedules, routines and order. That’s a huge part of who I am.

That’s what I see happening.

How about you? What does your schedule look like? Be sure to link up at the blog hop if you’re a blogger!

not back-to-school blog hop 2013

This post is a part of the iHomeschool Network's 5th Annual "Not Back-to-School Blog Hop. Please visit all the great homeschool blogs and link yours up too!

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Happy Homeschooling!


  1. I had no idea that Bipolar affected the sleep system. You are a great mom to be so flexible. Thank goodness you homeschool!!

    1. Professionals and people with bipolar disorder have always known people with this disorder had sleep issues. Recently, however, studies proved that the bipolar mood cycles are actually caused by a broken circadian rhythm. In other words, their broken body clock is the reason they have all the other issues. If you could fix the body clock, the other problems wouldn't exist.

      It makes sense. Have you ever gone 3 days without sleep? Or been on a schedule that prevents you from ever seeing sunlight? You start "losing it" after a while. I did that in December with Lorelai. I didn't see the light of day for a month. I was irritable, snippy, depressed, randomly crying. And I don't have bipolar disorder!

      I agree. Thank goodness! I've been down that road with another child in the public school system. It wasn't pretty.

  2. I have daughters with medical issues too (My 13 yo has Type 1 Diabetes, My 11 yo has SPD,APD and anxiety and my 8 yo has severe asthma.) Homeschooling works so much better for us than public school( I began homeschooling when my elder 2 were in 4th and 2nd grades) We have to be flexible yet rigid and homeschooling lets us do that.

    1. That's how I feel. Flexible yet rigid.

  3. I'm learning all sorts of stuff about different learning challenges. Another friend's daughter has OCD and some sensory issues, and I'm learning about how it affects her learning and such stuff.

  4. Anonymous6/24/2014

    I have bipolar & homeschool 4. This is the perfect schedule for all of us! Thank you.

  5. Anonymous7/20/2014

    I found this post searching for "homeschool schedules." I think you just helped me prepare sanely. Thank you. :)

  6. OMG! Thank you so much for this post!! I know you posted years ago but I just stumbbled upon it and it is perfect! I really liked how you incorporate chores and everybody helps clean the house! We just begun homeschooling and I have been a bit overwhelmed with trying to fit it all in a day. With your post I think I will be able to figure it out!
    Hope your girls are doing great!


    1. Glad to know my older posts still come in handy! :)


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