Simply Convivial

classical home education for life

2014-2015 Homeschool Blocks: Quiet Time

I realized that I hadn’t completely wrapped up the 2014-2015 Homeschool Blocks series. I still want to share what the plan is for quiet time, because of course there is a plan.


The blocks in our homeschool week

Quiet Time

quiet time for sanity

The nearly-2-year-old will be napping, praise be! All my previous children have given up napping at some point around 2 1/2, but Geneva seems to love her bed (it’s the only place she gets the pacifier, her precious), so even if she doesn’t sleep, I’m hoping she’ll be in her bed for at least an hour in the afternoon.

The 4.5-year-old will be in his bedroom (all the boys share a room), and he can take books and an iPod loaded with audiobooks, but can’t come out until 3 except to use the bathroom. Of course he always finds excuses every day to come down – including using the bathroom farthest from where he is so that he can travel through every room on his way – but for the most part, he’s not in everyone’s business for about 90 minutes.

The 6.5-year-old will get to be in the living room and play quietly with dolls or look at books or color and may also have an iPod with audiobooks. She does just fine playing quietly now (she didn’t until recently), and I think she likes the chance at it now that Knox is on mostly equal terms with her.

I’m excited about the quiet time plans for the 9-year-old and 11-year-old. They can be in the living room or at one of the two tables on the main level, or at a downstairs desk – their choice. They have a list of books they’re reading that we put together on Mondays, and they can use this time to read. I also bought them all a composition book in their color (because I color code my children’s stuff and Staples has plastic-covered composition books in all colors – all sorts of happy!) that they are using as a commonplace book.

I told them it was their own personal note-taking book. They could copy out quotes they like from books they read, they can copy poems they like or the ones they are memorizing, they can copy from their Bibles, they can write notes about what they’re thinking about, they can draw something – it’s their notebook. I’ve had a commonplace notebook (just a cheap spiral bound notebook of ruled paper), so they’ve seen me whip it out to copy from a book or do a brain-dump list before.

For myself, I will also use the opportunity of quiet time to have some contemplation time rather than quiet housework hours or online squandering. Right now, I’m using all the spare chunks of time I can to prepare Simplified Organization, but that will be done by the end of the month and then I have my stack waiting me:

  • Calligraphy: I’ve always loved the idea of calligraphy, and my sister gave me all the stuff for it (including a book!) a couple years ago. I want to spend 10-15 minutes daily learning and practicing. It’ll be an artistic outlet, and it’ll also be a good thing for me to give close attention to something right in front of my nose instead of only in my head. And I hope it will rub off on my normal handwriting, which tends to get very sloppy very quickly.
  • Reading Stack: Inspired by Brandy, I’ve decided to start keeping a balanced book list going again. I used to keep categories of books and try to have one going in them all, but I stopped years ago. Now I have my list of categories again and books in them all. Afternoon reading time will include at least 10-15 minutes in the headiest title or the one I’m procrastinating on the most.
  • Writing: 1-2 times a week I’ll use 45ish minutes of quiet time to write, especially if my other time slots for writing fall through.

quiet time for sanity

I am so excited for quiet time to return to our house!

I’ve been reinstituting the habit of quiet time for the last few weeks, and here is what I need to troubleshoot:

  • Knox really does have to stay in his room until the clock says the time I tell him. No questions, no talking to me, period. I only wish I could find a way to change his digestive patterns so he didn’t need bathroom assistance right in the middle of quiet time.
  • New policy: Show me your drawing or copying after quiet time is over, not during. Quiet = no talking to mom. 90 minutes. You can do it. I will admire your work afterwards, thank you.
  • In their bedroom, Knox tends to destroy LEGO creations and make his brothers mad when they return to their room. Sigh. I don’t suppose removing the LEGOs altogether is a politic choice?
Any hints for making quiet time happen or keeping it actually quiet?

And now, from you:

  1. I LOVE your blog!! The Lord lead me here a few months ago. Everything I’ve read has been helpful! Everything! I’ve bought 2 of your Ebooks. Thank you for your ministry.

  2. So what are your categories for your booklist? I’ve been trying to think about my own recently. So far I think I’d like to include history, education, math/science (for now that means Euclid), and some sort of fiction.

    1. I’m starting out with this:

      Theology, philosophy/education/history, science/economics/naturalist, fiction, audio, and personal hobby/whim/development – so then I plan to keep 5 books (and no more!) going plus one audio book which can be any category.

      Euclid! I’m impressed.

      First week back after 2 months off Latin and now I’m thinking I need to do my own Latin study on the side, too.

      1. The last few months I have started using the following categories: religion, metacognition, Latin (I’m finally at the reading…aka wrestling with….Latin text stage, so verrry slow going), literature and SF&F. I can’t seem to get the audio book or podcasts thing happening though. When do you listen to audio books?

      2. Euclid is like a breath of fresh air for the mind. Working through the propositions is like taking a run every morning. It feels great! If you have any interest in going through Euclid someday, do, do try. It’s not intimidating, I promise. :)

        I am working on Greek right now (because that’s what I have on hand), but I can’t wait to start Latin here. Can’t wait! Do you just study ahead in the books your kids are using?

        1. Right now I’m only studying with and not even ahead. :) My oldest is 8 lessons into LFC B. I’m thinking about buying Henle for myself.

        2. Catharina


          I remember working through the first couple of pages of Euclid a few years ago and it indeed wasn’t as intimidating as I had assumed. I’m working through Art of Problem Solvings’s Intro Geo at the moment, also great fun!

          I’m working on Greek too! :-)

          Metacognition: is thinking about thinking, which I find fascinating. I have a whole list of books like Thinking Slow and Fast, by Kahneman, Making Habits Breaking Habits, by Jeremy Dean. BTW, I don’t expect this category to stay for years and years, like the others. After a certain number of books, I’ll probably be ready to think about something else :-)

          SF&F=science fiction and fantasy.


          (I can’t see the reply button on your post below, might be something with my ipad.)

          Do buy Henle! It’s a great text and will help you immensely with teaching your boys.
          I went through Henle First Year and half of Second Year, then I got into problems because English is a foreign language for me, so I switched to another program. I could not be teaching my dd10 Latin with the ease and joy I’m doing now, without the learning I did with Henle.

  3. Catharina

    I have been thinking about Quiet Time for the longest time, but I can’t seem to make it happen. I have neighbourhood kids pounding on the door at 3 PM, so I need to have alle the school done befor that. Adding in 90 min of Quiet Time just doesn’t seem possible. I would love to, though, with 4 girls the chatter is never ending :-)

    1. Oh, what is it with an ipad, with only seeing spelling mistakes after you hit ‘post’……blush.
      Alle= all, and befor=before. I do know how to spell in English, at least most of the time :-)

    2. Yeah, those digital keypads are a nuisance. :) Our quiet time is 3 days a week (MWF), on Tuesdays and Thursdays we do science, history, and Bible from 1-3, and we only do those subjects then. So the other days their work should be done by lunch, but if it isn’t, then it does bleed into quiet time, which is a bummer for me.

      1. Thanks! I thought I had studied your schedule closely, but somehow I missed the MWF part of Quiet Time.

  4. How do you encourage/enforce the “no talking to Mom” rule? My kids can barely remember to not ask me for something for 5 minutes. ;)

    1. Right now I’m trying telling them, “No talking to me.” every 5 minutes. I should know by now that it won’t work, I suppose. :) I’m thinking about wearing large headphones (even if nothing is playing) just as a visual queue that I’m not listening. :)

      1. Headphones are a good idea! ;) I love the idea of quite time. My heart and soul NEED it.

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