Especially at the beginning, I needed examples, so here's an example of our weekly schedule:
This is more or less what we do in a week. It's not written in stone, but we try to stick to it. If we get a late start in the morning, we might work right up until lunchtime at 1:00pm, or we might even skip a class one day and do it on Saturday instead. But, we do have to accomplish everything on the schedule every week.
As you can see, we take Wednesdays off, but not entirely. We often use them for catching up or getting ahead. We might take the whole day off, or we might work for a couple of hours, especially if there were interruptions during our regular days. My son prefers having four longer school days and one day off in the middle of the week.
I've hired two extra teachers. One is a teen-aged friend who is good at sports and comes once a week to play soccer. The other is a woman who teaches Kakchikel - the local Mayan language of the town where we live. We are calling this Third Language in the schedule, even though my son has spoken it since he started talking. My husband is British, and I am Guatemalan, so my son is trilingual - English, Spanish and Kakchikel. He also gets one weekly private dance class with another homeschooled child, that I teach.
Catch-up or Get Ahead Time is exactly that. We use it especially for our text-book / work-book classes like Grammar and Science.
Main Projects are 1.5 month-long processes that we do around one central theme. First we did Dinosaurs and now we're on the Solar System. Each process includes research and note-taking, art projects, watching videos, and giving a presentation at the end.
I work a lot at my computer, and we mostly do classes in my office, so when he's working on something he can do alone, I'm nearby in case he needs help - but can still manage to get some of my own work done.
I spend some time each night preparing. In Science, for example, I read through the chapter that we will read together the next day, and prepare questions for him in our Science notebook. I feel the text book doesn't have enough review questions, so I make up my own. I also write up almost all of or our Math worksheets myself, so that I can tailor them to where he's at. I use math sites to get ideas and make sure that we're covering the 3rd grade math standards.
My son participates in a twice-a-week art program through the social project that we run. This is his main big-group socializing time with 30+ kids. In the program, he learns dance, theater, circus arts, arts&crafts, painting, singing and cooperation games.
(Note from the future - I wrote this post at the beginning of our homeschool journey, and it is one of my most popular posts. We have since changed up our schedule MANY times. Our natural rhythm requires flexibility for constant change. No one schedule has lasted us more than a few months. Check out more recent posts on how we work our schedule through the year.)