Monday, June 2, 2014
A Day in the Life of Our Homeschool...
The shop is open
As this school year is wrapping up for kids all over the States, I thought it would be fun to do a day in the life of our homeschool post, mostly because I don't think I've talked much about homeschooling here in awhile (a year?) other than snippets of projects or artwork the kids have done.
Homeschooling looks different from household to household because they're made up of completely different personalities and priorities.
We've found a pretty great routine, and we school year round (which basically means we keep up with most subjects even in the summer so we can take days off whenever--and however long--we want to when we need it). We also only 'do school' (formal work) Mondays thru Thursdays.
6:00AM Stefan gets ready to leave for work, wakes me up.
6:00AM-8:00AM I read, write, do bible study, check email and read blogs, pay bills online, etc. The kids are required to stay in their rooms until 8:00AM, but if they wake up they just read, or play. They come in when they wake up to give me a hug and get a good morning greeting before scooting back to their room. Some days this is around 7:30, some days it's 8:30 or later.
8:00AM-I get ready, on my off-workout days I shower, and then start breakfast.
8:30AM Breakfast is served and we all sit down together. I read our weekly poem, a bible story, a history section from Story of the World, and a chapter of our current read-aloud. If it's a science day (2x a week), I'll read that, too. We talk about everything we read, briefly, before switching gears. If I'm on it, I'll also say our French vocab word for the day, complete with drawing on the whiteboard. Perhaps once a week there is a French video to watch. The kids love Tonton. Lukka reads me a leveled reader. He loves Gerald and Piggie books by Mo Willems.
9:15(ish) 10AM- Breakfast is finished, and my kids are off to play. I use this time to have them do their morning chores (get changed, put jams away, make beds, tidy room, take vitamins), and I do my own chores like making my bed, tidying my room, doing the dishes and cleaning up the living room if there was anything laying around. After they're done, they play for a bit until I'm ready to start up again.
10AM-a bit more work time. Science could involve a video, an experiment (rarely, I hate them), a coloring page (more often), or a computer game. I consider most of our science to happen outside on our many, regular field trips outside. Math workbook works happens during this time, and I explain Lukka's "code" pages for the day, and leave them in his room for his quiet time later in the day. He does them on his own during this time. Math work takes rarely more than 10 minutes per child...one or two pages depending on the ease of the page.
10:30AM-on a regular day when we don't have anything going on, we're done with formal schoolwork by now. We use this time until lunch time to either go to the library (Wednesdays), run an errand or two, or just play at the beach or the park. Outside and active time is a necessary component to our family's life.
12-12:30ish (give or take an hour) Lunch. I use this time to eat with the kids and also get some library book reading in (best time to read is when they're eating...their mouths are occupied chewing!), or our read aloud. This is often requested if I don't have any books on the table.
1:00PM-3:30 or thereabouts is our quiet time. We have 2 1/2 hours every day of this routine, and it's wonderful. One kid in one room, one kid in the other, and me where-ever I need to be (kitchen, living room or often just my bedroom on the computer). This has always been a part of our lifestyle and our kids expect it. It is a rare treat (like, a handful of times a YEAR) if they don't have quiet time. There have been so much creativity coming out my kids during this individual time to recharge, read quietly, and play independently. It's vital. It's how I can actually homeschool while sane. I see this easing up as far as length when the kids are older, but honestly, I think we'll just naturally gravitate to read quietly, slow down our day after lunch. It feels very natural and I'm so glad I stuck to it when my kids gave up their naps. It was a lot of hard work to keep them in their rooms during toddlerhood, and took a lot of creative ideas, BUT all of that was totally worth it because it has brought us YEARS of peaceful days.
3:30-5/6PM We either play with friends, let the kids play outside with the neighbors, or this is the time when their art seems to take shape and they want to work at the table with specific art supplies. It's also the time I *try* to start dinner. It often doesn't happen.
5:30-6:30PM Dinner with dad, and usually some sort of outside outing. Lately we've been spending an hour or two every night at the beach. Stefan and I get to just hang out, and the kids just play in the water and the sand until we tell them it's bedtime. Sometime's it's us just hanging around the house doing crafts together (me and Ani) or the guys taking a rollerblade or going on a motorcycle ride. Whatever.
7:00PM is "Jam Time!" The kids change into their pajamas, brush teeth, get a drink, grab books for their bedtime, and settle into the couch for some reading, 95% of the time, by me.
8:00PM is bedtime. The kids are piggy-backed into bed by Stefan, and snitch a kiss from each of us before being tucked in. They can read for about 45 minutes with the lamp on, before we come in, take their books and turn off their little light.
8:00PM-10:00PM The grownups get to hang out. We've made it to bedtime, warriors!