Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thoughts on Homeschooling: Our Typical Day

This school year threw me at first.

The adjustment from doing lessons with one kid to teaching two kids was a big thing.  Logistically, going back and forth from 3rd grade subjects to Kindergarten reading and writing took some getting used to, and I suddenly had far less time in the mornings for even small household tasks like unloading the dishwasher or switching the laundry over to the dryer.  But we're starting to hit a groove, I'm learning to let some of those chores go until afternoon, and we're discovering what sort of routine works best for us.

The smoothest school days are the ones where we don't have anywhere to go in the morning and we can just buckle down and concentrate on getting everything done at once.  It doesn't happen every day, but we've developed an ideal way to set up the flow of our school time.

6:00-ish  - I'm up.  Immediate coffee.  Then some relaxed time to read, write, and just mentally prepare for the day.  I didn't love getting up early at first, but this time is crucial for my sanity and I'm starting to really enjoy it.

7:15-8:00  - The kids get up sometime in this time frame.  I don't wake them up unless we have an especially busy day.  This is one of my favorite perks of homeschooling - dropping the before-school morning rush we did for two years.

8:00-8:30  - Breakfast

8:30-9:00 - Get dressed, teeth brushed, ready for the day

9:00 - Maya and Noah both start on math.  Maya does hers through a computer program, which is great.  She does fine with math, but doesn't enjoy it much and is prone to easy distraction.  The computer-based lessons have been very successful for her, and it gives me time to be more hands-on with Noah's math.  He is getting pretty independent with his workbook, though, since this is his favorite subject. We're set to be through Kindergarten math by Thanksgiving (!), so I need to be ordering the next year's curriculum soon.

9:30 - Maya works on her creative writing or language arts, or plays educational games on the computer while I do Noah's Bible story, memory verse, History/Science stuff, other reading, and language arts.  Since it's Kindergarten level, it doesn't take a ton of time.

10:15 - Noah can play or do his sentence-writing while I do Maya's read-aloud studies with her.  This includes Bible, world focus, geography, history, fables/poetry, literature, and science.  This sounds like a lot, but our curriculum divides the subjects into very manageable pieces, and we love being curled up on the couch with our books.

11:15 - We tie up any loose ends.  Spelling lists, science experiments, independent reading, crafts, any leftover writing assignments, etc.

11:30-noon - All done for the day!

Again, this routine is ideal.  We often have plans or situations come up in the morning that push things around.  But I really, really try to have us done with as much as possible by lunchtime.  This leaves the afternoons open for free time, errand-running, music/dance lessons, etc.

Every homeschooling family has a different form and rhythm to their day, but this is what is working for us right now!

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