Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I don't like schedules; they automatically make me want to rebel! However, we do have a very flexible routine...
By 7-ish: I'm up, letting the doggies out, getting the coffee started, putting away the clean dishes and switching out the laundry loads. Once the coffee is ready, I get a cup and sit down at my computer to look over what we're doing that day, check email, and maybe look at a blog or two. And if I'm feeling really, really ambitious, I put something in the slow cooker or prep something for dinner.
By 8-ish: The kids are up, eating breakfast (or picking at it, in Dude's case.) They may or may not get dressed. They are supposed to feed and water all animals before we begin our school time. I'm supposed to water our tomato plants, but I frequently forget! I make sure all our materials are ready for the school day, and I get dressed for the day or put on my workout clothes.
We have a lot of interesting conversations during breakfast time! I like to listen to the news on the radio in the mornings, and the kids will ask Dad and me about what they hear. We also get really silly sometimes, making up songs and goofing around with the dogs. I'm SO grateful that we don't have to hurry through breakfast, because this is such a pleasant time for our family.
Around 9-ish: We start our school day. We might decide to knock out math and language arts first, or we might decided to jump into our unit study first. I work out two mornings a week, and during that time, the kids can do math practice sheets, spelling packets, or they can practice typing or piano.
Between 9 am and about 1 pm we do language arts, Typing Pal, math, and whatever unit study we're working on at the time. The goal is to get the bulk of our "book work" done before lunch so our afternoon is mostly free.
While one kid is doing the typing program, the other sits with me and we read Voyages in English together, do some of the questions aloud, and then I have them write maybe 4 or 5 examples in their notebook. As they get more comfortable with this system, I'll have them work more independently.
Math is still a big ol' review at the moment, so both kids work together. They do problems on the white board or worksheets, and play math games. Once we get into new instruction, math will take more time and I will probably have to do two separate lessons.
For the next three weeks, we're doing a homemade unit study called "Be A Scientist." I put it together after Super and Dude asked to do more experiments this year. So far we've reviewed sound waves and the parts of the ear (from last year) and we've done a fun experiment where I asked the kids to identify things using only their sense of smell. We have discussed what scientists do, learned about the steps of the scientific method, and made notebooking pages for the vocabulary words.
12-ish: We have lunch together and read our family read-aloud, or maybe some poetry. (Dude will be absolutely starving at this point, since he wouldn't eat breakfast.) Sometimes the kids help me prepare lunch, but sometimes they want some time to themselves and they go off to play with dogs or rats until I call them back to the kitchen.
1-ish: Finish up school work and read together. We are still reading The Swiss Family Robinson because we took a break from it during the summer. I thought the kids would be tired of it, but they wanted to pick up where we left off. Dude really wanted to make a map of the island, so we're filling in details as we read.
After all school work is done, the kids are allowed to watch TV, play Wii, or do stuff on the computer. (They get two hours total e-time a day.) We are also trying to swim at least once a week. If I have a lot of boring errands to run, I'll bribe the kids with a smoothie or a treat from the yogurt place. If we don't need to go anywhere, they might read, draw, write letters, or use their e-time.
Karate is two evenings a week, there is always something going on with scouts, and there is usually at least one after-school playdate a week. Our local homeschooling group is very active, so we often have a cool field trip or class in the afternoon.
By 8 pm, all evening activities are done and I'm doing a bit of housework or messing around on the computer. We might all watch a movie together, or just sit outside and listen to the crickets.
9 pm: If I take my own book into the bedroom, I can count on at least one kid joining me to cuddle up and read.
That's another thing I love about homeschooling: if we want to stay up late and read, we can!