Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Typical Homeschool Day {Our style}

Here we are nearly 2 months into the school year and I don't think I have written anything about "school". The reason I haven't is because for the most part it has been pretty normal, we are having fun learning but we haven't gone on any fantastic field trips nor practically blown up the house with a science experiment or anything of that nature. We have just had fun quietly learning mostly at home.
When I was thinking about that though I realized what is normal and routine for me might not be so much so for everybody else. I feel blessed to have been homeschooled growing up (as was my husband) and so homeschooling is what is normal and easy for me. If I had to send my kids away to school that is when I would become a little unsure (and frantic!).
Anyway, with that said I thought it would be fun to share our "Typical" school day. We have lots of untypical days as well, which is part of the beauty of homeschooling (You can still live life, and learn outside a classroom) but when we are home and don't have company this is our normal day:

Around 8 am: (this is following getting up, prayer, bible reading, making Ken's lunch and breakfast prep) we eat breakfast as a family. Ken eats quickly and heads off to work.
After Breakfast: Chore time! We clean up the table and the kids make their beds and then they rotate doing various jobs including feeding the rabbit, emptying the dishwasher and stuff like that. On Monday we have a lot of cleaning that we try to get done so school work gets pushed back a half hour or so.
9 am: School starting time. To start off our day we:
  • Pray -God's help is always needed to have a good day.
  • Memorize. Currently we are reviewing memory work learned other years. This week we are saying Psalm 15, Psalm 23 and the books of the Bible every day.
  • Manners. We read a short section (about 2 paragraphs) out of a manners book and discuss.
  • Sing. We sing 3-5 songs usually Bible Choruses. I like to do action songs a lot as that way we get in a little exercise as well. Usually we just sing accappella but sometimes I will play the piano and this week we have been trying out singing along with a CD.

That takes around 15-30 minutes.

Around 9:30- 10 am:

The kids work on their core curriculum.
Mara (10 years, 5th grade) : works at her desk in her room (she works best being off by herself somewhere) doing ACE Math, English and Word Building. She also has a Creative Writing book that she is working out of. With ACE she scores most of her own work (but not tests). We have our scoring station set up at Ken's desk. Mara usually finishes her work (doing around 5 pages in each book) before lunch. Mostly she does this work on her own, but comes to me if she needs assistance.

Jonathan (8 years, 2-3 grade): He fluctuates between working at his desk or the dining room table. He also has ACE Math,English and Word Building. He corrects his own Math and Word Building as well and I correct his English. He is between grades because he worked faster at Math. Next year we will most likely have him at all 4th grade work as he is enjoying the other subjects more this year. I do have to help Jonathan fairly regularly but I am able to get work done while staying fairly near by so that I can help him. Jonathan sometimes has work left to do after lunch but he is getting faster and today he had everything done before noon.

Aaron (just turned 6, Kindergarten): This year with Aaron is still very casual. I have read books and heard things that have definitely made me decide not to rush things with kids, especially boys. He does enjoy doing schoolwork and so we have workbooks for him. He is does well with Math and is doing Addition and Subtraction. He is also learning about letters and their sounds. He wants to learn to read, but I am putting absolutely no pressure on him to do that this year, I won't hinder him though either. He works at the kitchen table (though we do also have a desk for him in his room) where I can assist him while still working on household duties. He works on workbooks for about 1/2 hour each morning and then he can play and work after that.

Megan (3 years, preschool) Loves to work at the table with her siblings. I have old workbooks that she colors in, traces letters and numbers and cuts out of. She also will do stuff like write letters to grandparents (draw pictures and dictate words), play with play dough, look at books, or go play elsewhere. She and Aaron play a lot together when the older siblings are busy.

Noon- 1:30 pm: Somewhere in that time we usually eat lunch. I like to wait until Jonathan is done with schoolwork if possible. Lunches are usually pretty laid back - we eat a lot of leftovers.

After Lunch: Reading time! I love this time of day! I read aloud to the kids (the above picture is missing Mara because she was taking the picture) from several different books. This is basically what we do:

  • Bible or Bible story book. Currently we are reading straight from Matthew, before that was Genesis and Judges. Right now we are also writing questions as we read to submit to be used at our church's Bible baseball games.
  • Geography Book. We started doing that last year and read about a different state each week. This year (and probably for quite a few more years) we have been reading about countries. I have found a lot of great books from the Library for that. We have been in Asia for several months now and our current country we are studying is Uzbekistan.
  • History Book. We have read a lot of biographies and a few historical fiction for this section (like the Little House books, Ralph Moody books, etc.) but currently we are reading "The Story of the World" by Susan Wise Bauer. We have found this pretty interesting but at times the boys think it is a little dry and have decided we need a "fun" book too. (In the past our history book was our fun book.)
  • For our fun book we sometimes do short Library books but today we started a chapter book "The Trolley Car Family".

Nap time is what comes next. This has been a wonderful thing in our home. It last around an hour and everybody goes to their bed. The older 2 never sleep unless they are ill but they spend their time reading. Mara reads a chapter in the Bible each day and many other books. She reads fun books but I also help her pick out scientific books (which she then orally tells me about), historical books and classics. Jonathan reads short books and chapter books and is starting to read his Bible. Aaron and Megan also take books to bed to look at. Megan also almost always sleeps and Aaron does occasionally. I usually read, sometimes blog and then also take a 20 minute nap.

Afternoon: We finish up any schoolwork if there is any (hopefully not!), Mara practises piano (unless she had time to do that in the morning) and then we work and play! We have fun doing projects together and we spend time outside and have a good time!

We like to have a life of learning not just the "book work" we do each day. I wrote a post over at Keeper of the Home a while back that shows my favorite way of learning. Check it out to learn about how to have the whole world as your classroom.

This is what works for me. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and methods! Please share....

9 comments:

Jenna said...

Awesome! I greatly enjoy reading about other homeschoolers' lives. Very neat!

Tristan said...

Sounds like a fun homeschool routine! Homeschooling is such a blessing.

Brandi said...

I can totally relate since I home school, too, but I only have 3. Home schooling is a blessing!!!

Keren said...

I was impressed with Aaron's Memorization of the books of the bible. But I see that you have been working on it :)

Keren said...

woops. I still am impressed.

Nola said...

Thank you for sharing! I have been wondering what it would be like. I am interested in homeschooling but so far my oldest is 3 so we have been doing some school stuff but obviously not like that. Thanks!

Camille said...

Hi Abbi! It was sweet of you to leave a comment on my blog. I realized while reading this that I have bookmarked the post you did for "Keeper of the Home" for future reference...at least I'm sure it was you! What a small world it is! So nice to have "met" you. :)

Blessings,
Camille

Camille said...

Just checked...yup, it was you! How cool is that?

Jean said...

This is wonderful. Even if it may be a routine. If you feel better with teaching your kids this way, and see them develop, then there is no reason to doubt. In fact, I like the way you fixed the schedule. Come to think of it, maybe I'll add this writing program I saw online, if you can help me and judge if it is worth it, by all means please do. I'd like to know what you think about a program like this. Writing is something I would like my kids to be good at. It feels as if I'm empowering them to be vocal even if not verbally.

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