If you follow Simple Homeschool then you would know that for the last month they have been posting “A day in the Life” of heaps of homeschoolers… and it has been so much fun to follow along and see that, really, there are no two home schools alike!!! Today is the day for everyone to post a Day in the Life and link up… so I thought we would play along.
Now folks often say how they would like to be a fly on the wall in our home, while we are schooling and this is your chance. Honestly this is the kind of post I battle to write the most… because the chasm between my expected home schooling day and our actual day is so vast. Not to mention, what folks think of school and what we think of school is so completely different and after more than a decade of homeschooling I am really relaxed about how our days flow from one to another… But just lately with most of our school going friends beginning a new year and lots of folks asking my kids if they had started school yet? Almost all my children said – we don’t do school anymore, we haven’t done school for months… ho hum… We are so doing school guys but my kids don’t seem to be noticing it at all!!!
The truth is homeschooling is a lifestyle, and the longer you homeschool the more ingrained the life-style becomes… so the most consistent thing from day to day in our lives is far more closely linked to mealtimes than it is to math workbooks. Our kids have a good grasp of history, but no idea how they got it… they consider an afternoon of science experiments way more fun than almost anything… So we are going to show you an average day in our school life…
- Morning Routine:
- Family School:
- Independent School:
- School Round-up:
- Lunch and Rest:
- Afternoon Play:
- It’s a Wrap:
- Father Person Gets Home:
Our day begins about 8am, my youngest kids sleep at least until 8:00 and often till 9:00am. My musicians start practicing around 7:30… first the soft, gentle saxophone, then the trumpet blasts and finally the violin (say no more!!!). I insist that it “helps me” to wake up and it means that by breakfast time at least one thing is done!!! When I get up each morning I say: Good morning to each kid… it sets the tone… my teens won’t start a day without good wishes!!! Then I tell the same person every morning that the laundry needs to be sorted for hanging out, another person that they need to unpack the dishwasher, and so on down the chores – the chores stay the same but our kids seem to have a “senior moment” at the start of every day!!! I shower while the chores get done and we have breakfast about 8:30…
Before anyone moves away from the breakfast table we have our first chunk of school… whatever project we are working on at the time… a famous artist, a missionary, our own arting, a classic read-aloud together, a virtual road trip, lately we have been taking foreign language kids poetry books from the library and learning a couple of new words and using them in conversation. If the weather is great and the tide is out then we will go for a walk on the beach. This is our best part of the day, we work as a team – everyone together and learning happily, myself as much as the kids. This goes on until we are finished what we are doing and will often seep into the next school session… never mind, routines are a guide.
This is the stage that looks most typically like school and where our kids do those things that they may not like and they are really being trained in discipline… the discipline of finishing an exercise, the discipline of doing something they may not want to do and so on. Once we are all finished working together the scholars get their files out and start working… my little ones head off and play and they have a rhythm of play, we don’t interrupt them and they don’t usually interrupt us!!! I work my way through our students starting with the youngest and the others work independently until I get to them… so for the youngest I do any read-a-louds that need doing, help with language arts and a bit of math. This takes about half an hour and then they are free to play and I move onto the next student. And repeat… the younger three students really only have read-a-louds with me and work in their journals… their math is usually done by the time I get to them and I check it over for problems and show them the next lesson so that they can work on it before I see them for school the next day. They are usually working on a project and we discuss how it is going and what their next step is… for example one of them really wants to make a castle and is gathering materials… so we spoke about what materials he might want to collect this weekend… by eleven or eleven thirty all my younger students are finished and if they still have work they can work on their own until lunchtime.
Between 11 and 11:30 we always take a break and head outdoors… and they run about and I catch up with twitter and emails from overnight.
My older three students would have been working independently until now… and I spend about half an hour checking that the work has actually been done… and we adjust their running list of things that should be done – we all have our weaknesses and I know to expect which child may not have written this week’s essay and which child would not have looked at their math. I check it with them and we talk about getting it done… A lot of my job with these students is breaking their assignments into bite-sizes and sorting out the time-management aspect of school… “This essay will only take twenty minutes to finish – next time you have twenty minutes…” High-schoolers have quite a different approach to their work… my younger kids really like a little bit of everything everyday and my older students like to do a a whole section of one subject until it is finished and then a section of another subject until it is finished… I don’t mind how they do it as long as at the end of the week the work is done and they are ready to start the next week.
Whoever of my older children finishes first gets to make lunch, and we have lunch at 1pm pretty much sharp everyday. Lunch time and you guessed it – I read again!!! Whatever read-a-loud we are reading… we get through heaps of books like this, a chapter or two in snippets through out the day – it doesn’t take long to read one chapter – it can take hours to read a book!!! Straight after lunch we rest – don’t ask me anything, don’t’ talk to me – I take this time very seriously!!! Everyone in their own quiet space and reading… and often small folk (and their mother) will have a nap. To get going again I read a couple of picture books with the youngest children and between 2 and 2:30 we are ready to rock and roll again.
I can think of nothing worse than spending afternoons, especially with small children, in a car schlepping from extra-mural to extra-mural… Once our kids are old enough to take themselves to their own extra-murals they are free to do them. I can think of nothing better than the long lingering afternoons of childhood and this is one gift I would really like to give my children. The afternoons are for intense playing, having friends over and pursuing whatever they are currently interested in… whatever that is electronics or researching penguins… or painting or swimming or riding bikes. Pretty much anything goes… everyone always seems to be terribly busy and inspired…
The father person phones me when he leaves the city and everyone knows that is a sign to get things moving and chores to be done and tidying to be done. By then the day has cooled down enough to think about half an hour of gardening and bringing in the laundry. We often have dinner guests and we do a quick tidy up before they get there.
Everyone likes to collapse on the couch with him, some folk read and others, who have done all their work well, get some screen time. I take a quick break to either get some air outdoors or catch up with the world of the internet. Then dinner prep gets going in full swing and we eat together about 7:30… and finish dinner with another chapter of our current book… showers and most of us are in bed by about 8:30… the sooner they are in bed the better because they are free to read until nine, when the lights go out. And all is quiet… until about eleven when I get up to blog… and work for an hour or two!!!
January was my month to blog about homeschooling and I still have two or three posts to go… so I promise to blog my homeschooling weaknesses next week, as well as homeschooling high-school. Those posts are already written the weekend just crept up on us too quickly. If you have any questions to ask about homeschooling you are welcome to click on the button below… all our homeschooling posts in one place… all the FAQ’s are at the bottom of that page.
And finally… your February calendar post is on the way, I have disastrously slow internet link today and cannot load links… but your post is on the way!!!