Today is an important day in the world of blogging and homeschooling… It is the day that Simple Homeschool, a blog that I have always followed… Posts the “Homeschool Day in the Life of Several Homeschoolers Around the World.” I think when we were new to homeschooling the distinction between life and school time was very distinct, but after years and years of homeschooling the line between school and life is really undefined, learning is indeed a lifestyle and a part of any “day in the life” over here.
That being said we fall somewhere between the one perception that homeschool children spend their days reciting Latin and doing advanced calculus, and the other perception that homeschoolers do nothing but go on endless enriching outings and never do anything that looks like work on a given day. Our days get interrupted, somedays we fail to launch and never get past family school… other days we get up and hike and don’t even make it to the breakfast table, because lets face it, the great outdoors is the best place to learn about life. But most days begin and end at the kitchen table…
A Day in the Homeschool Life
One of our family laws is never wake a sleeping child, so as our children wake in the morning they emerge from sleep and head for the lounge and read their school reading book of the week, quietly in a sunny spot. It is a Sonlight book, it will be a classic and it is going to be brilliant and the chapters will roll by. Once everyone is up and awake and the chores are done we have breakfast… chores are always the same: dishes, laundry, beds made… nothing dramatic and far from perfect, just having the house clean enough and tidy enough and pretty much visitor ready. There is very often a bit of a lag here, when some folk might get distracted by… ho-hum, Lego.
Breakfast is usually at nine, and because everyone comes together for breakfast, that easily rolls into Family School. I blogged about our family school time a week or two back, and it is all of ours’ favourite school time. Once we have read through our pile of family reads for the day: a little history, a chapter from the Life of Fred, a poem or three, chatted about the animal of the week and prayed for our country of the week. If we are doing something arty then we do it in this first chunk… it is much easier to be creative when everyone is fresh and eager to go. The kids tend to naturally start working in their journals, jotting down a few things or making a page about an outing or writing out a poem they may have enjoyed.
When I stop reading they tend to spread a bit wider and get their school books out and everyone spends an hour or two on their Sonlight Core and their workbooks. For their Sonlight Core they have history and science to read and make notes… and then for workbooks we are doing Singapore Math and Wordly Wise. For the youngest fellow I spend about half an hour with him… doing reading and reading and reading!!! At this time I have one-on-one meetings two kids a day… usually the two youngest gals on one day and the two middle school lads on the other. The teens I meet up later in the afternoon to check in with them, but they pretty much work independently. In their one-on-one meeting I check what they have done in their math and set them up to do a bit more work before their next meeting with me and work on whatever writing they are working on that week in their language arts.
I firmly believe that school should end for the day and we are done by lunch time. For my sanity and the kids we need to have a large chunk of the day that is not just school. Play is the work of children and my kids have a lot of work to do every single day!!! Everyone is very keen to stop for lunch… and that is the end of anything that looks like school for the day. During lunch I will read our family read-a-loud of the moment and then folk read quietly, whatever they want to for about an hour. Myself included, this is when I do the bulk of my reading. After that the kids will play, swim or work on a project that has caught their eye, and I will stop by a teen and ask how their work is going. And if no teen is available, they hide you know, then I will work on the next blog post.
Then about 4:30, it is time for chores again… the laundry comes in, and the house is tidied again… and if we are going for a walk that’s when we go and if we aren’t then folks tend to be drawn back to the kitchen to do crafty things and play in the kitchen while we do dinner prep. We usually eat dinner about 8:00 and as soon as we are done the little folk head for bed and I read with them until 9:00, when they head to sleep. The middle guys read until 9:30 and then head off to sleep. And that’s when I begin really blogging for the day… and that’s how our homeschool days go by…
I am linking this post up to Simple Homeschool today, where you can find heaps of other Homeschool Day in the Life Posts.