When I’m fortunate enough to get out and about in Blogland, one of my favorite types of posts is the "this is our schedule" type of entry. A couple of years back, someone hosted a Homeschool Open House, and it was so much fun getting out and seeing what happens in each home. I learned alot that I incorporated into our day, and I enjoyed all the visits I got from people who (I like to think) were intrigued with our day here. This post remains one of my favorites. You can see it here or find it under "Favorites" on the right. So, two years later, I thought I’d share what our day looks like with no disruptions or distractions. (That means that many days don’t look like this, but I keep hope alive–smile). Also, I’ll focus more on logistics here moreso than specific curriculum used, but you can see all of that information on the right as well.
I recently read somewhere (I don’t remember where) the concept of "manageable moments" in a homeschool environment. If I had to look at our day in terms of manageable moments, I would categorize the day in this way:
1) time with our 5-year-old
2) lunch/ work(briefly)
3) time with the older bunch
We start our school day somewhere between 9 and 9:30 a.m., after everyone has had breakfast and done minimal clearing/ cleaning of dishes. The older two work independently during this time while I work with our youngest. They have relocated to another area of the house, and within the last couple of weeks, the oldest has relocated a second time to her room. At any rate, the youngest and I work in the kitchen in small blocks of time. Normally, we read the Bible and she says her scripture memory verses. We read and she gives an oral narration of what we’ve read. On most days, math is next as I like to catch her while she’s freshest. These 3-4 items can take 30-45 minutes and then she gets about a 20-minute break. While she is cavorting about, I try to tidy up the kitchen and/or other areas of the house, cleaning up any remaining pots and pans, folding/washing, etc., or making our bed–i.e., light chores. I also take this time to check on the older two (if they’ve not interrupted us to ask a question) and make sure they’re on track.
When I call the youngest back to the table, we work on phonics or a phonics-related task–flash cards, critical thinking puzzles, etc. We read some more with no narration this time, just enjoying a book and some snuggle time together. The youngest is also reading quite well now and enjoying reading her books and library books from the "I Can Read" series to me. This second block of time, like the first, takes about 30-45 minutes. She is then free to play and have fun. Some days she’ll play in her room, some days it’s some 5-year-old imagination activity that words wouldn’t/couldn’t capture with any accuracy, and other days it’s television or a DVD. Though we all watch more than we should, I’m thankful that everyone is learning to be sensible and discerning in what they watch, and to turn it off before I say something–even her at the ripe old age of five.
By now it’s approximately 11:30, and the kids are generally ready for a morning snack, which is usually fruit. Sometimes if breakfast wasn’t too starchy, we go with flour tortillas topped with cinnamon sugar. The older two are wrapping up work that they do independently–math, science (though my son and I read his together), reading, language arts–and are on the morning wind-down before lunch. I’m almost exclusively in the kitchen at this point getting everything ready. However, this is also my time to check in online and make sure there are no work-related emergencies. This also gives the kids a chance to eat before we start school again in the afternoon.
Because I do work part-time, I tend to get homeschooling activities out of the way before beginning my own day. So, as the kids are wrapping up lunch, I sit down with them to begin the afternoon’s activities. Though it might sound cruel that they have a "working lunch," (will I ever be free of corporate speak?), this meets my needs, and they don’t seem to mind listening to me read while they’re munching. We pray for a second time (I’ve prayed with the youngest over her day and then with the older two that the day will continue to go well) and then cover Bible, reading with oral narration, and then, on 3 days, history. The kids are creating the most beautiful notebooks in which they capture their written narration of what we’ve read. I’ve shared some pictures before that, if interested, you might find here and here.
While the older two are wrapping up, I begin working, writing, and completing all the tasks that come with being "Honey" to one and "Mom" to three. That takes me into the night, when I fall asleep before my head hits the pillow (smile).
Such is my day and I’m thankful to have the Lord’s hand upon it–it’d never happen otherwise. May He bless the work of your hands as well.