Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day-in-the-Life in Our Homeschool

The first question to ask when doing a day-in-the-life post is, which day? The way it goes around here is: each year is different, and every day within each year is different.

But first, let me introduce my family in case you are a first time visitor. We have just started our 12th year of homeschooling. Here are my beautiful students: Laurel, 9th grade, and Duncan, 5th-ish, and here was our first week back. In case you missed it, here is where we do school, and this is where you can find our curriculum choices for the upcoming year.

We are the kind of homeschooling family that is frequently not at home. For 22 weeks of the year, we have enrichment classes through our local support group on Mondays. My kids take a variety of classes for five hours each Monday, including science, art, literature, computer, drama, and other classes.

On Tuesdays for 24 weeks of the year, my kids attend a performing arts co-op in the afternoon. And on Thursdays for about 14 weeks of each year, we have a full afternoon of scouting (Cub Scouts and American Heritage Girls). We also enjoy a couple of field trips each month, although those are lessening as my kids get older.

On Fridays this year, I'll be teaching a British literature class for about 20 high-schoolers, and then a friend will be teaching European history. Laurel is taking both of these classes, and Duncan will hand out with either friends or his grandparents.

One could say that leaves Wednesday as a regular, at-home days. But rather than look at these outside activities as intrusions upon our homeschooling, I consider them essential elements of my kids’ education.

Regardless of our afternoon activities, our mornings (except for Mondays) look basically the same. We begin at 10 a.m. I’m a morning person, and I do the vast majority of my own work in the mornings between 7 and 9 a.m.: writing, paperwork, various planning, exercise, etc. My kids usually sleep until 8 or 9 a.m., so they have an hour or two to get moving, eat breakfast, and watch a little television or play a Wii game.

It’s 10 a.m. now, and let’s say today is a Wednesday—an “at home” day. Here's what it looks like.

10-11 a.m.

Math. We start with math every day. Their brains and my patience are generally at peak condition, and this is an ideal combination for math. Both are doing Teaching Textbooks.

11-11:30 a.m.

If math is done, we continue on our separate ways. My 9th grader is doing nearly everything through co-op classes, so she'll be keeping her own schedule and her own timeline. For my 5th grader, we'll move on to Sonlight Core 5. We do our Bible and read-aloud. After that, Duncan has been doing his independent reading.

Since it's a Wednesday, we'll do spelling. I haven't decided yet if I'm doing spelling with my 9th grader or not. She loves to do spelling tests, but she doesn't really need them anymore. But I'll give Duncan his spelling words (we do Spelling Power). He usually misses a few words, which he copies, colors, and posts on his desk for review.

11:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Brain teasers! This is Duncan's absolute favorite part of the day. We are using Mind Benders (Critical Thinking). After a few of those, we do grammar (Easy Grammar 6), which he loves.

12-1 p.m.

Lunch break. We eat first and then scatter our own ways. I check emails and Facebook, do a little housekeeping, and maybe start supper preparations.

Duncan is allowed to play 30 minutes of Wii or DS during lunch break. Laurel can get online.

1-1:30 p.m.

Back to language arts. I do reading comprehension with Duncan (Spectrum 6) and more Sonlight reading.

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Geography or art. We don’t do these every day, but we have extra time on Wednesdays. For geography, we will watch a Netflix documentary about whatever country we are reading about in Sonlight, cook something, or make a craft from this country. For art, we will read from our 100 Masterpieces book and then maybe do a project of our own.

2:30-3 p.m.

More read-aloud time. We read some more from our current book and then discuss what we’ve read.

3 p.m.: School’s out!

When I think back through our years of homeschooling, I am amazed at how different each year has been and how varied our daily schedules have been within those years. Every year our lives adjust to yet another new “normal.”

I'm linking up with the Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter

10 comments:

  1. sounds like a lot of great opportunities with the co-ops;) And I like that each year is a "new normal" :) It is for us as well;)

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  2. I really enjoyed this post...and thanks for the encouragement, prayer & sharing your link under my post, "I'm Not Alright." It was so, so helpful to me. Thank you. Holly

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  3. So true! Everyday is different around here too.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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  4. that is my so far most favourite picture of laurel ever. and duncan? seriously awesome.

    missed seeing you this summer.

    k

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  5. Great pictures :) We usually participate in a co-op, but decided to stay home this year.

    Have a great year!

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  6. Visiting from the NBTSBH.

    We use SL also. I'm undecided about core 5 next year, but leaning toward using it. Will you be blogging about your core this year? I'd love to see more of how that core works.

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  7. Those photos are awesome! I've been contemplating the idea of starting with math - it's what I do naturally, but it seems to set my daughter off on a bad start - at least the worksheet component of it... :)

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  8. Wow! I love that it sounds like you have such amazing opportunities for enrichment in your area! I wish we had more here.

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