Raise your hand if every day is homeschooling utopia with your family. No? No hands raised? None here either!
One of my most favorite things about my group of friends is no matter what kind of day I have had with my children, if I tell my friends, at least one of them can relate. Good? Yes, they are all cheering me on and sharing their highlights. Bad? Yes, they are empathizing, encouraging, and helping me laugh about it. Friends are great like that, are they not?
To kick things off, here’s a typical homeschool day for us:
7:00 AM Mom (should, but does not always) wake up
7:30 AM Children wake up and (should) begin their morning routine. If they are awake before 8am, I ask them to be ready for 8am. But, I never wake them for school. If they need sleep, I give it to them. It is rare that this causes an interruption in our day.
8:00 AM Everyone is dressed for the day. If we are not leaving the house that day, pretty much anything qualifies as “dressed for the day.” 🙂
8:30 AM Breakfast begins. We are leisurely eaters, so this can run overtime. It reminds me our schedule is more of a routine or order of study than anything else.
9:00 AM We start our morning together time with the Bible. We “picture, ponder, pray” the Bible selection from our Ambleside Online schedule. I have some children who really love to draw, so I usually read some more from our Ambleside list while they continue to draw.
10:00 AM Our language arts time typically begins with my older guys doing independent work, while my younger children decide whether they want to “do school” today. Because, they are so young (four & two), I follow their interest here. If they want to be at the table with us, I give them something to do. It is typical for my four year old to practice beginning writing skills and letter recognition three times a week. Reading our weekly book from Before Five in a Row is designed to be special time for my younger two, but everyone usually gathers round. I love that even my older two are sweet enough at heart to enjoy the toddler books. I am going to credit that as another benefit of homeschooling. 🙂
11:00 AM Each homeschool day brings a different nature study: a wildflower picked by my son, a bug loitering on our deck, or a trip to the zoo. While they are beginning to sketch, I approach each one to talk about details, “How many petals do you see? What colors are there? What shape are the leaves?” So far, we all love this time and they are learning to look closely.
12:00 PM I always try to bring at least one of my children into the kitchen for meal preparation. More than likely, I bring in the whiner who is “sooo hungry” they can hardly stand. While they wash and distribute the grapes, they can snitch a few. This helps them and me! 🙂
1:00 PM Our Classical Conversations campus has not started yet, so I am not sure exactly how this will look for us this year. But, I do have some easy review plans set up: 1) our notebooks, 2) our music, and 3) games.
2:00 PM We squeeze in reading Story of the World probably four days a week. Each time, it elicits a “Yes, Story of the World is my favorite!” response from my eldest son. Depending on how everyone is doing, I also read one chapter of Peter Pan aloud before nap time.
While I prepare my littlest ones for nap time, my older two are either reading or beginning their math work. I check their work and I check to see if there are any new math concepts to be taught for that lesson. We use Saxon, but skip the meeting strip, because I honestly never really understood the point. I integrate the concepts of the meeting strip in other ways, which works for us.
That’s it! At this point in the day, I usually take some time on my own to read, eat a snack or drink a cup of coffee before beginning dinner preparations. I try to remind myself not to expect this time to be a break from my children, but rather a break from direct teaching. I want to appreciate them in each moment, even when I really just want to rest. Know what I’m saying?
If you were to be even a little closer during our day, you would see and hear plenty of giggles, some screaming and fighting, balls thrown, tears shed, music danced to, eyes closed in prayer, and loads and loads of dirty dishes and laundry to be cleaned. Our days are full, our life is good—we are blessed.