I blogged back in January about how homeschooling was going midway through our first year.
Now that we are five weeks into our second year, I feel that we have hit a good groove and I’ll share what it looks like most days. I’ll give the usual caveats that every homeschool will look different and I know ours will continue to change with life’s different seasons.
I have a 5 1/2 year old, who is the only one officially being homeschooled. She is kindergarten age this year but academically she’s at different levels in different subjects. This is pretty easy to do since I picked each piece of our curriculum myself. We just find the right pace and the right level and get to learnin’! I also have a freshly-turned 3 year old and freshly-turned 1 year old who fill our home with distractions (both delightful and disastrous, depending on the hour of the day).
6:30 am – Ideally I wake up and get breakfast going, do my own scripture study and sneak in a quick workout and/or shower. It would be nice to do both but that would require getting up earlier and I’m not there yet! I’m not a morning person so it’s a huge accomplishment for me to deliberately wake up before my children. It is absolutely crucial for me, however.
7:15 am – Breakfast and memory work. We also sing whatever song we are learning that month and send Scott off to work somewhere in the middle.
8:30 am – I shoot to have everyone dressed, groomed, and breakfast chores done by this time. Mackenzie (5) starts her scripture study and journal and I spend some time with Caitlyn (3) and Daniel (1).
9:30 am – By this time Mackenzie should have long since finished and narrated to me and joined Caitlyn for playing, while I settled Daniel down for a nap. At this point I try to start Mackenzie on math and copywork.
10:15 am – Snack break! This is a new thing for us this year, but I actually love it. I serve something minimally messy (often fruit & veggie smoothie in a straw cup) and set a timer with no second servings so it stays brief. We all look forward to it.
Depending on the day, we’ll go straight into Logic of English after snack time, or I’ll be too busy fighting domestic fires and I’ll declare “PE time!” because that requires less of my attention. Logic of English needs my full attention so it will get pushed back until later as needed (or sometimes missed altogether with our current schedule… must tweak that) .
Then play and the kids do a quick clean up while I prep lunch.
12:30 pm – Lunch time. We take a full hour and I read aloud while dishing out food and wiping up spills.
1:30 pm – Ideally this slot is something that can include Caitlyn, such as art or science or researching an interest on YouTube.
2:00 pm – Picture book time.
2:30 pm – Nap time for the little ones. Mackenzie and I do the neglected Logic of English. She’ll also do her 30 minutes of computer work if she hasn’t done it earlier in the day. (Khan Academy two days / week, Rosetta Stone Spanish three days / week)
Mackenzie will take an hour of “book time” in a bedroom.
by 5pm – everybody awake, playing or a walk around the neighborhood and then a good clean up before dinner.
6:30 pm – Dinner & Dad time
7:30 pm – Bedtime routine
8:00 pm – Ideally Caitlyn and Daniel are down and Mackenzie gets some read aloud time from Dad before heading to bed herself.
Rarely does a day go according to plan, and I only glance at a clock every hour or so. We definitely don’t hit all the times listed above, but they are great guidelines that help our days run a bit more smoothly. Perhaps most importantly, they help me redeem days that have gone haywire.
Not listed: baths, soccer practice, play dates, time to cook dinner, stops to nurse a baby, diaper changes, bathroom runs with the three year old, catastrophes clean ups, phone calls, snuggling, more chores, dance parties, etc.
Also not in there: Piano, since we just started that this week! Lessons or practice will take a 15-30 minute slot either before breakfast or at the beginning of nap time, I think.
Since we homeschool year round, we have the flexibility to just take a day off here and there when needed. If Scott has the day off work, we can just drop school like a hot potato and head off on an adventure. Or, we can take a half day to play or run errands and do a shortened schedule. Since he works a four day week, this flexibility is particularly wonderful and we all enjoy the extra time with him.
In my next post(s?) I’ll describe what we actually DO for the things mentioned above such as memory work, Khan academy, etc. Feel free to post questions or comments below. I know many people are curious how homeschooling “works” and I’d be happy to respond with my own experience thus far.