Thursday, January 17, 2013

What is a Typical Home School Day?

What is a typical home school day?  The question I have been asked by many people.  The answer is different for each home school family, but here is our typical day.

I wake between 7 am to 8 am most days.  After waking, I exercise on the elliptical for 20 minutes.

By then Little Man is usually up.  He will come in and lie on our bed or go into the living room and watch cartoons.  Egee is still typically asleep.

Depending on the morning I will either grab a quick shower or start morning chores.  Once Egee wakes around 8:30 am or 9:00 am, I begin getting everyone breakfast.

9:30 am or sooner - We begin school work.  I read the children a bible story or two.  Right now we are reading "The Jesus Storybook Bible" by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  The stories are short and elude to the coming of Jesus.  Little Man begs for me to read it.

9:45 am -  I read fiction and nonfiction history to the children.  We are studying War World I currently.  The historical fiction book that I am reading aloud to them is "Lord of the Nutcracker Men" by Iain Lawrence.  I typically read one to two chapters depending upon the length.  Then I may read another book or two on WWI to them.

Around 10 am - Egee begins working in her curriculum book.  She uses Grade 5 Complete Curriculum by Harcourt.  She will complete a Reading Skills lesson, Spelling lesson, Math lesson, and Language Arts lesson. Her lessons normally take an hour and a half to two hours.

Little Man and I sit together and work on Time 4 Learning.  He will complete a language art lesson, language art extension lesson, and a math lesson.  His lessons take about an hour.

This is the main navigation screen for lessons.

This screen shows us what he has completed in language arts.

These four circles contain his language arts lesson for the day.

One of the pages from his online reading book.

These are the main lessons in his LA extension work.

This is one LA extension lesson for the day.

One of the learning games in his LA extension lesson.

Math lesson bubbles.  We are working on patterns.

Only one lesson and quiz for math today!

I read the question and answer choices to him while the main lesson loads.  He loves to play these.

One of the lessons on patterns.

Noon - We will eat lunch and watch a television program.  Right now we are watching the Waltons.  I tie in history that we have learned to the show.  Grandpa mentioning the battle of San Juan Hill, the father being in WWI, the depression, and the start of WWII make this show relative to our studies.  I tell the children that their great-grandparents were the ages of the little ones on the show during that time.  Both my hubby's family and my family lived in rural areas during the show's time period and had similar lives on farms.  Things start to connect for the children.  It is funny that I find them watching the show during their free time and not just during lunch.

1 pm - If all lessons have been completed the children have time to play outside or inside.  They can play on the wii.  (They love the Just Dance games and it provides exercise for them.)

When the weather is icky, Egee spends time knitting or crocheting.  She also spends time researching how to create different hair styles.  Little Man will watch a dvd from the library.

When the weather is lovely, they will jump on the trampoline, ride their bikes, etc.  The afternoon is their time to be kids. 

Depending on the day of the week, the children get ready for Aikido in the late afternoon.  Their Aikido lessons are in the evening most days of the week.  This keeps our evenings busy and we don't get home until late.  So while their public school friends get the evening hours to play, they had the afternoon.  Little Man does one lesson a night and Egee two lessons.  They love going to Aikido and interacting with friends.

Our day concludes around 10 pm for the children.  Hubby and I stay up until 11:30 pm then turn in.

Our schedule fluctuates with library classes a few days of the month.  If we have morning library class, we don't complete our 10 o'clock work for the day.  If it is an afternoon class, we complete all of our morning work. 

Our schedule is typically Monday through Thursday.  On Friday, we will run errands, partake in field trips, work on special interests, etc.  During the spring, summer, and fall we head out to camp and explore.

There is no right or wrong way to home school.  I started out very strict and found it didn't work for us.  I have relaxed and so have the kids.  Our schedule works for us and that is what happens to be important.  I have friends that are very strict in their schedules and others that are more relaxed.  I am not trying to make my children into little academic over achievers.  I am trying to make them into life long learners.  If they get burnt out on school work when they are young, they certainly aren't going to love learning later.

So we explore, discuss, stay in our pajamas all day (sometimes), go off on tangents, act silly, take a good weather day, take a snow day, curl up and read or watch movies, bake cookies or brownies, take a walk, throw a ball, ride a bike, dig in the dirt, look at the clouds, go for a swim, fish, listen to music, play the piano or trumpets or harmonica, and enjoy life.  In the end, what do you really remember from school?