Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day in the Life of Our Homeschool

I loved posting about our typical homeschooling day last year. Although much has changed for us this year, it has still been a good year.

This past year has been full of transition for our family. We are expecting a new baby, we are selling one house and buying another but living temporarily with my father-in-law to help his transition to single life after losing his wife last September. All this would probably best be labeled "disruption" but it's been a good lesson for our family in doing with what is necessary and right rather than what is routine for us.

We are not a traditional homeschooling family- my husband and I both work full time- so our schedule looks different than other homeschooling families in a lot of ways. I do have to plan pretty closely for certain days of the week, or sometimes if a day gets swallowed by doctor appointments and work things we will do some schooling on the weekend. The most important thing is that my husband and I work hard to pull this together even on the weirdest weeks because it is important to us to educate our boys at home in these early years.

Our son Ender is in first grade this year. He is expected to complete his "daily work" each day, which takes about 70-90 minutes depending on if we are learning new concepts in math. If anything gets ditched off of our schedule it is history and science this year, not because those things aren't important, but because in his first grade year our priorities are math, reading and handwriting.

Ezra is 4.5, having a K4 year. Ezra is expected to sit with us at the table for the first part of our morning (about 20 minutes) while we talk about the calendar and seasons, discuss what we will be doing that day, and do handwriting. At some point later in the morning he and I do a little bit of phonics work, but other than that he is free to be part of as much or as little of the school day as he would like. He spends a lot of his mornings drawing. The goal of Ezra's year is for him to start folding into the routine of the schooling morning while expecting age-appropriate things from him.

7:00/7:30- Up for the day. The boys and I get ready, have breakfast and do a few light chores before we start our learning time. My husband leaves for work about 2 hours before we get up.

8:30- We generally get to the table to start work by 8:30 and after talking about the calendar, seasons and our plans for the day, we work in whatever order the boys would like. At this point in the year Ender knows what is part of our daily work (and must be done first) and we work through that pretty seamlessly. He usually chooses to alternate work that involves writing with work that doesn't. Our daily work includes Math, handwriting, reading practice, writing/grammar (right now in the form of FLL/WWE alternating days), faith, and violin practice.

10:00- We take a little break, usually for a snack.

10:20- We read together from a history, science and/or literature title. I keep themes in each of these subjects for each quarter. Ender (and sometimes Ezra) narrates from one of these readings about once a week.

10:45-  A few days a week we head out the door about now so that I can get to work at my music studio. On those days we listen to an audiobook in the car on the way there (Prince Caspian currently). The boys spend the early afternoon with their grandmother while I teach until their dad gets home from work around 3:30.

On the days when I work a little later we get an extra hour or three to work on projects and explore things we've learned. I *love* this free project time because it is where much of our new learning is connected to the old. Sometimes they work on their own on whatever it is they're interested in, and sometimes we are all together.

Their time with Dad in the afternoons is spent on all sorts of things- time outside, finishing up work from the morning (not often, but as I've had more doctor appointments for baby we've had days where morning work leaks to the afternoon), chores, and a little more reading practice for each of them. Oh- and did I mention play time? Lots of play time.

How does your homeschooing day look?


  1. It is interesting to see how your day unfolds with you both working. I will be working part-time when we hopefully start homeschooling K. Love the lots of playtime! That is one of my big draws to homeschooling. we have "good" local schools, but there is so little time left for play. thanks for sharing

  2. Yesterday DD started "school" with her little 2 and a half year old girl Ivy. They will go once each week to a Waldorf School. DD loves it already because there is so much singing and acting out of the songs.
    As we left Ivy said (and waved) “Bye-Bye” to everyone who would listen about 10 million times. She told them, “Bye- Bye! See you soon! Be back soon!” completely un-prompted. She must have had a great time. I'm so glad they are both excited by this time together.

  3. Wow, I think anyone who homeschools is amazing! And the fact that you work as well... I think homeschooling is much bigger there than in Australia. I don't personally know anyone who does it here. Your days sound quite lovely x


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