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?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yarn Along

{Yarning Along with Ginny again this week}

I haven't made it much farther on the striped socks since the last post- maybe a few more stripes on the gusset, but I'm still not quite to the toe yet. I have another inch or so to go before I start the toe. My prime knitting time is in the evenings after the boys are in bed, but these last few nights I've gone to bed pretty quickly after they did, trying to catch up on some of the sleep I missed over the weekend.

I did get a few minutes to pick up the stitches on my February Baby Sweater so that I can add the second sleeve, but I haven't really started the sleeve yet. She's ready though for as soon as that sock is finished and the little sleeve won't take long.

I am still reading Legend. I got side tracked by looking through organizing and house ideas for the upcoming move and ignored the book this week, but I'm pretty close to the end. I also got a stack of fiction from the library that I've had on order for awhile, so I need to get reading! I ordered several different things awhile ago- probably 10-12 titles- assuming they'd all come in at different times since that's how it usually goes. After waiting about two months and not having many reading options, I suddenly have seven novels waiting! I'll take that as a sign that I need to get reading!

Monday, January 30, 2012


We had a phone call Friday morning. What started a few weeks ago as a little bit of fluid in my grandmother's lung became more and more complicated as more doctors got involved.

She has been a breast cancer survivor since the late 70's, but it's back over 30 years later, this time metastatic and aggressive. That is a phrase we know all too well- what it means, how long it means, and how serious it is. We jumped in the car and the boys got a quick lesson in the states between ours and hers.

She's in good spirits and we'll know even more about what is going on in the next week or so as the last tests are done. It was so good to see her and that whole side of the family. Of course, in our hurry to pack and go as quickly as possible, I didn't bring the camera. I wish I had so we could get pics with all the cousins.

If there's anything good about many many hours in the car it's the knitting time. I planned to take the striped socks with me for the perfect amount of knitting brain power expended- enough to keep my mind off of things until we could be at the hospital and know more about what was going on, but not so much that I had to really really think about what I was doing.

The only mistake was that I left the in-progress sock at home.

Seriously- how does this happen?

{Although I'm grateful that we all had toothbrushes and enough socks and underwear...}

I did however have the skein for the second sock- not really sure how I packed the second skein but not the sock itself, but that's how it ended up (I found a beautiful 2/3 finished sock sitting on my bed when we got back last night). I did have my bag of DPNs with me though, so I was able to start the second sock. (another mystery- why did I pack the DPNs?)

I didn't knit the whole time obviously, but I'd say that's a good amount of progress over one weekend- from "zero sock" to "almost done sock".

I also spent some car time finishing up school-ish plans for just after baby is born. School plans might be a bit foolish, you say? Well, it isn't so much "school" plans as "make sure there is something for the boys to do that helps them stay out of trouble" plans. It's all independent stuff- some new art supplies, some new books and movies, some projects that might fill an afternoon... Things to do so that there isn't as much trouble to make.

Not that little boys EVER do such things.
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