Monday, August 25, 2014

A Day in the Life

There are many questions or comments we get when people find out we homeschool.  One of the most common ones is some variation on "What do you do all day?".  I think most are not asking this in a condescending way as if I've got my feet up eating the proverbial bon bond, but more out of curiosity of how school works in a home.  What does it look like to learn when you aren't sitting at a desk with 25 other kids for 7 hours a day?  How do you live, cook, clean, play, and now learn all in one day in the same place?
Best laid plans.  My weekly planner
(I try to plan out about 3-4 weeks ahead).
Color coded for each kid.

For us, a day in the life is not a simple answer.  We do not have a strict schedule, but rather a rhythm we strive for.  So, in my best efforts, I will describe the best way I can of how we 'do it' (or at least what we're trying right now because frankly it doesn't always work!)

I made our own calendar book in a
presentation binder with laminated pages
This year Monday's will have Izzy gone all day at a homeschool ancillary program where she will be doing classes in drama, art, music, science experiments, math games, Spanish, and gym.  It is also dance day for both older girls.  Therefore, Mondays I will be fitting in some learning time one on one with Liliana, but otherwise not much else school wise will happen.

A typical 'other day' looks something like this:

7-8:30--Wake up, breakfast, chores, dressed and ready for the day

One of my custom pages for k-2
8:30-- Calendar time and devotions.  We love starting our day together, laughing and learning.  While calendar is not needed for Izzy much, I have found it to be a great time of review for other concepts for her while Lili and I sing the days of the week song and such.  Lucy joins us and colors or sings along.  We pray and get ready to start the rest of our learning day!

9:00-- I pow wow with Izzy and go over her daily checklist.  This gives her the scope of the day and lets her see what the goals are.  This was something we started late last year and has helped build her independence as well.  Often I teach her new math concept and she then goes and does any work she can do independently- usually her math lesson, handwriting, and some of her reading/language arts or writing.  Then I do the best I can to do math and reading with Liliana while maintaining Lucy's attention as well. Since we have not done much school yet, this has yet to be determined to be successful.
Daily Checklist for Izzy- grade 3
   10:00-- snack and break time

   10:30-- Finish up and review any independent work.  I also use this time to have Izzy watch Lucy while I finish up with Liliana.

   11:30-- break for lunch, chores, playtime

   1:00-- While Lucy is napping I do the subjects with Izzy that she needs teacher direction including story of the world, spelling, and some language arts.  Lili often plays a game on the iPad or reads books.

   2:30/3-- hopefully most of our work is done for the day and the girls enjoy some quiet playtime while Lucy finishes her nap.

Late afternoon and evening-- I do the rest of my 'mom' chores like cooking and laundry as we finish our day.  Usually about this time I have the girls 'reset' the school room to make sure we have a clean table and fresh start to our day tomorrow.

Some days look like this
Others, like this!
And the big Asterisk to this is the fact that I have an 18 month old running around and an untested attention span of a 4.5 year old.  Life gets messy.  Crayons get eaten.  Puzzles get dumped.  Errands have to be run.  Some days are joyfully pleasant and we enjoy books and crafts together.  Others, I about want to raise the white flag and summon the big yellow bus.  You never know what you will find in the day in our life, but it is sure to be filled love (even if its deep down!).

You can check out more homeschooling families day in the life at the ihomeschool network blog hop today!

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