Since I’ve had numerous people ask me about what we use for homeschooling (and how we get it done) I thought I’d post about a day in the life of homeschooling at our house!
From the time our children can read numbers on a digital clock, we have trained them not to come out of their bedrooms until 8 a.m. Anytime after 7:30 a.m. they are allowed to quietly look at books or play in their room. Around 8 a.m. (or whenever they wake up) they come downstairs to eat breakfast. We do Bible together during breakfast; we are currently using Big Truths for Young Hearts by Bruce Ware in the morning and Long Story Short at dinner time. Right after breakfast the kiddos each have a few chores that they complete.
On a typical day we usually start school between 8:30-9 a.m. Hailey and Justin begin their independent work (copywork, vocabulary/phonics workbooks, handwriting, spelling, etc.) while I spend a little time with Sydney doing her Kindergarten work with her. Then eventually I take turns working with Hailey or Justin doing things like math, writing and listening to them read to me (the other one completes independent work or spends time with the little girls if they are finished); Sydney also helps by playing with Callie and Emma after she is done with her school. Around 10 – 10:30 a.m. Emma goes down for her morning nap and we transition to our memory work for Classical Conversations. Callie likes to practice with us, so we include her in this time! Callie also loves doing the Preschool Activity Bags that I assembled a couple years ago and they keep her very busy when I need something to occupy her!
I mentioned our homeschool group, Classical Conversations. We meet every Monday for class time, so on Tuesday-Friday we have normal school days at home that include going over our memory work. This year is cycle 3 (American History) so we are working on memorizing over 400 facts including 160 events and people through a chronological timeline, 24 History sentences, 24 Science facts, the US Presidents, 120 locations and geographic features (including the states/capitals), Latin rules and vocabulary (including memorizing John 1:1-7 in Latin and English), 24 English Grammar facts, and numerous Math facts that include the multiplication tables up through 15×15. In addition to the memory work, all of the kids give an oral presentation each week, participate in a Science experiment, and have a Fine Arts lesson (drawing techniques, tin whistle, orchestra, etc.) This has been a highlight to our year so far and the kids are loving being a part of CC.
After we finish up with our memory work, we move onto our group subjects that include Language Arts, History, Science, our Read-Aloud Book and any other random projects (art, creating lapbooks, etc.). We do what we can while Emma is napping and then we take a break for lunch. After lunch we always have things to finish that we didn’t get to in the morning so we spend time finishing anything that is left. We are usually wrapped up by 2 p.m. and then the older kids get some free time to play outside, read books, etc. Callie and Emma both take afternoon naps. This is usually when I spend some time with dinner prep, laundry, cleaning, tidying up and anything else that I need to get done! Of course there are also days that we are still trying to wrap up some things with school at 4 p.m.; I’ve realized that part of homeschooling means having flexibility to venture away from my desired schedule.
As to what we actually use for homeschooling; here is our current curriculum choices:
~History, Read-Alouds and Readers – we use Sonlight – Core D which lines up perfectly with our cycle this year for CC since it is American History. The core that we have includes History books, read-alouds (books that I read out loud to the kids) and Readers (books that they read to me). I love Sonlight because they are such a literature-rich curriculum.
~Math – we currently use RightStart Math (it is a very heavy teacher involved math program, so I will possibly be using something else as the kiddos get older even though I love RightStart).
~Science – we are using Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by Apologia and this My Body book; they both go along well with our science from CC.
~Art – the kiddos absolutely love the Draw, Write, Now Art books and use them daily; currently they have been practicing drawing about Columbus and the Pilgrims since those are topics we’ve been studying! We also use parts of Drawing With Children.
~Learn to Read – we use Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons; this year I’m going through it with Sydney.
~Spelling (Hailey) – we use Phonetic Zoo which is an independent spelling program that uses CD’s.
I think that covers everything we’re doing! Maybe one of these days I’ll actually remember to take pictures during a school day; this is the only picture I have currently …
The older kiddos with our Memory Work Board that I made to review