Saturday, November 04, 2006

A homeschool day...

A couple of people have emailed me to ask about a homeschool day.

What sort of things do we do?

Well, to be honest, every day is different. It depends on our outings and appointments and on my work.

Over all our homeschooling years, especially during the years of babies and toddlers and school aged children, our homeschooling has centred around our interests and our community and our outside activities.

I am a social person. And I always envisaged homeschooling as community education.

My babies and toddlers learned to be happy anywhere, to sleep anywhere, to
enjoy others...

But I digress. Let me tell you about yesterday - and here is a pic my dh took at the end of the day. How a homeschooling mum looks at the end of a busy day and busy week. Notice the hair that needs a comb? lol!

We would normally have attended homeschool ice skating on Friday - but Alexander had a medical appt so this changed our schedule around.

We rose, I worked out and did my quiet reading early, the kids got their own breakfasts ( they've been doing this since about age three - I have very independent children. Let me do this myself! was their constant cry) , they tidied bedrooms, played computer, did their own fitness routines. Our usual morning routine - and I think routines are the spines of our homeschooling lifestyle. We peg one activity to another and so end up with a morning routine and tidy up pegs throughout the day and pegs for things we do each week ( for example - religion reading and discussion on Wednesday, before Group Learning) .

I cleaned up the kitchen, started laundry and we all went to morning Mass for First Friday. Praying our morning offering in the car.

We stayed for part of the Rosary after Mass and then went to the post office to pick up a parcel , to the video store to return a video ( X Men - Jonathon is writing an essay for his university course. The essay is on class structure in this movie.) Bought a few items at the supermarket. Had morning tea together at a cafe - took home some doughnuts for dh.

Drove to Alexander's medical appt and I worked on my Kumon maths in the waiting room. The others read their choice of books. We always take books everywhere - we used to keep a small container of books and toys and drawing items in the car for little ones. With a packed nappy bag and a nature journal backpack. Now, I just remind people to grab materials before we leave. Car schooling?

Home again for Maths activities - we discussed this in the car - if we are home, we always do some Maths and English activities together, another peg - Anthony made models of polyhedra, Thomas and Alexander worked on Kumon maths ( fractions/decimals and quadratic equations respectively).

Jonathon did some more university reading and worked on his current maths review.

Lunch and Kumon English study followed for Thomas and Anthony, with a discussion on fear and on Mark Twain. Alexander completed another Latin exercise and Jonathon continued his reading.

The afternoon was spent in Music lessons for the youngest two, part time work for the teens, Kumon preparation work for the week at the Kumon centre and Kumon phone calls and phone calls for our parish council for me. Oh, and more laundry and tidying up.And email.

Thomas and Anthony went for a bike ride after music and played a collaborative computer game. I managed to have some time with dh when he got home from work! Yay!

More quiet reading for the kids and an early dinner ( cooked by me), with an extra teen over for dinner. One son and friend went to youth group and I went to a meeting at our parish while Gerry and the others cleaned the kitchen and watched some old episodes of Dr Who. Discussed science fiction and other genre.

And then the kids and I had time for more reading before bed. With prayers and guitar or piano playing thrown into the mix.

Before bed, I wrote up our day in my homeschool log, assigning curriculum areas to the brief notes of activities. Made a list of things to do for Saturday. Jotted down thoughts on learning and curricula for next year. Read some blogs - so did Jonathon.

A typical yet an atypical day. Atypical in that we did not attend homeschool ice skating.

We tend to blend in academics with life, regardless of the day of the week or the time of the year. The kids are just as likely to writeor draw in their journals on Saturday as on Monday. I am just as likely to suggest an educational activity or text in the January school holidays as I do during official school terms.

Over time, we achieve. And learn. And grow.

A good book which discusses a similar homeschool lifestyle is
Fundamentals of Homeschooling by Ann Lahrson-Fisher.

Happy reading and happy homeschooling. I hope this day in the life helps...


Anonymous said...

So nice to hear about your day.. felt I was there! And I loved the picture.. my fellow redhead. :)

Now if only you lived down the street.... :)


Leonie said...

Hey, if we lived nearby, we maybe could combine some pegs! :-)

Gotta see that red hair!

Anonymous said...

Any chance a move to the States is in the works, Leonie?

I'd dye my hair red for such! :-)

I enjoyed reading about your day.

We're off to Mass but I'll try and post "a day in the life" soon!

Leonie said...

Can't wait to "see" your day, Maria.