In the case you have not been following the “Not” Back-to-School Blog Hop posts that I have been writing over the past month, I decided to link up to iHomeschoolnetwork and join their blog hop fun. If you would like to go and see what all the noise is about I encourage you to do so, and to make it that much easier I have included their button that will take you directly to their site.
As well as checking out the interesting topics, and their main site, there are hundreds of links to other home schooling blogs that you can hop around on, learn from, laugh with, and possibly even just sit back and admire… I know I have.
This week’s topic is “Day in the Life” and to be perfectly honest at first I was a bit afraid I would have nothing to talk about this week, after all our days do really change frequently. Our day to day schooling adventure is often interrupted by a frustrated Pumpkin, an eager Sweet Pea, and a typical two year old neediness in the shape of my little Who-Rae.
However, after some thought I realized that dynamics aside (oh wait your can’t put dynamics aside in a home school, that’s what makes it so special) we do generally have a method to our madness. One thing that we work hard on, especially early in the year, are habits. So we wake up, at a reasonable time, enjoy breakfast together and often times with Conan before he is off to work. We do not wake up Who-Rae she is encouraged to sleep until her sweet little body decides it is time for her to wake.
Next, we get ready to take the day. We go through our routine, typically there is a bit of resistance, and then we head to the dining room table to get focused on the subjects that require, in my thinking, a bit more concentration. My teaching method is greatly influenced by Charlotte Mason, and although I have not quite perfected those concepts yet, I do apply as many of them as I have truly put to use successfully and can say that I understand and fully appreciate. Of that, we keep each subject lesson quite short, generally starting and stopping within 15 minutes. There are times that out of necessity we have gone a bit longer, and there are times that Pumpkin’s focus allowed us some great learning time for much longer periods. Most honestly and from the other hand, there have also been plenty of times that 15 minutes was like a three month voyage across terrifying seas, and in those cases putting the subject aside for a bit has been necessary.
We get through our lesson plans which is a morphed combination of our curriculum’s lesson plans, and my lesson plans for the additional subjects I have included into our school time, as well as adjusting to combine more than one child. This year my lesson plans are an entirely new beast, although it is a great deal more work on my part, I also feel the satisfaction of going into each day with a method that doesn’t feel like I am depending on someone else’s organization to teach my children. Also, for some reason, combining the two on paper makes me feel a bit more confident about this years new challenge in having a two children with formal lessons.
Sweet Pea is still very young, and my opinion of Pre-k is to keep it light, but she wants to participate so badly that I feel it necessary to provide her a bit of structure. Although she will have light work and yet valuable work comparatively to her brother, I think the best lesson with be in both of them learning to share their mother in their school time.
Of course then books get put away, supplies get stashed and dashed, my teaching materials either get put up or moved to allow my further work later, and we then prepare ourselves for lunch. Lunch time is usually exciting, you never may know for sure what we may be eating, left overs, a second breakfast, a crazy salad, or something new and done on a trial to see how it is received.
After full tummies Who-Rae gets to enjoy a nap, often times joined by Sweet Pea. Pumpkin has the opportunity to be creative and crafty, finish work that did not quite get done, or taking a quiet time break. Quiet time is an opportunity for me to work on planning, projects, cleaning, reading, and of course writing.
Then after nap time is finished we get to play! We enjoy library time, or books that we picked up earlier, we color, craft, romp around out of doors, cook treats, play in sand and see if we can discover hidden artifacts, and on some days complete a few errands.
By the time it is necessary to start our dinner creation the kids are usually ready for some free time play. They build towers, towns and create drama that they enjoy manipulating. They pretend and get themselves completely lost in their own little world. Generally, by the time they are pulled from their imaginary worlds by hunger it is time for another meal, and Conan has come home.
The evenings vary greatly with bicycles, walks, movies, more errands, visits, more cooking, dancing, loud music, and much more. By the time we are ready to settle into beds we have our evening routine, and typically another story or two. Conan prays with the each kiddo and they drift themselves off to beautiful sleep land that fills their evenings with many more adventures that we often get to hear about during breakfast.
This summer we have let the kids take an educational “summer vacation” and although I cannot help but to teach certain things as we go, their text materials were left to the shelves to be entertained by their fellow books. We are now getting back to the swing of things, and I am sure the afternoon routine will be greatly effected with learning experiences. We also add sports and other activities to the schedule about now that requires even further adjustment and more stringent planning, but in the end we try to make the kids’ education experience fun and full filling.
That is a Day in the Life of our family’s educational fun!