From the recent shot of our little family above, you can see this school year is already a bit of a challenge. I have the unique joy of teaching Toddler stuff (colors, animals, animal sounds, speaking etc.) which happens all day long in all sorts of organic ways. I also have a Preschooler, and my 1st grader! As we hash out this school year, and find a rhythm, we are encountering a few bumps. Week 2 is yet another chance to smooth things out. In an effort to ask advice of those of you who know, I’m writing this post, feel free to make a suggestion once you’ve seen what a typical day consists of. Times don’t always jibe, and are very loose, as they shift around our speed for that day. For example, if we wake up at 8:00, everything shifts back an hour.
7:00-8:00 – Waking up. Everyone awakens at a leisurely pace. I usually Facebook or blog on the laptop in bed during this time, while one by one the girls crawl in to snuggle with me. 🙂 If the girls request it, sometimes they can watch a short movie. Breakfast occurs in here when they want it. Usually cereal or something light.
8:00-9:00 – School work begins! Catechism is first, coupled with a form of family devotions that is more scriptural exegesis on their level than anything else, then we start our Slate exercises (From McGuffy’s) in notebooks. Emma has a few light ones (I write names of people she knows, she copies them.) Sarah does Slate exercises in earnest right from McGuffy’s. Her handwriting is improving a bit day by day. We usually do subjects in this order:
- McGuffy’s Primer
- Social studies/history (Right now, that is the Olympics, and related Geography.)
10:00-11:00 – Break time! We eat a snack, Ava gets put down for a nap, and while she goes to sleep, I play Pandora on the computer, and do a bit of Facebooking. (I can’t leave the room, or she won’t sleep! I generally get bored sitting there staring at the wall, on really tough days, I might fall asleep with her, while the girls read books together. Facebook will wait! Naps rule! Haha!) Once she’s down and out, we get back down to business. Some days this happens earlier than others, and we get back to work well before 11:00. Other days, it is prolonged, because Ava needs to be rocked and held. We work around that.
11:00-12:00 – Back to work!
- Supplementary reading material (Like Little Bear, or other phonics rich readers from the Library.
- Science/Health, we’re doing a really cool series from Answers in Genesis on How God forms babies in the womb. This is an interesting and relevant topic to all of the girls, since they’re very interested in what God is doing with their new sibling!
Ava wakes up at different times each day, and this affects how much housework we do. I like to do certain stuff while she is sleeping, but when she is awake, I can work around her, and let her be my ‘helper’
12:00-1:00 – Lunch break! Everyone eats together, and then we all find something we like to do. The girls might play a bit, usually they play with barbies, or their play kitchen, or maybe they play outside. If Ava is awake we play, if she isn’t, I wait for her to wake up (I might do 10 min of facebook in here, if time allows, but if not, it generally gets ditched.) and I feed her her lunch.
1:00-3:00 -Clean up School work time. If there is anything left to do, we do it here. This is catch all time, especially if it was a tough day. Most days we’re done by this time, and then we do family chores during this time. Maybe fit in some hard core outside play, and work in some PE exercises. (trying to find a way to do yoga more often, it is so relaxing. Unfortunately I haven’t found the magic formula for completing a whole Yoga class with kids.) Generally, when they are done, they find a place to play, (their room more often than not.) and unwind. Ava is my buddy, but the other two find their own fun.
3:00-5:00 Supper prep. My DH usually calls during this time to let us know he’s on his way home. I start supper when he calls, so it is ready when he walks in the door, or close to it. Then we have family dinner together, and get on with the evening!
Exceptions to the Rule:
- On days I work (clean houses.) We usually have to flip the schedule and be more flexible. This is generally Tuesdays every other week, and Fridays every week. On those days we have to be more creative. We’re planning on working school into Saturday to make up for any lost time, if needed.
- When kids are sick! I’m not sure how to handle this? How do you guys? 2 of mine have minor colds right now, and I don’t want to push them, but nobody has a fever either…
- Daily errands. How do you work in the “whoa we ran out of milk!” or the “Gotta run to the bank…” or when the insurance company calls you to drop off that paper again that they shredded by accident after you disrupted your daily schedule to drop it off yesterday… (true story) I count these as Social Studies activities, and take time to use them as a teaching moment. We also bring Books on CD in the car, since our History program right now is “Reading” through the Little House books, and discussing the history therein. We listen to it every time we’re in the car. Whatever the day.
In my Young homeschooling Mama fun, I’ve found a ton of other blogs I really enjoy that encourage me and have some excellent practical advice on homeschooling.