A day in the life of a homeschool family.

Homeschooling

Back when I was beginning to think about homeschooling I wondered, “What exactly do home school kids, and (more importantly) their moms, do all day?”  I just wished I had the view of a fly on the wall to see exactly what and how it is done.  Well, now that I’ve been at this for 10+ weeks, I thought it might be helpful to someone out there to have what I wished I had had.

Now remember, this is one house, one set of kids, on one day.  Every day, family, child, curriculum, and style is unique.  Some days I have cramps. Some days the kids are sick.  Some days Mom says, “Piss on it.” and we go to a museum or watch a documentary instead of our scheduled curriculum.  This is merely one example, of one day, from one family, who do it one way.  I don’t pretend to imagine I have the end-all, be-all way to successfully homeschool as I have personally talked to women who have successfully homeschooled for years and their days look nothing like this .  I simply hope it is helpful to those who really just want to see how one real person does it…for real.

For those who care or want to know, the curriculum we use is as follows:

My Father’s World – Adventures in US History.  This covers (of course) History, Bible, Science, and provides the overall organization of my entire class. I.LOVE.THIS.CURRICULUM!

For Math we use Math U See and are in the Beta section of their products.  The kids really enjoy this and I love that the lessons are taught on a short DVD lesson by a guy who my kids just love.  They use tactile blocks to really grasp the concepts and my kids have yet to see the DVD and not instantly get what he’s teaching after using the blocks.

For Spelling we use Rod and Staff’s Spelling by Sound and Structure – Grade 3.  It’s simple, easy to use, and effective.  Love it.

English we use a combination of Primary Language Lessons and practice sheets I find on the internet.  PLL is just a small, simple little book full of drills to do with your kids but dang they are perfect!  Sometimes, when I don’t feel my kids totally understand something (like too, to, and two) I might find more sheets online for added practice.

For reading we were using an OLD Christian School 3rd grade Reading curriculum.  It was given to me and I’m not even going to try to find it online to link.  Over the last couple weeks, I have began picking a classic book for us to read, taking turns reading out loud, and find a study guide with questions online.  Recently we finished The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  We have now moved on to The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.  Study guides for classics such as these are plentiful on the internet as well as fun activities.  Plus, My Father’s World suggests books and we do those (unless the books are not to our liking).  Also, the kids do 30 mins of “Book Basket” every day (this is usually when I shower).  The basket is full of books from the library on that weeks’ given topics.  I get the books on Friday and don’t show them until Monday so they are new and fresh.  This week – Revolutionary War and Water

For Art we are so lucky to be borrowing How Great Thou ART: Feed my Sheep curriculum from a friend.  Although, this curriculum is supposed to be for 10+ my 6 and 7 year old do enjoy it.  I don’t do this every day but every other and also intersperse in there once a week a study about one great, classic artist.   I just randomly pick a classic artists and print out topics, find a slideshow online of his or her work, and then the kids make a piece of art “inspired” by that artist. My kids LOVE the artists studies I think more than actually doing the art.  I’m not really sure why exactly but they ask for it every single day.

Music – as of right now we just listen to classical music while doing art and I tell them who the composer or artist is and now and again do a study on a classic musician similar to how we do for art.  After the first of the year, once our co-op classes have ended, both the kids will be taking piano and voice lessons so that will help us cover this area.

Our foreign language study is done completely online at www.duolingo.com.  It is a free site published by the great folks who give us Rosetta Stone.  We just added a foreign language to our studies this past couple of weeks.  My kids really enjoy it and are learning fast!

Ok – on to what our day looks like

  • 6:30am – Kids wake.  Jim is already up so he gets them breakfast and settled while I blissfully remain asleep (Thank God for Daddy!)  The kids have screen time in the morning while Daddy is getting showered and ready for work.

  • 7:30am – Jim comes and wakes me up and says he’s off to work.  I stagger out of bed, head straight for the coffee pot (once again, thank God for Daddy!) and pour me a cup, grab my laptop and go back to bed.  I spend 30-45 mins checking Facebook, emails, forums, and groups.  Kids are watching TV, playing Wii or Minecraft.

  • 8:30am – The kids are told to get dressed and teeth brushed and be in at the kitchen table no later than 9am.  I set a timer for 15 mins so they will have warning.  During this time, I look at my curriculum teachers guide and prep for my morning.  I have all the items I need as I prepare all supplies by Friday for the following week.  It sounds more impressive than it is – my curriculum tells me what I will need. I buy/rent/prepare.  Simple as that.

  • 9:00am – Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance.  Yes, we actually do this at the start of every single school day at roughly 9am every day. Some days it’s earlier and every so often it’s later but usually no later than 9:30am.

  • 9:00-9:15am – We read a passage from the Bible about how Jesus is the “Living Water.”  We discuss it and after discussion the kids ask how they can get Jesus to live inside of them like living water.  I explain that all they have to do is ask him to come into their hearts and he will be there.  It was awesome because, they did just that!  :)  Today!

  • 9:15-10:00 – Math. (Math usually takes only about 20 minutes but today had some bumps in the road. ) Alex started a new section so she watched the DVD lesson of it.  Jackson did two practice sheets on the section he was still working on from Friday.  The kids began to fight a bit about not wanting to do their math.  I told them if they did their math we would go to Wal-Mart later in the day and play something we would call, “The Price is Right.”  Each child gets $3 to spend on anything in the store but if they go over $3 (not worrying about taxes just yet) they lose everything.   Each child would have a pad of paper and pencil to do the math.  Jackson had a meltdown saying he would mess up, lose all his money, and I was mean.  Alex wanted to go, ‘RIGHT NOW” and when I pointed to the chalkboard and told her we had to get through the other subjects first, she threw her pencil across the room and stormed off into her room.  A spanking, lots of tears, two tissues, some hugs and apologies later we were back on task.

  • 10:00-10:15 – Spelling.   Gave new spelling list and did one worksheet from the list.  Easy enough.

  • 10:15-10:20 – US History.  Listened to “Yankee Doodle” on our Patriotic Songs CD and had planned to make “hasty pudding” like in verse 2 but after digging for 10 mins realized we had no cornmeal.  Put that on the list of things to go on Thursday.

  • 10:20-11:00 – History and English.  Kids colored a map of the 13 colonies.  Coloring each one a different color while we talked and named them.  While they colored we went over English and learned about proper usage of “was” and “were.”  Two birds one stone – booya!

  • 11:00-11:20 – Spanish – online.

  • 11:20 – 12:20  – Ate in living room with TV trays and watched an animated movie from the library called Heros of the Revolutionary War.  I showered, got ready, changed the sheets on our bed, started a load of laundry, and should have done the dishes but I started watching the movie with the kids and got side-tracked 😉

  • 12:30-1:30pm We left the house and went to a local nursing home where the kids and I volunteer.  Basically what that means is the kids color and paint pictures all week long and we save them up to deliver to the residents along with some smiles.  We do this every other week.  The kids really look forward to this and the residence have begun recognizing and looking forward to the kids’ visits :)  (side note here – on the drive today we listened to an audiobook from the library that’s an historical fiction about the Revolutionary War -this week it was from the Magic Treehouse collection – this saves my sanity as my kids can be yelling and fighting and I put an audiobook on and BAM they are helpless to do anything but listen.  Works wonders!)

  • 1:30-2:30pm Wal-Mart to do “Price is Right” game – they loved it and passed with flying colors.  Jackson got 2 Hot Wheels cars and a dollar to use in the arcade.  Alex got a wooden birdhouse to paint, a pair of pink, heart earrings and a dollar for the arcade.

  • 3:00-4:15pm We went to the local park where one of my best friends met us and the kids played while we chatted.

  • 4:30-7:00pm  Took the kids to a local Christian youth center where I usually help in the kitchen to serve the food.  Tonight they had plenty of help and didn’t need me so I dropped the kids off so they could stay and play, sing, make crafts, play games, color and have fun while Jim and I went out to supper at a local Mexican restaurant.  Sans children.  It was lovely.

So, that was our day today.  Just so you know, this is a LONG day for us.  We do NOT do this much every single day but usually one day a week looks like this. Did you notice we were actually done with “school” at 11:20?  Pretty cool huh?  On Mondays, co-op days, all we do is Math and Reading, they go to co-op where someone else teaches them Bible focused crafts, tumbling and stage skills. Then we come home and no nothing else really.

Remember, studies have shown that public school kids get an average, if they are lucky, of 3 hours of ACTUAL instruction every day.  So, if you are doing that, you are golden!!

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  • Why I Write this Stuff

    My children called me Bobby when they were toddlers due to not being able to prounounce "Mommy." They are now 7 and 8 years old and I am Mommy. But my real name is Mandy. I just do this so I can keep in touch with the REAL me. Being a Bobby is a dream I thought I may never realize and I do not take it for granted. I homeschool (more specifically unschool) my two children and it's easy to lose yourself in the tasts of the day. I just want to make sure that after 19 or so years have passed,and my kids have moved out, I'm not stuck looking in the mirror and squinting in hopes of seeing Mandy again.