Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Day in the Homeschool Life (6, 8, 10 year olds)

It's been THREE YEARS since I did a homeschool day in the life post! The last time I did it they were 7, 5, and 3! Only one was doing "formal" school work then, so things look a little different now! It's surprising how many things are the same, though.

One thing that hasn't changed - our days aren't driven by a strict routine, but more of a rhythm. I've documented a typical day for several seasons of our lives and enjoy looking back at the posts, so, here's where we're at at this stage of our journey!

There are a few things that rarely vary. One is my training - I'm up at 4:30 and off to the gym in the winter (outside in the summer) to train. (This is later than in years past! I used to meet at group at 4:30, which meant I had to get up at 3:45! Sleeping an extra 45 minutes changed everything.)

Typically I get home by 7:00. My dog-walking job is lighter in school months - only on Monday/Friday weekday mornings and one or two weekends a month.

Ryan wakes before the kids. Daniel is the first up, around 6:30, and he sits with Ryan, who fixes the kids and himself breakfast. Ryan wakes the others (or I do) at 7:00 for breakfast. They eat together while I fold a load of laundry and transfer the previous night's washed load to the dryer. (I drink my breakfast post-workout.)

I do not do not DO NOT take for granted that Ryan is here in the mornings for breakfast! This is new to us in the past few years and it is magnificent.

This laundry routine has been in place since December, and it's working well.

After breakfast the kids set off to play and do their morning tasks - make beds, brush teeth, get dressed. Ryan and I get ready for the day, and he heads off to work.

It's not about how perfectly they make their beds. It's just about the habit of bed-making.

We start school work at 8:30-8:45 with morning basket time. First I read a devotional, then we sing the hymns we're learning (right now it's Blessed Be the Tie That Binds, Blessed Assurance, and Crown Him with Many Crowns). We launch into CC memory work, which is all sung and chanted. We finish up with a read-aloud - either Harry Potter, Story of the World, or The Hardy Boys. Usually it's Harry Potter.

After Morning Basket we take a little break (10 minutes or so) to transition to the kitchen table. I have folders for each kid with a list of their daily assignments. Whichever kids I'm not working with individually first -- I go through their list and show them what they can do without me (i.e. math, handwriting, independent reading, piano, etc.). Then I take turns working with each of the kids individually. Eliza needs my help to complete all of her work; Lee only needs me to complete a couple of subjects; Daniel is somewhere between. If they're not working with me, they have to be elsewhere in the house and quiet. We learned the hard way that our kids (like their mother) are easily distracted.

Here are the programs we use:
CC Foundations (memory work in all subjects, weekly science project, weekly art project)
CC Essentials (grammar and composition)
All About Spelling, Level 4
Horizons Math, 4
Kumon (Math)
Zaner Bloser handwriting 4
Independent Reading varies

CC Foundations (memory work in all subjects, weekly science project, weekly art project)
All About Spelling, Level 2
All About Reading, Level 3
Writing with Ease, Level 2
Math U See, Beta
Kumon (Math)
Zaner Bloser handwriting 3
Independent Reading varies

CC Foundations (memory work in all subjects, weekly science project, weekly art project)
All About Reading, Level 1
Horizons Math, K
Zaner Bloser handwriting 1
Writing with Ease, Level 1

They get plenty of breaks when I'm not working with them individually. If the weather's nice they'll jump on the trampoline or play outside. If not, they'll play random make-believe games inside. 

We eat lunch around noon, and afterwards finish any leftover work. We're usually finished with school work by 3. The late afternoons vary: Monday is Kumon, Wednesday is co-op (we don't get home until 5), Thursday is Kumon/Piano/Boy Scouts. There's an after-school play date thrown in a few times a month. When the weather's nice, they play outside after school. They get about 1-1.5 hours of "screen time" if there's space in the late afternoon/evening. 

Around 4:30 I start prepping dinner.

We eat around 6. Ryan works late one night and has a Bible study one night; the other nights he's usually home by 6.

Poor Murphy stays in his kennel during morning school hours. He's a terrible distraction otherwise!

After dinner they play and we piddle around until time to get ready for bed. The kids have a couple of "responsibilities" they take care of every night before bed. If I'm in charge of bedtime, they're showered, teeth brushed, and ready for book reading at 7:15. I'll read Harry Potter for 30 minutes and make them turn the lights out at 8. If Ryan's in charge of bedtime it's a little more, um, protracted and prolonged and I've cried uncle by the end of the process.

About 8 I go through my nightly routine of putting in a load to wash, readying my bottles for the next day's run, and feeding the animals. Ryan and I will chat, read, watch a documentary, or I'll sew while he does his own thing. (On Tuesday nights I prep for tutoring CC.)

We're in bed by 9:30 most nights to read. Most nights it's lights out at 10, if not before.

That's it! We haven't done an organized sport since last summer, and it has been WONDERFUL. Our days are slow, and even though they have plenty to keep them enriched and active, I don't feel like we're running around losing our minds. Having a full afternoon/evening schedule every night works for some people. It makes me a crazy lady. We'll jump back in this spring, but until then it's been nice to slow down!

If you're interested in a whole variety of homeschool days-in-the-life posts, you can check them out at Simple Homeschool where there's a series by that name this time every year!

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