One of my favorite homeschool blogs inspired me to write about our “normal” day. I haven’t given details about our homeschool in previous posts, but homeschooling enables this journey to happen, so it deserves some focus! My involvement in the kids’ studies and their interests, lead us down paths that I never expected, yet do my best to support. One of these paths is nature study, but this is only a part of our homeschool.
In most of our learning, we tend towards a project-based focus, and I try to work project time into our schedule. Sometimes group activities override this personal project time and I forget our individual pursuits. I found it timely to be inspired to write about our “normal”, when I’ve completely mixed it up this week. More on that later…
Our normal days:
6:00am (or 4:30, if I have a client deadline, like this Monday!) – I get up and check email. Trevor’s been up since 4:30am. He trains on his bicycle until 5:30 and then gets ready for work. We eat breakfast together. This is a wonderful routine we started a few months ago. I love starting the day with a warm bowl of oatmeal and calm, adult conversation.
6:30-8:00 – I let Beowulf, our cat, outside to do a morning prowl, and I get to work: emails, client work and organizing our day.
8:00 – Beowulf meows to be let in at 7:55am. He heads directly to the kids’ room, jumps on Cambria’s bed and meows and purrs like a mad man. This alarm cat is crucial, as I don’t have to participate in the waking up! Elijah’s usually been up for about 30 minutes, reading and hanging out on the couch.
Beowulf, purring and patting Cambria.
8:00-9:00 – Getting ready, breakfast, food in the crock pot on busy days, etc.
Monday we go to our nature study group in the morning and focus on journaling in the afternoon. It’s a great way to ease into the week.
Tuesday through Friday look more like this:
9:00-12:00 – Lessons, with many breaks. One day we take breaks after every two lessons to make slides from pond water, another day to jump on the trampoline, another day to bake a cake, or another for whatever special project draws our attention. Some days we power straight through so we can go to a friend’s house.
A copepod from our local pond.
I am still involved in most of their lessons. We study math, reading, writing and spelling. I read historical fiction and non-fiction to them and we try to hit any history activities at the library…it’s not my strong point.
I sit with them and try to get some work done, in between questions and discussion. I work on lesson planning for the following week and on the blog, do laundry, pay bills, make grocery lists, etc.
12:00-1:00 – Lunch, household chores, reading, occasional hula hooping and packing for activities.
Hula-hooping and reading are not mutually exclusive.
1:00-2:00 – Out the door. We live about 30 minutes from town. We listen to books on CD in the car, (our current series is Septimus Heap) and we try to do an errand or two before activities start.
2:00-6:00 – Activities, which are currently: embroidery, mindfulness and art, swimming and gymnastics. Except on Friday, which I try to hold sacred, and not leave the house!
On Fridays, we have project time in the afternoon. Sewing, knife work, nature study assignments, chemistry experiments, Minecraft, gardening or whatever project we’ve put off during lessons.
6:00-8:30 – Travel home if we are out, dinner with dad, read a book to the kids (currently On the Far Side of the Mountain – a great sequel to My Side of the Mountain, with tracking and animal awareness).
8:30-9:00 – Bedtime.
This all looks so EXACT, which it is not. It’s more like our template, which works on average, but sometimes doesn’t work at all!
Last week, during my lesson planning, I realized we had two field trips this week and my kids’ project list hadn’t been touched in a while. I decided to have a project week. Lessons are off and we are field tripping and doing projects. If all goes well, we may adopt a “project week” plan every 6 weeks.
Projects planned: build a cat climber (the kids designed one last month and we bought the materials, now we need to DO it), sewing (Cambria has a dress and a skirt planned), MindStorms LEGO (Elijah wants to build a printer), and finish the bathroom (the kids and Trevor painted my bathroom over the weekend and it needs some finishing touches).
Ambitious and fun!