When people learn we home school we certainly get a mixture of reactions - there are those who look at you blankly & disinterested, those who look at your children with sympathy & glare heinously at you for depriving your children so badly & then there are those who are genuinely interested & one of their first questions is inevitably
"How do you do it ?"
Well today I will let you in on the secret - I'll tell you just how (& trust me it ain't rocket science ;) - well except on Wednesday when it very well may be! ).
Generally our school day begins at 9am. Well the schedule says we need to begin our day at 9 - let's pretend that for today we're keeping completely to schedule!!
Devotions is my very favorite part of the day! This happens around the dining room table. I love teaching my children about God's word & sowing those little seeds in their heart. I also like to mix it up a bit to keep the children interested. Usually we read a Bible passage and discuss it - sometimes this is planned & other times it is random - often it is something that I read in my devotions & want to share. Sometimes I'll go over what we did in Sunday school that week ( I have the added bonus of being a SS teacher as well), sometimes we read a section from either Hymns for a Kid's Heart or Passion Hymns for a Kid's Heart ( both by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada - I highly recommend these for every family). Other times we read a Proverb - I love sharing the Proverb for the day & there is so many gems in Proverbs that you can always find so much to discuss. I love discussions & when my 5 year old asked "How do I know that Jesus is real?" the other day you can be sure I grabbed that opportunity.
We then do our Memory Verse - I always learnt memory verses as a child & I have valued that hidden Word in my heart. I have found my children love to do actions to the words- it helps them remember the passage & makes it fun (this idea I got from the Duggar's book "A love that multiplies" - a gem full of great parenting & home schooling tips!). I am constantly amazed at children's abilities to memorize - over the last fortnight we have learnt Psalm 1 (yes, the whole chapter). Even the twins join in!
Sometimes we sing a hymn that we've learnt about while I accompany them. Most days we also revise our character trait for the week (we use the chart found here) - I try & do something new every day of the week with this - from reading the bible verse & definition to asking the children for real life examples. They love it when I come up with outrageous scenarios with them in & they have to choose how to act!
9:20am - Table time
I then give the children each their journal & they write me a letter (or draw me a picture in the case of the twins). These are just so precious & I will treasure them. I always write back so that it's easy to keep the conversation open - yes this takes extra time, but the memories & relationship we're building make it worth it!
Zai & Ellie then revise their times tables or learn a new set if it's Monday. We revise the odd number sets if the date is odd & even on even dates.
9:30am - English
We always complete English when they are bright & alert. We move into the schoolroom at this point & they work at their individual desks. At this early stage in their education English is the most important subject, so I make sure we spend the bulk of our school time in it. They have a range of activities depending on the day. I spend a couple of hours each Friday afternoon planning the coming week & of course with CEMonline a lot of the work is done for me!! The twins do extended table time during this time (generally colouring a picture, tracing their names or an activity such a play dough - anything they can sit at the table & do independently) followed by preschool time with Mummy which they just love!
10:30am - Morning tea.
We always have something yummy & some fruit & it's usually a wonderful chance to get outside & refresh ourselves. I use this opportunity to hang out my first load of washing for the day since I have my household jobs to do too!
11am - back to work:)
After morning tea we continue on in English. One thing I love about home schooling is that we're not bound by the clock which means that the children work until they finish the work I have set them for the day. Should they really struggle & it take an unreasonable amount of time I am flexible, but generally they get the work completed in good time. Once completed they do their maths. We use a variety of curriculum - none of which I love, although I do recommend the maths mentals Zai uses "Signpost mentals" - it has certainly stretched him & it makes it easy to pick up on areas he has troubles with. I also highly recommend mathletics as an addition to any maths curriculum.
With all my children's subjects I will mark the completed pages & then I get the children to correct their errors. - I find this so beneficial to them learning & understanding the techniques they have difficulties with.
The twins will spend half an hour doing quiet mat time & half an hour doing a computer preschool program such as reader rabbit or starfall. These are done individually & they swap between them, however once a week they enjoy using tumble books library together!
1pm - Lunch.
By this time we're starving, but I know that I'll get more work out of the children in the morning than the afternoon so I extend out the morning.
2pm - Back to the desk.
If any maths needs completing they do that. We then complete one integrated subject each day. Because we use CEMonline the children currently do different activities for these. Next year when Zai & Ellie are both in stage two they will do the same, but then of course I''ll have two stage one students, so will still be teaching different things. Ideally I would love to do these together around the table, but we enjoy the benefits we get with ACC as well so chose to do it this way for now.
Day one - HSIE
Day two - PDHPE
Day three - Science & Technology
Day four - Creative & practical art.
Finish ~ around 3:30pm.
I guess you're surprised that it takes as long as normal school (after all isn't that why you home school, so it doesn't take as long???)!!!!
Well the truth is:
We only do school 4 days a week.
Since we live so far from anywhere (well anywhere home school related) we generally have either a dance class, home school group or another activity) that takes up the extra day. I also love the flexibility that having a spare day gives us (for example if we have farm work that needs doing).
So this is how we do school at the moment. It's not the only way to do school, it's not the best way of doing school, but it works for our family.
I'm joining up to the bloghop:
I know we aren't going back to school (actually we're almost on the count down to our summer holidays) but I thought it would be fun to share our school day!
Thank you for joining us here at Sunnyside Schoolroom today!
Have a beautiful day