Home schooling - how we do it!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

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!!

9am- Devotions

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:

Not Back to School Blog Hop
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


Ruby Jean said...

Hello Renata..It was so LOVELY to see you over at my blog the other day...I really enjoyed reading over your Homeschooling Routine...The pictures are so Relaxing or maybe it's the music on your blog... : ) I pray your Summer is Blessed..

Homeschool on the Croft said...

What a wonderful run-down your day, and your week. What lovely blessings you share - especially in your devotions and writing time. How lovely :)

Hope you continue to know God's blessing in your homeschool
Anne x

Frizzy said...

I envy you! Especially with the size of Yaya's kindergarten class this year. She's one of 30 students. How on earth can anyone learn in that situation. I'm praying for her teachers and the other students as well.

Amanda said...

Lovely to get a glimpse into other people's homeschooling day. And I loved the Duggar's new book as well. Such a gracious family.

waikikimum said...

Hi Renata, your daily schedule sounds a lot like mine. We start around nine and finish at three. We are at SIDE - School of isolated and distance education. The programme is great, even though at times I feel overwhelmed. We do home schooling because of health reasons, but I would never go back to normal school for my youngest now!!

Saminda said...

I just love all your pictures Renata. :) And it sounds like you're doing a GREAT job homeschooling. It's a blessing and when I read this I miss it! I did get my visit out at school today. :) It was so nice to see the surprise on Eli's face when I walked into his prep room! And I found Saraya in the playground (they were having lunch) and she leapt up and wrapped her legs around me- even though she's such a big girl and all her friends were watching!! :) Have a beautiful day xx

Grandma said...

Hello!!! Love the photos (of course there's no bias about the gorgeousness of the darlings!) Tell little missie I can't wait for her to read me some books when I visit (and Zai too!) She is very dressed up for a read out in the yard! That game Zai has looks very interesting!

Went to both John Piper meetings yesterday. They were very good - it was a great time to catch up with lots of people - some I haven't seen for years. Aunty Sel & Nity have a new favourite singer !!!! Colin Buchanan sang at the evening meeting last night. Aunty S said she enjoyed it!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was very good - I think I've only heard him do kids things.
Anyway, well get off here and phone you! Counting down the days now (though I do have an assignment to do before then!)

Love to you all and thanks for the pictures. Sometime, I'll have to see if I can use some of those pictures!
Love mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Christy said...

hi Renata!
thanks for all your comments :) hmmm....i'm thinking, thinking ;) I would love to homeschool but not sure it suits all my children..
thanks for letting us into your day
blessings and love xoxo

Smilie girl said...

Sounds terrific. A great balance of things. Probably more school work gets done than at traditional schools :)

Cheryl@OntheOldPath said...

Thanks for posting this I love reading about other peoples homeschool day. We are getting ourselves already to get back to our routine (so to speak) Blessings!

Oh and I love the music playing in the back ground I recognized Anne of Green Gables I think Anne is my all time favorite.

selina said...

Hi Narn,
Love the photo's!! Especially the ones from our photoshoot!!
Last night's John Piper talk was good (though I was a bit tired and out of it), there were about 3200 people there. I actually did enjoy Colin Buchanan's music (except the baa baa doo baa baa song....). I think you would lllluuuuvvv the songs he did last night.
Have a lovely weekend.

Linda Stubbs said...

It is the weekend and I can come and visit!!!!!!! Oh your blog is so precious and your children's pic are sweet! Love your days schooling. Love the pic of the boys, blanket and feet. This is family life and teaching at it's best. Our boys would sit outside in the barn, trees or where ever to do thier learning. Home learning and we have so many memories. Our youngest daughter does her learning out in the corral with the horses.
Hugs sweetie friend, I will be saying a prayer for you and your sweet ones!

Jenn said...

Loved reading about your homeschool day! We, too, only school 4 days. I do use the day off to catch up if need be and I do a science project with the younger ones on that day, too. But, I agree 4 days works much better for us, too!

Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

You run a well organized school. Which is the only way it worked for us too when homeschooled.
Your kids sure are growing!!

Sparklee said...

I really enjoyed reading about your daily routine!

I used to worry about people's reactions when they found out that we homeschool, but American schools have so many problems right now, people are starting to see homeschooling in a much more positive light.

I've never had a creme brulee frappachino but it sounds wonderful!

Michael said...

Renata, great to catch up with your blog again. Beautiful photos. I hear things are going well at church, I hope that is true for you and yours. This is a bit rude but I came across this excellent article on homeschooling and decided to send the link to you and Gavan and Karen, but since our computer died I didn't have your email address, so I'll post the link here if that's OK. It's not a criticism in any way, I'm just assuming you want to home school as best you can for the glory of God and the best for your kids. said too much already, here's the link:


God bless,

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