For you inquiring minds who want to know, here is a peek into a day in the life of our little homeschool:
My personal alarm goes off at 4:50am most mornings. I sneak out of the house before the sun comes up and go workout for 45 minutes. If everyone is still sleeping when I get back I sometimes crash back out on the couch but most often just sit and read, pray, enjoy the silence. If Mark is up, we read scripture, pray together, and chat over coffee until the kids get up.
The kids hit the floor anytime between 6:30-8:00a.m. The rule is that they have to stay in their rooms until 7:00 and must have their clothes on and beds made before making their grand appearance.
We have a pretty casual start to the mornings with breakfast, devotion, chores, and getting ready for the day. The kids have to have their chores done before 9:00a.m. to earn a poker chip which they can spend on 30 minutes of screen time(Wii, IPTV, Kindle or computer time) later in the day or on the weekend. When chores are done there is free time until I am ready to start lessons.
Mark & Lilly usually go out to check on the chickens before he heads off to work Tues.-Saturday. Our weekend is Sunday(church and rest day-no chores!) and Monday(run errands and family volunteer job at adult daycare). We do lessons 4 days/week on Tuesdays-Fridays for typically 3 months on, 2 weeks or 1 month off.
This is our school room downstairs. No, I did not clean it before taking the picture. Just keeping it real.
By 9:00a.m. or soon after, the 3 of us meet downstairs. If I am ready before then I will throw in some laundry and check my email while the kids play. Honestly, if they are playing really well together I will continue with my chores and give them extra time to just play. I’ll call them for lessons when there is a break in the action or tensions start to flare.
When we “do lessons” we are down in the school room at the table. Toby does math on the computer while I work with Lilly on reading, writing, math, and maps. Toby is usually back at the table before I am done with Lilly and he will do his independent work(language, copywork, maps). When we wrap up book work the kids are diving into other projects while I read aloud to them from Story of the World or the Christian Liberty Nature reader.
Most days while I am reading aloud Lilly is creating something with markers, paints, or who knows what. She is very artistic and told me today, “Sometimes even when I am outside playing I just want to come in and craft something!” Toby will do a word search, play with Lego’s, or pull something off the shelf to mess with while I read.
After history or science we discuss what we learned and then find something to research out of it. This week we have looked at pictures of the different types of beetles in the world, discussed religious persecutions and what it means to be a martyr, learned how to dance an Irish jig, and took a virtual tour of the catacombs in Rome. Once a week we do art appreciation study, a CD based art program or craft project, poetry reading, and keyboarding.
We usually wrap up bookwork by 10:30a.m. and part ways for free time, often outside.
We congregate again for lunch between 11:00-12:00. The kids are getting better at preparing their own lunch or at least helping me prepare.
I try to eat quickly and while the kids are still eating I use this time to read aloud to them. Right now we are reading “Call of the Wild” and a short story each day from Devotional Stories for Little Folks. The kids usually beg for me to keep reading. Oftentimes we clean up lunch dishes and hang out in the living room by the fire for more reading.
Their sides of the table say a lot about their personalities. This is Toby’s neat and tidy side.
After read aloud we have an hour of quiet time. This is Toby’s silent reading time and he will read for an hour or more now and then again at bedtime, and at other random times through the day if he is really into a book. Lilly plays quietly on her bed doing puzzles, drawing, looking at books, or playing with magnet dolls. I will either read, knit, write, or lately NAP!
Our afternoons are pretty free if we don’t have an outside class or errands to run. Tuesday and Fridays are our at home days and I try to keep them free for the kids to just play outside and have down time. Wednesday and Thursday afternoons are always busy with church class, PE, piano lessons, errands, play dates, book club, visiting friends,etc.
Afternoons also involve gathering chicken eggs and outdoor chores as well.
If we are home by 4:00 the kids love to spend their screen time chips on watching Wild Kratts. I love that they learn from it!
After the show we start getting dinner ready. Lilly has taken a huge interest in helping me with anything cooking/baking related. She is getting really good at it too!
We have dinner on the table most nights by 5:30 when Mark gets home and sit down to eat as a family.
Throughout the day I am always picking away at some little project as I go. Laundry, cleaning, sorting, planning, etc. are ongoing things that I do as I find time. I try to just be available to the kids first and foremost if they have a question or need help with something.
I realized in writing this out that we really do quite a combination of unschooling, Charlotte Mason style, and bookwork. I often find the kids working with our Smart Globe, reading and looking at books, creating masterpieces, playing games, doing experiments, and just working and learning through their play. It is a common occurance for one of the kids to approach me throughout the day and declare, “I want to learn more about….” And we will see what we can do to satisfy that hunger as soon as possible. Our lifestyle nicely accommodates natural learning both inside and out. While the basics are covered in books, so much more is learned in living experiences.
So there you have it. A day in our life. Nothing fancy, just lowkey and pretty relaxed, just the way we like it!