Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Diary of a homeschooled kid

A friend asked recently if I'd share our daily homeschool schedule. I must admit that it was not uncommon for our days to vary quite a bit. Still, we definitely had a routine. We'd start each day with oatmeal for breakfast, and I would read a Bible story aloud to the kids at the table. Then we'd do some Catechism questions.

While I did the breakfast dishes, Anna would generally start on her Handwriting book, and do a couple of pages, while my other kids played--outdoors if it was warm enough (bikes, in the playhouse, trampoline), indoors if it was cold. (They love dressing up, coloring, playing with toys and puzzles.) My kids are *generally* very good at entertaining themselves and playing together, so this aspect of homeschooling (what do I do with my other children while I'm schooling Anna?) was really not challenging at all. Most days. :)

After Handwriting, we'd usually move on to Math. Depending on the lesson, we'd do two or three.

Then, Anna would spend some time reading independently--sometimes science (I love the Usborne books), sometimes classics, sometimes The Berenstain Bears. :) Sometimes she would read for hours on end.

In nice weather we'd all go for a walk or a bike ride around the neighborhood. Then it was time for lunch...and "school" was over!

Honestly, I think the words "education" and "learning" are often misused and misunderstood. Children are learning and educated any time they pick up a book, go for a walk, or help in the kitchen. Yes there may be specific "work" to be done on any given homeschool day, but there are also many (most?) days when the best "learning" is done during a discussion sparked by the breakfast-time Bible reading, or while snuggling a new baby sister. They learn at the grocery store...when we meet Daddy for lunch...when we play games. Anna really enjoyed helping me bake desserts for our weekly small group each Wednesday. Homeschooling affords us lots and lots of these "natural" learning opportunities intermingled with the book work and instruction.

And next year will be a bit different. We will be starting our exciting study of History, and there will be THREE little ones in school. I will have more to juggle. But I know we'll find our groove and fall into a routine that works for us. Some days that routine will fall apart. Some days it will work. (Right??!!)

I'm currently brainstorming ways to keep everybody organized. I'm thinking one basket per child, that will contain their respective schoolbooks and a pencil pouch to hold pencils, pens, glue etc. and a box of crayons. That way everyone will have their respective things in ONE spot, and when they know it's time to do Handwriting, they can go grab their book and pencil.

We have a schoolroom in our home (that's connected to our kitchen/dining area) that used to also be a playroom...but I've recently moved the toy bins downstairs in hopes of JUST using the upstairs room for school. There's a table in there with four chairs and I'm looking for a computer desk on Craigslist to hold the computer my dad gave to the kids. Between the table in the schoolroom and the dining table, there's lots of space for kids to work.

But some days, the best place to work is on the back of your younger sister's tricycle. Yet another joy of homeschooling.


The Fearnsides said...

Thanks for sharing this! I love how you have a relaxed routine. It such a blessing that your kids are getting to be kids.

I love the basket idea. So far, at our home, starting at 4 everyone gets their own plastic pencil box witht their own scissors, glue stick, pencils, etc. I thought it would be a good way to teach them to be responsible for themselves.

Thanks for sharing!

Shana said...

This makes homeschooling sound a lot less intimidating. I love your loose structure. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through Jennifer's blogs and love reading about your family and your adoption experiences. Definitely feel a bit like a stalker as I've never met you...I'm somewhat addicted to reading adoptive families blogs. :-) But, what I wanted to say is that I LOVE the explanations you've been writing about your homeschooling experiences. I must admit, up until about a year ago, I had a very negative view of homeschooling, due to some people I've known who homeschool in a very different way. But your blog posts are the best "sales pitch" for homeschooling that I've ever read. Makes me want to hurry up and get married and have kids so I can practice these life-long learning techniques you're teaching your kids, just by living the way you are living! Absolutely love it!


Linds said...

This was helpful to read as our little man will start Kindergarden at home in the fall and I'll be juggling the other two little ones as well. Thanks for sharing.

OneThankfulMom said...

I love homeschooling little ones! It sweet and lovely - and there so many wonderful ways to learn. Homeschooling big kids is great too because I've gotten to learn many, many things I missed the first time around.

This fall Eby will be in kindergarten and I'm already excited about it. Of course, third grade will be fun...and seventh...and high school too. All in all it should be a good year.


Kevin Heldt said...

I love how willing Kates is to always give her older siblings a ride on the back of her trike! That picture is AWEsome!


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