Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day In The Life Week

Not Back to School Blog Hop It's Day In The Life Week on the Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop. This post is a little bit difficult for me to write because we're still working on finding out what will work best for us. We started out slow, only doing one or two subjects a day and have been adding in things as we go. I think that was one of the benefits of starting "early"--I don't feel like we're falling behind if we skip a day here, or put off a subject there. It's also hard for me to write because my favorite thing about homeschooling so far is the lack of schedule. I guess it's left over from my angst-ridden, "I want to be grown up and make the rules" youth, but I just can't fathom having my entire family beholden to a schedule created by someone else. Sure, we kind of do that with jobs, but we have the freedom to choose whether we are going to take a certain job or not and whether the scheduling and duties of a particular job are worth the money that it pays. But with the public schools, there's not really any choice in the matter and the buses start picking up at 7:10 (and if my research is correct, ALL students from K through 12 ride the same buses and some elementary kids even get dropped at one elementary school, then picked up by another bus and shuttled to a different elementary school...no thank you).

With all that said, we don't have a set time for everything and certainly not a schedule broken down by subject, but my kids (all kids?) do like routine, so we try to keep things pretty consistent. As I mentioned last week, I am not a morning person on the best of days and pregnancy doesn't help. I don't think my kids want to deal with me and my limited patience first thing in the morning either, so we get a slow start. They eat breakfast with daddy and then play by themselves while I get up, eat, check email and read a blog or two. I try to head up stairs for school time no later than 10am. I give Sierra her worksheets for the day to do independently and I sit down with Sedona to work on her things (typically phonics and her speech practice). When they are both done with those tasks, we switch. Sedona gets "worksheets" (which actually work on concepts like same/different and writing, but half the time she just grabs the box of crayons and colors all over them...whatever, she's 3), and I sit down with Sierra to go over things she missed and work on her math (which she almost always needs one-on-one attention for). We usually work until around noon, when daddy comes home for lunch. They show off their work to him and then we all sit down to eat. Right after lunch is nap-time for Sedona. Sierra and I sit down together and I read her a chapter out of a difficult book (we always start by talking about what we read the day before, then at the end, we review what we read that day). If we're behind on something else, we will do it then, but usually the rest of nap-time is quiet time for Sierra. She can read a book, watch a movie or play a game on her DS (she likes Big Brain Academy and Learn Math). Sometimes I even convince her to take a nap too. I sit down and rest, or catch up on chores. After daddy comes home and we eat dinner, sometimes all four of us will go back up stairs and do more school work if there is more to do or if the kids are driving us crazy to "go work" (yes, sometimes they out and out beg to do more schoolwork!). We will trade off which parents works with which kid, but they both get one-on-one time when we work in the evenings. Bedtime around here is 7:30 because we've tried later bedtimes and we get the same early wake up times regardless of bedtime, so they really don't get enough sleep if we let them stay up later.

The only thing different about speech therapy days is that Sierra's independent work is done at therapy. I explain any instructions I think might be confusing for her, pack the worksheets in a folder along with a pencil and any other supplies she might need, and she works by herself while I sit with Sedona during the therapy session.

I'd say there are a few planning things I've already had to re-think just in these early weeks. First of all, I was so concerned about getting the perfect curriculum (like most first time homeschoolers, I think), but I really should have been much more concerned with coming up with a viable plan to keep everyone happy. It has taken some trial and error to figure out how to get both kids to do something (even if it's "just" playing for Sedona) independently so I can work with the other one without ten million interruptions when I need to. I also knew I would need to do some prep work outside of our "school time", but I didn't really know how much. It's not overwhelming, but it can be time consuming. We still haven't started Spanish because I haven't previewed what the lessons are going to be like and gotten the materials set up yet. Same thing with history, I have ideas, but because of my lack of preparation, we haven't consistently added it to our schedule yet. We do have spelling, grammar, reading, geography, science and math in the regular rotation though, my goal is to get Spanish and history in there before the first of September!

14 comments:

Marsha said...

Like you, I love the flexibility of homeschooling! If it doesn't work one way, you can always try it another. Your schedule looks great.

Deb said...

That sounds great - I have a 3 year old, too. It is a huge challenge to keep her busy while I am working with my son. This year she is demanding "real schoolwork" and will not be appeased with coloring - she insists on sticker books. Tons and tons of expensive sticker books. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Have a great year!

Karen said...

Exactly how I feel! I love that we can do things on our schedule instead of a 'set' schedule!
Have a wonderful year.
Homeschooling Rocks!

Branch Of Wisdom said...

Great "Day in the Life"! Homeschoolers have so much fun and are so creative :) ...and yes, flexibility is key to success.

Thanks for sharing and have a very enjoyable 2010-2011 school year!
~Tamara
www.BranchOfWisdom.com

Jenilee said...

I love the flexibility of our days! it helps to not be too tied down to a written schedule. We are trying a little harder this year to be more consistant but I have a feeling we will not always be on schedule! :) I do know we will be having fun and enjoying school. your day looks great!

Theresa said...

I agree that kids need a routine, they need to know what to expect... Stopping by from the blog hop!

SisterTipster said...

I don't DO mornings either! Flex RULES! Happy week!

Jenny said...

I am also not a morning person!

"some elementary kids even get dropped at one elementary school, then picked up by another bus and shuttled to a different elementary school"

That scares me! Yikes!

We are so not scheduled that I couldn't even think of how to write a post for this week. LOL!

Ashley at bosssanders.com said...

I put a schedule up for my day in the life BUT like you, I depend heavily on the flexibility of it all. I try to not even set a goal for a certain schedule because with little ones, it's so hard. ESPECIALLY when you have to teach around their tiredness and moods.

AmyBarkerPhoto said...

I think that is the wonderful thing about homeschooling! Try something, and if it doesn't work-change it! Good luck!

joyce:waddleeahchaa.com said...

As the grandmother of a child who is being homeschooled I love the flexible schedule too. My grandson usually works hard Mond. - Fri. and then he gets to come and spend the day at my house or they take a field trip which I get to participate in to. There arte so many thing to learn in the world around us instead of just out of books. Don't get me wrong I am all for the reading of GREAT BOOKS! Thanks for the post and making it ok to be flexible. :)

Jenn said...

I normally love a flex schedule, too, but this year adding in a third child to the mix and actually having to teach him formally (esp. the huge looming feeling task of teaching him to read!!!) I am trying to keep more of a consistent schedule this year.....of course we haven't started yet, and I may be tweaking quite a bit to find what works. Have a wonderful and productive year =))

Quiltstory said...

Well I am just so impressed! And flexibility is definitely a bonus for homeschooling!

Thanks for linking to our party, hope to see you next week!

Denise said...

Just came to your blog for the first time. I enjoyed your post. We go through this each school year. I think I have the perfect schedule, but it always needs some tweaking- sometimes a lot of tweaking! lol Have a good year.

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