Today I’m sharing yet another peek into what a “typical” day looks like around here, with an emphasis on how learning is incorporated into everything we do.
One month into this deployment and we are settling into a rhythm. No two days are exactly alike, and we all miss Captain Daddy like crazy, but we’ve begun to feel like we’ve got this.
I am a huge morning person, and my children are not. I consider this a blessing! I’m able to start most days with some Momma time, and it makes the days so much smoother. Of course this means I am asleep in the evenings about five minutes after they are, but it works for us.
Once everyone is awake (usually no later than 8:30) we roll into play time and breakfast. After that we get dressed, brush teeth, brush hair, and talk about our day. If we are going to leave the house (or have company) it’s typically by 10:00-ish or so. Often we just stay in, and yes, that means sometimes we don’t get out of our pajamas!
We don’t go out much. (Did I just say that out loud?) It’s true. Uh oh . . . isn’t that the stereotype of the homeschooling family who shelters themselves from the world? Eh, maybe. But not really. It’s more that . . . wait for it . . . no one cares. Seriously. My kids are young. They are excited by a trip to Target and a run through the KFC drive-thru. The commissary, the library, and maybe one other day where we go to the park or a play date at a fellow homeschooler's house . . . a few days a week we are out and about and the other days we are pretty content to stay put.
This doesn’t mean they stay inside all day . . . all three Agents have recently renewed their interest in the back yard and have been spending a few hours outside each day. Even though it’s cold cold cold for us southern peeps. They all needed hats and gloves last week! (Quite a change for kiddos who are used to running out the back door sans shoes most days of the year.)
Anyway . . . school. We have sort of a plan to “do” school most days. Usually this involves me writing down three or four points on a dry erase board for Agent E (second grade) to do independently or with me. (I don’t do anything structured with Agent J, my star kindergarten student.)
Right now with Agent E we cover five basic subjects: math, reading/writing, science, social studies, and art/music.
For math we’re working our way through a book of third grade basic skills. (Yes, she’s second grade, but whatever. The joy of homeschooling, you can do that.)
Reading she’s got covered. She reads independently at least two hours a day (and that’s probably a conservative estimate). We talk a lot about what she reads, and I answer questions as they come up, but we don’t really study vocabulary, or comprehension, or spelling, or other related topics per se. We just figure it out as we go.
For science we’re trying to do an experiment a day. Recently we’ve explored osmosis, surface tension, and that whole oil and water don’t mix thing.
Our current social studies lessons revolve around one of her favorite book series, American Girl. We are doing a history unit study on each girl and time period. We are also studying U.S. presidents (something we did last February as well) using a few simple pages downloaded from education.com and some free Kindle games.
Oh, we also decided kind of last minute to throw in a few books/lessons on Greek mythology, which wasn’t on the original agenda this month. (Thanks to Disney Junior for deciding to make Hercules a recent Friday night movie.)
Confession: We’re kind of slacking on art and music this month. In the past we’ve looked at the lives of famous composers, listened to lots of classical music CDs, and studied famous artists and landmarks. Lately we’ve just been having art time (i.e., messy coloring painting cutting play doh chalk drawing glue time). Although, we are also working on learning to sew and crochet, and I would consider that an “art” as well!
We are very relaxed about how and when we have “school.” Often it doesn’t look like school at all. When someone asks me what we do for homeschooling, I always feel like they are expecting an answer like we use XYZ Curriculum or we follow ABC method or we work from 9:00 to 1:00 Monday through Friday. But the truth is, it doesn’t look like any of that. Which is why it’s difficult to quantify what we do.
I would say our basic day looks like this, though: wake up, breakfast, play, get dressed and ready, reading, play, a little school, lunch, bulk of school work, play, outside time, more reading, snack, more play or reading or a movie, finish up school, dinner, play, relax, bath, more play or reading or TV, snack, bed.
It’s really that simple. And to know that they are learning all I need to do is think back one month, six months, one year and visualize what they were doing then, and realize how far they’ve come now. (I find reading to be the easiest thing to do this with, because I can remember books. Just how far both Senior Agents have come with reading alone in this journey amazes me.)
To sum: We spend a lot of time together; talking, living, learning, and having fun. Every day we do nothing and everything. And it all blends together into our perfect homeschooling day.