I am curious how you start your day. When do you start your lessons? What do you do first? When do you take breaks? How long are they?
I find that it doesn't matter if we start first thing or start a little later in the day I am always met with resistance. I usually try to start with the things I find necessary to complete - reading, writing, math. I am rethinking this and wondering if we should start with something both boys would find fun - art, a story, music, science.
We also have a hard time getting back to lessons after a break, many times we don't get back to the lessons because (as I'm sure you all know!) there is ALWAYS something going on or other things that need to get finished. I know I need to do better about having routines to our day and am hoping to hear more about your day. BTW - my boys are 6 and 4.
We've been doing something new this year. I bought some brain teasers, logic problems, mazes, etc. at the beginning of the year. So, everyone has a quick fun thinker to get the day rolling. Now, I want to expand that to include the thinking puzzle or two -- and a journal entry. Also, they do piano practice and therapy before 10 or it never gets done.
The girls love the puzzles, mazes, etc so they jump right in. (That spirit doesn't always continue for everything else, but it has made more of an "official start" to our day)
Mom to three very active girls Anna (15), Kayla (12), Maya (9).
We started home schooling when Joy was 4, Erica was 4, and Angela was 2 months old. We started with language arts and math first (around 8 am), then a short "recess" so I could nurse Angela and the other two could run around outside (about 10:30) and have morning snack. When Angela was done and down for her nap on the living room floor, we did science and history. Academics were over with at lunch. Exercise, art, music, and crafts were done in the afternoon after nap/rest time and afternoon snack, around 3 pm. That schedule worked for us for 7 years, long past the need for naps or rests after lunch and the arts were moved up to after lunch.
We have a semi-strange routine for lessons around here. See, I am really random and flighty every morning until my meds kick in (ok now this is the odd part, I take my meds at 6am most days and they don't really kick in fully and level me until right around 11am usually) because of the nature of the beast known as ADHD-combined. So, since I get up at 6am and take my meds first thing, I do all the odd things I can. My time before lunch is for puttering around and distracting myself in mid-distraction with chores and other household tasks while we all wait for me to turn into a level-headed, NORMAL person (ok if you know me then you know I'm never normal lol but I can imitate it pretty well at times). So, we do lessons in the afternoons here. I clean and distract myself all morning, then I level off just in time normally to make lunch so I can focus to do that and feed them and then send them to burn off energy (either outside or with a yoga DVD or dancing in their bedroom or playing Wii, this activity will fill the hour I need). While they eat and burn energy off, I get my stuff together and set up for that day's lessons. Now, here's the order I usually do with my crew, and I try soooo hard to start by 1pm and we usually end aroung 4-6pm depending on the day.
Sonlight P4/5 reading
4yo dd does her handwriting lesson, 6yo and 7yo do journal/copywork time
4yo dd does a reading lesson (or math, or both), 6yo and 7yo do an elective
4yo, 6yo, 7yo dd's all do science with me
Sonlight core 1 reading (poetry, then history) and discussion if desired/needed
7yo spelling practice, 6yo math instruction
7yo handwriting intervention, 6yo math lesson work
7yo math instruction, 6yo spelling practice
7yo math lesson work, 6yo handwriting lesson/intervention
7yo reading lesson, 6yo hangs out or does copywork
7yo silent reading, 6yo reading lesson
electives for 4yo, 6yo, 7yo
Hmmmmm did I miss anything? Uhh let's see, I rotate electives. I have about 20 different things that they are doing (not all are doing everything obviously!) so there's a huge list. I try to do each elective at least once a week actively with my girls (the ending electives slot, the earlier one is practice for the oldest 2 girls). I won't bother typing out that list because it will make your jaw drop.
And then once schoolwork is done, I make supper, we eat, and then dh takes over so I can do my college homework. :) And so goes life (oh and every other Friday we change the entire routine and pare down lessons to accomodate homeschool roller skating). We do this anywhere from 4-6 days a week, and it works well for us when we're in the groove of it. But that first week after taking time off is MURDER for us (not talking weekends here, I'm talking like the time we've been off so far for Christmas and the upcoming 3 weeks we'll take when I have an overlap in my classes and have 2 classes at once when I'm dropped back into my online cohort here mid-Feb. to start earth science before I'm finished with algebra)
Cat- hsing momma to a wild crew of kids
Melissa 4/03, Lydia 5/04, Kimberly 1/06, Jordan 9/07, PJ 2/12, and Nate 5/14
Our homeschool days are 3 days a week. Hmmm... We start the actual school day with a walk, actually. DD and I walk the dog while DH takes DS to co-op preschool. She's pretty excited about homeschool anyway, because she likes the lessons, but I always put the last activity of the school day as something she likes most--music, educational game time, free reading, etc.--and she wants to get to those before DS gets back from preschool so she has my undivided attention for them. That does cut down on the feet-dragging about parts she likes less. We don't take an actual, get up and do something else break until we're through the main schoolwork, but many of the topics, like Math and Science/Social Studies have active and interactive activities too.
Our usual schedule of work is:
30 min. Math
30 min. Mandarin
30 min. Science/Social Studies (rotating units throughout the year)
30 min. Writing
30 min. Music on Mondays, Wellness on Wednesdays, Free Reading or Ed Games on Fridays
However, we do some reading time daily outside of this schedule, and we do Reading lessons and PE on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday. Those are 20 minute lessons on the computer and DD usually does them right after breakfast.
you guys sound so busy compared to us :oX . i work full time so we do reading, writing, and math and doing all of that takes us about an hr a day. we do about 2 hrs a day on weekends, and i add in history on those days. we also homeschool over the summer and most breaks. some day, in my wildest dreams when i can quit working, i think our sched would look like this (dd 1 is 7, dd2 is 21 mos):
early am walk on the horse trails near our house
9:00-math (singapore) for at least half an hr. this is dd's toughest subject, and i would love to have more time to incorporate manipulatives and more creative teaching methods to make it more interesting for her.
9:30- break (dd2 has special needs and needs frequent breaks if she is going to have a drawn out schedule)
10:00 ish- handwriting in HWOT or copywork
11:00- 11:30- story time/ quiet reading while i make lunch for the girls
break while i put younger dd down for nap about noon
1:00- dd2's wake up time - history. dd2 loves history and i can usually work in some more copy work, art appreciation, even math while we work on it.
school time would be over at this point and we would probably spend the afternoon baking, doing crafts, or playing outside with friends. when i get time off during the year for christmas or summer, this is the schedule we follow and it works very well for us. in the fall i wold probably add in some super simple preschool stuff for dd2.
Leah, we just sound so busy because we have more time to do all that stuff in. And some of us (like me) are juggling multiple kids at different levels. Now, I do take braks in my schedule for lessons, like there's a transition period from our 4yo's work to the work for the oldest 2 girls. That gives them a snack and some time while I take a few minutes to put away my 4yo's materials and undo the damage that my 3yo caused because mommy's attention was elsewhere and her sisters were working on school-related stuff (and many days I'll tell the oldest two to not worry about doing their stuff that we assign during my 4yo's lessons, that I'd rather they keep the 3yo occupied happily so that I don't have a HUGE mess to clean up because she's being a little more 3yo than normal that day lol) If I was working FT, I'd stick to math, reading, and handwriting during the week for just kids that fall under compulsary education and reporting laws and do a little science and history on weekends. But I'm blessed to stay at home with my girls and teach them and we have the ability to really get into it and follow their interests.
Cat- hsing momma to a wild crew of kids
Melissa 4/03, Lydia 5/04, Kimberly 1/06, Jordan 9/07, PJ 2/12, and Nate 5/14
its crazy because even with us sort of able to do the minimum right now i feel like we are still ahead of where she would be at if we were doing public school. i think pretty soon dd1 will be abe to handle some independent work and that will help. we were hoping that i could stay home starting this spring, but we want to get some debt paid off so now were hoping for next fall. bah.
We start our with a quiet reading time, then some music to liven up the day. We do our morning lesson around 9, lasts about an hour. Then we do another hour in the afternoon. Sometime during the day we do our religious reading and then poetry in the evenings. We are only at the preschool level...so we don't have to worry as much about getting things done.
Also keep in mind that home school is a much shorter day than a classroom. There is only a few children to teach instead of 20-30 or more and less busy work/homework. Once the work is mastered, the child can move on and not wait for the rest of the class. We got done in 4 hours with 3 "grades" that the classroom does in 6 hours with only one grade. We combined history, science, arts, PE with all 3 girls (when Angela joined her sisters for 1st grade). Math and LA were individualized.
First, we eat breakfast.
Second, I have more coffee and gear myself up and make any necessary photocopies.
Third, I put the magazine holder with materials for the five subjects in front if DS on the kitchen table, and we go through them in the order he chooses.
About an hour later, we are done. DS seems to be performing above grade level in all subjects. I'm sure this is much tougher with multiple kids.
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