This year marks year 4 of us home schooling. Something I firmly believed would not last more than a year... and something I feel has had many ups and downs.... is way easier said than done and is something you really have to devote to do...
We have had a few dabbles here and there in curriculums - a few bombed attempts at things and over all the experience is far from perfected, but something I feel we have found a groove in this year.
So! I wanted to write up a post of our daily school routine, a day in the life of "The Wood Knots" that is :) - and what we and our boys get to do almost every day.
Just an FYI, this year my husband is helping to school the boys as well. Previous school years I was the one in charge, which was fine but very hard. Once baby Reed was born I found it almost impossible to school, which ended our last school year 3 months early. The beauty in home schooling is that while your children are as young as ours, this can happen and they will survive and catch up. This year we plan to get a lot done and stick to a very good routine, just in case another move comes and we have to stop early or stop for a season again.
So, here is an idea of how our day goes:
7:00-8:00 am - Eat Breakfast, Get Dressed and Brush your Teeth.
My husband is the one who set this early start time btw. Personally I would be good in being slack in the morning and sleeping in every day :) - after all, whats the rush? He however finds security in an early morning start time, so since we are working together this year in schooling the boys, I have to give in some areas.
8:00-8:30am - Bible Time and Prayer.
My husband is a former Pastor so he is able to do this without too much prep. There are great bible curriculums available though all over the net, so lots of options for those less gifted in the area of bible study - I am included in that btw!
8:30-9:15am - Language Arts and Hand Writing
This year we are using ABEKA streaming for our Language Arts and Hand Writing. This is a big hunk investment for us this year as Abeka videos are not cheap. After years using Abeka, we have found the videos to be a great asset in schooling our boys. While we find that using 100% of Abeka's curriculum is overkill (especially for boys), their phonics and math programs are fantastic. We highly recommend them as well as their writing tools.
9:15-10:00am - History
For history this year we are using My Fathers World Adventures in US History
. So far we really like this curriculum! What is cool about it is that we can teach this to not only Caleb but to Taite at the same time as well.
Caleb btw is 3rd grade and Taite is 1st grade. (Caleb turns 9 the end of August and Taite is 6, won't be 7 until late December.)
The My Fathers World Set also includes ART, Science and Music. So it is not only History/Geography.
10:00 - 10:15am - Break (snack/playtime)
10:15 - 11:00am - Math
Like I stated above, we are using Abeka Math. We chose to use Abeka Math for Taite but with Caleb this year we are using something called Teaching Textbooks
. So far he loves it! The cool thing about it is that you can reuse it year after year after year. So in the long run it will save us money. It is all computer based too, which is nice.
11:00 - 11:20am - Reading
Travis and I split this up. I read with Taite, he reads with Caleb. They can read set books that Abeka recommends or a book of choice - just depends on the day.
11:20 - 11:30am - Fix Lunch
I obviously am in charge of this (as my husband is not gifted in the area of cooking). I try to keep lunch simple or prep ahead of time, so less work is required in the kitchen.
11:30 - 12:00pm - Lunch Time
12:00 - 12:15pm - Clean up Kitchen from Lunch
The boys help with the clean up. Each boy has a set of chores they have to do after lunch which helps speed up the process.
12:15 - 12:45pm - Science or Music
12:45pm - Begin process to put Owen and Reed to bed for naps.
We had hopes that Owen would be in a preschool located two roads over from our house. Sadly they were full before we got him in, so he is currently on a wait list for that. For the time being he has little activities he joins in with us throughout the day, but Owen is learning he has to entertain himself a lot which is easier for him being the 3rd born. He plays with trains, or the iPad, or rides his big wheel on our drive way. By 12:45 Reed is ready to go down for a 2 hour nap and Owen is right behind him.
1:00 - 1:15pm - Art
The MFW Art is so easy - I love that about it. Not too much prep is involved and not a lot of "stuff" is needed to keep on hand. The first few weeks you really just do basic drawing, which is awesome for young children!
1:15 - 2:30pm - Caleb and Taite have quiet time
Quiet time is something I have driven into my children since birth. It is my sanity time and REQUIRED no matter their age.
They are allowed to read books, draw, explore the iPad educational APPS, and after 2:30 they are allowed to watch a TV show, play the Wii, that kinda thing.
Typically during naps I am able to work out, read and pray a bit, and sometimes get a little bit of work done. The hour and a half I get to myself is way too short though. Most days I feel frustrated at all I have left to do yet am unable to do it because there are 4 little ones who need me first. Its all about prioritizing and working hard... it will get done eventually.
Once baby Reed gets up around 3-4pm we then begin our evening alone, while Daddy is at work. Travis leaves for work around 1:30pm so after school is over with, I am alone to fend for myself with the boys.
Our evenings are often spent tidying up the house some, doing laundry, prepping dinner, baking bread and almost always a trip to the pool, a bike ride or walk around the neighborhood, and of course lots of outdoor play. My boys LIVE outdoors. They have lots of energy, so the more time outside, the better.
By 6:00pm -Baby Reed is in bed...
yup 6.... so for the rest of the night, its just the 3 boys and myself.
Which is nice. I can only do so much with a baby in hand. :)
8pm - My other dudes go to bed.
Caleb is allowed to stay up until 9pm in his room. He likes to color and read in his bedroom after his brothers go to bed. Since he is older, I allow this.
8:30 - 10:30pm - ME TIME, or often times EDITING TIME, where I am processing sessions from the weekend or writing a blog post. A day in the life for me is long... and hard. Often times by the time my boys go to bed, I feel like doing nothing more than sleeping or vegging out to a TV show. Some nights, I do just that. :)
Hope you enjoyed going through a typical day with us! It is far from perfected but after 4 years of this, I feel like we have a good routine down.
Just for those who do not know us very well, my children's ages are currently 8, 6, 3 and 10 months. ALL BOYS :)