Monday, December 10, 2012

A Typical Homeschool Day

I am new to this homeschool world, but even I know that there is no typical homeschool day. It could vary widely from family to family and from day to day. However, because it is one of the things that I was most curious about before I started homeschooling, I thought I'd share what a regular day might look like for us by just describing our day from time to time. If that sounds insanely boring to you, then by all means skip this post!

I woke up at 1:30AM, 3:30AM, and 5:30AM to a crying baby.... wait, that's not relevant...

Noah woke up for the day around 6:30AM and as usual, I fed him and then set him on the floor to wander around, suck on discarded socks (Mom of the year award is in the mail, I know), gnaw on board books, and slobber on toy trains while I lazily, desperately tried to stretch out every last minute that I could stay in my bed. Kai came in around 7:30 and I was forced to rise.

Alexander and Jack came raucously down the stairs soon after and I got to work on four different breakfasts. Normally we aim to start school around 9:30, but Alexander was so excited about our social studies unit on Hanukkah this week that he asked if we could start with that. So, at around 9:00AM we started in with some reading about Hanukkah. Alexander and I worked together on a cardboard dreidel, and then all three kids and I played for a while. About five minutes in, on one of Kai's turns, he looked happily down at the dreidel and exclaimed, "I got Gimel!" and pulled all the pennies to himself. He picks up quickly!

At around 10:15 we stopped and Alexander and I worked on his spelling words, some grammar, and I introduced his new poem for memorization which we read over several times and discussed. I'm sure Kai and Jack were doing something during that time, but I honestly couldn't tell you what it was. If the state of the playroom is any clue, they battled some sort of tornado-troll. The kids are not allowed any screen time during the day on school days. In all seriousness, Jack and Kai play quite well together most of the time while I am working with Alexander. They certainly quarrel like any other brothers, but I think their phase of intense "wrestling" seems to be in a lull.

By 11:00, Alexander and I were done and we all breaked for an early lunch. My kids eat all day. ALL DAY. I am pretty sure I won't be able to homeschool past elementary school because I am going to have to get a JOB to pay for all their food.

After lunch I got to work with Jack. We did some work with flash cards on identifying lowercase letters. Again, I am sure that Alexander and Kai did something for those fifteen minutes, but whatever it was, no one was shrieking and I didn't hear any crashing, so it wasn't memorable. After Jack and I were done with the flash cards, all the kids and I played a game we call Alphabet Actions. For each letter, we think of an action we can do that starts with that letter. Jack was responsible for telling us what sound each letter makes, so it was phonics reinforcement for him and some pretty good exercise for all of us. That took until about 12:30, at which time we all got ready to go out. It's true what they say, you know. You can homeschool in your pajamas.

Jack and Alexander each take one activity per week at the YMCA. Today Jack had tumbling for an hour. During that time, Alexander, Kai, and I walked a leisurely loop around the short track, did a few races back and forth down the hallway, and Alexander did his daily half hour of forced pleasure reading while Kai worked on a PuzzleBuzz magazine.

We got home around 2:30 and surprise, surprise, it was time for a quick snack. Afterwards Alexander breezed though his math assignment and a page of copywork (handwriting practice). He was done by 3:15.

Our homeschool day is done, except for the idea that homeschool bleeds into life and vice versa.

Now, in order to get a better feel of how our day went, go back through and insert various baby needs, noises, and actions about two or three times per sentence. Do most of our days go pretty smoothly? Yes, surprisingly so. But yes, I do have four kids here, two of whom are still very young and require quite a bit of supervision, hands-on care, and entertainment from me. There are days when we don't get everything done that I had planned, but so far we've always been able to find time later in the week to make it up without getting behind. It works out and I wouldn't change my decision even on our worst day. Not yet, anyway.  


Sharon Marie said...

It probably sounds so cliche for me to tell you that you are a brave soul, but you definitely seem brave to me. I had all sorts of ideas about homeschooling until I actually had kids, and I've since tabled them. I don't know, maybe as Abby gets older I will start to reconsider again, but my days are so crazy right now, I can't imagine working planned lessons into them on top of everything else. I am definitely in awe of your juggling and organization skills. And you have twice as many kids as I do! :)

Beth Chiang said...

Sharon, one thing you have going for you is that your kids are close together in age so many activities would be suitable, or easily adjusted, for all of them. I do think the hardest part is having the two little ones around, so maybe when Abby is 5 and Raspberry is, what, 3ish? Things might look different to you. Either way I know you'll be involved in their education and I don't think there is a wrong decision! :)

Beth Chiang said...

Oh, and thanks!! :)