Homeschool (Jan 2021)

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Like so many of you, really all of you, our schooling journey has changed since March of 2020. Which, side note, was almost a year ago. How are we almost a year removed from the month that everything changed? It seems insane. Anyway, the point. We’re now five months in to homeschooling and have started to settle into a good routine. I am by no means an expert or the most qualified person to talk to about this, but I thought I’d share the rhythm that we’ve found and the products that we love. Another side note: I just spelled rhythm wrong and ALL I could think about what the episode of New Girl where Nick finishes his first zombie novel and spells rhythm wrong and then Winston reads it aloud and mispronounces it every time. I know it’s helpful to me to have other people tell me what they have found that works. Here’s my caveat, which I shared in my previous post about goal setting and will share in maybe every single post I publish: find what works for you and your family. Your homeschool will look different and it should, because you are different and your kids are different. Experiment, be open to change, and discover your best fit.

Before I share our daily rhythm, I’m just letting you know that I’m going to share links to the things we use. The Amazon items are affiliate links through my Amazon storefront where I get a small kickback. Use them, don’t use them, I just wanted to be transparent and maybe make shopping a little easier by putting them all in one place. You can see everything in my Amazon storefront here.

 6:15 : My alarm goes off and I wake up. I head downstairs for coffee and quiet time, which for me is reading my Bible and this year, the Bible Recap. This is a podcast but there’s also a physical book. When it comes to Scripture, I’m just a hard-copy book person.

 7:00 ish : My kids wander downstairs and color, do puzzles, build, crawl on my lap, start asking questions, fighting, etc. We hang out for a bit and then start making breakfast around 7:30. I’m going to do a whole post on how I meal plan, but for breakfast we’re eating one of three things: oatmeal, eggs, pancakes or muffins.

 8:15 ish : We’re getting dressed and doing morning chores. I fold a load of laundry and get the little ones dressed (ages 3 and 1). My oldest two children (ages 8 and 6), make their beds, empty the dishwasher, and feed the dog/let her outsides for the morning. They also take turns doing a 15-minute tidy in their playroom.  Oh, and on Monday they move their laundry bags to the laundry room for me. Then they are free to play.

 9:00 – 9:30 : Morning Time

            We start our school day together with calendar time, songs, and our morning basket. Our morning time is when we do work together and each day is a little different, but throughout the week we are doing some mixture of the following: Scripture memory work, songs, poetry reading, reading from Aesop’s Fables, reading from the Children’s Storybook Bible, learning about composers, and learning about presidents. (Chalkboards are from Chalk Full of Design, Scripture memory cards from Pip & J Papery, books here.

9:30 – 11:00 : Math and English

            We are using The Good and The Beautiful curriculum for both of these subjects. Paxton is in Kindergarten, so he still needs a lot of hands-on help with his work; I usually spend from 9:30-10:30 sitting with him and working through his books. Olivia sits at the table with us but mostly works independently on her English and math. When Paxton is finished, he’s allowed to go play with Luke. Luke is three (he’ll be four in THREE WEEKS), so he sometimes is at the table doing “work” and sometimes he’s wreaking havoc in the playroom. He’ll do more formal preschool work next year. Ellery is one and she is usually just terrorizing the living room (where I can see her) or on my lap.

– Tidy up & Lunch

            We tidy up whatever we used in the morning (mostly because our school table is our kitchen table) and then eat. Just like breakfast, we’re eating a fruit and a vegetable with either: PB & J, homemade Lunchables, or macaroni and cheese. Simplicity is key.

 12:30 – Naps & School

            The littles go down for naps and we mostly finish school. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we do a history lesson from Story of the World and Tuesday and Thursday we do a science lesson. Then we read a chapter from whatever book we’re working through or do one of the suggested read aloud books from our history or science unit. Then my big kids (6 and 8) have a quiet hour. Paxton reads in his room while Olivia does assigned reading for school and some other electives, like typing, Latin, and creative writing.

2:30 / 3:00 ish
– Afternoon

            Everyone wakes up somehow starving, so we eat snack and chill together in the living room. After that the kids either have free play time or we do any “bigger” school projects that we didn’t fit in during the earlier hours, like painting, modeling clay, Lego buildings, etc. I love that our science and history curricula give a variety of project choices so that we can pick what works for us.

 And that’s it! Richard gets home at 4:30 and I usually have dinner ready to go in the oven so that I can go for a quick run before we all eat together. After dinner we play and clean up, and then settle in for more reading time. The only day that looks drastically different than this is Friday. We basically take Fridays off and use them to catch up on stuff we got behind on and to spend extended time outdoors doing nature study.

 I really hope that y’all find this helpful. I love reading about what works for other families and seeing if there’s anything that I want to incorporate into our schedule. I recently read about a family that does “stations” on Friday with more fun activities, and I think that is such a good idea! I’m planning on  using that more next year when Ellery (our youngest) needs a little more structure. I’d love to hear about what works for you family and what some of your favorite resources are!

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