WARNING: LONG, WORDY POST AHEAD
Even though we are just starting out on our homeschool journey and even though our routine is anything but routine, I thought I'd play along with Simple Homeschool's A Day in the Life.
deschooling gently, totally unorganized mama and her 4 amazing students. This is all new and fluid and actually changes from day to day, but I'll give you what I strive for, what, in my mind, would be a perfect day. Keep in mind, it rarely goes just like this, but we usually get either the start or end of the day down. We also have library day once a week and our extra curricular activities that mix up the schedule a bit.
Then we try to do something fun, preferably outside. I am really much, much better off, if I can get outside for a few minutes in the morning. We also try use this time to do something physical, the boy needs physical first thing in the morning. Lately that has meant shoveling and skating on our little ice rink or sliding down the hill on our snowboards. There are times we don't get to this until after lunch, but we make a real effort to get outside every day.
My oldest has decided she'd like to use this time to study nature, take pictures, look for small things to bring indoors, and she plans to start a nature journal to chronicle it. This is something I know will catch on with the other kids as well, she really is an amazing little leader and I love giving her the space to share her ideas with her siblings in her own way. I'm sure she'll have them all categorizing plant and animal species in no time.
Math-U-See maybe? But for now we refer to Home Learning Year by Year and use the workbooks you find at grocery or teacher stores.
I spend most of my energy during this time playing games with my son like Yahtzee or making him think his worksheets are games by using poker chips as counters to illustrate the problems. This is working for now and helping ease his anxieties about written math. (He's a bit of a perfectionist and gets frustrated with numbers not looking the way they should) Some days he's not in the mood and chooses other activities like working in his dinosaur book, lots of practice with letters and size comparisons and dino games mixed with dino facts, so fun.
Percy Jackson and there seems to be a strong desire to learn some Greek Mythology.
My second is still working out some issues created by the school environment and her reading. We have re-established a love for books, and have decided that for the time being, requiring her to read aloud to me is doing more harm than good. Instead she is currently reading Ella Enchanted on her own, while I read it on my own, then we have casual book discussions throughout the day. A nice way to reconnect and keep tabs on her reading skills without her feeling like it's an evaluation.
Hooked on Phonics from the library and he really likes the characters and colorful pages and the fact that he can listen to the tape on his own. We'll see if the interest lasts, in the past he hasn't liked these formal programs for very long, but he does have a desire to learn to read.
They all read picture or science books independently, as the mood strikes, throughout the day. And both the older girls, and I, spend part of most days reading to their little brother and sister.
Around 4 or 5 or lately 6 we start dinner and everyone has a pre and post dinner chore, even the 3 year old. Daddy is usually home by dinnertime.
Then my hubby and I have some time to ourselves to watch a movie, pick up the days clutter, finish dinner clean up, work on our own projects or head to bed early.
There are lots of other things the kids do on their own, when I'm not looking ;). Like writing songs and stories (a daily treat around here) drawing pictures. They have access to most art supplies so when the inspiration strikes they're off. And any work they, or I, deem important gets tossed into a file folder to be, hopefully, added to a yearbook later. Most of the day is spent doing whatever they want, and a lot of what they want ends up being really educational.
deschooling and testing the unschooling waters. I know we will continue to have a somewhat relaxed, real world experience, style to our learning, but we need to work on our daily rhythms. We need just a little more predictability to our days and weeks. We all want to work on scheduling our time so we can accomplish the things we want to, in a reasonable amount of time, so that's what we plan to focus on for now.
Thank you Jamie, for this opportunity to share with other homeschoolers our experiences.