Friday, September 5, 2014

Our Typical Homeschool Day

Many people ask me what a typical schedule is like when homeschooling. As with every aspect of homeschooling, all families are different and benefit from diverse schedules which fit into their daily lifestyles. This is what a "normal" day at our house is like:
7:00-8:30 The kids wake up
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:00-11:30/12:00 School time with a snack break
12:00-1:30 Free play
1:30-2:30 Lunch
2:30-3:30 Foreign Language/Piano
3:30-5:00 Free play with a snack
5:00-6:00 Independent work
6:00-7:30 Dinner
7:30-8:00 Bedtime routine
8:00-8:45 Read/T.V.
The best thing about this year-round homeschool schedule is the flexibility. There are some days when the kids wake up at 6:30 a.m., and I am making breakfast before 7:30. However, on other days the kids won't wake up until 8:30 or 9:00. I usually let them sleep if I know they went to bed later than usual the night before, or they are not feeling well. Ultimately, I do not stress myself out completely to follow a routine, but I am sure to accomplish my weekly lesson plans.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Our Homeschool Approach

There are many diverse techniques and schedules which are beneficial to individual families. Everyone is different! There is not one right way to homeschooling, other than to make it the top priority. After all, you are providing your child or children's sole education. Scheduling is important, but routine is not everything. In my opinion, structure and information is more important than routine. For us, focusing on weekly objectives on a daily basis enables a broader achievement of goals. I utilize a weekly list of what needs to be learned for each subject, for each child, and then we make the best effort to accomplish and grasp the concepts. We homeschool throughout the whole year, with only holidays, birthdays, vacations, and sick days as days off from schooling. Yes, thats right, even on Saturdays and Sunday! When most children are happy to be off from their daily grind of waking up very early to get ready for a grueling time of making the effort to pay attention to a curriculum based on core standards, rather than to their individual needs, my children are getting the oppoetunity to enjoy their education. Therefore, my children are able to learn at a much more accelerated pace than those in a public school system, or simply homeschooling during a "normal school year" with summers off. We have always preferred to use workbooks in our daily lessons, because they seem to thrive with this method of having a sense of accomplishment,  as well as a deep understanding of the subject. Many would use the term, "eclectic" to describe our approach to homeschooling. Though the focus is on workbooks based on a comprehensive curriculum of the grade level, or individual subject content, my children learn in many other ways as well. We utilize different aspects of real-life situations to incorporate into their education. There could be something as simple as a math lesson at the store, a history lesson while traveling, or a science lesson at the zoo. Other than workbooks and hands-on activities, they read for at least 30 minutes a day at a level that is appropriate for them. I let them choose the books they read and what they want to read about, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, as long as they are challenging and not too easy. They are also involved in extracurricular activies twice a week, like dance and piano,  which provides them with an appreciation of music, as well a  physical and social outlet. We have also recently implemented a foreign language into their daily lessons, giving them a head start on their high school credits. If you have the time, patience, and organizational skills, then you are on the right track to be successful at homeschooling at an accelerated pace.