The public schools around here are starting back next week. We’re taking one more week off before getting back to things around here. I’ve been planning all summer, printing out class materials, making copies and just generally making sure we will be ready. I’m trying very hard not to think about Boo being in 9th grade. A high schooler. Lord, help us all.
I took these pictures of a typical day in our homeschool a while ago. I was going to link up to someone else’s blog series, but I never really got around to it. But since Back to School is in the air, I’ll go ahead and share them now.
First off, we start our day fairly late. I am not a morning person at all. My kids get up, get dressed, eat and take care of their chores while I’m trying to wake up. We officially start our day at 9 AM. And doesn’t Boo look thrilled?
We begin with what the kids have dubbed “couch work” or “soft work”. We are still using Sonlight as our main curriculum and I have combined Boo and Pumpkin Girl so that they are doing the same core work. Couch work includes anything that involves sitting on the couch while I read aloud. We follow Sonlight’s Bible reading schedule, then history, poems, science and end with the read aloud novel that usually ties in with history.
Pumpkin Girl listens best when her hands are busy, so she likes to work on loom knitting projects while I read.
Meanwhile, Pipsqueak plays in the room with us or with Bip in another room. On a good day it isn’t a problem. Sometimes though, he does become a distraction and we have to send him away with varying degrees of wailing and carrying-on.
Before releasing Boo and Pumpkin to work independently, we do spelling. We use Sequential Spelling which doesn’t take too long and doesn’t require that they spend extra time studying spelling lists. Pumpkin is a natural speller and Boo is not. She tries to get all her words right everyday and he tries not to yell out in anguish more than 5 times a day. It works for us.
The school day is so much more enjoyable when Pipsqueak cooperates.
Then it is Bip’s turn. He is not a fan of reading, so we start with that, just to get it out of the way. After a tortuous 10 minutes of him reading aloud we are both edgy and frustrated. I would like to jump right into history, but Bip is my budding Evil Scientist, so we go with science first. That puts him in a better mood and makes him more receptive of his history lesson. We end with a read aloud novel, which at his age does not necessarily match his history.
Thursdays are science experiment days. Boo and Pumpkin do their experiments together, without my help. They usually do them while I’m doing couch work with Bip. They are a hoot to watch. Pumpkin Girl does all the real work and orders Boo around, making him go get the supplies and read the directions. Then she explains to him why the experiment did or did not work. He is happy to be the errand boy and gleefully writes down the answers that Pumpkin provides him. Occasionally I remind him that Pumpkin Girl will not be going to college with him and he’ll be expected to do his own work.
Bip and I do his experiments together. When I took these pictures, we were doing experiments with magnets. We successfully got one magnet to float above the other with the use of a little tape. We were having so much fun that all the other kids joined in, too. Even Pipsqueak enjoyed playing with the magnets.
With the exception of spelling, the kids are on their own for seat work, or as they call it, “hard work.” They have various language arts, religion, logic, math and geography lessons that they work through on their own time, usually after lunch. Ideally I correct their work once a week. Realistically, it happens when it happens.
I am done with my portion of the school day around lunch time. The big kids usually work for an hour or two after. They like to gripe about how l-o-n-g school takes until I remind them that they are done before their friends have even left school and they still need to come home and do homework.
How about you? When do your children start school, home, public, private or what have you? Are you ready?