When I first considered homeschooling, I had a hard time imagining what it would actually look and be like. Here’s what ours is like right now.
We start each day out with a prayer and scripture reading. Sometimes with mom, sometimes with dad, and sometimes we all take turns.
I usually do this over breakfast to keep everyone’s attention. Sometimes we work on reciting or memorization during this time.
Before or after breakfast there is usually some music practice. Not all at the same time, though, and we definitely miss some days. We also love to listen and dance to fun music. Music is a great way to learn!
I’ve been doing reading lessons on and off with Seth and Lily. I love the book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. We are only to lesson 25 and Seth is taking off. This happened with my other kids too.
The younger children practice writing, coloring, painting, easy crafts and occasionally do some work sheets. This is only a small part of their day. Most the time they’re just playing, helping and living life.
Nathan has been taking an online algebra class and Raquel is writing a book, which means some computer time. I do have educational software (mostly Jumpstart) that all the kids enjoy.
Nathan and Raquel also attend a commonwealth school one day a week for math and Shakespeare. They will be performing Much Ado About Nothing in a couple months and have been practicing their lines. Nathan is Don Pedro, the villian, and Raquel is Dogberry, the comical police sergeant. Should be fun!
The older our children get, the more we formalize our expectations and make them accountable for their own learning. Here is a chart from Williamsburg Academy we are using with Nathan. He will attend their online classes this summer and fall.
They’ve also been trying to earn money for summer activities (Youth For Freedom and Space Camp), so here is a Dave Ramsey chart we’ve been using for special jobs. Dave Ramsey has some great materials for teaching kids financial responsibility. (The charts say 50 cents, not $50-FYI).
When I train my kids to do new jobs around the house, I count that as part of homeschool. For instance, Nathan’s been learning to make different breakfasts for our family. Serving is part of the job too!
Raquel and Isaac have been attending a Montessori charter school part-time. They go 3 days a week for this semester and really enjoy it. I picked the days I wanted them to go and the school was kind enough to allow it.
These are the books we are reading now. I’m reading the Portal to Genius myself (I’ve shared some parts with Nathan & Raquel), The Keeper of the Bees to Nathan & Raquel, Raquel is reading Grip of the Shadow Plague (Fablehaven 3) to me, and I’m reading Peter and the Starcatchers to Isaac, Seth and whoever else happens to be around. I’m really enjoying all of these. I also read picture books to my younger ones daily.
I just bought The Choice last weekend and it is already changing our paradigms and our relationships with each other for the better. Everything from the Arbinger Institute is amazing! Teaching our children how to get along with others and develop deep, rich relationships will be some of the most valuable education we can give them.
Raquel made some very creative clay creations the other day. Don’t you think they’re cute?
The boys got into making cup towers and pyramids.
Nathan loves science and found an elemental molecule set I bought years ago. Seriously, it’s taken us years to use some of the resources I’ve purchased, and that’s okay!
Raquel is learning to crochet. She came up with the idea and was motivated entirely on her own. This constitutes about half of our home education. Our kids express interest in something and we help nurture and support them.
Now, please don’t think for a second that we do all these things ALL the time. This is a sampling of our activities over the last month or so. There’s plenty of running around, screaming and rambunctious behavior as well as learning going on in our home (I just don’t have pictures of that). There have been seasons of time when I did no formal schooling, but I feel children are always learning when we are providing them with lots of resources and encouragement.
One of the things I love best about home educating is the flexibility. We can go wherever we want, whenever we want. Mike had a medical conference in Anaheim last month, so we went to Disneyland for a couple days.
Having more time together makes stronger, happier family relationships. This is really important to me. After all, most other relationships fade over time, but families can be together forever. I want the influence of my husband and me to be the most powerful one in my children’s lives and I hope our influence will continue throughout their lives. The chances of this happening are much greater if we back up our wishes with time, effort and love.
What have you been doing in your home lately?