We had our first official back to school day today. Well, honestly, we school throughout the year. We don’t technically take a “break” during the summer, but I do become more laid back and we only continue to work on math and language arts.
Homeschooling year round works well for us, because I am attempting to balance work and homeschooling. Continuing to school through the summer keeps us on track when our school day gets canceled because I have a client meeting or write a blog post.
We have structured learning in the morning. Structured learning are the core subjects we believe are important they learn to be able to be successful at everyday life. Subjects such as math, reading and language arts. Right now our two main focuses are on math and spelling for Maddie, for the twins we are our focusing on basic math, reading fluently (they are close) and spelling (SpellinguSee has aligned fantastic with our reading goals for them). We tailor their core subjects based on their emotional and academic readiness. It’s pure torture for them and us to ask and expect them to be in a place they are not ready to be. No amount of our forcing, pushing and prodding will help accomplish it. I usually find if I am forcing, pushing or prodding I usually have an agenda for them I need to surrender and work to find a different and better way to teach what they need to know.
In the afternoons we have independent learning time. Each year I sit down with each of our kids and we discuss what they want to be responsible to learn and work on in the afternoons. It looks a lot more structured for Maddie right now and looks more like a chaotic mess for the twins. Yet, it makes perfect sense for both because of their ages, attention spans and interests.
Here is what we are using for curriculum and what our time structure looks like:
Curriculum for Naomi and Titus:
Each of their independent time is their free time to work on whatever they feel like doing that day. They could read the afternoon away, sculpt with play-doh, build a fort or put on a play. They can also work on the passions we talked about earlier in the year. Maddie will have more time to read and do projects on owning and training a dog, practice her guitar and playing the piano. Independent learning time gives them practice for developing good study habits. Keep in mind a good study habit might be Titus taking a part an old radio that doesn’t work anymore, it might be Naomi embroidering a dish towel. Studying doesn’t always look like sitting at the table for hours on end reading and writing. There is a practical real side for this to happen, but it’s important to not forget studying looks different for everyone.
We have an ish schedule, a routine more than being ruled by the clock. The beauty of homeschooling is starting later one day if someone didn’t sleep well or is sick. Flexibility is one of the reasons we homeschool, thus we stick to a ish schedule.
7 – 8amish: Wake
AM Chores (get dressed and tidy bedroom)
Breakfast (on their own)
8:30- 9ish: Cleaning Zone
9 – 10ish: Math & Spelling (this takes shorter or longer depends on the character of the kids that morning.
Timmy usually eats at 11 for lunch and goes down for a nap around 11:30. I work during his nap time and in the evenings. Sometimes if I have an article due and I have to get it written sooner, Mark is able to take over the kids to allow me to work. We also live near family and they are amazing about helping out with the kiddos as well. If that is the case they bring their homework with them and work on it at their grandparents house or at one of my sister’s houses.
I want to encourage you dear homeschool family to not get caught up in someone else’s life or schedule. It may be hard to believe, but someone is watching you going, man they are amazing, how are they able to do everything on their plates. Someone is watching your life and wishing they had what you have. It’s a tricky, messy thing learning to be content with our own selves and our family. I pray you have an amazing year.