Friday, June 21, 2013

School Done by Noon by Jamie Hausgen

A Day in the Life of Our Homeschool
My family just finished up our 7th year of homeschooling – so we are enjoying summer break!  The following was our schedule for this past school year.  My children just finished up 5th grade (twins) and 3rd grade.
We usually wake up around 7:00 a.m. unless we were out late for some reason the night before.  My kids like to get up and get moving so they can finish with school and have some free time.  We eat breakfast.  The kids get dressed and brush their teeth. Someone takes the dog out, and then the kids get out our “school stuff”.
We usually get started between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m. 
First, we do Together Time.  I try to do as many subjects together as we can.  Some of the items we do during Together Time are strictly review for my older kids, and some of it is a little advanced for my younger one, but I feel like review is good and that being stretched is good, too. Together Time consists of:
·         Calendar, weather chart, and date chart – my kids fill in the date on a calendar, they chart the weather (sunny, rainy, cloudy, etc.), and they fill in a date chart where they write the date, such as Monday, May 6, 2013.  This helps cut out the “What day is it” questions that I have been getting since we started our summer break.
·         Bible verse memorization – They learn 1 to 3 new Bible verses each month. 
·         Vocabulary word of the week – We have a “word of the week” book that we went through this year from Queen Homeschooling Supplies.
·         Prayer – very important.
·         Math and phonics flashcards – this takes about 3 minutes total.
·         Daily Language Review – This is a workbook that I bought from  There are 5 language related questions that we went through every day.  We did the 5th grade Daily Language Review this year.
·         Science – This year, we used Apologia’s Astronomy book.  We finished earlier this school year, did some review, and then went over a manners book that I bought at a used book sale.
·         Geography – Our geography curriculum for this year was United States Geography.  When we finished the curriculum, each child picked their “favorite” state and did a mini-project on that state.
·         Bible and History - On Wednesday-Friday, we did our Bible and history curriculum from Veritas Press.  We have used this curriculum for both these subjects for 4 years.  *Next year, we are going to read a chapter in the book of Proverbs each day.
·         Reading – Throughout the year, I read books out loud to the kids.  The books I read are recommended books that go along with our Bible or history curriculum.
·         Computer time – Computer time takes about 25 minutes and is supposed to be a “fun” time of review and memorization.  They watch several videos and listen to several songs, including a Books of the Bible song, a presidents of the United States song, a state capital song, a geography song, a math facts song, a grammar fact song, and a different Schoolhouse Rocks video each day.  They also go through some Spanish words each day.  I change the list of Spanish words each month.  My reason for doing “computer time” is to hammer in different facts and concepts while giving the kids a break from sitting at their desks (the kitchen table). 

After computer time, the kids did their other work for the day.  I rotated from child to child and worked on spelling and math and any other subject they needed help with.  They finished up their spelling and math on their own and also worked on a handwriting assignment, a language assignment, and a reading assignment.
Snack time/art time is at 10:00 a.m. every day.  We always break for snack time and art time for 30 minutes.  The kids also usually pick some music to listen to.  Sometimes I had something assigned for art and sometimes they did “free art”. 
On Thursdays, each child had a “reading/comprehension quiz” – it took less than 5 minutes.
Fridays are different than other days at our homeschool.  We did Together Time including computer time as well as handwriting, language, reading, and art time as usual, but we didn’t do math or spelling on Friday!  Instead, we did poetry and fine arts – we studied different poems and different artists each month.  My kids also read sections from the Abeka 5th grade history book and the Abeka 5th grade science book out loud as supplements on Fridays.
This is our day to day schedule, and we always finish school work by noon.  There have been many times I’ve felt guilty about finishing so early in the day, but I don’t want to “assign” schoolwork just for the sake of doing school work.  Some of the reasons I feel confident in our schedule include:  we ALWAYS finish our school books each year, 2 of my kids are ahead in math, and one of my kids “turns it off” when she gets overwhelmed with busy work.  Also, when we’re finished with school for the day, my kids don’t lie around eating junk food and playing video games all day.  They have chores to do. They play outside, They read their Bibles and also read for entertainment, and sometimes, they do play the Wii.   
We do deviate from our schedule to attend field trips, attend art-days with our homeschool group, or to get together with friends.  One of the great things about homeschooling is the flexibility.  I know as my kids get older, we will have to adjust our schedule, but right now, I feel like we are in a good grove.

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