This is our second semester of home schooling. I am STILL on a steep learning curve...2011 is our year for BALANCE. My girls are best friends, they share a room, they share their toys, and they share their home schooling day together. My three year old wants to participate as much as my kindergartner. My aim is to keep them engaged in the learning process, to have fun, without me going crazy in the process.
1. Early Morning:
I try to get up no later than 6:15 am. My husband usually attends 6:30 am Mass at our parish which is less than 5 minutes away. It is a simple service so he is usually back by 7:00 am. I use this time for private prayer and reflection. I also drink coffee, and briefly go on-line. When my husband returns he makes breakfast for the two of us. This is our time to talk before the girls get up. They LOVE to sleep so it takes awhile to get them moving . Last semester, I pushed them so our day started at 8:00 am, however it was too much so I backed off, and let them get up on their own time. This has allows me to have some time with my husband, time for me to exercise, and a less stressful start to our day.
By 9:00 am, we are ready for school. This is our version of circle time:
- The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
- Patriotic song, marching throughout the house with the flag, my girls LOVE this!
- Alleluia Movement Song
- Traditional Catholic prayers: Our Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary, Glory Be...
- Hymn with hand movements
- Scripture Reading and Catechism.
3. Math Time/Flex Time:
We are using Saxon Math for Kindergarten, and we all like the manipulatives used for it. My three-year old plays along, as she can. She is learning her numbers, counting, and shapes. Since we are also learning our numbers, and colors in Chinese, we also use the manipulatives for that. After Math, it is time for snack and outside play. Then we alternate science experiments and social studies projects. By then, it's time for lunch. After that, we have story time on Mommy and Daddy's big bed.
4. Language Arts
After my three year old is down for her nap, my kindergartner and I head to the sofa for reading. We are using The Ordinary Parenting Guide to Teach Reading, and do "the two review and one" method of instruction outlined in the book. Ladybug even made up a song called, "Two Review, and One New!". We review the past two lessons, and learn one new lesson. Then, she works on her handwriting assignment. By the time that is all completed, it is usually about 1:30 pm and we both need a break.
6. Quiet Time
This was actually an idea I found in The Well-Trained Mind A guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. They encourage an afternoon break for everyone in the house, for sanity sake. They also suggest with reserving special toys, books or activities that older children can enjoy in their rooms. This is when I blog.
7. Play Time/Work Time
The girls play independently and I complete housework, laundry, and prepare dinner. One afternoon a week we study Chinese culture and language, one afternoon every other week, my five year old attends Girl Scouts. We home school 4 days a week, and have one free day. That day I lead a Moms' prayer group while my girls have a play date, we run errands, and visit the library.
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Do you home school? What does your day look like?