Homeschooling – a Day in the Life

I just discovered a new, encouraging, online homeschooling magazine called The Heart of the Matter.  They are having a weekly meme and this week’s entry is to share a typical homeschooling day.  Being fairly new to homeschooling,  I have been loving reading each family’s daily routine.

Below, I am hesitantly sharing what we do – a Day in the Life with our Kindergartner, almost 4 year old preschooler, and our just turned 2 year old toddler.  Oh, and this homeschool mommy is pregnant with blessing number four and expecting in 2 weeks =)   So, our ‘typical’ day and routines will be changing soon!

6am – My alarm goes off and mommy tries to get up (usually I’m up no later than 6:30am though), shower, daily Bible reading and meditation on God’s Word, prepare breakfast drinks for the kids (This may sound silly, but it is my way of prepping for the breakfast rush as I prefer to not have a toddler wrapped about my ankles or hanging on my side as I pour 6 glasses of liquids – 1 milk and 1 juice cup each.), eat my breakfast in the peace and quiet before little ones awake, and check email.  This is all accomplished on a good day =)

7:10-7:30am  – Our toddler usually awakes at some point during this time , is changed, dressed, and cuddled.  Then he tends to play with his trains while mommy sneaks in a load of laundry and makes the bed.

7:30am – Big sisters awake, get dressed, make beds (if they remember), and come downstairs for breakfast  (They may awake earlier than this, but per advice of some other moms, we have recently made a rule that they can’t come downstairs until 7:30am (mainly for mommy’s sanity=) . )

After breakfast, the kids brush their teeth, comb their hair, finish making beds, and play/read a little.

We try to start school no later than 9am.  We head downstairs to the basement playroom – which is a welcome and much loved addition to our home this fall!

We usually begin with our Calendar Time and focus in on the following….
Adding the new date card and stating fully, adding a tally mark for the number of days in the month,  saying the pattern for the month’s cards, talking about yesterday/today/tomorrow, checking the weather and adding a picture and sentence that describes the weather, marking on our weather graph, adding a straw for the number of days in school, singing songs such as ‘This is the Day’, ‘Seven Days’, and the ABC Song (using sounds instead of letters)   (Our K and preschooler, usually, are involved with this, and sometimes the toddler joins us for songs and to tries to take out the straws =) )

Math Time with my K student is typically next.  We are working our way through the Bob Jones University (BJU) Math lessons and corresponding workbook.   I am not an avid proponent of workbooks and worksheets for K and lower, but my daughter absolutely loves this approach.  This doesn’t mean we don’t do the active hands on though also with her!   During this time, 2 days a week, my preschooler also has some type of sorting, patterning, or counting and ordering hands on math activity to do.  My toddler plays, brings us things, sits on my lap, etc.

Bible and Character Focus
We have been following the Bible and Rhyme for 3’s this year for this time as well as memory verses from the girls’  AWANA program at church.   We typically introduce and read a new Bible story each week and then do related devotionals and sing songs / read related children’s books throughout the week.  (Both girls participate in this and the toddler plays or comes to sit and listen.)

Literacy Focus
Our kindergartner reads from her BJU reading booklet, a decodable book, and then chooses 3 additional books to reread to us.  Her preschool sister loves to sit and listen to her read and then takes the book and ‘pretend’ reads it!   Two days a week, our K child will also write in her Daily Writing Practice Book.  I got the idea from another Kindergarten teacher’s website.

Next, we will usually head upstairs for a snack and continue literacy at the kitchen table.  Our K child will write in her writing notebook and complete one or two pages in her Explode the Code phonics workbook.  Her preschool sister, depending on the day, will either be introduced to an alphabet letter that is related to this week’s Bible story and make related letter art or do a letter sort, picture sound sort, or practice letter formation in a tactile way.  (After eating his snack, our toddler either colors, looks at books at the table, watches Blues Clues, plays with some nearby toys, or clings to mommy =) )

Book/Theme a Week
This changes each week and is a time for more literacy, math, and art connections and/or a science and social study focus related to a children’s book or a holiday related theme.  Most of the ideas come from Story Lessons for K and/or the Bible and Rhyme Lessons for 3’s.  For example, last  week was a theme centered around Jan Brett’s book The Mitten and we focused on winter weather, winter wear, snow, and snowmen.  Some art projects can be done with our toddler around and participating (which he loves!), but sometimes we opt to do some of these activities at the start of rest time later in the day,

Missionary Story/Chapter Book
This is something I have been wanting to incorporate all year, but have been failing to do so!  I have just recently purchased books from Youth With a Mission (YWAM) and am trying to figure out a good time of day to incorporate these.

By this point in the day, we are all very ready for a lunch break!  This is usually when we end our ‘official’ school day.  After lunch is free play and stories.  Then comes nap for the toddler (and mommy at this point) and rest/quiet play for the K and preschooler.

After naps/quiet rest time is snack and more free play, stories, and some more Blues Clues.  Then dinner prep and a chorus of ‘Daddy!!!!’ sung out once daddy comes home =)

And that is it – a day in the life of our growing homeschool family =)

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