Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Obligatory "Homeschool Schedule" Post

I've noticed that most homeschoolers love to see other homeschoolers' daily schedules. So, at the risk of boring Everybody Else, I'll entertain my fellow homeschoolers (hopefully) with our schedule.

Here's what we usually did this past school year. If you don't already know, Rachael just turned nine, Rebecca just turned seven, and Benjamin will be four next week.

Community Bible Study homework. (15-20 minutes) The four of us are all in a weekly Bible Study, and this is the first year Rachael has homework. (Next year, Rebecca will have the same assignments as well.) We do it together at the kitchen table: I read the scripture, Rachael reads aloud the questions and we answer them together, and often Rebecca colors. Benjamin used to sit at the table with us with a toy, but then after a while he started announcing he was going in his room as soon as we began, which was just fine with me.

Math-U-See video lesson (4-7 minutes, once a week) This only happens when we start a new lesson, which is usually once a week. We usually all watch this on the couch. I know it sounds stupid to have to watch a video teaching how to add, but the video teacher is really likeable and funny, and believe it or not, he presents things in ways I've never heard of before.

Rachael one-on-one time (35-40 minutes) During this time, Rebecca would go play with Benjamin in his room. What I did with Rachael at this time has evolved over the months, but currently we do Writing With Ease (narration, copywork, and dictation), First Language Lessons (mostly grammar and poem memorization), All About Spelling, and a few minutes doing math together just to see if she has questions, and possibly to work on word problems together.

Rebecca one-on-one time (30 minutes) Rachael takes Benjamin down to the playroom. I've been very relaxed with Becca's schoolwork this year. We just started Writing With Ease, which she loves. She went through the Alpha Math-U-See book in about 4-5 months, so we casually do Beta and some supplementary stuff. She likes phonics games, which reminds me that I haven't done that with her lately. Today she read out loud to me. It just varies.

Rachael Alone Time (20-30 minutes) Technically, I would play with Benjamin, although often this was a struggle for me, and often I would spend a big part of this time moving laundry and checking my e-mails.
It's a little hard for me to play alone with him because he doesn't like to do things that I can handle, like coloring or doing a puzzle together -- instead, he wants to play with his cars, or some sort of game where I chase him or something, and frankly, I'm too old and grumpy for that. But often we played with various Discovery Toys, or Leap Pad, or sometimes I just read to him. Meanwhile, Rachael did her math and cursive writing practice (although right now she's doing Explode the Code Book 6 because I think she needs the spelling practice). Rebecca would either join me and Benjamin or, more likely, occupy herself somehow.

Snack/Five in a Row (45 minutes) This was my solution to kids wanting a snack, but me feeling like that was a big time-waster that made it hard for everyone to get back on track. We have the snack on the couch while we read a book from our current unit study, usually with Five in a Row. (Right now, however, we are studying the colonial times/Revolutionary War, and reading different biographies by Jean Fritz.) Benjamin will sit through most of the book until he's done eating. Then he soon gets wiggly, and either I send him to his room to go play or he dismisses himself. Usually, after the reading, we work on something for the girls' notebook. For example, after we read If You Lived in Colonial Times, they had to write down and illustrate four things they remembered from the book.

Around this time I start fixing lunch. Once we have lunch, it varies greatly, depending on what day it is, what else is going on, what mood we're in, and what the weather is like.

In mid-afternoon, when I read to Benjamin at his nap time, the girls are each supposed to go have silent reading. Rachael recently finished Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg and Cam Jansen and the Chocolate Fudge Mystery. Rebecca really enjoys the "Rookie Reader" series and reads them over and over again.

And that's what we do. In August things will change considerably, but I'll save that for another post.

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