Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Thursday in our Homeschool Life

Welcome to a Day in our Homeschool Life…
with an 8 lessthanfourweeksandhe's 9 year old, twelve justthreeweeksawayfrom 13 yr old and a 16 yr old.
We lean mostly to the Charlotte Mason style and we do the bulk of our schooling four days a week. Fifth days are catch-up, extra activites and science experiment days and every other week, fifth day is our homeschool co-op. Here is a post about our curriculum this year.

While our days hold a lot of routine to them, there is no typical day in this house.
My kiddos laugh at the notion and tell me, “We’re too crazy for that!”
So here’s a peek- just a slice of one wild, crazy day here….
4:30 am- First time up for mama. The Mister gets up at dark thirty every day to provide for us. He is amazing. I am not. Most days the alarm goes off, I wake him up, then I roll over and go back to sleep. This works for us. Early in our marriage I asked him if he wanted me to get up with him at this most awfullest time of day and his response was that his well-being was tied to mine and it for my very best well-being to sleep much later than this. It makes his life happy when I get my required eight hours of sleep. He is a good man, a very good man.
However- this week seems to be kicking my well-being in the behind. Matters beyond my control have made it so that I am awake at this time for the THIRD time this week. *sigh* I am a night owl, never turning out the lights before 11 pm. What’s a girl to do?
Devotions, that’s what. So for the 3rd time this week, I pull out my Bible in the darkest of dark and dig into the Word. There is no better balm for my weary, worn-out heart. I am reading through the Psalms right now. One Nineteen to be exact.
Verse 156 resonated with me this morning as I drifted back to sleep during my prayer time… Lord, how great is your mercy.
5:30 am- Back to sleep. The house is dark and quiet.
7:30 am- Ms. Books wakes up and does her devotions. The rest of us are all still asleep.
8 am- Ms. Books wakes up Sassafras and they both start math. The girls use TeachingTextbooks and it has been life changing for us. Sass use to struggle with math, I’m talking tears and gnashing of teeth- mine and hers. Due to past experience, the girls prefer to do their math on their own, which translates into Mother, do NOT be in the same room when I am doing math. This may sound crazy but our system works for us. Usually, during this time I am doing my devotions in the quiet of my room, but this morning I had already done them- so I lengthen my prayer time and check the weather and my email instead.
8:30 am- I wake the Boy up. He stumbles downstairs while I start breakfast. Sassafras has finished her pre-algebra and has moved on to her morning devotions. Ms. Books is still deep in her geometry lesson. The lectures are longer than algebra and it takes her on average 80 minutes to finish.
I’m making yogurt smoothies today. Mr. Conductor doesn’t want one. I’m tired and I don’t push it. I give him his favorite junky cereal.
9 am- I am still trying to make breakfast for the girls and I. The boy inhaled his cereal and has begun his math test (we’re still using Horizon’s for him but plan to switch to Teaching Textbooks next year). I wrecked/burned up our ten year old blender last week and now, well, now it seems that I have just burned up the gifted-to-us blender my sister-in-law just gave me. The kitchen is a mess and I’m about to follow. The boy distracts me with a joke. Breakfast gets made and we move on.
I wanted a this is me studying studiously pose and this is what I got

The girls are working in the schoolroom, the boy and I are at the kitchen table, still close by but a room away so that everyone has the quiet they need for concentration. My girls do the lion’s share of their work independently with me periodically checking on them off and on throughout the school day. When I step into the room quick to grab a book, Ms. Books goes over a couple of assignments with me, I give her direction and she’s off and running with it again. Sassafras has to be checked on more frequently as she will sit and stew and be frustrated for quite a bit before she seeks help. Her most difficult lessons are language arts so she usually does these right after breakfast.
10 am- His test is done and he moves on to a language arts worksheet while I grade Ms. Books’ biology module study guide. She has a test today and I should have graded this yesterday but I forgot. It’s a good thing she’s a whiz at science. She looks over the graded guide and challenges me on an answer I marked wrong. I ask her to prove it from her book. She does. We laugh and I applaud her sticktoitiveness and I modify the answer in my answer key. Sassafras has moved on to her history studies and shares a couple of interesting facts with me about the death of George Washington.
10:45 am- Mr. C and I have moved on to his reader. My boy is a very reluctant reader and this is our least favorite subject. We start out with him reading aloud sitting next to me, while I hurry to type up the science vocabulary scramble I make for each of Ms. Books’ science tests. As per the usual, he starts well and is quickly distracted. We move to the living room where he can walk around and read while I separate and fold laundry. Then we move to him sitting in the rocker and reading while I knit next to him and follow along. It is a long process that I do not like but we continue to see improvements in his reading as long as we allow him freedom of movement.

Plugged in to Pandora while she works on her grammar lesson

11:30 am- The boy quickly works through the rest of his assignments, including completely acing his spelling test. I check on the girls, look over their schedules, noting their progress. Sassafras has completely ignored her assignment to begin her personal narrative rough draft. This is her least favorite assignment. We discuss her outline and move on.

12 Noon- The boy is bundled up and going outside to shovel the sidewalk. He dubs this his recess. He is very big on helpful projects that include physical labor and the immediate fruits of that labor. This boy is hands-on. Sassafras begins making her own lunch.

Tuesday is was 58* Today its -2*

12:30- the rest of us are in the kitchen going through leftovers and concocting our own lunches. Ms. Books takes a “working woman’s lunch” and eats her lunch while reading her history lesson.

1 pm- Sassafras reads Mr. Conductor their science assignment for the day and they work together on their zoology notebooks. Sass loves to draw and sketch and will spend a quiet half hour diligently working on this.

1:30 pm- Mr. Conductor and I research Thomas Jefferson and Monticello online as part of his history. He has a cookie break. His school is now done.

2 pm- Sassafras has school mostly completed with the exception of her timeline. She has found she is a couple of weeks behind on this and sits quite happily cutting and pasting and discussing. I am not usually nearby for this and I enjoy sitting back and listening to her narrate. It gives me a nice window into what she is retaining. Ms. Books has just finished her science test.
2:30 pm- the boy is off playing in another room, I answer email. Sass cleans up her space and Ms. Books continues with another part of her history lesson. Today is a big lesson that she has broken down into three parts. I remind her that we only have ‘til 3 pm today for school. She gets a bit frustrated with me and we discuss the lesson a bit more.
3:15 pm- We are all excited to be leaving for a family service project- we’re serving together at the local soup kitchen tonight!
6:25 pm- After a quick stop at the grocery store, we are back home. Everyone helps unpack and then the boy shows daddy his perfect spelling test, Sassafras checks her schedule for tomorrow morning and Ms. Books works a bit on a co-op class project (her class: a combination of photography, creative writing  and blogging).

Its hard to tell when a school day is really done because we're always doing. Always learning something or other. This is one of the things I love best about homeschooling, it encompasses our whole lives.


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