Saturday, August 30, 2014

Weekend Links - August 30, 2014

And just like that, August is over. We managed to fill it with new experiences (and some old favorites) and some good memories. Not to mention four full weeks of school already completed.

Today is the first Saturday where I don't remember having an outside obligation. So, what will we get up to? I hear Playmobil City building upstairs, so I think I know what the girls have chosen for their Saturday fun.

To the links:

Spiritual / Inner Life
Marriage / Parenting
Homeschooling / Education
Writing
In the News
Made Me Laugh
What caught your eye this week?

Linking up with:


P.S.: Don't forget about the Simplified Organization course. The coupon code backtoschool (good for 30% off) will only be good for a few more days - it expires September 2.
Get organized. Stay organized.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Last Days of Summer, First Days of School: August Review

Oh, August, where did you go? We didn't have one unclaimed weekend in August, and that is crazy for this family of home bodies.

For a peek at what we got up to in August, read on:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Typical Homeschool Day?

We've met the students (5), we've shared our curriculum and general style (relaxed classical), we've shown where we homeschool (all over the house) and now it's time to describe a typical day.

Except, typical isn't real.
Typical is how things would go if every day was the same. "Normal" is an even harder mark to hit. Is there such a thing as a normal day?

Not really, not for us. (I mean, we just might go ride a sphynx for fun. You never know with us.)

But this is a rough sketch of a a how a day might go, if none of us had any other obligations
  • Up between 7 and 8. We're not early risers. Unless Philip is subbing, we usually don't have a reason to be up before 7. This is wonderful thing about our homeschooling flexibility. If he gets up early, I might...or I might not. (See? Nothing typical.)
  • The kids who are up earliest can fix their breakfast, if they're hungry. Or they could put on a DVD. They usually go for the DVD option. I have my quiet time (Bible reading, reading, waking up...) while they are occupied.
  • Some of us eat breakfast together, but not everyone. And hot breakfast? Almost never happens. (Unless you count Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat.) Big breakfasts are served for supper around here, never in the A.M. 
  • I unload the dishwasher & start a load of laundry while we're doing breakfast.
  • "School" starts after breakfast. That could be 8:30. It could be 9:00. It could even be 9:30, depending on what else we're getting into. If it's a co-op day (Mondays), we'll have to be there by 9:15, so we won't do any work at home in the morning. If it's a day my niece is with us (Thursday & Friday), we'll probably start on the earlier side.
  • We do memory work together: Scripture passage, section from Shakespeare, other poems. 
  • Big girls start on independent work while I do things like calendar time, phonics, and math games with the younger two girls. The iBoy usually plays during this, but sometimes he's back in bed for a morning nap.
  • Once things are done with the younger girls, I do Grammar and writing with Tigger. Miss Lili gets to play now, but Tigger & Sweet Pea usually have narration, grammar, or other things of that sort to do with me.
  • History and Science are divided up. Three days are History days and two days are Science days, for Tigger & Sweet Pea (of course reading & special projects could be any day of the week). Polly is working mostly independently and she does Science 5 days a week. Miss Lili tags along on Science when she wants to. (The last two weeks we were studying leaves and she was right there with us.) We might do this right after memory work, or it might get pushed until right before lunch. So far (4 weeks of school almost done), it hasn't ever been skipped. I'm just not uptight about when in the morning it happens.
  • Latin - primarily for the oldest two, but the younger two have been known to hang around, usually happens before lunch. Sometimes we save it until after lunch, when the youngest two will be in bed so we'll have fewer interruptions.
  • Lunch is around noon.
  • We do a quick pick-up of whatever we got out in the morning. (I say this is typical, but it doesn't always happen. Life is better when it does.) Laundry gets switched. We start planning supper, if we didn't already do that.
  • Naptime is around 12:30 or 1:00. This is for everyone: the older kids are allowed to read or work independently on schoolwork, but the younger ones have to be in bed. They can listen to a book on CD, or look at books, but they have to be in bed with no toys. (This is particularly important on the days my niece is with us. And then once a week my nephew is here too, after his morning kindergarten. He doesn't sleep but he does rest quietly and listen to a CD with the girls.)
  • After nap (1 hour, unless someone falls asleep, in which case: DO NOT DISTURB.), there might be more school, but usually it's done and the kids can play. I try to encourage them to go outside at this point, but if it's too hot or raining, or there are too many bugs, or someone has a hangnail or something (seriously. The reasons not to go outside can become rather ridiculous at times), they can play inside. Emphasis on play: no screens. (Although Miss Lili pushes this rule nearly every day. That's typical, too.)
Some days we go to the grandparents. Sometimes there are errands to run. With five children, almost every week someone has a doctor or dentist appointment. (OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but not much. In August alone we had two dental appointments and one check-up.)
My primary goal in our homeschool day is to get as much done as possible before lunch, in the limited time between 9 and 12. Those three hours are golden. As long as we keep moving in those hours, we'll feel accomplished by the end of the day.
Supper is usually around 5:30 or 6:00. It can be later or earlier depending on what Philip's schedule looks like. We do our family devotion (a short reading) and our "Questions" (what my kids call our Baptist catechism) most evenings. Honestly, some days we don't even do those. (Wednesdays are particularly difficult during the school year since we need to leave our house early to get our church's kids program set up.)

After supper is clean up the dining room and then free time, or finish up what ever school work you procrastinated on time, or watch a family movie, or - and this is probably the most typical in our house - game time. Philip almost always has a game to play with the older kids. One of the kids will take a turn playing Minecraft or some other computer game. I might read or work on a project or even play the game with the others (although I'm not sure I'd call that typical).
Bedtime starts around 8 or 8:30. This includes reading aloud. (Usually Philip reads a picture book - or 3 - to the youngest and I read a chapter to the oldest) The older girls are allowed to read for another thirty minutes or an hour.

Philip and I do a coin toss for the computer. (OK, not really. I was just checking to see if you were still reading.) We work on projects (games, blog, other writing) for a bit and then many evenings we'll watch something on DVD or off of the computer before heading upstairs to - you'll never guess - read some more. Many evenings I go up to read while Philip works a little more.

So, typical? Maybe not. But the days do seem to have a rhythm that works for us.

Do you follow a strict schedule or do your days have an informal rhythm? Do you have a typical day?
Linking up with: