Friday, February 1, 2013

Our homeschool day in the life (with an -almost- 4-, 9- and 11 year old)

Jamie Martin over at Simple Homeschool is inviting fellow homeschoolers to share their day today, and since I enjoyed reading about other homeschooling families' days so much, I decided to create such a post myself. 

I am usually very organized when it comes to the boys’ school work, with detailed curricula, date and day planners, schedules and to-do lists. Our regular schedule looks like this:

Breakfast, chores and special reading in the early morning, followed by Math, English, French and Latin. Then lunch and reading (or sometimes an educational movie), and History or Science in the afternoon (except Fridays, which is our wrap-up-day). The boys play with friends outside between 3:30-5:30 pm, then practice their instruments, we have dinner, and then they have either sports activities or music lessons, or both. They finish off the day with more chores, and 1-2 hours of reading in bed. On Friday evenings and during weekends we do arts, more sports and special history or science projects.

Most days lately though, if you were to spend the day with us, with our schedule in hand, you would be - at best - a little confused. Subjects and time is all out of whack! It seems that four out of five days each week over the past months have entailed something extra; a doctor’s visit, meetings, special errands, trips, etc. Not only is this a bit disruptive and kind of exhausting, but because it seems like we never get everything done, I feel guilty (“If they were going to school they would be studying hard right now instead of laying puzzles and reading stories to the (almost) four-year old while I’m at my prenatal appointment.”) and stressed (“What if the baby is born and they haven’t finished their Latin program?! At this rate, they will not finish their Math program by the time we leave for the US this summer!”).

However, every time I’ve reviewed the boys’ work and tracked their progress this year, I’ve found that they are right on schedule. I really don’t know how this is possible, but it seems that sometime between Taekwondo tests, concerts, visits, special dinners, ski-trips, and ultrasounds, the boys have managed to keep up with their work.

Today was a more normal Friday than usual. The only distraction was a sick (almost) four-year old, which I’m sure all of you know means more attention and care.

8 am – My alarm goes off. On any other day I would be up already, but I’m always extra sleepy towards the end of the week, and especially now since the baby wakes me up at night, wiggling and jumping around in my belly. I stay in bed for a while with Abraham who is sleeping between me and my husband.

8:30 am The boys do chores, read and have breakfast. I set Abraham up with breakfast, and then I have breakfast while I respond to e-mails and work a bit.

9:30 am I set our sick Abraham up with a movie, a blanket and a drink on the couch. The big boys do their English (grammar, spelling, writing) and Saxon Math – I help my fourth grader since he has a special lesson today (an “Investigation”). When they are done they go over their Latin and then sit down with their Rosetta Stone language programs in their rooms. I finish my work for the morning, clean up around the house, put a laundry in, chat with my husband who then goes off to teach, and make lunch together with Abraham.

12:30 pm Lunch and a short reading session

1 pm Since Friday is our wrap-up-day (the afternoon is for completing history, science or English projects, or anything else that didn’t get finished during the week) and the boys still have to do their weekly science assignment, they sit down with this. I give Abraham a peppermint bath and sit down to work. After science is done, the boys practice their instruments and play with Abraham for a while, before going out to play with friends. Usually I would take Abraham out now, to play with his friends,  or we would do a baking project, but since he’s sick, we stay in and play puzzles and magnets.

4:30 pm Prof. Husband comes home from teaching and meetings and we prepare dinner together. Abraham plays a game on the iPad and has a snack. The bath seems to have cleared out his airways a bit. While dinner is cooking I finish and send in my work for the day. I accept a new job, due Monday. It will require about 5 hours of work, which I can do over the weekend. I also go over the work that the boys did this week and arrange their books in the school room.

6 pm Dinner – the entire family sits down to dinner together and we like to linger. Courtney discusses the science project with the boys. Then everyone helps with the clean-up.

6:45 pm We all sit down in the living room with books, music and electronics (iPods and iPad), and Prof. Husband watches TV for a while. I check my social media, read the news and reach for a book.

7 pm Prof. Husband sits down to work and I think about finishing the laundry, but decide I’m too tired and swollen and stay with my feet up on the couch instead, reading. On any other night I would be directing the boys to their activities or attend choir/a social event, but we try not to schedule anything on Friday evenings, and it’s the only day of the week where we don’t have any sports/music/or other activities scheduled. After a while, the boys and I watch a movie together.

9 pm The boys all brush their teeth, put on pajamas, and lay down in their beds to read. I help Abraham get ready for bed, and then August reads to Abraham for about 40 min. Then I lay down with him and he falls asleep while I read.

10 pm The older boys fall asleep. If I haven’t fallen asleep while laying down with Abraham, I spend some time with my husband before going to bed. Since today is Friday, we watch a new episode of Grey’s Anatomy together.

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