I feel a little weird writing about our day in the life because we’re really not likely to have something that’s typical, though I suppose we have a flow that we try to work with. I try to get up before the kids so I can make a start on some of my own tasks for the day. When I’m teaching, I try to hit the discussion boards, pull assignments, tackle student questions and so forth, so that I can focus on the kids during their time.
Ben is usually up between 8a and 9a. He has a small morning routine that he does including making his bed, getting dressed, watering the dogs, and brushing his teeth. After breakfast, we usually try to slide in a little “light school” before Katie wakes up. This includes things like Telling God’s Story, Art, Music, or Latin. When Katie is up for “good,” Ben gets some outside play time while Katie gets some individual attention. We’re starting a really loose play-based/literature-based preschool program in the next week or so with her that I think she’s going to adore.
When we finish with her activities, Ben comes in and we try to do PE or some other physical indoor thing so that Katie gets some exercise, too. We alternate between a new curriculum I won at a Twitter party and Wii games. Once everyone is good and sweaty, we read a couple of stories, use a guided meditation CD for children that we have and then make lunch. After lunch there’s a small chore time and then “creative time.” Creative time is my answer to “I’m too big to take a nap, Mom.” He can play with Legos, draw, work puzzles, play some of the solo games that he has, or take a nap if he feels moved to do so.
After creative time, we “do school.” We’re experimenting with our approach on this and this is the first week, so I don’t know how well it’s going to work. The gist is that there are 36 weeks worth of material he needs to complete for me to consider him a second grader. We work for a couple of hours, some days a little less, some days a little more. He also does some general reading with me at various times during the day.
We are also trying to incorporate some of the methods that I’m learning about from Amy McCready’s new book shown below.
There are baths, bedtime rituals and so forth following dinner. They also get a little bit of TV time here and there. One thing we’ve struggled with is bedtime with Ben. Last night I might have hit on the solution. Instead of an arbitrary light’s out time, I asked him to come and get me when he was ready for light’s out. He came significantly earlier than he usually ends up going to bed and he fell asleep right away after lights out. I was pretty impressed. Hoping that is replicable.
Throughout the year there are various activities. Ben does Zoo school once a month at the local zoo. It’s a great experience-based science program that offers cool topics (last year’s raptor class was a HUGE hit, partially because a friend of ours names all of her dogs after raptors, so Ben knew most of the names). He will be playing soccer this year and coach-pitched baseball. He claims after that he will be ready to choose a team sport. Katie is taking dance starting this fall, and that’s going to throw another thing into the works. I’ve been considering putting Ben in a homeschool cooking class, but I may wait on that for one more year of maturity.
Anyway, that’s our homeschool day in the life. If you’d like to read about others’ “day in the life” check out The Heart of the Matter.