People are often curious about our family when they hear we homeschool. It would take me days to blog about our homeschool and how it affects our lives. But for now I'm just gonna give an example of our not-always scheduled school day.
8:30 --wake up for me. I try to hit the computer to check emails/orders/Ebay item status before running to shower.
9 am---wake up boys; morning chores for all of us and a very simple breakfast. We are not hungry morning people so breakfast is short and sweet, usually cereal or an egg or pancakes. For mom, its a chocolate Wal-mart brand Slim-fast usually, just because they're quick and I actually like them.
10am--ideally our starting time. Sometimes things throw us off, like a migraine on my part. As I age, my migraines are happening more often in the AM than in the PM as in my teen years. If we start any later than this, we seem to be working all day. I let Ash sleep as long as she will 1)because she's a horrible napper and once she's up, she's up forever with no end in sight 2) its gives us time to work on the harder subjects without noise or distractions.
Usually one child will do math/language arts at this time with me while the other works on time4learning.com. Then we trade places. If math and grammar get done, then both boys have little extras they work on, such as typing lessons, Rosetta Stone spanish, extra workbooks I buy here and there, manipulatives, personal Bible time, reading chapter books, educational computer games/sites, scouts/4-H projects, etc. We usually stop right between 12 noon-1 pm for lunch unless we're really involved in something fun, complicated or messy. If so, we plug on and try to finish. Ashleigh has risen during the morning school time, is dressed and fed, and usually is working on her "school work" ( a Walmart pre-k workbook) at her little desk. She actually wants to learn. Its so cute. I wonder how long this will last?!
12-1---usually lunch break, my chore break, planning period, email time, business/hobby time, tv time, and the kid's "recess" all at once! WHEW!
1-3 or 2-4 pm---back to work, depending on lunch time. To be an actual school day, we have to do 4 hours at least. If we do more work, we count that toward another day. Afternoons are spent doing unit studies. We have used units since day 1. The first few years I wrote my own, using the World book Encyclopedia scope and sequence, my kids' interests, and the internet and library to guide me. When more children arrived I no longer had time to pull together my own lessons plans from scratch, so I began buying units. We used and loved Five in a Row and now we are using and loving the Dorian Holt series A World of Adventure. Each volume is based on chronological history and includes everything (even Bible) that you need each day except for math. It's amazing! We'll be starting Volume 2 this fall and Dorian has written so many notes that you need not use the library! The volume is well over 1,000 pages! Occasionally the kids will get tired of doing such intense units and we'll vear off the path and do some field trips or units based on their interests.
The units keep us busy most of the afternoon, but if we do get done, I'll have the kids finish up leftovers from their morning's work or do additional reading on whatever we're studying in the units. Since our units involve a LOT of read-aloud time and discussion, we tend to go outdoors and work on that part at the swing set. Ash plays while the boys swing and listen. If the weather is nicer in the morning or the seasons changing cause us to have imclement weather, we'll flip our day to have reading/outdoor time when its milder.
4 pm-bedtime--we're usually done and off to various activities.
Bedtime comes late at our house. We always stay up to talk to dad on his break and we are night owls, so going to bed early just doesn't work for us. The kids are usually in bed by 11 pm and I may be up until 2 or 3 am. I work on any devotionals during this time, add items to my online store, or make new soaps/products to sell. I have tried since childhood to get on a "normal" schedule but I never feel rested when I do. I can go to bed at 10 pm and get up at 6 am and feel absolutely horrible all day, yawning, foggy-headed, etc. Yet I can be in bed by three am and get up at 9 am and feel wonderful, even though I got less sleep! I have never understood it, but this year I gave myself permission to stop fighting it. We are a much happier and more alert family when we go with our bodies' natural rhythms, as odd as it might seem to morning people.
**note: I just discovered a sleep disorder online called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome...now I finally get my night-owlish tendencies and why my body works best on an odd schedule. It has to do with our bodies' circadiam rhythyms being out-of-sync with "normal" people. Suddenly there is a logic to my weirdness! :)
Next time: Part 2: "Will I keep my kids home through high school?" and "How can we possibly live off one-income?" (or "Am I killing my hard-working man?")
So there you have it, a look into our school day.