Is there such a thing as a typical day in our house? I find it had to imagine I admit, any home educator having days that are all the same. I had to join in when I saw the chance to share, on one of my favorite homeschool blogs, Simple Homeschool!
I never liked school – I wish I had been home educated. I believe all kids should be hoe educated. Its naturally where they belong; we can embrace and inspire a natural love for learning. You cannot get that sitting at a desk learning mostly useless facts all day (that you won’t remember later on I might add).
We are so very eclectic in how we go about our learning – Charlotte Mason, Thomas Jefferson Education, Unschooling, Classical Learning.
Every day is a bit of a mystery. (is that why I am so tired? could be this whole third trimester thing too haha)
With three children, and none do or learn in the same way, there is always a need to step back and assess things; tweek this, twist that, trash that one. With a new baby coming “soon” too, I am trying to be wiser than I want to be too. Look and see – what do we need to have in place so we are not in for too bumpy of a ride later?
So what’s the plan? What does it look like?
I guess, I am going to take a deep breath and show you ~ here goes:
My oldest is 9 – stubborn and very independent; not very motivated to do the basics each day. He hates math, loves music and art and foreign languages. he is “gifted” but we try to not focus on that part of things. He also struggles with focus, sitting still, completing any task that does not involve lots and lots of visual aids; sometimes we need a number of materials too (think of a busy box) so he can listen and comprehend lessons, the few we do that are more formal.
Then there is my 5 year old son. He is busy; very inquisitive and hands on. Curious about everything that has anything to do with dinosaurs, animals, airplanes, trains. He cannot read yet, is beginning to really learn but has a special love for building, numbers (math) are his latest thing – and he has to know how and why everything works so we do lots of reading and documentaries that an help him see more clearly all of those details he just needs to know.
How about a three year old daughter who is a mix of a tomboy and a ballerina wanna be? She loves to read – we have more books than we have space for them. So we do lots of reading. She loves to dance and sing so there is always music playing, she spins and pirouettes about the house. She likes to bake in the kitchen too so there is always a lot going on in there (imagine the mess! lol)
We have a keyboard, a few guitars, a pan pipe or two, a tin whistle – we love music! If its not playing in the house, someone is making music. My boys are learning guitar right now and our keyboard is on vacation (for a time). We have a wonderful older gentleman at church who helps my oldest son learn how to play; in turn we encourage him to teach his younger brother what he is learning. As much as possible anyway.
We got to Home Depot once a month where the boys get to learn al about tools and build their very own something or other. Every month its different; last month it was a little wooden sled, this time its a box of some sort and other times it ranges from a birdhouse to a car or a little bench. Really neat. And free too!
As for academics, we do lots and lots of reading, and are starting to use more audio books at home too. Most of the books we read come from a wonderful, free, online curriculum, Ambleside Online. We also love the lists found on the Thomas Jefferson Education website. So many goodies there. I am actually working my way through the 7 Keys Certification Program myself right now (just started actually).
There is so much you can learn when you read the right stuff, after all.
We use Story of the World about three or four days a week. There are some excellent videos to go along with many of the readings too. History is so much more fun when it comes alive. We also enjoy G.A Henty; talk about excellent ways to teach while also including virtue and character. These are oldies but they are so fun!
We were blessed too with Before Five in a Row which is designed to be special time for my younger two, but these are so much fun usually all the kids are a part of this. Sometimes though my older son does choose to do his own thing while the little ones and I do ours 🙂
What about recess? That is what nature study is for and every day brings something different (since we live in Wisconsin): maybe picking flowers, studying the bug on the side of the house, or a trip to the zoo. Sometimes its as simple as playing outdoors with bubbles, chalk, maybe drawing a picture of what they see…We are raising frogs from tadpoles, we have raised butterflies from caterpillars – We all really love this time and it really does help with critical thinking – the powers of observation -what do we miss when we do not learn to look slow down and look a bit closer?
What else shall we do today? We will do some creative writing, working grammar in as we can (my oldest just loves to make his own comics and songs and books (illustrated too). My oldest loves learning languages, right now he is all about China so there will be some stories, music and videos and he will practice reading and possibly writing Chinese.
We read aloud, for about 45 minutes each day we take part in the Read Aloud Revivial which right now, includes reading the series, A Series of Unfortunate Events as well as The Story of Our Country Every Child Should Know. We also dig into our Childcraft Encyclopedias as often as possible (I loved these when I was a kid ~ Mathemagic rocks!)
It goes without saying we also include time in the Bible each day ~ prayer and devotion ~ Our children are all in our church’s Bible Quiz program so count time in the Book of Proverbs too. Daily bread makes all the difference. ❤
Is this out typical, everyday? It was not an unusual one, but honestly, tomorrow could look quite different, with more together (I want to include some geography and mapping; view How the States Got their Shapes!) or less together (some days we need to bake more bread, cookies or muffins!). What is typical is that we are generally here and together. There are always things that have to be done but the how can be very different from day today . Maybe studying pyramids will be based on building them on Minecraft, or with legos. Perhaps there will be more watching of documentaries like How is it Made or Popular Mechanics for Kids. We have puzzles and board games, decks of cards; boxes of science experiments and kits, art supplies en masse ~ For me it’s all about an environment filled with opportunities to have fun AND learn.