Wednesday, 17 August 2016

A Day in the Life

I have been asked to comment on what our regular, homeschooling day looks like, so here it is. 

Our day often depends on the season and whether hubby is home from work, doing farm jobs.    
We have a routine that works for the days when he's not home, and a routine for when he is. 
This is our routine for when it's just the three of us - Me (Mum), Miss 7 and Miss 3.5.

DISCLAIMER:  This is how it goes, right now, in this current season of our life, and at their particular stage of development, before it changes, again!!    And this is how it goes if everyone is okay, has had enough sleep, isn't sick, or we're not heading out the door.

So, we start the day with cuddles and dinkies in the big bed (Miss 3.5 is still breastfed - hence the 'dinkies', as she calls them), and we talk about any dreams we've had (Miss 7 always has exciting dreams!) and then we discuss the plan for the day/week.

When we're brave enough to get cold, we race to the loo, then to the loungeroom and park ourselves in front of the fire (the rest of our house is freezing at this time of the year! )   When we're hungry enough, I am seconded to the kitchen to make brekky, which we eat in front of the fire. 

Still in front of the fire, we do our first round of school work, which basically consists of a Bible lesson and memory work (currently working through the days of creation) and some phonics and maths review (with clip it cards), plus some reading.    Miss 3.5 will often do puzzles, colour in, glue, and various other hands-on activities.  Sometimes, Miss 7 and I will play chess or some other brain-straining game.   

We usually finish in front of the fire by 9.30, so the girls watch Play School and Bananas and the telly goes off.    We tidy up the loungeroom and and the girls are free to play for a bit.   I check emails and Facebook, if I haven't got there already.  Facebook is my primary way of staying in touch with family and friends. 

Then we head outside, play with the dogs, ride bikes, walk to the mailbox, hang washing, etc. 

Around 12pm, we do our table-time school work.    This is where we learn/review new sounds/spelling/phonic rules, etc, learn/reinforce maths concepts, do some sight words, counting, reading practice, and any other worksheet-type schooling that we do, including writing letters.  This takes about 90 mins, max.   During this time, Miss 3.5 will do playdough, paint, cut and glue, stamps, stencils, puzzles, etc, or sometimes choose to watch a movie on her own.      Mostly, she likes to stay with us and do some pre-school type 'school work'. 

During table time, I cook, wash up, tidy up, etc, in the kitchen, and interact with the two girls as they need me, being available, but trying to encourage some independent work.

Then we have lunch and the girls are free to play with whatever doesn't need my constant supervision.   Miss 7 can watch a movie or use the computer to create some artwork.   I will use this time to write for my blog, sew, do school/farm/business paperwork, or some other job that requires concentration. 

Mid-to-late afternoon, we start the tidy up routine, and go outside to play with dogs, bring washing in, wood in, etc.   Once hubby gets home, Miss 7   helps him outside, then reads to him for a bit, while  Miss 3.5 and I tidy up, start tea, etc.   After tea, we play some games, colour in, read and then it's time for the bedtime routine.  

And that's a normal day for us, and happens about four days a week.   Of course, mixed in with all that idyllic routine are our little messes and crises and so we get through each day, one day at a time. 

Our fifth work day of the week is spent in town, with friends, at playgroup or homeschool catch up, shopping, etc and that in-town day changes from week to week.   Saturdays are usually spent doing farm jobs and catching up on housework.    At this stage, we are not committed to any sporting or other groups because we got to burn out stage last year and decided we needed to pull back a bit this year and re-assess.    Hubby and I both have aging and needy parents, and we have three older girls that we want to be able to see regularly, so we can't commit to too much outside of our home life. 

So, that's us.    My day is not meant to be a blueprint for yours, but to show you how to fit 'school' into regular life, and still have a life!!    I tried the Supermum (aka martyr-Mum) approach during our first round of homeschooling and it didn't work!    We all came to resent homeschooling.   So, our schooling is less formal this time around, but we are not unschoolers.   Our current routine seems to be serving us well at the moment, and the girls are learning and growing in lots of ways.   And it gives me a few small spaces of down time during the day to maintain some sanity!!  

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