Playing along with the series A Homeschool Day in the Life at Simple Homeschool.
We are newly finding our way on our homeschool journey. The last six months we've spent a lot of time playing with our rhythm. We've tried different methods (briefly, I admit), but it's been clear that for both of us time and choice are the two most important factors for keeping our day-to-day needs nourished.
Time, for us, needs to be a little controlled. I find using an actual timer helps this be so. I do much better playing Sophie's imaginary games, getting the must dos done, and balancing work/home if we have an end time before we start. That doesn't mean if she's really engaged and the timer goes off we always stop, but using a timer is the little bit of structure that keeps us both centered and focused.
Choice I've always found keeps the learner more engaged. At three and four, Sophie is no different. She likes to have control in her day as much as I do.
As I write this, I know that while this rhythm is working now, to allow for the ebb and flow of us, it will change as we do. In fact, next week it will be changing quite a bit, for the seven year old will be joining us full time! We are so looking forward to having him home. I envision we'll try the basic schedule below with his learning time being centered around the hours of 9-1and see how things need to be shifted.
Our Day Might Look Like-
5:45- my alarm goes off. I hit snooze and hopefully get up by 6:30 to head downstairs, feed the cats, make coffee, and write or read. I need this quiet to set my tone for the day.
7:30-8:30- the kids are now up and hungry. Breakfast is made, lunches for the boys, backpacks and water bottles are collected, teeth are told to be brushed about ten times...and socks are finally found. Boys head off. (Side note- I can't tell you how very much I'm looking foward to NOT having to get any children out the door early next week.)
8:30- Sophie plays (on computer or with toys) while I do 20 minutes on treadmill, shower, get dressed.
9:00- We make a list of all the things we want/need to do that day. This list looks different each day. Her list might include Barbies, dress up, making a book, and "Pay" (using her play money and food), and my list might include reading, cooking, letter games/practice, feeding birds and identifying them, Mama time.
9:10-9:40- Our list is made and we begin. She always goes first :) and we head into the playroom for dress up and pay. It's her lead. I set the timer. We are princesses and cooks and grocery store owners.
9:40-10:00- My turn- Cooking- We head to the kitchen. She grabs a chair and her apron and helps me measure the ingredients for bread or muffins or adds cut veggies into the pot for soup. We count a lot and talk about amounts during this time, we taste as we go, and talk about foods that are healthy. She reminds me she still loves chocolate the best.
10:00- She's hungry (despite eating most of what we've prepared) and we make banana sundaes (bananas, peanut butter, and honey) or hummus and chips or apples and honey, and we either read a story or just chat while we eat.
10:30- Her turn again. We pull out art supplies. Her new favorite being glitter pens and get busy writing a book. She practices her letters and/or I scribe for her. This week we've written a lot about Batman and Barbie Princess.
11:00- Outside we go to fill up the bird feeders and stomp around in the snow. We look for tracks and Sophie screams across the road to her favorite neighbor Bob, who has probably shoveled every neighbor's driveway by now. Sadly, we are both freezing and head inside. (I am so looking forward to the days when we are mostly outside! Soon, right?!)
We grab our Birds of Indiana book and try to find the birds that are now flocking to our birdfeeders. We talk about the ones we find. Sophie wants to know if any of them are vampires (another new obsession) and we decide to go read about vampires before lunch. She has a pile of books from the library that include sweet picture books, Batman vs. some creature, Barbie, Magic School Bus, Berenstain Bears, and of course a book about vampires. We read four or five.
12:00- I make a quick lunch reheating leftovers for me and make her typical- yogurt, ham, cheese, hummus, apple, raisins. She likes a buffet.
12:30- She reminds me I promised to play Barbies, so we set the timer again and head upstairs. She is in full story mode and tells me what is happening and what I need to do. The timer goes off and we continue to play for ten minutes or so, and then I head back downstairs to check email, recharge, reheat my coffee for the tenth time, and sit.
2:30- She's in need of attention. We both head back to the kitchen table. I write or craft while she does the same. Playdough or paint might come out. We snack again.
3:00- Sophie goes off to play while I finish or start dinner prep, make lists, do a chore or two.
4:00- We are back on the couch reading and then spend time rebuilding one of her Lego structures.
5:00- She is getting hungry and the boys won't be home for another 45 minutes, so she has a small snack and I get out one of her centers. She works on putting the right amount of puff balls into a numbered egg carton. We might also pull out the bowling set or do inside hopscotch.
6:00- The boys are home from school and piano. We sit down together for dinner, light a candle, say our thanks, and chat about our days.
6:30-7:45- The kids and I head to the living room to play a game or read while Clark cleans up the kitchen. He soon joins us.
7:45-8:45- Bath, stories, bed. Clark bathes the kids while I put away laundry or sit. We each take a child and read to them, then switch and tuck the other in for the night.
9:00- Clark and I spend time talking about our day, reading, or catching up on The Daily Show.
10:00- I am hopefully asleep so I only hit snooze once tomorrow.