Hello fellow crazy homeschoolers! I've got all sorts of stuff to share about our first couple weeks of homeschooling, and I will write a post about it as soon as I can, but for now I'm curious about something…
There are so many different philosophies on homeschooling that I'd love to know, what does a normal homeschooling day at your house look like?
Are you using a “classical” curriculum, the “Charlotte Mason” method, or are you “Unschooling”? Or maybe you're doing one of a zillion other types of homeschooling, including piecing your subjects together using all different methods and resources, which is pretty much what we do.
I firmly believe that there are as many “ways” to homeschool as there are families that do it, and the beauty of it all is that you can implement whatever it is that works best for you and your kids!
So I'd love to learn more from you in the comments if you're willing to share a peek at your “normal” school day?
ACTUALLY I am the homeschooled kid!!!
OK, so… we don’t have a very structuered day, but here go’s. 🙂
1- I wake up, dress, chores and breakfast!
2-If i woke up early enough i read etc…. if not i start school.
3-My mom does/did her routine-(make the bed, dress, soak dishes,load computer, tidy livingroom…) at this time she’ll often help me with science (Apologia, General Science)
4- Next if I haven’t already I do English (Writing with skill, Pearson Grammar, and Spelling Power
5- My dad works nights so usualy gets home at 9am and the will shower…. he helps me with Math (Saxon 8/7)
6-I take a MUCH needed break LOL…. read/computer/walk etc…
7-At this time sometimes we get lunch ready and then eat or if it is to early we work on history (either of my parents) (A HISTORY OF US)
8- AND… I’m done with school!!!! of course this really varys… I have art in the mornings every other monday, volunteer work at a farm, but this is just a guidline 🙂
As you can tell we are VERY eclectic…. A bit of Charlotte Mason, Tad of Traditional, And some Literature Based as well !!!!
Kelly the Kitchen Kop says
Very interesting Mackenzie, thanks for sharing with us!! 🙂
Kelly H. says
I would love to feature your homeschooling day in my new blog series, Tuesdays at Our House! There are so many new homeschoolers out there who need to know that there is more than one way to homeschool. Contact me with questions, or send your ‘day’ to [email protected]. (No legitimate submissions are turned away.)
Leah Marks says
I love your food blog and just noticed that you homeschool, too! This is our 5th year homeschooling (K4-3rd). I have an 8-year-old and 7-year-old in 3rd, a 4-year-old in K4 and a 1-year-old. We mix classical and traditional education with Classical Conversations and the full Abeka.
Our children have tested at least a grade ahead of where they should be for the last two years. We “branched out” this year, so we’re doing Saxon math, Shurley English (love!) and a few of the Abeka extracurriculars plus Classical Conversations (love!).
I hope your school year is going good, thanks for all the great resources!
Kelly the Kitchen Kop says
That’s *awesome* that your kids are a year ahead… I’m sure my fear of messing up my kids education isn’t original, but I do hope we’re doing enough!!! I’m not so worried about our younger kids, but know I need to step up some of what I’m doing with our 13 year old.
So far things are going great, I just haven’t had any time to get an update post written!!
Jen O says
Some Charlotte Mason Resources:
This book breaks it all down for you in theory: https://www.amazon.com/Charlotte-Mason-Companion-Personal-Reflections/dp/1889209023/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351300327&sr=1-1&keywords=charlotte+mason+companion
Love these blogs:
I have our daily schedule done out in Excel. Happy to send you copies. I have a master sheet with what I need to cover and then each kid has their own. Its put in a sheet protector and placed on clip board so that they can cross things out as they’re accomplished.
I really really really love our Math. https://rightstartmath.com
we are homeschoolling only 4 children. we also live on a farm where we milk collect eggs, butcher, garden, cann, this is daily chores for us and we homeschool our 4 blessings.
I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to accomplish more schooling in a day.
thanks brenda in ky
Others can probably help you more, but the two things I’d suggest are:
A. Have the kids do more independent work. (Our kids do math on their own with Teaching Textbooks, some science on their own, some reading, and some writing.)
B. Don’t try to do as much. We’re constantly tweaking trying to find the right balance because I don’t want them feeling overwhelmed, since that’s why we left public school.
I’m no expert (who is!?), but I will tell you what worked for us last year. We had gotten very behind in school work because of some work we had been doing at our house and because my husband had surgery. I decided to stop cramming the work into 36 weeks. We spread out a little and worked through the summer. We still took a week or two off for a spring break and a week or two off later in the summer, but we just kept working. Let me tell you, it was much less stressful and they still got their work done!
All that to say this – don’t let the public school schedule bog you down. Only do school for 3 days a week if you have to, just work year round! Remember, it’s YOUR school, YOUR kids! Make the schedule work for you!
Best of Luck!
Amanda Dittlinger says
I’m loving the homeschool discussions! I’m starting out homeschooling with my twin pre-k’ers. They turn 5 in December and if I had them in public school they wouldn’t be starting until next year. But I’ve been working with them so much as toddlers they would be bored in K. That’s one reason I started looking into homeschooling. It’s not that they are gifted, it’s just that I was so hands-on that they are already doing some basic reading and other K skills.
Right now we start the morning off with a reading lesson and the rest of the day is just child led. I try to find teaching moments all day long and they don’t even know they are learning. We are in a transition of moving from Texas all the way to Washington so things are a bit chaotic. I plan on settling into a more consistent curriculum when we get settled in our new house. Luckily with Pre-K they don’t need too much “school” time. I just discovered The Well Trained Mind and I really love it! Also for this age, I like Five in a Row and have done a few weeks of it’s program. Pre-K is a great time to try out different methods and see what “fits.”
J in VA says
I have one homeschooler–an 8th grader and we’ve HS’d since 6th grade. Here’s our day: we start around 8:30 after breakfast and dd walks the dog. We both have a planner with the core subjects scheduled (math, science and history) and the remaining things self-scheduled. Sometimes I tell her, today is the best day to do X but mostly she decides for the non-core.
We use Apologia for science, Christian Light for Math and History Revealed for history which includes many other activites(we could NEVER use them all)–could be more like a unit study. DD also is also using CLP this year for Home Ec, Research Paper writing and NT Greek. She has a typing program on the computer and some critical thinking workbooks.
I work a few hours a week outside home so sometimes we tweak the schedule if needed. DH works nights so he’s at home if I have a daytime commitment for work.
Mostly we are finished by noon. The afternoons include free reading and a quiet time. DD is a voracious reader so this is one of her favorite times. We eat an early supper so dh can nap more so after supper is time for anything else she wants to do and walking the dog again.
We don’t do sports but she gets plenty of walking in and 2-3 times a month she rides horses. Our local homeschool group has a monthly activity day (really a 2 hour afternoon activity) where she is learning sign language and guitar.
My oldest 4 children are homeschooling (other 2 are too young). Our day usually begins around 9:00 after they have done their chores. We use the Ambleside Online cirriculum/schedule which is based on Charlotte Mason’s ideas.
Each week I write down their work on a daily schedule, so they can check off what they accomplish. It allows them to work more or less at their own pace and see what they have left. We don’t take scheduled breaks, but we are pretty relaxed. They end up talking while they are doing some work (like copywork), but as long as it doesn’t interfere with what they are doing, I don’t mind.
The youngest that is homeschooling is in the 2nd grade and needs a lot of help with reading and math, so I work with her more closely. The others usually only need help with math and when narrating what they have read to me. My 5-yr-old is not doing AO yet, but he is beginning to learn to read and write, so we do odd things with him between me helping the others, not every day.
I am pretty pleased with our schedule on the whole. Some days seem more difficult than others, but things really came together when I started making the weekly schedule. Now they can see all their work for the week on one page.
I am so happy with homeschooling, and I have never wanted anything else for my children. I see their problems right away and am able to address them; in any other classroom, I know they would get overlooked until it was a huge issue. And it’s so much fun teaching grammar with Mad Libs than with a textbook! 😉
Tell me more about how you use Mad Libs please! Thanks!
My state requires testing at the end of each year, so when I tested my kids last year, I realized that we hadn’t really covered parts of speech and grammar very well. The AO cirriculum does not really address it outside of a few simple explanations at their age, so I wanted to reinforce the parts of speech and how they are used.
So . . . I found a few Mad Lib books (I think they are called Zany Tales) and left them lying around for a week or so before I did anything (the excitement of anticipation REALLY helps when introducing adjectives and adverbs!). They were practially begging to find out what those books were for! On my kitchen dry erase board, I wrote down what each part was and let them do a few of the mad libs. I even did one for them! It was an instant success.
Now they ask if they can take the books with us in the car if we go somewhere, AND they know the basic parts of speech! Objects and direct objects, prepositions, and conjunctions can wait a while.
Jill P. says
I only have a 16 year old left at home.By the time they learn how to read fluently they (the other 5) always liked to work on their own with the syllabus.We developed a certain rhythmn to the day which starts with showers,breakfast then they usually like to tackle their Math first and move on to other subjects. Their is something very peaceful about a routine.They had the flexibility to plan their day around things like March Madness or the winter Olympics .Then they would just work at night to have their day free, but for the most part they wanted to keep a similar schedule to their friends in school.They still don’t like to have a million different things going on at once .Having order and a time for school and a time to play and a time to work has carried over with them as they set their own schedules in college and has made it easier for them to do that.We had basketball practice and games several evenings a week or band on Wed.and marching band in thesummer along with baseball. We never tried to do everything but chose activities thoughtfully, considering how they affected the whole family . I didn’t do a lot of one on one teaching after the early grades.The younger kids always need the most assistance and we had a few that went through several reading programs before they finally got it. But they are all doing well in college now, they are all good friends and they are all still practicing their Faith which was our reason for homeschooling to begin with.
There is an excellent article by Laura Berquist on her website under Laura Berquist’articles on education at”Motherofdivinegrace.org that I just read yesterday that really gives the bigger picture for homeschooling.What the ultimate goal is and why it is good to see the destination when you are making decisions in the beginning because your final destination has everything to do with the choices you are making daily. I highly recommend it.She is able to put things in perspective in a clear and sensible way.
God Bless you
Hi Kelly- I suggested looking into Charlotte Mason on Cheeseslave- I’m going to answer on here our typical day. My girls are young (2nd and K- older children work longer on each subject plus have some added subjects). Here is the 2nd graders day:
We read a chapter from Egermeier’s Children’s Bible
Math- games, manipulative, videos and Horizons Math 2 workbook (30 min.)
Phonics- I may look through SRA phonics and quiz her on spelling words- if she spells them all right I skip that lesson (we DON’T do any busy work.)
Cursive- 10 minutes
Science- we have a Charlotte Masonesque book that we use. Each lesson takes between 5-15 minutes. We also do nature study and keep nature books. She is learning how to study things closely and use watercolors and pencil to record what she finds. We use guide books for labeling.
We use Memoria Press and Progeny Press literature guides (but I don’t have her fill in the Q & A- she narrates instead.)
Memorization- she memorizes a portion of scripture, psalm, folksong, hymn and poem each semester. We work 10 minutes a day on one or two of them.
We do the above every day.
She also must read from a book that is slightly above reading level (no twaddle. Right now she is working on Little House on the Prairie).
On Mon, Wed and Frid we also do 10 minutes of copywork (she can select this- it’s usually a poem she likes). It must be perfect. That is why we only do 10 minutes.
We also do Beautiful Feet Books Early American History. We take turns reading the selected book and she narrates and we usually have projects throughout the week that go with it.
On Tues and Thurs we do dictation, picture study and composer/music study (I choose one artist and one composer per semester- during school work that composer’s music is what they listen to.)
Friday we do a nature walk and work in our nature journal. During poor weather we work on learning a handicraft (cross stitch, knitting, making soap. etc.)
I read to the girls each day for about 20 minutes and the 2nd grader must narrate back. Mon, Wed, Fri it is a classical book of my choice (right now we are working on The Secret Garden), Tuesday we work on a play from Lamb’s book of Shakespeare for Children and Thursday we read poetry from the poet we are studying for the semester (right now it is Emily Dickenson.)
It seems like a lot (and they are learning a lot) but we are usually done with the bulk of our school day by lunch. I read to the girls and we do nature study in the afternoon. I have an infant- when she is older we will try to finish all but nature study in the morning.
She also takes violin lessons, ballet and tap.
I LOVE the Charlotte Mason method of education. It took me a while to get out of the school at home habit and I can now see the benefit of this alternative way of educating. My 7 year old reads way above grade level, she thinks learning is fun and isn’t just being spoon fed facts. She is learning how to reason, think and use what she learns.
That was way too long…I’m sorry!
Kelly the Kitchen Kop says
I thought it was interesting!
But forgive me for being dense, I still just don’t get what a CM learning style really IS. Are there certain books that are only recommended or what?
What’s a “Charlotte Masonesque book”? What are “Living Books” that I’ve seen mentioned on that site?
I am homeschooling four of my five kids. (The oldest is in her first year as a sophomore at Interlochen Arts Academy up north.) The ones at home are 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th. My 6th and 8th graders take band at the public school every day. My 2nd, 4th, and 6th graders take Latin M-W-F at a local Classical school. At home, our main curriculum is Tapestry of Grace, a Christian, Classical, history-based curriculum. That covers history, literature, Bible/church history, fine arts (crafts, activities, reading), and writing. It is for K-12th grades, which is a huge time saver. For math, we use Saxon. We use Apologia science for 7th-12th grades, and the Christian Kids Explore series for elementary. For phonics for my 2nd grader we use First Start Reading by Memoria Press. Easy Grammar for grammar, but not every year. As for a “day in the life”, I let my 4th, 6th, and 8th graders decide their own day, doing the subjects in whatever order they want. I make a weekly schedule for each child and they work from that. My 2nd grader is more dependent on me for reading the books to him. But generally, math, history, Bible, literature is every day. Science, writing, and art are Tues/Thurs.
I REALLY like the First Start reading program by Memoria Press. It’s what I used to teach my oldest to read and was so easy to implement and so effective! So many I know spend a fortune to teach phonics when those couple little books is all that is necessary.
We’re VERY eclectic! We *try* to start at 8 but the first 2 weeks have been insane with outside commitments and circumstances (and today one is sick so I’m letting her sleep in a bit). This week has been much better with starting time since we changed the outside animal routines. I flip-flop direct time with the 2 olders and my younger and we do some things together. For example, yesterday we had writing together and they had free-write but I threw out the idea of doing spin-offs of Swiss Family Robinson that we’re reading together at bedtime. We had great fun writing and sharing and we each write according to our abilities. Other times writing will be separate as I prepare the olders for SAT and college essay writing.
Regarding curriculum: we use All Ye Lands, some Apologia, Teaching Textbooks, Life of Fred (but won’t continue), Montessori, Winston Grammar (after Montessori), Excel Math, units (online freebies or I make them), massive amounts of library books, English from the Roots Up, Spelling Power, Faith and Life, Confirmation prep, Write Shop and Bravewriter for essays and such (plus my own writing stuff), La Clase Divertida (level 3), Real Science for Kids (Pandia Press), and Real Science 4 Kids (Gravitas).
Sorry. WTM= Well Trained Mind & LCC= Latin Centered Curriculum
I’d say that we are doing an eclectic classical somewhere between WTM and LCC with a dash of Charlotte Mason for good measure. 😉
Our school day starts after we’ve done the animal chores and eaten breakfast. With my younger ones we have rough flow of subjects that we go though. That is subject to change though depending on how quickly each one gets through the things they do independent of each other since some subjects require more of my direct instruction to one child individually. Then we do Latin together and then onto content subjects like science and history which we do together as well. During the day when we stop for a snack I like to get out a read aloud book and read to them while they are munching on their snack.
What’s LCC & WTM??
I am excited to read about what everyone else posts because we just started homeschooling this year, too! Our day starts around 8am, we eat breakfast and pray the rosary, learn about the saint of the day, then my oldest son reads the daily readings in the bible to us all and we discuss them. We go over spelling words, work on workbook pages and handwriting with my first grader, my seventh grader does his teaching textbooks on the computer, we have free reading time and we pull up fox news on the internet and talk about current events. Every other day my seventh grader goes to the public school for band class and we take along books for the first grader and the pre-schooler to read while we wait for him. I would like to do more with science-ex, experiments, and do some nature studies in the near future. Overall, the most important thing we are learning is that it is fun to learn together as a family:)
Wow, that’s nice that you only have to take your son to band every other day. And I love that current events idea! We might start turning on Fox news each day at lunchtime, although the politics might ruin our appetite.