Homeschool Part 2: A Typical Day and Some Resources

Did you see last weeks post?  As promised, here is my family's typical day, and resources I have found helpful in our homeschool journey.

**Disclaimer** This is what currently works for our family.  As the seasons change, we change our routines to adapt.  We also change our routine based on whether or not I am babysitting.  We have a general rhythm to our day, but we do not abide by a strict by the minute schedule.

After my daughter wakes up, she eats breakfast, then gets ready for the day.  She has a few morning chores (making her bed, emptying the dishwasher, etc).  While she is doing those things, I have my own chores to start (usually a load of laundry).

Getting around for the day, and doing those chores are something that happens no matter the season.  In the summer, we usually head to some activity in the morning like swimming, the park, the library, the zoo, grocery shopping, etc.  We try to get out before it is super hot.  We head back home around 11 to make lunch, eat and clean up.  School work starts in the afternoon.

In the fall/winter we switch it up, and do our school work in the morning, and do our activities in the afternoon.

We start with Math because it takes the most concentration for my daughter.  We have just recently purchased our first curriculum, Right Start Math.  There is little to no prep for me.  I just need to flip open the teacher's manual and we go through one lesson.  We do 3 of these lessons per week, and the other days we do supplemental math activities.  Supplemental activities are things I have found on Pinterest, or worksheets, etc that have to do with what she is already learning with Right Start.

Depending on how challenging my daughter found the math lesson, and how much time we spent on it, we either go straight to the next subject or we take a quick 5 minute break.  I usually try to do a few dishes, or some chore, and I encourage my daughter to do something active.  If it is nice out, she goes outside for the break.

Next up, is reading.  I purchased 'Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons'  when my daughter was 4, and we are still using it.  To be completely honest, when she was 4, she was not ready for this.  We did a lesson a week until we got to lesson 10, and then we took a break.  I picked it up again when she was older, but found she still wasn't grasping it well, so we waited and tried it now that she is 6.  She does great with it now.  Waiting for readiness can't be emphasized enough :)
After we do one of these lessons, we read a Bob book, or something similar in style.  There are some great resources online people have made that you can download for free that go along with Bob books.

After reading we do one of the following (a different subject for each day):
Social Studies

Since my daughter is 6, these topics are focused around things my daughter can relate to.  We discuss holidays, communities and we pull out maps to find places we hear about throughout the day.  We cover basics like calendars, how a map works, and various jobs those in our community have, and historical figures that are of interests to my daughter.

For example, for our family movie night we watched 'Night at the Museum' my daughter really enjoyed the Pharaoh, Amelia Earhart, and Teddy Roosevelt, so we spent some time learning about Egyptian history, Amelia and Teddy.  We picked up books at the library, found a documentary, learned how to make paper airplanes, we talked about the history of flight, etc, etc.  We spent weeks covering these things because my daughter was interested in them.  Some people call this style of teaching 'unit studies'.  For Social Studies, Geography, and History we stick with this unit study approach.  Whatever my daughter has an interest in currently we study.

Next up is Bible work.  I have the Bible curriculum we have used the last few years.  We do this throughout the week.  At one time, we were also doing Operation World.  It is praying your way through the countries.  Every day there is a country to pray for, with some information about the country.  I want to get back into this starting in the fall.

Science is usually 3 times a week.  We do a variety of experiments, watch videos, and read about scientific studies.  We rely heavily on our library to get a large variety of books.

Music, Art, and Physical Education are also done weekly.  For music, we pick a composer for a month and learn about him, his life, and listen to his music.  Art is the same idea.  I choose an artist for the month and we learn about his/her life and special techniques.  Sometimes we try to duplicate their work, or I print off coloring pages that are based off a masterpiece.  For P.E. we have been focusing on stretching daily, and we have been running, biking, and swimming.

For handwriting we use Handwriting Without Tears App on our iPad, and I picked up some handwriting workbooks at Walmart that we use as well.

Each day we spend about 3 hours doing the above mentioned work.  Somedays we spend closer to 6 hours doing schoolwork.  If my daughter is really interested in a particular topic we have been known to sit on the sofa and read books on a particular subject for several hours.

It was a bit of a challenge for me to write out our routine for the day, because although there is a rhythm to it, it does change quite a bit from day to day.

And finally, if you are still reading this exceptionally long post.....
Here are some resources I have found helpful.  :)

Indiana Department of Education has several things you'll need when starting out (like what the state requires for homeschoolers, and the registration form you need to fill out before your homeschooler is age 7).

State Standards--I want to make sure I am covering everything that she would be required to learn in public school, so I often check back here to double check that we are not missing things.

Tests--Again, I want to make sure I am covering everything I need to, so I have found these tests helpful to help me gauge where my daughter is.

My Test Book is another site I have used to to determine mastery of topics.

Ed Helper is great for creating customized worksheets

Pinterest (of course).  I use Pinterest to find ideas, create themes/units and find fun activities to help teach concepts, so we don't get stuck just doing worksheets.

Library  If you are local, our children's library is awesome.  There are preschool/kindergarten packs you can check out to practice letters and numbers.  There is also a 'moon kit'  which includes a very nice set of binoculars and is great for children of all ages.  Our library also has a large selection of Usborne books which are a fun way to learn about all kinds of topics.

Bible   Calvary Curriculum has been our go to for studying God's word for 2 years.

PBS  This link isn't to (which is a good resource).  This has some great videos to go along with other curriculum.

Ambleside is a Charlotte Mason based approach to schooling.  This is a free 36 week curriculum.  It is a great opportunity for you to check out if you are interested in learning what this methodology is.  Most of the books used can be found at the library.

And now, I leave you with this gem.  I love everything about this post.  She took the words right out of my mouth.

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