Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not Back to School Blog Hop: A Day in the Life

This is the last week of the Not Back to School Blog Hop but the first I'm participating in. Week 1 was curriculum - I didn't have my plans set yet. Week 2 was schoolrooms - I don't have a schoolroom. Week 3 was school photos - I don't do school photos, since we don't go to school.

But a day in the life? Sure, we have days!

I was trying to figure out how many years I've been homeschooling. I could say 13, since that's the age of my oldest, and I've been reading to him and teaching him almost since the day he was born. I could say 8, since he would have gone to kindergarten at age 5. Or I could say 6, since I had to register him as a homeschooler when he was 7.

During all those years we have tried many schedules. Schedules never work for us. Routines do, most of the time. They work pretty well when our outings are predictable; they rarely are. They work best when we stay home, but we can't do that every day.

Rather than use a strict schedule I use time blocks to keep to our routine and fit everything into the day. Here is some inspiration for thinking of your own time blocks at HomeGrownKids blog.
This year I will probably have to set up different time blocks for different days, to accommodate outside classes and club activities. But this is my first run at a typical day at home:

8:00 - 9:30 am: breakfast, Bible discussion, cleanup, and grooming. (I encourage my kids to be up and about before 8 am, but if they are, that is their free time.)

9:30 - 12:30: tablework time where we do our basics: Bible Study workbooks, Math, English, Latin, Science or History (alternating days for those). There will be interruptions: the dog will need to be let out and back in, the phone will ring, I'll need to make a call, etc.

12:30 - 1:30: lunch, cleanup.

1:30 - 3:00: continue with Science or History, experiments or other projects, typing practice and other computer work, piano practice.

3:00 - 3:30: chores (more or less).

3:30 - 4:30: assigned independent reading.

4:30 - 5:30: free time. I might read aloud during this hour, or we might do separate things.

5:30 - 7:00: dinner prep, dinner, cleanup.

7:00 - 9:00: showers and free time - reading aloud, watching a movie, playing games, etc., together or separately.

Throughout the day there will cleanup times and time for moving laundry (from the hamper to the washer; from washer to dryer, from dryer to sorting table which is really a couch...).

If we have to go out we try to pick up where we left off. It doesn't always work that way. If there is an early morning orthodontist appointment that results in pain for a few hours, we are likely to throw the routine aside for the day and concentrate on reading. It's important to remember that a routine is a tool. If it causes strife we need to fix the routine, not the people subject to it. Grace and love in our relationships with our kids is more important than fitting in the required number of math problems!

See more "Day in the Life" posts at the Not Back to School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter.


Anonymous said...

Great "Day in the Life"! Homeschoolers have so much fun and are so creative :)

Thanks for sharing and have a very enjoyable 2010-2011 school year!

Melissa + Tiffany @ Home Grown Families said...

Thats a really good way to put it! Schedules don't work for us but blocks do! We are NOT a schedule family but blocks of time seem to work well! But, like you said- not everything even fits into a block! And my kids need to get outside EVERYDAY or it's BAAAADDDD!
Following you from Not Back to School Hop!