Monday, March 6, 2017

A Week in the Life


Today I am going to combine my Weekly Wrap-up (actually two weeks worth) with a post on what it's like to be in our homeschool in a typical week.

Quite honestly, we are in such an "ordinary" groove that I really don't have a very exciting wrap-up post to put up each week. I struggle to find creative ways to share that we did this, this, and this and that was our week.

What I have learned about my kids in this middle school stage is that they like routine, they don't care a thing about bells and whistles in their learning, they love me to read to them, and they get the most learning out of educational television shows and videos.

We have some daily non-negotiables in reading, writing, and math. I am a language arts freak so we do lots of grammar, spelling, writing (including cursive), copywork, and reading. Other subjects get sprinkled into our day, mostly dictated by someone's personal interest.

The only real difference between this year and years past is that we are preparing Brynne to re-enter public school next year. She went to public school for pre-k and kindergarten (for 6 weeks) in Oklahoma before we brought her home for her schooling. She's been home since then. But, Brynne plays all the sports, and plays them well. Recreational sports end after 6th grade in our little Missouri town; so in order for her to continue to play sports with the school starting next year she will have to attend public school. It's not a school thing, it's a Missouri sports organization thing ... to participate in any state-sanctioned sports team (school), she has to attend the school. On the one hand we are extremely bummed because Brynne really enjoys being homeschooled. But, on the other hand we know that she will be just fine in public school. The school is small, she has tons of friends already, she is a "school-y" kid so will adjust well to the requirements of school, she is extremely smart, and she is outgoing and determined. Really, I am the one who will have to do the most adjusting. I love her so much and will miss her. She's a great student and a great person.

So, what does a week look like here at our school:

Most days are the same ....

6:30 a.m. - Mom is up for coffee, quiet time, Bible study, computer time, exercise, showering, and getting ready for the day.

9:00 a.m. - Kids are up for breakfast and to get ready for the day.

10:00 a.m. - We all pile into the living room for spelling, CNN 10 (anyone else disappointed with the change from CNN Student News?), copywork, read aloud time (currently the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series), grammar, group read aloud from McGuffey's, and personal reading.

Noonish-1:00 p.m. - Lunch. The kids disappear to their rooms and devices with their lunches. I do the same and maybe do a little housework.

After lunch - We gather back in the living room for math, astronomy, Greek Mythology, Missouri History, and usually some kind of research or a television show we are watching together (right now we are researching historical events from the show Timeless and then watching the episode, enjoying a weekly episode of The Zoo, and researching biomes and then watching an episode of The Wheel.) We typically end the day with more personal reading.

3:00-4:00 p.m. - We call it a day.

Evenings - The kids usually retreat to their rooms for personal time. Eli's consists mostly of playing his Xbox and watching YouTube. Brynne usually has some kind of sports practice. Right now it's basketball and running club, but will soon transition into softball.

I have found that I can leave the kids to themselves more and more to take personal responsibility for their work. I can leave them a list of things to accomplish and know that it gets done.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays - I leave the house from 11 a.m. - Noon each of those days to deliver meals to Senior Citizens in our town. The kids usually do their spelling, copywork, and personal reading while I am gone.

Wednesdays - Eli has speech therapy in another town at 9:15 a.m., so we get started with school as soon as we get back home.

Mondays and Thursdays - We end school at 2:45 p.m. because Brynne has Girls on the Run club from 3-4:30 p.m.

Thursdays - Eli's friend Nolan comes over at 3:00 p.m. for some enrichment time. The boys are watching Where on Earth is Carmen San Diego and charting her travels and jotting down facts about the geographical locations she visits. Then they get in some play time.

Fridays - We take it easy on Fridays getting caught up on anything we didn't get completed during the week, watching some extra videos, playing some games, and doing a little more reading. We have busy weekends with sports so we try to wind down on Fridays. I go grocery shopping every other week so the kids are here all day by themselves with a list of things to accomplish. They do a great job on their own.

Then we wash, rinse, and repeat.

We roll through our weeks at a nice pace, accomplishing everything we set out to accomplish, and generally feel really good about all we are learning. I have no complaints, and I can't think of anything I would do differently at this stage in our schooling. Everyone seems happy and satisfied with our level of learning.

I am just trying to cherish the days we have left with both kids here at home for their schooling, because next year things will look so different.

2016-2017 School Hours Logged: 701 hours, including 151.75 hours outside home. Plus Summer 2016 Hours Logged: 70.75 hours, including 27 hours outside home.

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