So I realize that my readership may not be individuals interested in how we do the ins and outs of homeschooling. But you'll have to bear with me because the major purpose of my blog is to keep track of the different seasons this family goes through. And while I might set up this routine with schooling now, 10 years from now - if I am still crazy enough to think I can pull this off - I may have our days set up totally different... in fact I'm sure they will be.
I'm not thinking that you all are going to receive so much great information from me that you're gonna run right out and emulate my style... please don't... really. The beauty of homeschooling is finding what works for you and your family and doing it to the best of your ability. No molds here, that's what makes it wonderful.
So with the completion of the school room, I have a much better idea on how to structure our day. I start our school day the night before. I've never been one to plot out lesson plans months in advance. At this point of our lives my style probably is a little closer to an "unschooling" model... but with structure. I want the boys' interests to be the ultimate guide, but I'm sorry if they don't feel like learning their addition facts, tough cookies... we're doing it anyway.
So the night before I sit down and look over what we've been hitting the past few days. Are we neglecting an area? Is there something that lends itself to be built upon? Are we needing to step back from a concept and try again at a different angle and at a later date? All of these things factor into what I plan to do with the guys the next morning. I scratch down some ideas on an index card and set out some needed supplies and then I go to bed.
The following morning everyone gets up and gets breakfast. At times I have some early risers, I have one late sleeper, and one or two that are a little unpredictable. I have a few that are raring to go in the morning and I have one child, (and one mommy!), that takes a good half hour to break out of their sleep-induced grumpiness. So the routine right now is that Isaiah and Avery usually head outside first thing in the morning. Lillie gets into anything and everything while Huston usually stays in bed until at least 8:00 most mornings and I then piddle at the computer until he wakes up. We then get breakfast and by the time 9:00 comes around we're ready to hit the books.
I keep the index card as my tentative rough draft for how the morning will turn out and I begin to tackle that list while taking into consideration the mood and brainpower of the boys. We're not going to do something major if they can't focus... I've been there too many times and it always ends in someone crying (and sometimes it's me!).
We almost always end by lunch time and that's with a few 15-20 minute breaks sprinkled in there. If the boys are really antsy I will sometimes try to hit something again after lunch, and they are usually receptive, but I haven't had to do that very often.
I reward the boys for hard work daily by letting them have free play after a really concentrated effort, weekly by a trip to one of the grandparents houses, and then I always try to make the end of the week a really fun school day of science experiments or an educational video or something rather low maintenance.
Now that being said this week was totally blown out of the water and hasn't looked like this at all. But we will get back on track again - that's the beauty of homeschooling.