Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Our Way....

I was inspired today after reading Bethany's post today: Homeschool Wonderworld. Wow. We are so different! ha ha!
It is difficult to explain our way of homeschooling without seeming like I don't approve of other methods. That really and truly isn't the case. In fact, I wish I could lean a little more toward the Binkley method...but I tried that last year and it really didn't work for me. I mean REALLY. ha ha. Give me an inch, I take a mile EVERY time! :) I tried doing the casual thing last year and I managed to slack off after about the end of January. Now, my children were only 3 and 5, and the 5 year old already reading on 2nd grade level I figured, "hey...why not just wait till next year to get truly serious?"
We are on the complete opposite side this year. In fact, we have another 4 year old joining us for homeschool this year! So, that is reason enough to be structured, keep better records, have a set plan, etc. Plus, for the record, today is the NINTH day in a row that our house has been CLEAN! YAY for company every day!!! I mean it!

Anyway, just try winging it with THREE school aged children in the house! It just wouldn't work for us. We have a curriculum this year that has all the lesson plans done for the entire year, a Math program picked out and added in, as well as a super handwriting curriculum that is really fun. Combine that with unlimited resources online and we have a VERY busy week planned out! I really and truly need that kind of thing. Other people go on what their child is interested in at the time, or work it into daily routine, but I get so caught up in the details of what everyone is eating for lunch and IF they are eating it, etc., that it becomes difficult for me to multi-task and grab the moment for a lesson learned. I am like that about everything by the way :) not just school. Ask my husband.
So, you can read about her homeschooling through life, and I will present to you the OTHER end of the spectrum. You can even see in our slide show that we are definitely "school at home." ha! I hope it doesn't make my children jealous of the other homeschoolers who get to have "more fun" at homeschool. See, there it makes it sound like I am berating one or the other styles of doing school at home, but it all comes down to making it work for you and your children. I have a friend coming over tomorrow to see how we do homeschool and I was so quick to assure her that the way we do it isn't like the way many people do it, and every person's homeschool looks, sounds, and works differently! So, without further delay, here is our homeschool schedule for Monday-Thursday. See, there you go, some people don't have a schedule and that is fine and great for them, but I am telling you, if I don't have Math scheduled for a slot in the day, it just probably wouldn't get done! That's the structure I need.... I could very easily see me working in life skill projects, such as baking into our learning experience. The difference is, I would probably have it penciled in my plans for "Thursday, 12:15: Cooking Project: Bake bread." ha ha!

8:15-8:30: Developing the Early Learner workbooks, Name writing practice, some kind of language worksheet.

8:30-8:45: Calendar, Bible Story, character Ed. We also say the pledges and pray at this time. A lot for 15 minutes? I think not ha ha! Always overplan!

8:45-8:55: Read a story (Literature), Sing some songs (movement)

8:55-9:25: Handwriting Without Tears (split between the two age groups,whoever is not doing the lesson will play or do some centers)

9:25-9:45: Writing/Language/Copywork (This will be some kind of acting out a story, brainstorming how to make up a story, exposure to different kinds of writing like invitations, letters, etc)

9:45-10:15: Go upstairs and have a snack, play with toys in bedroom, restroom time (yes we have a scheduled restroom break since we don't have a RR downstairs...it would be endless going up and downstairs if we didn't)

10:15-11:00: Phonics/Reading I do the younger ones first with their letter of the week and Explode the Code workbooks. Then I give them something to make or do with their lesson and then they get to watch a video while I have QUIET reading instruction with my oldest. We have to have about 20 minutes of silence so she can concentrate. Then they can do a "not silent" activity like play-doh, blocks, etc.

11:00-11:45: Math. We separate for these lessons also. First the young ones and the same drill as with Reading. We also have a computer in our classroom so one of the young ones at a time can go on Starfall.com or something like that while I work with Katie.

11:45-12:15: Lunch or Science/SS. Depends on if they are acting tired of "school" If they are restless we go ahead and have lunch. If not, we go right into our Science/SS time, which they really enjoy. It is all based on just reading a book about something, then I find some cool stuff to do to go along with it. Right now we are working on creating a book about the seasons using pages they are coloring of trees. One day a week I plan on doing some kind of art project during this time.

12:15-12:45: Lunch, or if we had lunch we come back downstairs and do our Science/SS/Art. When they first sit down for lunch I will read a story from one of our Read-Alouds. This gets them to actually eat instead of playing too :)

We end after this. Our 3rd student is picked up around 1pm and then its rest time. On Tuesdays we have ballet and soccer. That's about it.

This is how we do homeschool. Works for us! And, we all really enjoy it! This has gone on and on, so I will try to wrap it up with this:

If you are looking for the "typical" way to homeschool, the "right" way, or the "normal" way....you just won't be able to find it...unless you start doing it yourself and THEN you will find it...but you may be the only one doing it "that" way. And that's okay.


andysbethy said...

That was a fabulous summary. I loved the ending especially - Basically, "to each, his own". And THAT is the joy of homeschooling.
Love ya!

Anonymous said...

LOVE the plaque! Might just hafta make me one! :P

(found you from the yahoo group) Going to add you to my Bloglines...

Great blog!

Anonymous said...

This is so very true.....each family is so different and we all have different ways that work for our families. Thanks for sharing.

The Duke Family said...

I love your classroom. I would love to take a look at it sometime. I hope all is going well for y'all. Have a great week!