|A Day in the Life of Our Homeschool...|
This is the part of the NOT Back to School Blog Hop that I usually don't do. The main reason is that I simply can't take pics or keep a play-by-play of a school day. This post will actually be more like a "Week in the Life," since it covers our first week of school. Don't run away, yet! I won't give a detailed account of each day. I've divided it up into time chunks. What I've decided to do this year is tell you what should be happening at a given point (per my schedule) vs. what actually happened.
We'll see how this goes....
Speaking of schedules, here's our basic weekly one. For the most part, it works well... so far.
As you can see, Friday is very different from the other days. For this reason, I'l place the focus of this post on the Monday through Thursday subjects.
5:45 am WAKE UP... this is when I (grumpily) roll out of bed to make RockerDad's lunch (on his work days). After he leaves, I either climb back into bed, watch a Doctor Who episode, or surf the net for a bit. This is too early to even be included on my schedule, so I don't feel the need to tell what should happen vs. what actually happened. I'm fully awake and dressed by 7:30.
After breakfast, he cleans himself up, gets dressed, makes his bed and relaxes for a bit before we begin.
FIRST DAY ONLY...
|First Day Photo Shoot|
- What Should Happen: Robbie begins his school time with a 5 minute drill sheet (+, -, x. /). I go over the lesson and we work problems together. He then does the problems I assign.
- What Actually Happened: I was worried about this curriculum choice, because I've heard that Saxon is dry, repetitive and slow. I was also concerned about his placement (he tested into level 5/4). After a week, it's one of his favorite parts of his school days. We will go at his pace and slow down, if and when necessary... as we would with any subject.
SPELLING & PENMANSHIP
|All About Spelling and D'Nealian Cursive|
- What Should Happen:
Spelling... Mondays and Wednesdays we will do any review portions of the lesson (reviewing the cards is done with memory work at breakfast), followed by going over new material introduced in the step he's currently on. We end with a simple dictation (ten words on Monday and five phrases/sentences on Wednesday). We do this until the step has been mastered
Penmanship... Tuesdays and Thursdays he simply does two pages in his D'Nealian Cursive book. (Neatly, of course.)
- What Actually Happened: These subjects went as planned all week (except for when he did an extra page of cursive because it was fun). I am trying to be more consistent with spelling this year. Robbie is a natural speller, so I've been pretty lax about our spelling lessons. I've backed him up a bit to make sure that he can apply the rules he learned last year and hope to move quickly through the easier material.
HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY & SCIENCE
|History, Geography and Science|
- What Should Happen:
History... Mondays and Tuesdays - I read from Story of the World 2 while he listens and checks out the pictures on the relevant pages in his Usborne World History book. We pause for questions and for him to read about things he finds interesting in the Usborne book. He sometimes does one or more pages from the Story of the World Activity Guide. Extra books on the topic(s) are either read-alouds or assigned reading. Hands-on projects are included when possible (and affordable).
Geography... Mondays and Tuesdays - Robbie completes his map work for his history lesson. When history is over, he spends a few minutes working on a sheet for the current state he's studying.
Science... Wednesdays and Thursdays - We read the two-page spread in his World of Science book, read books, watch videos and do experiments.
- What Actually Happened: Again, these went well. We established this sort of routine for these subjects in first grade, so he knows what to expect and what is expected from him. We did drop a history project this week. I didn't Pin the project and couldn't find it anywhere. Robert didn't mind. Speaking of projects, we're being more choosy with ours this year. Finances and space are very tight. Hopefully, we'll find our groove with these. Many books are read-aloud at bedtime.
Time to let him get his wiggles out and (sometimes) fill that bottomless tummy of his.
BEAST ACADEMY MATH
|Beast Academy Math|
- What Should Happen: Robbie should read the comic portion (the guide) with me ready to help him with understanding. He should then do the assigned pages in his practice book. (... and he should ADORE it... it's a comic-based math book, after all.... right??? Right??)
- What Actually Happened: This is the math I was so certain he would love. He is liking it better than the first day, but it's still not his favorite thing to do. Mid-week, I realized that I had scheduled this a bit too rigidly and quick. On Thursday, I had some homemade manipulatives for him to use. This started with exploration before application. He was much happier and had a greater understanding of the geometry concepts introduced in the beginning of the 3A books.
I think that part of the issue is that all math has been super-easy for him since the beginning. This program makes him really think, and he's unaccustomed to having to reason out his math. (Singapore never made him truly think like this does). He's very excited, however, when that bulb lights up and he figures things out.
The jury is still out on this one, but we'll continue to use it for a bit to see if it is workable for Robbie.
ROD & STAFF ENGLISH
|Rod & Staff English|
- What Should Happen: This one should be simple. Go over the lesson together. Do examples together. He finishes up by doing the assignment.
- What Actually Happened: Oh, my! This is his LEAST favorite part of the day (and it's his only Monday-through-Friday subject). He doesn't mind the lessons or how they're presented. He grasps the material.... but, MAN, does he hate the written portion! This is my fault. I've allowed him to get away with minimal writing until now, so I'm having to deal with his poor attitude, now that I expect him to *gasp* write 6 sentences.
Everything in life isn't fun. He'll get over it. ;)
GREEK / LIFE OF FRED MATH
|Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! and Life of Fred Elementary Math|
- What Should Happen:
Greek... Mondays and Wednesdays - We do this together. No, I really do mean "together". I have my own composition book for my lessons. I don't know Greek. Robbie wanted to learn Greek, so we're learning it together. It's a straightforward program with flash cards and workbook pages. We do two pages per day. We play our Greek alphabet dice game on Friday.
Life of Fred... Tuesdays and Thursdays - Robbie reads a chapter in his Life of Fred book and does the "Your Turn to Play" section in his notebook.
- What Actually Happened: These went pretty much by the book. Life of Fred is probably his only "independent" work (aside from reading). I think independent work can be easy to overlook with only one child in the house, so I'm glad we have this.
More energy expulsion (and more food... bottomless pit, I tell you!)
- What Should Happen: Robbie is to read one chapter from his current book (assigned by me).
- What Actually Happened: He read... without complaint. He really seems to like this book.
We didn't have to use this time to complete unfinished work this week, but I've set it aside in case he dawdles during a subject. In which case, I can simply pack it up and move on (per our schedule). He is required to finish it at the end of the school day before he can do anything else.
Simply knowing that I'd make him come back to it seemed to keep him on task this first week, but I'm sure I'll have to use this at some point this year.
This is not the full extent of Robbie's education. We try to foster a learning lifestyle that goes beyond schooltime. He's full of curiosity, imagination and a general need to know EVERYTHING.
BONUS FEATURE... DELETED SCENES
|Robbie's cat, Minerva, does her best to keep him distracted.|
Well, that's my unconventional post for "Day in the Life" week. Even though it's not a true snapshot of a single day, I hope it offers a glimpse into how our homeschool functions.
Our posts for weeks 1, 2 & 3: