Sunday, August 21, 2011

Not Back to School Blog Hop Week 4

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I've had a great deal of fun participating in this year's Not Back to School blog hop hosted by Heart of the Matter Online. It's an easy way to connect with other homeschoolers and find out we all face our unique challenges. But we're not in this alone! We've got each other. Awesome!

This week's theme is a Day in the Life. We're supposed to share our daily routine. Since we just started back to school last week, we haven't worked out all the kinks in our schedule, but this is what we've been doing so far.

I'm not a morning person, so I don't insist that my children get up at the crack of dawn. That would mean I would have to get up earlier than the crack of dawn, and well, that's just not going to happen. If they're not up by 8 am, I will waken them. So far, they've gotten up earlier than that, so no wake-up calls have been necessary.

When they get downstairs, I usually have milk or juice and something to eat waiting on them. I also have their chore jars and daily routine charts ready for them.

The daily routine chart just has a list of their hygiene and clean-up routine - get dressed, brush your teeth and hair, make your bed, that kind of thing. They mark off each task as they finish it.

The chore jars contains popsicle sticks that have chores written on them - unload the dishwasher, wipe down the baseboards, clean up the sink, etc. The tip of each stick is white, and when they've completed a chore, they turn the stick over so the white is showing. That way I know they've done their chores. If they finish the chores before we start school, they can play or watch TV. If they don't finish, they have to complete the chores after school. They usually get everything done before school!

We always start our school day with devotions and prayer. I think it's always a good idea to take time in God's Word before we hit the books!

Math comes next, because it's really my least favorite subject and I like to get it out of the way and go on to more fun things! We've done mostly review so far, and the kids have both remembered a great deal from last year.

Then comes language arts, which I enjoy. I taught English for several years on the junior high and high school level, so it's fun for me to teach it to my own children at the elementary level. We do grammar on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday we complete a spelling lesson. Handwriting is scattered throughout each day in the form of copywork and notebooking.

I had planned to alternate days for history and science, but the kids want to do it every day! Yay! We're covering the early church in history and it's been really cool to read the book of Acts and see how all of those events fit into history. In science, we're using Apologia's Exploring Creation through Anatomy and Physiology and we've all been loving it. The notebook journal has been an invaluable help to me in prep time and a fantastic tool for the kids to recall what they've learned.

Sometimes we're joined by our third student, our dog Alexandra (Xandra, for short). She loves to be wherever we are and makes herself at home between the kids' desks.

When we've finished all of our work, I read aloud to the kids. We've done this as long as we've been homeschooling, and I don't plan on stopping even when they get older. This year we've started Mary Poppins and the kids delight in telling me how much different the book is from the movie. Early lesson in how Hollywood can mess up literature!

Most of the time, we're completely done by lunchtime, leaving our afternoons free for field trips, library time, and playing. The children work diligently to have their work completed so they don't have to spend more time on schoolwork in the afternoon. We love the flexibility that homeschooling offers and the time we get to spend together as a family.

If you're a homeschooler, head over to Heart of the Matter Online and share your daily routine with us.


  1. Ooh! Mary Poppins. Now I know our next read! Have a great year!

  2. I love their desks and your idea of listing the daily hygiene and clean-up routine =)

  3. So glad that you like the Apologia Exploring Creation through Anatomy and Physiology. We have been homeschooling for only 5 days and I made the decision to change our science already! I didn't feel that my son was retaining any information from the curriculum that we started. I ordered Apologia yesterday ... can't wait to get started!! :-)

  4. I love the chore sticks, what a great idea. Thanks for sharing your routine.

  5. Thank you for sharing. :) Nice routine.

  6. I like to get the least favorites out of the way too!