Curriculum and Scheduling
One of the first questions I get about homeschooling is: What are you using for curriculum? This isn't too surprising since when I considered making the change it was one of my primary thoughts. After all, once you decide to keep the kids home, what exactly should you do with them? There are many different homeschooling paths, and ours takes a little from each method. I believe a lot in free time, and reading, and finding education in the ordinary. But I also believe in meeting goals and having rock-solid foundational knowledge. So, our morning is fairly "schoolish" and our afternoon is faily "run-wildish."
The kids wake up and while I read and exercise they get ready and eat breakfast.
We meet for family scripture study which consists of memorizing a scripture together, reading a scripture story, reading a section of the little booklets the missionaries hand out, and doing personal study (I encourage them to read at least one verse). They also color.
At this point, I finish morning household jobs, feed and water Sterling, and get dressed. At 9:00 Sterling goes to his nap, the boys go downstairs to play (they only earn iPad time if they play nicely without interrupting us), and the girls and I do math for an hour. We are using Everyday Mathematics from the school because I didn't want to buy a math curriculum for half a year, and we can get it from the school for free. I read the lessons for the week and pull out the activities I like, but I have yet to make a real long lesson of it. We also do the worksheets associated with those units. This takes about 20 minutes. Then, because I'm most nervous about math we do Khan Academy online for practice and Splash Math on the iPad (recommended to me by my cousin Laura). Ellie does a lot of multiplication drilling right now.
At 10:00 the boys get their 20 minutes each on the iPad. Grant does math, Spencer plays Angry Birds and renames all my files. The girls and I do "English" which consists of Grammar with "Well-Trained Mind," Spelling with "Spelling Workout," and "Handwriting Without Tears." We also have some creative prompts they work on at the end.
Then we break and do lunch and playing. Sterling usually wakes up at this point. Today Ellie made lunch while I did jobs with Grant and Meg. Every day they each get to pick which kind of job they are going to do based on who finishes their morning jobs first (dressed, bed made, teeth/hair, breakfast, room tidied). Because Ellie always finishes first she picks "project" - which is whatever random job is floating around in my mind. She's weeded, emptied the dishwasher, cleaned her desk, and made lunch. Meg usually picks "cleaning." Today that meant she cleaned the bathrooms with me. Grant always gets stuck with "laundry" which makes him cry until he gets downstairs and gets to turn the water on. He likes that.
After lunch we do "Special". On Monday we do Family History, on Tuesday we do Science, on Wednesday we do History, on Thursday we do Piano/Ballet, on Friday we Art (we don't do Math and English on Friday - and I hope to get some service planned for this day also).
Spencer and Sterling go to sleep again at 2 or 3. Before this happens we read. Grant reads me a book, I read him a book. The girls and I read together and then do "Dictation" and "Narration" which is mostly remembering what your read and understanding the story. Spencer picks his book, and we head up to naps.
At this point the kids can go downstairs and do whatever they want except fight or bother me. I get about 2 hours to write upstairs while the little boys sleep. That's on a good day. After writing, it's dinner and finish up the jobs time.
I still haven't figured out where to fit my big extra jobs like doing the budget or going grocery shopping. I also haven't figured out how to balance our "schedule" with extra items that get thrown in the week of. There were some activities this week at the co-op, but I didn't know how much I wanted to give up at home to go there. I'm not sure. I still can't decide. I also have a dentist appt tomorrow, so we'll see what happens with that. I have not one clue how to go Visiting Teaching. And I am trying to get some friend time in as well.
So, that's our basic schedule and curriculum. Next, I want to talk about what has been good and what has been bad.....