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A Homeschool Day January 25, 2008

Posted by Laura in Faith, Family, Homeschooling, Uncategorized.
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I am always interested to hear what other homeschoolers are doing, so I thought I’d share a typical day in our house to get the ball rolling.  Maybe some of you will tell how you spend your days in the comments section.

We begin each day with a Bible story.  We are currently reading from Ezra about how the temple was rebuilt in Jerusalem during the reigns of Cyrus and Darius.  We have prayer, and then say the Pledge of Allegiance.  Lydia always looks from person to person and grins whenever we say or sing anything in unison.

We frequently start with our least favorite tasks to get those behind us.  For Benjamin, that is math.  For Rachel, phonics.  Once completed, we usually move to a theme study that both children are able to do.  Right now, that is The Arctic/Winter/Inuits.  We have read up on blizzards, covered several books on Arctic animals and people, worked on the science of snow and other winter precip, and have enjoyed lots of picture books like Katy and the Big Snow by Burton.  From that wonderful book, we have studied all kinds of map skills, discussed the necessity of road signs, defined municipal vs. private businesses, and looked at industrial equipment used to keep cities running.  Tonight, we are planning to have a family movie night to watch the old classic Nanook of the North.  We’re looking forward to seeing them build a real igloo.

Besides those topics, we are concurrently working on a space unit and we periodically pick up biographies of people involved in our theme studies. Any other skills that don’t fit into our theme studies, we do separately, but we prefer to incorporate them whenever we can.

Both children will get some Physical Education in this afternoon at their respective gymnastics and Tae Kwon Do classes.

Nearly every evening before bed, we do a family read-aloud.  We’ve recently been reading the Henry Huggins series by Beverly Cleary, but plan to get Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George and maybe Winter Room by Gary Paulsen to tie into our cold weather theme. The public library is our friend!

We plan to make some snow pictures by painting and then sprinkling them with Borax while they are still wet.  We’ve cut oodles of snowflakes and talked about the symmetry of them.  Seems like I should be able to find some winter/snow songs besides the Christmas ones if I put my mind to it.

So that’s most of what we’re doing around here right now.  How about you?

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Comments»

1. Dreamer - January 29, 2008

You’ve been busy blogging lately. I had several posts that I hadn’t read yet.

I’m not a homeschooler so I’m not really qualified to answer, but I’ll get the ball rolling.

This morning, as every morning, we focussed on life skills. For my three year old that means changing out of her jammies and into the clothes I laid out for her, on her own. She does fairly well, but still doesn’t like to pull turtlenecks over her head or put her socks on. I still tie her shoes. This is followed by hair brushing, face washing and tooth brushing. She potties (and wipes) by herself, most mornings.

On the way to the baby sitter’s house we practiced right and left as well as navigational skills and just a general awareness of her surroundings. She tells me which way we should turn at each stop and intersection, right or left and points in the corresponding direction. We’ve practiced this enough that I can actual say things like: “Pickup the blue lego on the left?” and she understands what I’m relating to her. Sometimes we practice the full names of family members or our address and telephone number on the way to the babysitter’s house. All the while Faith goos and coos at us and we make baby noises back.

Last night before bed (I was at Bible study all evening so this was the only time I had with them) I read the girls a story from Hannah’s devotions for preschoolers. After we discuss whatever Bible lesson there is in the devotion, we talk about the month and the date (the devotion it dated one for each day of the year). Last night we even looked forward at the names of all the months and stopped on important days along the way, like her birthday of course and special holidays. When we got to the end of the book, we had reached the end of the year. I could see the light bulbs coming on as all this “date stuff” started to make sense. It helps that each devotional has a picture and they depict children in activities appropriate for each season (i.e. swimming in July and decorating the Christmas tree in December). Hannah already knows the seasons so it really started clicking as to how the seasons relate to the calendar.

In a normal evening we would also learn a new letter and the sound it makes. Hannah knows most of her capital letters, but needs help with the small ones sometimes. Adding the sounds is not new, but now we are focusing on that and she is responsible for knowing the sound of each new letter after we cover it. In a normal evening we would also spend time cooking together.

She can count, knows her shapes, colors, and a few words by sight. Occasionally, we practice beginning math skills by counting objects in two groups and then put them into one group and counting them again. We also take away some from the big group and recount. She fully understands most spatial concepts and relative size so we don’t focus on those things any more, although sometimes I still have to correct her. The other day, when I sang the long version of a fun song and she sang the short version, she said she sang the short one and I sang the tall one. 🙂 We are also working on opposites now, so that fit right in. Soon I’ll introduce ordinal numbers, although she knows something about it already just from our daily routines. Like when I tell her to brush her teeth first and I’ll brush them next.

These are just some of the things we are doing now and trying to fit it in around our work schedules. We LOVE the public library too! Next year I may enroll her in a church pre-school. We need to spend more time on crafts and outside play. Perhaps pre-school would help with that. When the weather warms up and my college classes have ended, Hannah will start dance classes again and we will go on more nature hikes/bike rides.

2. Laura - January 30, 2008

Dreamer,

You DO homeschool!! WOW!! You may be a full-time working mom, but don’t discount the tremendous amount you have taught Hannah so far- and that in just the regular routines of the day! You are doing far more than you give yourself credit for. Hannah is far ahead of her peers, I’m sure, and all of that intentional time and interest spells L-0-V-E to a child. What wonderful memories you are making with her, too!

I am impressed with all the creative ways you are finding to work in those important skills. Maybe you should consider blogging about what you’ve come up with on your own site to share with other moms who are looking for these kinds of ideas. That might help you connect with other working moms who share some of your frustrations, also.

Thanks for being the first to jump in and comment. I really enjoyed reading what you do. It gave me some ideas to file away for Lydia.


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