Friday, January 14, 2011

A Day in the Life 2011

Today over at Simple Homeschool, there's a call for posts about readers' typical homeschooling days. It's been a while since I've done one of these, so I thought I'd jump in.

Basically, we wake up in the morning, spend time in intense individual Bible study, and then float blissfully -- and harmoniously -- from discussions of free indirect discourse in Moby Dick to the making of scale models of the pancreatic system. Here and there, we conjugate Russian verbs, rehearse the violin concertos my eldest has composed for our family quintet, and fingerpaint geometrical proofs onto giant wall-sized murals. Then we have lunch.

No. Not really.

A fellow homeschooling mom, let's call her Shannon because that's her real name, recently confided wryly to me that she heard another mom refer to her home school, in all seriousness, as "The Peaceful Cottage." Shannon felt that a more apt term for her own environment would be "The Romper Room." I think it's fair to say that we're somewhere in the middle.

No day is exactly the same around here, so I'll describe the mythical "template" day. Ready? Here goes.

I wake up, feed my spirit with the Word of God, roll creakily out of bed, and go running or use the elliptical machine, unless we're going to the Y later that day. I shower, make the bed, start a load of laundry, etc.

The children stagger out around 7:30, and the girls (ages 5 and 7) usually kick the day off with a good little bickerment about something or other. I interject the customary pep talk about respect/kindness/peace while fixing breakfast. For some reason, fixing breakfast takes a while.

Around 8:00 or a bit later, we sit down to eat. At the table, we see where This Day in History leads us. Then, we read a chapter from Egermeier's Bible Story Book, discuss a bit, and pray for the day. We choose our chores and I send them off to do their morning lists (teeth, clothes, etc.) while I clean up the kitchen. We all do our chores.

Around 10:00, what we call "Kidschool" begins. (On a good day, I've written the day's order of events on our whiteboard.) Ian (age 10) usually has a list of to-do's, which may include some or all of:
2. Reading (Middle Ages-related literature; right now it's Otto of the Silver Hand.)
3. History: Currently he reads 2 pages of his  Kingfisher History Encyclopedia and marks 3 events on his timeline. 
4. Writing: Both he and his sister do one lesson a day from The Complete Writer: Level Three Workbook for Writing with Ease (Eliza does Level One)
5. Memory Work: AWANA, possibly a poem
6. Science Activity -- we do this all together from Pandia Press' REAL Science Odyssey

The girls don't have lists to work through, but we always have a daily read-aloud going (right now it's The Fledgling ). Eliza reads one page in her chapter book, which is a big deal for her but was her own idea, and Caroline does a lesson from Reading Made Easy or reads me a Bob book. Eliza does her Writing With Ease lesson (10 minutes tops) and maybe some mapwork from the country we're studying for geography club or from our The Story of the World chapter. She loves coloring maps. :-) Other than that, the girls like to do crafts, bake things when my sanity allows, or play imaginary games together, which I try not to interrupt. 

Around 12:30 or 1:00, we have lunch. One of the kids helps me fix it, and I'd love to say we all sit down to eat together while I read poetry to them or show them some paintings online, but in reality, that happens irregularly. 

After lunch, we have an hour of Quiet Time. In a perfect world, the kids read or listen to books on CD in utter silence, never interrupting my time to check email, write on my blog, read, etc. Note that I said "in a perfect world." 

After Quiet Time, we often have somewhere to go -- taekwondo at the Y twice a week, Cub Scouts two or three times a month, a get-together with friends, etc. Some days the neighborhood kids are over to play. And again, some days the schedule's a bit different because our extracurricular happens earlier, but in general I try to be home in the morning so we have a good rhythm to the day. And we often use the driving time for listening to The Story of the World or a longer book on tape.

Then it's home for dinner (we eat around 7:00), a quick cleanup from the chaos we've created along our journey of wonder and excitement (we often set the egg timer for 10 minutes), stories with Dad, a math lesson for Ian and Dad, and bed. Yeah, they go to bed kind of late. Later than I'd like, really. But since we rarely have somewhere to be first thing in the morning, it all works out. And we still get an hour or maybe two of downtime before adult bedtime, a.k.a. "Mom is Now a Zombie Time."

There you go! Your spy mission in our household has been successfully concluded. Thanks for coming along on today's Adventure in Dillerland! 


Paula @Motherhood Outloud said...

Love your writing! I popped over from Simple Homeschool. Thanks for your honesty, I think I would call what we do "organized Chaos (only organized on occasion)".

Pam said...

Another Simple Homeschool visitor here. Sounds like a delightful day. Quiet time at our house goes about like that too.

Nadene said...

I loved your tongue-in-cheek ... we can all dream can't we ...Thanks for sharing your day with everyone at Simple Homeschool!

by r. said...

Hey Hannah!

I just checked out your blog and posted a link to it on my blog and referenced the longfellow poem you had posted the other day. I hope that's okay! Hope you're doing well. Here's my blog if you want to check it out:


KTG said...

I've been wondering what a typical homeschool day looks like.Starting to research my options...
Seems more productive considering all of the lining up, behavior problems to sort out and standardized testing I remember from school. Then all of the hours of homework which impacts family time in the evening.
So much to consider!

Stephanie said...

From a non-homeschooling mom (with only 2 kids to boot), please believe me when I tell you, you should be impressed with yourself.