Saturday, October 2, 2010

The routine - for vanessa

i don't know if any of this is helpful - & please know that i don't AT ALL think i have it all together. Not in the least. If you could see me as i type with my greasy hair tied back & a huge baby barf dried on the sleeve of Neil's shirt that i'm wearing... you'd know... but i'm just writing out some of the *good* that is working for us. This post isn't about the bad (though, i want you to know it's there too!!) So, here goes, our 'routine' - how we're doing it.
The one thing i have learned in 9 years of homeschooling is this:
Your homeschooling is like a living breathing thing - it morphs from year to year - & the only way for it to keep working, is for you to keep flexing, changing & growing too.
Sometimes i get nostalgic for a certain era - when things worked a certain way. But from year to year, things are bound to change. Littles grow, babies are born & numbers go up, we get bored & need a change, we realise that sometimes we're just bangin' our head against the wall, we find something new & exciting & reject something that as it turns out, wasn't so interesting after all...
& so -
That said -
Because vanessa asked -
i'll post our routine that is working in the fall of this particular year with my little one room school house.
7-8 - wake up, coffee up, get food, fresh bums & the first load of laundry in.
8am - we meet at the table & hopefully in the next hour we accomplish these things:
*O Canada (1min)
*The Lord's Prayer (1 min)
*Poetry read aloud (5-10 minutes)
*latin root word cards (5/day) (10-15 mins)
*bible (right now we're reading a proverb a day) (5 minutes)
*Geography (i love my big map & geography songs!) (5-10 minutes)
*History (hillyer's a child's history of the world - *supplemented for the older ones by them reading independently from streams of civilization). (15 minutes)
*read aloud - as time allows - some days we have time & others not. I usually try to make the time for it. i like reading aloud in both morning & afternoon - that way it's more hit than miss..
*devotions - (leading little ones to God - gagey loves this) - (10 minutes)
*prayer - for our community, our church, our family, our daddy... etc... (10 minutes)
(*times are very approximate - i realize it adds up to more than an hour & we do often go over this hour... but just to give you an idea how it all comes out for us).

9ish - 10am
math. Cairo does her own upstairs, Sloanie helps Peyton with hers downstairs & then does her own, i clean up the table & help Charter & Mollen with math while entertaining the little dudes. This takes less than an hour (even for the bigs) - so that's why i'm ok with going over that first hour. Saxon for the older 3 & Jump math for the younger 2.

We're usually ahead by now because Charter & Mollen don't take anywhere near an hour to do their math. As time allows over the next couple of hours, i usually finish all their (grades 1 & 3)school by lunch, but this hour is designated for "life pacs" for the older students (language arts - alpha & omega - which i probably wouldn't use again because of it's *too heavy* emphasis on grammar). Mollen uses "English for the Thoughtful Child".

Charter, Mollen & Peyton all still need to read aloud to me.

12 - 1 catch up laundry - make sure it's getting switched over, folded etc... get lunch, have a house tidy. At lunch, i pull out my daytimer & find out where everyone is at. Most of the time, the littlest 2 are done, or maybe only have little scraps left - & the bigger ones know what they still want to get done. Our afternoons are VERY loose - i did write a schedule for them, but we don't follow it to a T like we do for our mornings. As we finish eating, i pull out our read aloud book (right now, it's Treasures of the Snow) & read to them as long as i can. (Anyone who has ever tried to read in a room with a preschooler & a baby knows *exactly* what i mean by that).

1-2 - writing. Everyone has to write *something* for me every day. This really simple approach is working. Some days i assign a specific task, some days they just write whatever they want. For every book they read, i get them to write a simple book report - this helps 'cause Sloanie would like to read all day every day - this makes her take some time to process what she has read & *write down* her thoughts about it. It also gives them something to write about on days when she just doesn't know what to do.

2-3 - science. i'm using a book with Charter & Mollen that a friend lent me called Exploring Creation with Astronomy - i LOVE it - & so do they. (Thanks, Lisa!) Sloanie is using the Alberta science 7 text book & Cai & Peyton are doing science online.

By now - really, they're all just working on their own pace. They finish off tasks like: violin, french (rosetta stone - only Cai's doing this), blog, running at the park, special projects* (i can tell you about some of these another time - don't want to be toooooo boring...) etc...
As long as they have finished the 'afternoon goals' that we make at lunch time, i'm happy - & most of the time that happens.

i call this a routine & not a schedule 'cause there is *so much* flex in there. Peyton has a "video class" for her online science on Tuesdays at 10am, so she'll have to flex to fit that 1/2 hour class in. Sometimes Cai just does whatever she feels like - or practices violin for an hour in the middle of the day. i'm totally fine with that. i have 'monthly' goals for each child in each subject & i keep my eye on the calendar to make sure that nobody is falling behind. After Christmas, i usually make a new set of goals... sometimes making small fixes if i think something hasn't been working great in the fall.


Lola said...

I love this. There are days when I am dying to start and I have to remember not to rush my toddlers along or miss out on the wonderfulness of this season. This fall we were going to start into a routine of morning bible memorization, reading and nature walks but it's been a little... busy.

I love the Charlotte Mason feel to your routine but also the flexibility of it. I wish I had "a day in the life" video of your family so I could see how it plays out.

amy said...

i really appreciate this look at your day. i follow the same idea of routine, not schedule... and it really works for us. i actually just posted about our daily routine yesterday:


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