Tuesday, September 13, 2011

the school day

The school day starts early.  Way early.

For me at least.

Up at 5:30 if I’m running, then I can sneak out for a bit of quiet time before the chaos takes over.  

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Thankfully at this point our amazingly handsome principal/substitute teacher helps out breakfast and morning chores.

Then it’s up to the school room for lessons.

We are putting it all together, and our school days seem to have taken on a routine and a rhythm and for now (fingers crossed) we seemed to have landed on a schedule that works.

2011 09 03_0210

And yes, in case you were wondering you can indeed wear your feetie pajamies to school around here.

And I guess when you’re in kindergarten then it’s perfectly acceptable to wear those pj’s all day long.  Even when it’s 95 outside.

But onto the school day…..

I have one in Kindergarten, here’s the school work she does:
Handwriting Without Tears
The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading plus lots of Bob books
Right Start Math level A, if she’s interested (I love right start math, but I’ve noticed that levels A and B are pretty repetitive, and since she knows her basics I think she’ll do just fine jumping in at level B for 1st grade)
workbooks to keep her busy, plus lap books and file folder games

2011 09 03_0221

My First Grader:
Handwriting Without Tears (cursive) / Scripture Copy work
Right Start Math, Level B
Abeka Spelling
First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind, Level 1
Writing with Ease 1

2011 09 03_0223
Third Grade:
Handwriting without Tears (cursive) / Scripture copy work
First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind, Level 3
Writing with Ease 2
Abeka Spelling
Right Start Math, Level C
Both my Third Grader and First Grader are reading Stuart Little independently, I quiz them for comprehension once they finish a few chapters.

Both of them also read other chapter books like crazy, I let them pick whatever sparks their interest at the library.

For history we are on The Story of the World, Volume 3 and for science we are using Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany.

And this is how it all goes down:

First Grade
Third Grade
8:30-9:00 reading handwriting handwriting
9:00-10 workbook, handwriting grammar, writing w/ease, spelling (independent reading as time allows) grammar, writing
(independent reading as time allows)
10:00-10:15 snack break
10:15-11:00 reading with 1st grader math math, spelling
11:00-11:30 recess-outside
11:30-12:300 Wednesday and Friday:  History all together

Tues and Thurs:
Science all together
Some random thoughts on the whole thing:

Most of the time I do a chunk of work with one student and then excuse him or her to his or her room for a bit, just so we can keep it quiet for the ones still working.
I’ve learned that some days one subject can take a very long time.

That recess and snack time are invaluable to making it through the day, even though I always want to skip recess so we can keep going and get it done.

We get lots and lots and lots of library books for silent reading.

I used to feel like I was short changing my kids by sticking to the basics and not adding in extra things, but then I realized we were spontaneously doing the extras.  Things like baking and craft projects, grocery shopping and housework all provide for unstructured learning.  And they're usually learning life skills which are pretty important given our goal as parents is to produce independent adults.  And it really comes down to me learning that we function much better by doing less, I’d rather do less and do it really well than try to cram a bunch in and do it poorly.  I learned last year that the more I tried to do the crazier I felt, and as a result so did my students.  Less is totally more for my kids right now.

And then after school we move on to lunch and if we’re home down time.  We read or play games, but usually they just entertain themselves.  Sometimes by doing yoga.  Yoga meltdown by Jillian Michaels is our first choice, and unfortunately it's the reason my five year knows the term “bad ass.”  Also unfortunately she looks pretty cute when saying it, so might not get always get disciplined when she says it.  I know I will regret my lack of attention to this at some point.

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Sometimes we go to the library.

2011 09 03_0204

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Sometimes I get a bit of quiet time.

Then we rush off to dinner and family time and thank God we made it, bedtime.

And that’s the day.

Tuesday-Friday, take a 3 day break (hallelujah!) and then repeat.

I’d say we’ve got a good system.


  1. i too use to feel like i was short changing my kids too, but like yours, mine are getting plenty of the extras. grace helps me not beat myself up so much. when i live in grace schooling and life are so so so much better.

    happy home schooling!

  2. Yay, way to work it out, Gina!! Love it all!


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