I wanted to talk about our homeschool routine. That's right, we're homeschooling. That may be a surprise to you because I don't mention it at all because I fear judgement. There's a whole tangle of things involved but they are not the reason for this post.
This morning I was in a discussion with some other moms who are all starting to homeschool this semester. Some from private school, public school and the university model.
I am not an "all-in" homeschooling mom, as in, this is for a short period of time (we think). If I had to have a blog about it it would be "The Hesitant Homeschooler" or something like that. Either way, here we are. I was telling a few of the moms how their struggles with finding a niche among others were things we struggled with at the start, and that it works differently (I think) for everyone.
Today I want to document what "works" for us. It has been a lot of trial and error! And it was a bumpy start for sure til we found our feet.
1. We don't have a school room. We use our dining room table and it works out very well. It's like the heart of our home so it makes sense for this important thing to take place there as well. I do have a "homeschool" space which is in my dining room cupboard. It's not pretty and it's not what I would like for it to look like- but it's functional.
2. I aim for one hour a day. I heard someone say that it's safe to limit Kindergartners to one hour of sit down academic work a school day. You can break it up as you see fit. Honestly we often go over. But if after that hour she shows signs up exhaustion or being done, I back off. They say to add an hour of sit down/academic time per day per year the child is in school per year capping off at the sixth grade (7 hours of sit down academic work in a day).
3. A typical week:
Monday (our free day)- All kids dot marker letters together. We may bake. They may do play-dough.
Tuesday and Thursday- strong curriculum days. We do the bulk of math and reading these days while Sophie is at Pre school.
Wednesday - Classical Conversations. This is a 4 hour commitment and we are all wiped when we get home.
Friday- I try to do Science and history/geography and any lesson we need to finish up on this day.
A Basic Day:
-Introduce new letter:
-do Handwriting without Tears (HWOT), Evan Moore Reading book for that letter, Dot markers worksheets from The Measured Mom and Confessions of a Homeschooler
(Note: I LOVE the above printables because all of the kids do it! They gather around the table, we can listen to music or not and they all "do school". They are fun and I recommend them!)
- Writer's Workshop (Claire's FAVORITE activity)
(This gives you an idea of what this looks like. Sophie and Claire both do this and get big giggles from having me read their stories. They each have a folder. For Sophie and the first semester for Claire I would write the story they told me. Now Claire is writing her own.)
-Sight Words (on index cards), Sight word book
-Saxon Phonics Kindergarten- two lessons on new letter, Read the reader for the week
-Calendar work (at the table). Months of the year, days of the week, seasons, weather etc.
-Math workbook (We did this one which she LOVED, and two others and now will start Singapore Math next week.)
-- Count to 100, Count to 20 and back again, count by 10's (just added this skill)
We work through the Evan Moore Science Kindergarten book at a snail's pace.
We listen to youtube videos of basic Spanish (the girls love it!)
We listen to and "learn" the Classical Conversations songs and memory work loosely (Latin, math, history, geography and grammar)
4. My "homeschooling style" would be considered eclectic. I use random materials piece-mealed together using the state standards as a guide. I have a notebook with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Kindergarten printed off. I made a Scope and Sequence/curriculum map over the summer and use it as a loose guide. I also have "What Your Kindergartner Needs To Know" which may be more accessible than the TEKS.