Last Monday we started a new school year after a two month break. The first week was definitely a little bumpy, with all of us adjusting to a different schedule.
I thought I’d be able to ride the wave of the kids’ excitement for a while, but it crashed before we even got through the first subject on the first day. They realized pretty quickly that even though the temperature remained in the high 90s, their summer was over, and I got some major pushback.
We soldiered on however, and each day got progressively better. I ended up making a schedule change right in the middle of the week, since I could already tell my original plan wasn’t working. That’s the beauty of homeschooling! I also gave my oldest the responsibility of doing half his schoolwork by himself for the most part, so that I could work with my daughter on hers with few interruptions (and not lose my ever loving mind).
As much as I can, I try to switch off their lessons in workbooks- when my son is doing something in his, that’s when I’m teaching my daughter letter writing or counting, and vice versa. Sometimes I’ll even have him play the teacher and guide her through a lesson. It makes him feel awesome, and it gives me a much needed break!
Afterwards I’ll check his work which all goes into a folder. If there’s something he needs help with at that moment, I’ll simply ask him to wait. It’s not particularly fun for him, but it is teaching him patience.
This will be our third year using Sonlight. I chose the complete Second Grade package for my son, with Level C (formally Core C) and Horizons Math. Level C includes Bible, Literature, Geography, and the continuation of World History which we began in Level B last year.
Even though she’s two months shy of 5, my daughter met all of her goals for Pre-K before the end of last year so I “graduated” her to Kindergarten. The awesomeness of Sonlight is that if you already purchased the Instructor’s Guides and Activity Sheets for one child before, you can order them to use with another for half the price!
In addition to Language Arts with Grade K readers, she is using Handwriting Without Tears, Get Ready For The Code (phonics), and Horizons Kindergarten Math. Like last year, I am combining their Bible, Science, and History/Geography lessons. Some things will be over her head and some too simple for him, but I found that everything balances out in the end.
So without further ado, here is our daily schedule! First, we usually have breakfast around 8:30 and do our Bible lesson and devotional at the kitchen table. Sometimes we’ll do it in the living room, because soft comfy couch.
Then at 9:00, we move into the school room where we do calendar and weather before the kids sit down to do their individual Language Arts work.
Okay, so “sit down” is a loose term. Some days my four-year-old prefers to do her work on the floor with a blanket. 🙂
Next is Math. We found these high back stools for a great price at a furniture consignment store, and they are perfect! Before we were using folding chairs and having the kids sit on pillows just so they could reach the table. Last weekend when we picked them up, both kids begged me to “let them” do school.
Finally, we finish up our morning with History/Geography. Geography is really a natural extension of whatever we learn about in History. Since we’re learning about the events of the Middle Ages, specifically the birth of Islam and the Arabian Golden Age right now, the kids color in one country in the Middle East each day and we read about it in Window On The World. I bought these shiny flag and landmark stickers last year at Dollar Tree, figuring we’d use them eventually, and the kids have been going gangbusters putting them on the world map! (Yes, in the right places.)
Then the school room sits vacant for pretty much the rest of the day. After lunch, we pile onto the couch for reading time. My son and I take turns reading out loud, and my daughter will “read” by making up stories to go with the pictures! The rest of the day for us involves chores, running errands, and playing.
How do you structure your homeschool? How many different grades do you teach? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!