Our First 12 Weeks of Homeschooling

 

How is our home schooling year going?

If any of you don’t know by now, this is year has been our very first “official” year of homeschooling. Last year we did home school preschool and I have always done some form of tot school with my oldest. This year however, I am teaching 3 grades. It is a huge adjustment to our family. However, I am enjoying it and I know the kids are too! Here is the run down.

Grade/ages: 8th grade, Kindergarten, Preschool, two Toddlers

Curriculum: My Father’s World for the youngest grades. Abeka for the older child.

Whew.

I wanted to share with everyone HOW homeschooling is going for us this year.

Our transitional year to be honest. I want to share what has worked for us and what I am going to be changing.

First I want to say I really LOVE My Father’s World!

I wanted to try it because it has a Charlotte Mason approach to home school and I am drawn to her. I love the fact that her method incorporates reading living books, a ton of outside time, and the lessons are short. I am not a huge believer in a child sitting in a classroom for 7-8 hours a day, taking part in twaddle (as she called it). These were the reasons I decided to try my hand with My Father’s World. So far we are loving it. My Kindergartner and Preschooler love it as well. Kindergarten takes us around 45 min.-1 hr a day. Preschool is anywhere between 30-45 minutes a day, four days a week. The eighth grader takes between 3-5 hours a day on her work depending on how much she has to get done and how quickly she gets it done.

We love it so why change anything?

Even though we have loved these last twelve weeks, there are a few things I am going to incorporate into our school day, in order for the day to run smoother.

First I decided to give a four day school week a try instead of five. The reason is simple. Even though I am a teacher to three different grades, I also am still a Mother and a Wife. As a stay-at-home Mom there are still many things I need to get done in order for our household to function.

I also sell Usborne Books and own a Hair bow business.

Along with writing a book!  I want to be able to dedicate as much time all of those things as I can! I also want to be able to do something fun on Friday’s if we choose to, like a field trip or park day. A four day week offers that small break at the end of a long week, and helps me and the children keep our sanity. The eighth grader uses that last day to catch up on any work and take her quizzes for the week.

The next thing I decided to give a try, is something called a “time out break.”  I read this in a blog from someone else. As soon as I find it, I will add it to this post, to give the writer credit for this awesome idea! I felt as though most of our day consisted as school, school, school. I was feeling as though I couldn’t concentrate on one single grade because everyone needed me. That is why I broke the days into sections, instead of all the kids doing school at the same time. As the children get older, doing school together will be easier. As of right now, what they really need is a break and attention. Along with one on one school time. For 1.5-2 hours in the morning, after our morning basket and a little bit of school work, we all take a break and hang out with one another. Even the big kid. We can do anything the kids want, within reason. Go to the library, park, build some blocks, make a craft, do a science experiment, etc. Even Mommy puts her phone away. There are no electronics during this time. So far they kids really seem to enjoy it, and they love that extra attention and I love that I am giving them what they need the most. It is difficult for me to put aside the feeling that we need to get “school” done and out of the way to enjoy our day. I’m getting there though! Then after our time out break, the kids are ready to get started on their school work.

Here is a breakdown of what our schedule looks like currently.

7  Get up (kids, I’m usually up for a while by this time) or get here (because I also home school my niece and my sister) eat breakfast, do devotions.

7:15-8:30 Little ones do Morning Basket with Mommy/ look at books and then play. While big Kid works on Spelling/Vocab/Reciting her poems and other memorization work. Then on to Math.

8:30-10:30 Our time- out break, where the kids get to pick whatever they want to do.

10:30 snack

10:45-11:30ish little kids work on Busy boxes, binders, and bags. I teach Big Kid

11:30ish-12 Preschoolers turn for school!

12-12:30 Tv break, so I have a chance to get lunch ready!

12:30-1 Lunch

1-2 Little ones go down for a nap, big kid works on independent work. Kindergartner’s time for school, this is also a great one on one time for me and her! She really loves the one on one time and so do I.

2-3 Kindergartner has quiet time in her room and I finally rest! whew

So far this routine works well for us.

I just started using it though, so hopefully it still works well in a few a months!

This is always subject to change, because, let’s be honest, life can often throw us a curve ball. One thing that I love about homeschooling is it is flexible. If something comes up during the day, we can hit pause on our school work and go do what needs to be done. School can be done anytime of the day. Morning, afternoon, even at night. I’m a huge believer that learning is not linear. A child, and even adult, learns at all times, everywhere. Not just in a brick and mortar building during the hours of 8-3.

I am going to post updated blogs about our weekly lessons starting from week one (for the Kindergartner), as soon as I am able to! This week we are working on W is for Water. I may start with that instead of trying to catch up. We will see! Let me know what you all want to see! Until then, here are some fun School pictures from the last 12 weeks!

 

First day of School
First day of School
Conner Prairie Field Trip
Conner Prairie Field Trip

Field Trip at Conner Prairie
Our Morning Basket
Field Trip at Conner Prairie
Picture Box Worksheet
Working with Alligator ABCS
M is for Moon week
M is for Moon week
Tracing Letters
Foam Letter Puzzle
Number Worksheet
Matching Words with PIcture
God loves you! Card
Octopus Hotdog- O is for Octopus Week
B loves to make her own things.
Sorting Bears

 

Until Next Week!

Jenna Jury

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