Newest Homeschooling Routine

Another school year is upon us, and I’m doing lots of thinking about homeschooling.

Every year I re-evaluate our decision to homeschool and what we’re hoping to accomplish by it. This year, I really, really felt the weight of the responsibility I’m offering to take on myself. I assign 4-9 subjects to each kid, and now multiply that by 4, and that’s around 30 “classes” I’m suppose to be in charge of and check up on. Thankfully, I’ve never assigned myself the role of preparing set lessons and standing up as a “teacher” (I seriously admire those with the training to do that, especially for large groups of children!). Rather, I teach my kids to read well, and then I set them to work with reading assignments in various subjects. Their job is to read, take notes, draw pictures, and then later explain to me what they read about. Sometimes we even set it up so that they teach each other. This method may not be as fun or exciting as what I see other homeschool families doing, but it’s the only way I can keep my sanity! 🙂

And I cross my fingers that it’s also allowing them to see that they don’t need me to learn, only to push them to do what they’re supposed to do. I remind, check up on, listen, ask questions to see if they’re working hard or not, but what they are learning comes from their books. (Even math workbooks.) I hope it’s doing what I think it’s doing for them.

With that, here’s our general plan this year:

Overview of School Schedules

Me Emma Jacob Jonah Lydia Friday
Before 7:30 Scripture Study,

Computer time

7:30 Wake up kids Wake up/breakfast Wake up/breakfast Wake up/breakfast (breakfast chore!) Wake up/breakfast Wake up/breakfast
8:00 Shower & make bread, plan dinner Shower, Bed, books, & jammies Shower, Bed, books, & jammies Bed, books, & jammies Bed, books, & jammies Bed, books, & jammies
Do Lydia’s study Scripture Study Scripture Study Scripture Study Scripture Study Scripture Study
9:00

Morning School

Get lines ready in notebooks,

Keep an eye on everyone.

Dishes, laundry, other tasks.

Music practice

(30 minutes)

Review Geography assignments (share with each other)

Pick: Rec Center, Art Museum, Science Museum, etc.

Clean rooms very well & vacuum.

Also, take care of shopping, & other things Mom needs to do!

Philosophy

(45 minutes)

American History

(2 pages in book)

Read chapter book

(Wayside)

Read! 🙂
Arts (30 minutes)

(TBA)

Arts (copy poems) Arts (copy art picture, write name) Arts (copy art)
Science

(45 minutes)

Science

(45 minutes)

Science (2 facts, 1 picture, 1 question) Science
Writing (Journal)

& Handwriting

Writing (Journal)

& Handwriting

Writing (Journal)

& Handwriting

Writing (Journal)

& Handwriting

LUNCH (lunch chore!)
Ideally, read too!

Help with math

Play with Micah

Free Reading

(1 hour)

Free Reading

(1 hour)

Free Reading

(1 hour)

Free Reading
1:00/1:30

Afternoon School

Math (45 min) Math Math Math
Geography (any book on country)
(45 minutes)
Geography (any book on country)
(45 minutes)
Geography (any book on country)
(45 minutes)
Geography

(draw maps)

Spanish with Daddy
After School Rec Center, play learning games, free time, library, shopping, etc. Baths/Showers for J, L, M on T/Th, Sat

Little update on the kids!

I have so much I could say! Jonah still likes reading (but always procrastinates starting), Jacob loves guitar and Emma’s teacher compliments her every week on how well she is doing. The kids were so ready for break, though (especially Emma) so we’re glad Joe’s Spring Break was this week so we could have a break too! We’ve watched an episode of Star Wars each night and enjoyed some Red Vines and Hot Tamales while we watched together. 🙂 It was 72 degrees outside yesterday so I took the kids to the park. (And we got sunburned — we must be in Albuquerque!) We also took a day to go to Explora and the Natural History Museum. The kids are happy and healthy and doing well.

047

Well, I’ll say at least a little more about each kid:

Micah is reaching a point where his general contentment is wearing off and he’s ready to speak his mind! He’s been so content (if we get apple juice when he wanted milk, eh, no big deal!), but I think his desire to communicate is hitting a peak so I’m thrilled to see him start to try to talk more. Yay! What a fun time! He has begun learning body parts like hair, eyes, nose, belly, and mouth. He seems to want to just focus on one a day, but when we say it he has to be thorough about it: he touches everyone’s hair over and over again and laughs and claps. He’s really quite proud of himself. What a hard thing it is, learning to speak!

Lydia still loves seeing her best friend Jane at playdates and at Church. She’s had her cast off for a while and enjoys using 2 hands for everything again. She’s overcoming fears and learning to write her name and enjoying playing Ponies while we’re watching Star Wars. 🙂 I’m happy whenever she realizes she can do something by herself. She still loves Micah to pieces and enjoys watching him play, eat, ride in the stroller, and so on. She and Micah sit next to each other when we eat and he always tries to steal her food! (Sometimes she yells and sometimes she just thinks it’s hilarious and cute!) She’s a sweet but energetic little 3 year old! I can’t believe she’ll be 4 this year.

Jonah says, “Sometimes I’m one of the big kids, and sometimes I’m one of the little kids.” He’s certainly in the middle. He has more time to play than the older ones, but still more school than the younger ones. In general, I think he finds it a good fit. He is loving puns right now and tries to make up jokes. He’s also astoundingly good at matching the notes of sounds he hears. He can match the tone of the vacuum, for example. He can imitate the “ding-ding-ding” noise of the Trax from when we were in Provo last summer! He can match the dinosaur noises from the museum. Pretty awesome. And on the topic of dinosaurs, he still really likes them. He and Joe built a model together and he loves to rearrange it on our mantle next to the dragon statue Joe got in Poland. Sometimes the dinosaur wins their battle, and sometimes the dragon does. 🙂

Jacob is really proud of his guitar progress. (So is Joe.) He is pleased with all he is learning and can’t wait to be a little better so he can play some songs. We’re grateful for the guitar Tyler, Gary, and Kristin gave to Joe as a present so that the kids have a guitar to learn on too. Jacob also still loves legos and these days is trying to copy animals and ships from Star Wars. He’s less anxious during movies and playtime these days. He’s still naturally serious though, always attuned to what his parents or teachers say is important. Also, he’s been reading the Book of Mormon all on his own (a chapter a day, usually) and will finish the whole thing today! His goal was to do it by his birthday (Emma had the same goal before she got baptized) and he hit it several weeks early. Yay for Jacob! We’re quite proud of him.

Emma is growing up so much! She is tall and responsible and a good friend. She loves going to Activity Days every other Thursday. She is a fantastic help with Lydia and Micah. What would we do without Emma? She’s happy to help and loves to take them on a walk to the mailbox or get their shoes on for me. When we went down town this week, Joe didn’t come so I relied on her to carry Micah on and off the bus while I carried the stroller. Lydia then relied on Jacob instead of Emma, and Jonah said, “And you watch our for me, Mommy!” 🙂 We did it, and thank goodness the older kids are willing to help out! Emma has a few pen pals now. She taught herself cursive and did great. She got very bored of school the last week, though, so it’s time for some rethinking of her school subjects. I’ve thought a lot about how much she liked the slow careful pace we did last year, which required her to spend more time on one thing and then also prepare to teach it. I will probably return her to that pace for several subjects, even if I keep  Jacob and Jonah moving faster.

There’s a brief update! So much more could be said about every day’s events. They all like to talk on the phone now, so feel free to give all of them or any one of them a call sometime! They might talk your ear off and they might not talk clearly, but they will love the attention, for sure. 🙂