I know some people are curious about what a homeschooling day looks like. I know I used to wonder and make all kinds of assumptions that had no basis in reality (no worries, I won’t judge you if you do the same thing). So I thought I’d outline a bit of what we did today. There isn’t really such thing as a “typical” day, but this is about as close as it gets for days that we don’t have any outside activities (which is only two days a week). Our other days look very different, as they go to classes or our co-op school, or field trips, or to friends’ houses. But here’s what we did today, on our “home day”:
7:30 am – I get woken up by The Muse composing music on the piano and to my cell phone beeping because the battery is dying. Dolittle’s still asleep. I get up, eat breakfast, and plan out the details of the school day.
8:00 am – Dolittle’s up, girls eat breakfast while I shower.
8:30 am – I work for half an hour because we’re in proofreading week at the magazine and I have proofs due by noon. Girls clean up from breakfast and get dressed.
9:00 am – Faith arrives (I babysit a baby who just turned one three days a week.) Girls get super excited as if they haven’t seen Faith in ages, despite the fact that she was just here on Saturday.
9:10 am – The Muse wants to “compose” some more on the piano. While she fiddles around on it, I download some free music composition software and show it to her. She goes ga-ga. While I put Faith to sleep, The Muse composes a song on the computer. Dolittle watches. It’s very funky. The Muse is thrilled.
10:00 am – Start “official” school day (kind of late today, though the music composition was totally educational). The Muse copies down a Hidden Word (part of the Bahá’í holy writings) and picks out words she doesn’t know to look up in the dictionary. We read it out loud together a few times to help us both memorize it. As we’re reading, Dolittle’s practicing tracing letters on her wipe-off letter board.
– While The Muse writes, I do Dolittle’s reading lesson. We go through the lesson in “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” (skipping some parts, though the book says you shouldn’t) and play a game where we take turns throwing a bean bag on word cards and reading them. We add a new word to her reading board. This all takes about 20 minutes.
-The Muse works from her Spanish workbook while I do Dolittle’s math lesson. We have a math curriculum that’s based on the Montessori approach to math. Very hands on. Dolittle loves it, and begs for more when we’ve finished what I planned (about 15-20 minutes worth). As she’s doing some extra pattern coloring, I start math with The Muse. Dolittle finishes and plays. Dolittle’s work is done.
– Snacks have been sort of interspersed throughout the morning. I try to keep snacks fairly consistent, or The Muse will ask for food every 45 minutes. It doesn’t always work, though. She still asks for food constantly. She’s a grazer like her mama.
– Lunch time – as the girls eat, I read a chapter about early nomads from “Story of the World” for history.The Muse asks for another chapter, but I have to check my work email.
– 12:30 – Math review test for The Muse. Faith wakes up. We go through The Muse’s addition and subtraction flashcards. She actually likes flashcards. Freaky.
– The Muse reads “Weather Words and What They Mean” out loud to Dolittle and I (and Faith). I ask her what she learned and she says, “I learned what sleet is.” I have to admit, I didn’t really know exactly what sleet was before, either. We’re also making a lapbook (too long to explain – I’ll post pics of one sometime soon) of weather, but we aren’t working on it today.
– The Muse practices her piano (her real practice for her lessons, as opposed to the fiddling around she was doing earlier) while Dolittle plays with Faith.
– We all play with Faith, as she’s particularly funny and cute today.
– The girls play “Little House in the Big Woods.” We’ve been reading it as The Muse’s bedtime book. The Muse is Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Dolittle is Laura’s cousin, who is also named Laura. They pretend to make maple candy from maple syrup (all imaginary). I give them some real maple candy that Javad and I just happened to picked up from World Market as an example of what’s described in the book.
– Faith gets picked up around 3:15. The girls help clean up a bit (not too many complaints about that today, although I did have to threaten to give Dolittle’s stuffed animals “a break” if they didn’t get taken upstairs).
– The Muse practices her violin while Dolittle plays and then starts begging for a video. The Muse finally finishes, we go for a short walk to get the mail, and I feel badly for the fact that we haven’t been out all day on such a gorgeous afternoon. Then I remember that most other days we are out and about and that it’s good that we got so much “official schooling” done today.
– The girls watch “Multiplication Rock” (Schoolhouse Rock, woohoo!) while I make dinner. The Muse unloads the dishwasher to make money for her Haiti Hurricane Fund (At OWL Academy – our Friday “school” with a couple of other families – the kids were learning about hurricanes. They made fund jars to raise money to send relief to Haiti after the hurricanes there this summer).
That was basically it. I’m sure I’m missing some things, but we got quite a bit accomplished today. And the girls were quite cooperative today, too, which isn’t always the case. It helps when I have things well-organized.
Being beckoned to bed. Night night.