Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How does it work?

"How do you homeschool EVERYBODY?"

I have heard that so many times that I honestly ask myself that question most days! ;)

The idea for this post came from many of my friends who have done posts on their homeschool days...Kristi, Ohilda, Wendy, Tina, Rebekah, just to name a few. How I LOVE to read about homeschool days! It gives me a ton of fresh ideas!

So then I thought I would write about our homeschool day.

Warning: Click the red x at the top right hand corner of your screen NOW if you do not want to feel the following:
a. overwhelmed
b. bored

Now. I'm not sure who is left. But if you're hanging out thinking that you're about to come upon hidden treasure or something like that...click the red x at the top right hand corner of your screen.

Okay. So if you're STILL reading, please know that I am writing this so that I can look back and remember what it was like homeschooling a 14, 12, 10, 10, 9, 5, & 5 yr. old with a 3 yr. old in the mix.

This is our typical day:

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All that to say....there IS no typical day! ;)

But, for posterity, here is what I call a "good, thorough homeschool day":

At breakfast each morning we read some sort of book that helps us grow in the Word. Last year we read through this book:

This year we are reading through this book:

This is a short book, so it will not take us long. It touches on teen-agers in the Bible (Mary, Joseph, Daniel, Timothy, etc.) and how they responded to certain situations and temptations that are common in today's world too. For example, sex, our identities, our temptations...)

(and yes, I'm reading it in front of the little people who aren't even close to being in high school...and yes, there are lots of questions from them...and yes, a lot of it is over their head....and yes, we do talk about sex at our breakfast table....and no, my littles (Candie, Kimmie, Quan, and Kevin) have no idea what that is yet! We are a very open family, talking about everything. So we believe if you can't talk about sex at the breakfast table, where CAN you talk about it? ;)

After we finish the above book, we plan to read "Live Like a Jesus Freak" by DC Talk

Then we begin our day around 9:00 a.m. with pledges to the flag and the Bible, the national anthem (oh it sounds so adorably hilarious), memory verses, praise songs, and prayer time. It is one of my favorite parts of the day...we call it "sing 'n pray" time. It occurs on my kitchen floor. Kevin hogs the Bible. EVERY TIME. No one even ASKS to hold the Bible any more. They all know that he is the keeper of the Bible. "Do not try to hold the Bible or you will draw back a nub." That is his motto.

After that the big people who can begin their school work independently get busy. (Katie Lyn (14), Colby (12), Clay (10), & Carlie (9) (many days they have already begun their work before breakfast so they can get a "head-start"!)

I do "calendar" with Candie, Kimmie & Quan (Kevin has usually lost interest in the day already and resorted to playing trains in our playroom) Calendar consists of discussing the days of the week, months of the year, our address, phone numbers, etc.

Then I do a Bible story with these three...
....and Kevin comes back into the fold because we mentioned the Bible. He had to make sure no one was going to hold it. ;)
After that, they begin their school work by writing in their journals. Sometimes while they are journaling, I will go over Katie Lyn's algebra with her. (It's nice to get the hard stuff finished first!) MOST of the time we do not finish and so she does what she can independently until I can get back to help her. After checking the little ones' journals, and hearing them tell me all about their pictures and "reading" their writing, I sit down on the floor and do Candie's math and language work with her. She still has to have that one on one help. At the same time I get Kimmie and Quan busy on handwriting, math, and phonics. Because we started schooling them last year, they are doing great and can do a lot on their own.

Usually all of this takes until lunch time. Kevin just plays around everybody while they work. Yesterday he tried to put a pretend blood pressure cuff on Colby while he was doing 7th grade math. And it didn't phase Colby one bit! Carlie is typically the first to finish her school each day, so she gets to play with Kevin or help Kimmie or Quan with their lessons.

During lunch I read a history book to everyone (Story of the World).

Even the littles get into this book. Today Quan remembered that the horrible spread of the plague in London in the 1600's could have been prevented had the mayor not ordered all the cats and dogs killed. (The plague was spread by the fleas on the rats.) Amazing!

After lunch the bigs read their science and extra history reading or whatever other work they need to finish up while I read picture books to the littles (currently they are really into the Amelia Bedelia books). Then it's naptime for Kevin, and the other littles either watch a movie or play quietly until he wakes up.

During naptime I read a chapter book to the bigs: currently it's this one from Sonlight Core 7
It looks boring but it's really good! I find myself reading ahead silently and then the kids say "MOM! STOP reading ahead!" ;)
We then go over their individual lessons to make sure they understand. I check their workbooks for mistakes, go over any writing assignments they turn in, grade tests/quizzes, etc. If you're wondering how the bigs know what to do each day, they have a guide that gives them a list of tasks. (It came with our curriculum-Abeka, Bob Jones, & Sonlight) That doesn't mean they never have questions. Oh yes, they do. And oh yes, they ask.

Many days we are still schooling after naptime, sometimes up until 5:00! But....it's not like they're working working working all that time. There's a lot of breaks and play time and giggles and jokes and teasing that takes time away from their school. Like right now I hear them downstairs banging around and laughing hysterically! We also have our fair share of total and complete melt-downs. Believe me.

Our school is not a quiet place. It is loud, everybody is not on task, and there is certainly a lot of different things going on at the same time. I liken it to organized chaos. A washing machine that is a little off balance but still gets the clothes clean.

Every morning I pray for the Lord to give me wisdom to teach my children what He wants them to learn. I pray for Him to give them wisdom to learn what He wants to teach them. And at night when I fall into bed, I trust that He is faithful to hear my prayers on behalf of my children and that He has answered them!

Our days are frequently interrupted by doctor appointments or field trips or vacations....wait. Vacations? Did I just say vacations? Uh-huh. I did. That's right. Vacation, baby. Coming up soon! Praise the Lord!


MamaHen said...

Can I go on vacation with you. Pretty please.........

Yesterday was a horrible school day here. Just one of those days. Today has been terrific. Child Fuss and Child Fight were nice to each other with no prompting. All the big kids were done by lunchtime. It was divine.

It's like fruit basket toss-up, you never know what you are going to get.

I loved reading about your day. Sounds like a good plan to me!

jhand said...

Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed getting a peek at your day. I just started homeschooling Josh about 5 weeks ago. I learned in just 2 days that for both of us to survive it, I had to give up 20 years of traditional classroom teaching and adjust my methods to fit my child and his learning style. This means that he can stand up to write, hold the pencil however it feels most comfortable to him, and wiggle pretty much all the time, as long as he is putting forth his best effort. I did draw the line and put a stop to him making bubbles from his spit while I was reading to him. :)
I know the whole routine will change sometime in Oct. when we bring Joseph home. Yes we have returned our LOA!

Praying for Kevin and for all of you to have a nice vacation.

Julie Hand

Anonymous said...

So glad you posted on this! I get those questions all the time, too, and I used to have all the answers. . . .;0) (Ya know, back when we really did finish at lunch everyday, LOL!) This was good timing as I am in the middle of revamping schedules and also thinking a few years down the road. Good stuff!

smallseven said...

Thanks for sharing this with us Laine! I was just praying this morning for the Lord to show me what book to read to Miah next." How to stay a Christian in High School sounds great!" I'm looking for something to help him get ready for Air Force.

The Byrd's Nest said...

I am giggling at Kevin...I can just see him taking possession of the bible!!!! What a great way for him to start knowing His Savior:)

I wrote down all of your ideas....ALL of them...and more than likely stealing each one because I have no clue how to structure their school day!!!

We should begin sometime in September...you know...after we actually have a home:) Love and hugs to you my friend!!!!

Southern Cheesehead said...

I'm glad you posted on this too believe it or not. I really have no clue about home schooling and always said that I would never do that, but if I could ever stay home with my kids and quit working full time then who knows what might happen?! I never thought I'd say that, but I never thought I'd adopt either until about 9 or 10 years ago...it's true...never say never! So excited about RR tonight!!!!!!

Dollar General said...

I have to admit I didn't read it!! I started to panic when I couldn't find my "X" in the right hand corner (I was on the MAC - it's on the left)...so instead I looked at the pictures and tried to gleen from that! HA! I love you Laine...you're such a trooper!

Keisha said...

You.. AMAZE me! I soo enjoyed hearing about your day! I can just see KEVIN.. hoggin that BIble! HA!

Okay.. I'm curious?

What time do you get up?

Is that when you do your devotion?

Do you take a bath, put on makeup.. etc. ? lol!

You .. know.. I'm noisy?


Tina said...

Sounds like awesome school to me!! Yesterday was one of our 5 o clock days and I must admit those are NOT my favorite days!
I love love love read alouds and you have inspired me to get back on it! We started Nick of Time before school ended last year and we STILL haven't finished it! Thanks for sharing!!!

Ashley said...

I have always wanted to ask you about HS. We are three weeks into it and some days I want to cry or pull my hair out. We also have very good days - our days are so unpredictable. It all depends on how many in our group want to "hold the Bible."

Happy Schooling - Wishing you a WONDERFUL vacation.


Kristi said...

I love it! I almost felt like I was there as part of the learning and "structured chaos!" I know that my planning is much easier with three so close in age, but you give me promise that if (and that is still a strong IF) God puts it on my heart to home school beyond preschool that I can make it.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post!!! I love hearing about everyone else's homeschool days, too! They are always so different from ours! Loved catching up with you and your sweet family!

Tanya Hindman said...

Whew! I'm worn out just from reading this. Absolutely amazing! Praying for your family and little Kevin daily.

Trace Car Driver said...

seriously... i think i had like 15 panic attacks just reading about your day. oh my goodness.... laine, you are amazing. i say it time and time again, i don't know how you do it! i lose my mind (several times a day!) with just my 2 children. but when the times comes, maybe i'll just send trace and lucas to the ferrill school... i mean, what's another 2 kids? :)