Friday, November 6, 2015

Homeschool Planning and Scheduling: Day 5

Handfuls of Purpose in Our Daily Schedule! 

Digging into the hour! 

Today I would like to spend a little time explaining what we do in those 4-1 hour blocks as mentioned in Day 2 of this series. This post is rather long so just hang with me and I'll try to type fast ;)

1) Morning Time 8:30-9:30
  • Shortly after we finish breakfast, we pile on the couch or in my bed and read!
    • Devotion. (You can read more about that here)
    • Bible Memory Work which is in a question answer form. We love these because they often bring more thought, expression, and questions into our conversation than I expect! 
    • Memory Verse-we simply memorize a verse that coorelates with our studies. No rhyme or reason to this but very intentional! 
    • Poem- I found the Classic Poetry for Children at a curriculum sale and we love it!  We are learning Biology in Science and have enjoyed the poems on animals recently.  
    • History Read Aloud is loosely related to what we are learning in Classical Conversations. Right now we are learning Ancient History so we're reading a book called A Cry From Egypt by Hope Auer. This is a fascinating book about when Israelite Exodus told from the eyes of a slave girl! We are talking or time through this book because we like to talk about what's going on then get our Bible and read along with it! This is turning out to be my favorite book we've read so far! 
    • Art/Music-During this time we simply look at or listen to something beautiful! I often find art books at used book stores or sales. A few weeks ago,  Mesopotamia was in our timeline and our geography and I happened to find a book about early Mesopotamia art at our library! SCORE! We enjoyed looking at the statues, sculptures, lines, shapes and symmetry! If we go the music route,  we usually simply turn on the FM classical station and maybe draw or color while we listen for a few minutes.  

  • We end our Morning Time with prayer. Thanking God for another day and for His presence in our lives!  Without Him, we can do nothing.  But with Him, all things are possible! 

2) Grammar Time 11:00-12:00
  • This is always a fun time in our house!  By now, we have dressed, made beds, completed a few chores and had some organized play time!  We've gotten the wiggles out and we're ready to start "school"! 

  • 20-30 Minutes of Review Time...If you're not familiar with Classical Conversations, please check our their website for understanding. In a very minute nut shell, we memorize facts in the Grammar stage of learning and this review thine is simply reviewing the past few weeks worth of material.  Sometimes we play a game. Sometimes we listen to the CD or answer the prompts. Trace our maps and sing our songs! Easy. Fun. Productive time! 

    • We also spend a few minutes planning our Presentations. Every week on Classical Conversations Community Day, each child gives a short presentation.  This year we are working hard to prepare better for this time. On Mondays we pick or presentation topic. Tuesday we research any information about that topic.  Wednesday we put it on paper. Thursday we practice and make any adjustments before community day on Fridays (for us). 

  • We then go into notebooking for 20-30 minutes. We work on the current week's Grammar and we split it up into 4 days.
    • Mondays we copy our history sentence, color a coloring page, and work on our Latin. 
    • Tuesdays we do a Math worksheet and work on our English Grammar.
    • Wednesdays we do a Science worksheet, put out next few Timeline Cards in order, and each pick a timeline event to read more about. 
    • Thursdays we trace our Geography maps and practice or Bible verses.  
    • Fridays are our Classical Conversations Community Days so we do not do Notebooking!

3) Language Arts- 1:00-2:00
  • We are early elementary ages so we are still learning to read.
    • My oldest, E, is 3rd grade and is doing well with reading so she's working on fluency, comprehension, and spelling. S, the middle child, is in 1st grade and a struggling reader but is showing progress! Progress not perfection! is what we're after!  He and the youngest, W the Kindergartner, are really on the same level.  Which does make the teaching easier on my part.

  • We use a curriculum called Reading Lessons Through Literature and I am very impressed so far. This is a new curriculum for us and we ate less than a quarter way through so I really need more time with it before I give an opinion but so far so good!  I do like that it is only one book,  no extras, supplies needed are very minimal, it's complete with spelling lists and readers (did I mention it was all in one book?), and it helps me enforce the "one room schoolhouse" approach. 

  • We are also a part of a book club at our local library and we sometimes have worksheets or questions to discuss about the book we're reading.  

4) Math- 2:00-3:00
  • We stuck with Saxon this year.  Although I feel like I am doing math! My oldest would benefit from something she could do on her own like a video or online course but we are going to wait until next year.
  • I think the hard part about math is there's not a lot you can do to condense it. Any way you try it you still have to teach 3 different lessons when you have children on 3 different levels.  If you have found something that works here,  I WOULD LOVE YOUR ADVICE!  We're I'm struggling! 

Please remember- I call these 1 hour block but we are not all sitting and working for 1 hour!
The morning hour is very relaxed and I go as long as I have their attention.  
Sometimes it's only 30 minutes but sometimes it is an hour!
The Grammer hour goes so fast that no one notices it has been an hour! During Language Arts and
Math, while the older 2 work quietly, I work with the youngest.
When we are finished he is free to play and I work with the next youngest. When we are finished he is free to play and I work with the oldest then she is free to go.
After all 3 have finished their assignments, mommy does laundry or dishes or fixes lunch or answer phone calls and emails because we
Homeschooling Mommies do not have the luxury of a janitor, lunch lady, or secretary!
We. Do. It. All! And you're ALL doing a great job!  :)

~I would love to hear how your day goes or what tips and tricks you have for helping your day run smoothly!~