If you caught my post about Embracing the Positivity last week you know that this school year we are on a mission to focus on the positive aspects of each week. This week I was reminded, simply by an off hand comment, of one area that often gets translated into the negative side of being a homeschool family.
While taking to someone I made the comment that I was glad we had finished school for the day. The reply was, “I don’t think I would have the patience to homeschool.” Now this isn’t the first time I have heard a statement like that so today I decided to give you a sneak peek into the curriculum we are using this year and a snapshot of our daily schedule.
Several years ago I was blessed to receive 12 years worth of curriculum from a family member. When she told me she would be passing it along I began to do my research and I have to say I fell in love with the My Father’s World curriculum. Due to some scheduling issues the first few years we homeschooled we used different programs BUT for the last 2 years we have used the MFW and I couldn’t be happier with it.
The My Father’s World curriculum is unit studies centered around great books for Bible, Science, and History/Geography. The great part about this is that even though I have a 2nd grader and a 4th grader we are all learning the same thing in those areas. Sometimes with my 4th grader we will take some one on one time to dig a little deeper and he will have to a little bit more work but for the most part we are all reading the same things and doing the same activities.
Math and Language Arts are not provided with the basic curriculum package but the creators of the program do offer some suggestions. I made the decision to go in a different direction (which I will discuss later on). These two subjects are the ones that are done based on age and grade level. This is generally where I get my time to work with each kiddo individually for the day. While I am focusing on one kids the other is either playing outside or in their room, reading, or helping me with the 2 year old. On occasion this will also be chore time.
This year we are study from Creation to the Greeks. For our Bible lessons we began with the creation account found in Genesis and will work our way through the Old Testament. History/Geography tie into our study of the Bible by introducing us to ancient civilizations and cultures (we are right in the middle of Ancient Egypt right now). Finally, Science this year focuses on the 7 days of creation and the science behind it all (right now we are studying air and water..creation day 2).
For 2nd grade Language Arts and Math as well as 4th Grade Language Arts I am using Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool. This is a completely online and free homeschool program I discovered when my 4th grader was a 1st grader. I don’t love everything about the program but for now it’s doing what we need it to do for those areas.
And lastly for 4th grade Math we are using Beast Academy Online. I LOVE this math program for a few reasons. First of all, w
While we do pay for the online services the price isn’t outrageous so it’s worth the cost. Secondly, the text book is written in the format of a comic book. This is PERFECT for my comic book nerd of a son. And lastly, the assignments are done online almost as if it were a game so it is often fun to do the assignments.
Our Daily Schedule
When it comes to homeschooling I have had a lot of people ask me how I get everything done in a day that needs to get done. One of the joys of being able to homeschool is that we set our own schedule. Generally the kids are up by 7 every day. There are some days they sleep past that but even then they rarely ever sleep past 8. This means breakfast, dressing, and morning routines are usually done by 8:15 at the latest. By 8:30 everyone who plans to leave the house for the day has left and I am getting books and activities prepared for the day. School usually starts at 9.
Or schedule tends to go as follows:
9:00 AM Read Aloud (Generally this is scheduled in the lesson plan but there are a few weeks when there are empty spaces and then we get to fill in the gaps with what ever we have picked up at the library.)
9:15 AM Bible: Memory Verse work, Bible chapter for the day, and readings that expand or explain the passage in the Bible we had just read. Some days there are activities like work sheets or crafts that go along with this. These are completed and filed in their binders.
10:00 AM History/Geography: Reading about the topic for the day and often times some other form of activity such as a work sheet, arts and crafts project, or even a documentary to watch through.
10:30 (or 10:45 depending on the level of activities to be done for Bible and History) Science: This only happens once or twice a week. We read the narrative portion of the book then either complete the experiment for the day or we will look up something similar on YouTube to see how it is supposed to work. That all depends on if I have the necessary supplies for the experiment and how cooperative the 2 year old is being.
11:00-12:00 Language Arts and Math: This is where we divide and conquer. I will send the 4th grader to do his reading by himself while I go through the 2nd grade lesson. This gives me time to spend with her one on one. When he is done with his reading then he will come back and we will go through whatever is left of his language arts lesson. Usually I can get through 2nd grade math before he comes back from reading as well so by the time he is done with his reading I am done with 2nd grade completely for the day. I then send her off to do some reading of her own or to play with the 2 year old. Once we finish up with all of 4th grade Language Arts we move on to math. This tends to be the one on one time for the day with him.
On a good day we are completely done with school by noon. The rest of the afternoon is spent eating lunch, playing either inside or outside, completing chores, or sometimes running errands that need to be run. On Monday’s we go to the library and each of the kids get a chance to get one or two new books for the week. Tuesday’s are what I call “office days”. Usually on Tuesdays we go to work with dad and grandma so I can help out in the office while they get some work done in the rest of the building. The schedule we follow is the same just in a different location. And on Friday we have art day. Friday afternoon we head back up to the office where my mom (grandma) goes through a weekly art lesson with them. While they are in art I am usually working on lesson planning for the next week and making sure all the printable materials or copies for the next week are made.
You see, there are a lot of days that I wake up in the morning and I think to myself “I really don’t have the patience to do this today.” But the truth of the matter is there were a lot of days when I was teaching pre-K 5 days a week that I would wake up and think the same exact thing. It’s not about having the patience to get through what needs to be done each day. It’s about doing what we, as a family, have decided is the right thing for our family. The joy of the flexibility of our homeschool schedule is that while we all may be in the same home together all day, we are by no means spending ALL day together. We all need our space and our time and we are able to get that. Sometimes that means one kid is in the bedroom, one is in the living room or den, and mom is in the kitchen with the littlest one floating around to all the places. Instead of being trapped in a desk or at the table all day we have the ability to breathe and move around our house without driving each other crazy (most days).
So there you have it, our curriculum of choice for 2019-2020 and how we go about our day. It may not always go to schedule and some days we may get half way through and say “Forget it. We will try again tomorrow.” But in the end, my kiddos are learning what they need to learn and they are being taught by the one person who has their absolute best interest at heart no matter what.
Do you home-school? What curriculum do you use and what does your schedule look like? Leave me a comment or ask a question if anything comes to mind.