Our Homeschool Routine
I'm feeling a bit spoiled, since The Hub has been off for about 12 days! He's getting more diligent about taking time off, and I love it.
Unfortunately, I know that it is soon coming to a close, and I am going to have to face reality again. I'll admit...this homeschooling thing can be pretty overwhelming at times. This is probably the hardest year I've had, since Dillon is little enough to need constant supervision (and attention) and old enough to have a LOT of very dangerous or damaging ideas.
I figured out today that he really needs to be challenged. I spent some time with him on starfall.com. I've decided I'm going to start "teaching him to read," because I need him to have something other than Super Mario Brothers (yes, he's 2!) and The Wiggles to keep his interest.
I have no idea what benefit this will bring as far as speeding up the reading process. The girls both learned late...Eden (6) is still a beginner. We'll see. One thing I definitely realize is that it did him good today. He was way more content than he has been for quite awhile, and I actually got some time while he spent an hour "napping" in his room. (He never went to sleep. I had on a Leap Frog Letters dvd, which he apparently watched before he started pounding on his door.)
With three kids on three completely different levels, it is hard to find time to spend on everything we "need" to get done. On a typical homeschool day, I like to include:
Bible Time - I read a chapter from the Bible (or a devotion book), pray with the kids and have them listen for God's voice and write what they hear in their prayer journals.
Writing - Spelling practice (workbooks) and some sort of free write project (whether on the computer, by hand, or with the magnetic word board, etc.)
Reading - I vary it between quiet reading time, reading to me individually or I read to them...(with an emphasis on quiet reading so I can catch a break!) We also go to the library for new books once a week and count it for our reading credit, and sometimes we listen to books on tape or cd...oh, and Eden often spends time on TumbleBooks.com through our library site.
Math - I have two workbooks for them...a daily math book and a more extended topic book. Sometimes I break from and expand on the topic book. Just recently, for example, I decided the girls needed to practice getting quicker with their addition facts. (I have never pushed it before, but I know they understand the process and felt it was appropriate and would benefit them in higher math). They spent the first part of math working in their daily books and the second half practicing facts. On Fridays, I often incorporate game time after their daily workbook is done.
Science or Social Studies - I pick an appropriate topic to pique their interest, and we check out multiple library books and (often) dvd's.
The Arts: Once a week, they take Art lessons from an artist friend of mine. They get one credit a week of computer time. We usually take walks or do something active for a P.E. credit, and Matt plays music and sings with them. (What I often don't record are the unlimited hours Xander spends pecking away songs by ear on the piano!) I also keep a topic open called "Life Skills," so I can occasionally record lessons that don't necessarily fit into the other categories.
Throughout the day, I also HAVE to incorporate breaks for myself. I like to have quiet Bible time in the morning, reading and knitting and exercise time in the afternoon, and writing time at night.
Oh...and I have to try to keep the house picked up, too...
It's hard to get it all in, and I tend to get a little frustrated, a little overwhelmed, and a LOT whiny. But I try to listen to God and just follow His priorities for each day. (I've also given up separating the laundry by color. I've just started throwing in an indiscriminate load or two a night on the cold setting...and I'm keeping my baskets empty and my laundry overload in underdrive.)
We make it work, and despite the fact that it doesn't always FEEL that great to be so thinly stretched, I am ever-reminded of the benefit and the purpose behind what I do.
(Side note: FYI...I am fully aware that, despite all of my complaining, I am among THE MOST FORTUNATE PEOPLE ON THE PLANET! I am on my second reading of Unbroken. Highly recommended! Thank you, Mr. Louis Zamperini, for your sacrifice and your willingness to share the horrors of your suffering, so that I might be made more aware of the privilege, freedom and comfort in which I live. Oh...hey, Jesus...you, too!)