A Day in the Life of Our Homeschool

I thought I’d share an account of what a homeschool day in our house looks like. This is a fairly typical Monday–we’re not working on any special units right now, or learning about any holidays The one exception to our normal Monday routine is that we’re just starting back after a week off, so things are a little more chaotic than usual. You will see some of the things we do daily, and some that we only do on certain days. A few subjects are missing, like sentence diagramming, because that’s never done on Mondays. And two subjects (history and Greek mythology), are switched around from their scheduled days due to teacher error!

8:00–I tell Turkey and Bunny to clean up the school room while Ladybug finishes her breakfast and I drop Moose off at his school. They are not amused, but it has to be done, and they’re not doing anything else at the moment.

8:28–Time to start school. A few minutes later than usual, because Moose’s school drop-off took longer for some reason today. Still, we’re starting before 8:30, which is the goal!

8:31–The children have organized their things and are ready to begin today’s prayers and readings from the Treasury of Daily Prayer. Mondays always take a few extra minutes of preparation…

8:33–We pause after Luther’s Morning Prayer to do calendar. It’s helpful to know the date so that we can find the proper Bible reading for the day! Plus, Ladybug is still working on memorizing the months in the proper order, so the reinforcement is always beneficial.

8:40–After we finish our reading from Matthew, we move on to our new hymn of the week, “A Mighty Fortress” (since this Sunday will be the celebration of Reformation Day). Because it’s Monday, we sing the hymn together, (I’m thankful we have this hymn on several CDs, because, for some reason, I will switch back and forth between the two tunes and get everyone so mixed up, it makes no sense!), and discuss any words or phrases that are unfamiliar to us. Then Turkey and Bunny copy the verses we’re memorizing–this week, it’s all four, because I’m mean like that.

8:50–While Turkey and Bunny work on their copywork, Ladybug and I work on her religion lesson from A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories. Today, we’re reading about the Israelites leaving Egypt, and doing a page in the accompanying workbook.

9:17–Copywork took forever today. It’s hard to get back into a routine after a week off! But it’s finally time for lesson seven in our Luther, Servant of God workbooks. I’ve been reading the lesson out loud so Ladybug can learn from it, too, and then Turkey and Bunny do the questions on their own when I’m done.

9:33–While Turkey and Bunny work on answering questions about indulgences and purgatory, I get Ladybug started on her math lesson. She begins by counting by sevens on a number grid. I have her color in the numbers as she counts them, so that she can use that sheet all week to practice 7s numbers.

9:40–Ladybug has her first-ever math drill. She has two minutes to complete as many of the 16 addition facts as possible. It takes her just over a minute to complete the drill, and she gets them all right!

9:45–Ladybug gets to work on her actual math lesson–number 41 of the school year. More addition, plus number order, and some equal/not equal questions.

9:51–Now that Turkey and Bunny have finished their religion assignment, it’s time for them to get started on their math lesson. Nothing  new today…just a review of division with remainders and factor trees. It shouldn’t take them too long to finish, but we’ll see…

9:59–After I check Ladybug’s lesson (she only missed two!), we count by 2s as fast as we can. That’s the end of Ladybug’s math for today!

10:00–Ladybug recites the two poems she’s memorized so far this year: “The Caterpillar” and “Work.” She’s very good at memorizing things…she loves saying them as often as possible!

10:01–I have to pause to tell Turkey and Bunny to STOP TALKING so Ladybug can do her work, and they can get their math done. After my lecture, Ladybug does lesson 25 in First Language Lessons. She’s still working on proper and common nouns…I think she’s got them figured out!

10:06–Bunny finishes her math lesson, which I check…no mistakes!

10:08–Ladybug gets started on a review lesson in Explode the Code Book 1. These are really easy for her, but they’re good practice, and give her confidence in her reading abilities.

10:10–I get Bunny started on a Logic Liftoff lesson while we wait for Turkey to finish up his math. We’re working on analogies right now, which isn’t too difficult for them, in concept. Some of the vocabulary in the book is unknown to them, though, so it also doubles as language arts!

10:11–I check Turkey’s math so he can also get started on logic…just one mistake, which was due to someone working too fast on a factor tree.

10:13–Bunny and Ladybug get started on their spelling. For Bunny, this includes a  reading assignment; for Ladybug, it’s simply writing her list words under the correct picture.

10:17–I check Turkey’s logic while he starts the same spelling assignment Bunny is working on.

10:20–Now that Ladybug is done with her spelling, it’s time for her to work on reading. On Mondays, she has both a word list to read through, and a short story. Today the story also prompts us to discuss the different uses of the apostrophe…specifically, Pal’s versus pals’.

10:28–Before I get Turkey and Bunny started on their Writing Strands assignment, I give Ladybug a handwriting lesson to work on.

10:29–It’s time for one of Turkey and Bunny’s least favorite activities: Writing Strands. This week, we’re working on writing an organized paragraph. Today’s lesson involves writing four sentences describing a doll in parts–head, arms, torso, and legs. Turkey’s lucky he has three sisters, so there is no lack of dolls for him to borrow! Never mind…he ended up choosing a Darth Maul action figure. That should make for an interesting paragraph!

10:33–Lunch time for the baby! She likes to eat a bit earlier than the rest of us, so she usually gets her meal between 10:15 and 10:45.

10:37–I have Ladybug come down to sit with Chickadee while she eats, so I can go upstairs and make sure Turkey and Bunny are actually doing their work.

10:40–I wasn’t disappointed with Turkey’s sentences…they were very creative! Bunny also did a nice job describing a doll.

10:42–Book basket time until lunch (sometimes, we do this after lunch instead). Chickadee has been rather crabby this morning, and I need to take a break to get her calmed down so she can take a nap, and we can do some of our afternoon work in peace! Turkey and Bunny found two new books in the book basket: The Golden Goblet and The Egypt Game. I try to tie their reading choices into our history lessons, or current events, or holidays. We’re still studying Ancient Egypt, thus these titles. Soon the Thanksgiving books will be making an appearance! Ladybug just gets to pick any book at her reading level.

10:49–The children may have free-reading time, but my work continues. I have to get the first of several loads of laundry for the day started if we want to be able to get dressed tomorrow!

11:00–While the children are all occupied, I do a little research into a few books I might want to add to our library. It seems like I’m always planning ahead for something!

11:20–Lunch time! Ryan popped a bunch of popcorn last night (on top of the stove, since we don’t have a microwave), and the girls are very excited to find that there’s some left to have with lunch.

11:45–I have to switch loads of laundry before we get back to our school work. Hopefully the sound of the washing machine doesn’t wake Chickadee (the laundry room is right next to her room)…she decided napping would be a good idea, and she really needs the sleep!

11:54–Back to work. Turkey and Bunny didn’t quite finish their language arts before lunch, so they need to do their Intermediate Language Lessons assignment now. This is their second least-favorite activity of any given school day, so I’m just hoping we get through it with a minimum of complaining. The lessons for today just happen to be centered around Thanksgiving, so the topic is at least interesting to them!

12:02–We were already trying to be quiet so as not to wake the baby, but now Ryan has a work call downstairs, so we’re trying to be extra quiet. Oh, the challenges of homeschooling and having a work-at-home husband!

12:03–We discussed who the pilgrims are and why they left England…now we’re talking about Thanksgiving foods and their origins. Turkey and Bunny are supposed to created something of a menu that explains what people eat at Thanksgiving and why. Even though we just had lunch, I’m getting hungry…and I’m thinking about what I’m going to cook for our Thanksgiving dinner this year!

12:14–I discovered Bunny reading The Golden Goblet instead of doing her assignment. I’m glad she likes her book basket choices, but it can be very difficult to keep her on task!

12:18–I’m letting Turkey and Bunny illustrate the Thanksgiving “menus” they created. There’s no reason you can’t add a little creativity to a fairly standard writing assignment!

12:23–I’m going to have to take the book away from Bunny until we’re done with school for the day…she just can’t put it down!

12:24–The last part of our language arts lesson for the day is a study of the poem, “Thanksgiving.” Ladybug joins us for this…everybody enjoys a good poem!

12:34–Bathroom break.

12:39–Monday is supposed to be the first of three days of ancient history lessons every week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). Somebody (me) forgot to make photocopies of the maps for the week, however, so instead, we’re doing a Greek mythology lesson, which would normally be done tomorrow. No complaints from the children…this is one of their favorite subjects! The first thing Turkey and Bunny do is the vocabulary section of their workbooks.

12:42–After the vocabulary is done, I read the assigned myths for the day. Today, we’re reading about the nine muses and Orpheus. While Turkey and Bunny answer comprehension questions as I read, Ladybug draws a picture to illustrate the story for us.

12:50–We discuss the comprehension questions verbally after I’m done reading so that Ladybug has a chance to answer some of them, too.

12:54–One of our comprehension questions involves looking up the word “muse” in the dictionary, and discussing the meanings of both the noun and verb forms. We’re also discussing the word museum, and how it comes from the word muse.

12:57–We also compare and contrast the stories of Lot’s wife and Orpheus.

1:00–More laundry…

1:02–I put on the Song of the Unicorn for us to listen to while we finish our last two subjects of the day. For some reason, baroque music and Merlin tales seem fitting for today.

1:03–Chickadee wakes up from a pretty long nap. We pause to make sure all of the doors and gates in the school room are closed and the floor is picked up so she can run around without getting into too much trouble!

1:05–We didn’t finish our science lesson on the earth before our vacation, so we need to finish the chapter today. Like mythology, I read this out loud, so that Ladybug can follow along. We’re learning about the layers of the earth (crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core), and what they’re made of. We’re also learning about the earth’s magnetosphere, and how it protects us. This also leads to a fun discussion of the Northern Lights!

1:17–The reading is done…now the children have review questions, copywork, and a crossword puzzle to finish about what they learned. They’re doing a good job of recalling the things we learned two weeks ago…I was a little worried that they would have forgotten everything during our vacation!

1:33–Flashcard time! I sent Turkey and Bunny off to quiz each other on Latin vocabulary, while Ladybug reviewed her addition facts…I guess she wasn’t quite done with math for the day after all! To be honest, a lot of the time when I give them flashcards, it’s so I can get a few minutes of quiet time, so I can try to find my sanity!

1:35–Work call number two of the day for Ryan. This one will be more challenging, because I’ll be keeping the baby quiet while we finish up our school work…that’s next to impossible! Hopefully we won’t bother him too much…at least flashcards keep my three students quiet for a bit, even if the baby isn’t!

1:45–Time to put another load of laundry in the dryer. I love that my idea of “quiet time” for myself includes making sure our clothes are clean!

1:52–Our final subject of the day is Scottish history. We finished reading through Our Island Story right before our vacation, so today we get to start Scotland’s Story. I’m excited to hear the other side of the story, and see things from the other point of view in how Scotland and England came to be united. Today we’re reading the first three chapters. The children love the stories, but they really do not enjoy that I make them write summaries for each chapter!

2:19–School is done for the day. To be honest, today was longer than most days of school, I think because it’s just so hard to get back into a routine after a vacation. There was more talking and goofing around than usual, and that adds up. It’ll be time for me to go get Moose soon, and then everybody’s school day will be done (except for the homework Moose brings home)!

3:05–I thought I was done with school work, but now I’m on my way to Office Max to make photocopies so we can do our history lesson tomorrow. I also remembered that I need to photocopy the Greek myths test for Friday. At least I’ll be prepared for that!

3:30–45 copies later, and now I’m really done! I even planned ahead, and did the history photocopies for the next three weeks. At least I know I won’t run into this forgetfulness problem again for several lessons!

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