What does a day of homeschooling in our house look like? Every day is different. So I’ll share now and then about a recent day.
Today’s learning was driven by two things: Our writing club and getting ready for the county fair. While we generally work on math (high school geometry for my teens) daily, we did no math at all today. Since we school year-round, I don’t worry about skipping days here and there. I’d rather them miss a few days here and there than take a two-month vacation and come back having forgotten all they learned.
Instead, we began the morning with writing. My teens began with editing some pieces written by others in the writing club. Then they worked on writing their own pieces as I did some chores and worked on editing some writing for my husband. Seeing all of us writing made our two-year-old want to join in. So I gave him some paper and a pencil and let him work a while; when he was done, I asked him what he’d written and he relayed a story of his own that I wrote down for him next to his scribbles.
I washed a load of diapers, washed dishes and put them away, and made lunch for us all, while keeping an eye on the little guy, keeping him out of the big kids’ way at times so they could write in peace. We drove off to the park where our writing club meets and the bigger kids shared their writing while our little guy played on the playground with the younger siblings of another homeschool family. We usually hang out at the park after writing club with the children running around and the parents chatting–time for socializing and P.E.–but today we rushed home. The kids had a lot they wanted to do to prepare for the county fair.
For the rest of the afternoon and into the evening, the teens worked on projects they want to submit to the fair tomorrow. They’re in 4-H and have been participating in the fair for at least two years now. They know they can win prize money for their submissions and so they’re highly motivated to participate. Both have made a series of sketches which they wanted to finish and mount. My son was also making a video showing how he built a Lego creation that he designed himself. He plans to enter both the Lego creation and the video. My daughter had been working on a self-portrait, painted on a tiny canvas, since before breakfast–painting some and working on her writing as that layer dried and then painting some more. In the afternoon, she alternated painting with putting together a model of the Tardis (basically, an old English phone booth) she’d designed and was sewing. Her model has a cardboard core sewn into fabric with doors that open and fabric paints and hot glue adding many of the details. She’d already finished a matching necklace and bracelet set that she also plans to enter in the fair. Thus art and home economics occupied much of the rest of the day.
I put on a video for our toddler while I started making supper. Then he ran around and played between bouts of wanting to sit on the potty. This isn’t something we’ve pushed. In fact, he’d ignored the potty for a week or two and then decided to try it again. I’m letting him take the lead on this having learned that its easier not to push it before the child is really ready.
Usually, I read to my teens before bedtime. I’ll read works that they might not be ready or willing to read on their own. I’ll add tidbits to help explain parts that they might not understand–such as some of the English terms used in the novel I’ve been reading to them lately–and we’ll sometimes discuss parts of the reading here and there, but tonight they were anxious to continue working on their projects so we skipped the reading. Though, of course, our little guy got his story when he went to bed. Given that the teens didn’t stop working until they went to bed, past their usual bedtime, this was a long day for them. They don’t usually work nonstop all day long like that, but when they are motivated, I try to encourage it and not stand in their way. I think it’s a way to take advantage of teachable moments that can be one of the highlights of homeschooling. We may not have covered math and history and science, but we did enough writing and art and home economics that we can skip those subjects for quite a while now.