You've asked several times, "What's a typical day of school look like for you?"
Well, for starters, I'm big on routine but not a stickler to a schedule. In other words, I have a general format I like to follow, for my sanity and for the nonstop questions my boys ask, but I don't like to hold to rigid time frames.
And, a lot of learning that happens is impromptu anyway because it happens in casual conversation, or while taking a hike in the backyard woods, or while reading books, or while assembling puzzles, or while making Lego creations, or while working on Bible verses for AWANA. Yes, it's true: learning happens all the time. The trick is to be intentional in how you answer questions and in where you direct conversations.
Sometimes we do puzzles of the USA or the world and then talk about people that live in those places. We use various books with great pictures and interesting facts about those people and places. If I'm really inspired (ha!), I may pull in an art project or a recipe that ties in with the culture we're learning about.
Grady Lee really enjoys his social studies books, but I think that's because right now he's learning about communities, neighborhoods, and families in the USA. And of course, that means he's learning about firemen, policemen, and other "very brave and important community helpers."
We work on answering a phone, addressing envelopes, mealtime manners, and proper greetings with friends. We work on counting money and telling time.
A lot of learning happens through playing and pretending and laughing and working through "he took it and isn't shaaarrriiing with me!" Recess and snack time are highlights for my boys, too, just like any other kid in school.
Sometimes our school work is actually Home Economics. Seriously. They help me bake and make dinner (and really, working on fractions is way more fun when you are taste-testing sugar and vanilla and chocolate chips!). They carry in groceries from the van and empty the bags on the counter. They vacuum steps and rugs. They wipe the bathtubs and help empty trashcans. They make their beds and sort dirty laundry. They empty the dishwasher and dust bookshelves.I'm being serious when I say that doing these things is more than just an assigned chore. It's a chance to learn that everyone in our family has a role. It's a chance to learn the value of organization and cleanliness. It's a chance to learn responsibility and team work. It's a chance to learn how quickly a dollar is spent and the value of saving the extra.
I don't know that we're committed to homeschooling every year from here on out, but I do know we are committed to praying long and hard about what is the best way to intentionally point our kids to Jesus while ensuring that they learn necessary academics and life skills. And for now, hands down, especially in light of where Grady Lee is at, homeschooling is the best fit for us.
I know that as kids get older more and more of my time will be directed to teaching so I'm not pretending to think homeschooling is a cake walk that requires little on my part. In fact, Grady reminded me the other day, "Sarah, we're sacrificing your six figure income to give our kids a six figure education." Although I debated him on the six figure amount, I was encouraged by his point that sacrifices today will prayerfully bring dividends tomorrow.
You know your kids better than anyone else. You know your family goals and passions and pursuits better than anyone else. And you have the privilege of considering (and being overwhelmed with!) the educational options for your kids.
So, from this just-getting-started-at-homeschooling mom, that's the high level overview. Have questions? I do too. Never ever did I imagine myself at home with kids doing phonics at the kitchen table. Never ever did I imagine myself taping up a laminated map of the USA on my wall. Never ever did I...