A Look Into Our Homeschool Day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Some of the most frequently asked questions I get around here are about homeschooling. Why we chose to home school, what curriculum we use, what our day looks like, the list goes on. When I was a new homeschooler seven years ago, these types of posts were invaluable to me. I wanted to see what other families where doing. At the time, I didn't know anyone who homeschooled and I was eager to jump in but I didn't quite know what that would look like for our family. How would we structure our day? Educate multiple children at different grade levels? How would we get it all done? What I came to find out through speaking to other experienced homeschoolers and through my own life experience was that every family is different and it will take time, patience, and flexibility before you feel comfortable in your rhythm. My biggest encouragement to those of you who are wanting to choose this path is to jump in and figure out the details later. Through trial and error you'll create a system that honors everyone in your family & their individual leaning styles. 
Today, I thought that I would share a little look into a typical homeschool day for us. This will give you an idea of the types of work we do, the resources we love, and the way our day flows. I'll be sharing a more in depth look into our projects and curriculum in another post so stay tuned if that's something that you're interested in. 

Our family very much believes in having a steady rhythm to anchor us throughout the day. We do not have a rigid schedule as to allow for creativity and imaginative play but we do know what to expect next during our day because each day it's roughly the same. 
After our children get up, eat breakfast, brush & wash, and do their morning chores they all meet back in the living room for what we call our "family meeting". Other homeschooling families refer to this time as "circle time" but since two of my children are older they preferred the name family meeting instead. During this time we come together to light a candle, say our morning memory verse, discuss the weather and record it on our Little Oak Learning weather wheel, and then chat about our plans for the day. I usually read a story or two out loud to finish up while the children cuddle up together with me on the couch. I love starting our days off with this sense of connection and togetherness before each of the kids do their individual lessons. 

For my oldest who is in her fourth year, that looks like grammar, cursive writing, and mathematics. For my son who is in his first year, that looks like getting familiar with his letters, numbers, and beginning reading. My youngest who is a toddler uses this time to play with her playsilks, make pretend meals in her kitchen, or color at the table with her siblings. We usually only spend about 30 minutes on each of these subjects before moving on to the next thing. After all of their individual lessons are done we move on to the work that we all do together. 
One of the greatest resources we have incorporated into our days over the last few years has been our Whole Family Rhythms guide books. They are seasonal, Waldorf based guides that provide you with crafts, recipes, stories, and more that you can use to enrich your family's rhythm. For every day of the week there are activities for that helps your children get in touch with the season and nature. I love that these guides can be used year after year with your children to create wonderful traditions and memories. Some days we watercolor or model with beeswax, other days we create seasonal crafts. Since today was Wednesday, we drew pictures together with beeswax crayons in wintery shades. 
Afterwards, it's time for our main lesson block. For this block, I decided to choose a theme that would be great for both older and younger grade levels. My oldest hasn't done her third year fiber, farming, and shelter unit yet so we decided to work through that for the next few months. We started off with wool and discussed the process from sheep sheering to carding and spinning into yarn. We made art to provide us with visual representations of this process, did writing to correspond, and read a ton of wonderful picture books that fit our theme. One of my favorite parts of these main lesson blocks is to search for children's books that will enrich the lesson and provide more connection to what we are learning. We do our main lessons inspired by the Live Education Waldorf curriculum and in this season of our life I am very happy with our choice. My oldest is working on weaving and knitting and my son is picking up knitting needles for the first time and exploring the process with me as his guide. We usually spend about two hours on our main lesson because it incorporates so many bits & pieces and then we finish the day with either form drawing or science. I love the concept and process of form drawing, it's something that is essential to the Waldorf curriculum and is a great introduction into geometry. I use the Creative Form Drawing Workbook 1 with my children and we work through the lessons for about 30 minutes three times a week.  

Once our work is done for the day my children know to clean up all of the supplies and books we used and return them to their homes. We look at chores & responsibly as crucial parts of our children's day, just as important as reading or math. They need to practice the skill of keeping things clean and it's great to have them contributing to the family as a whole. Everything gets tidied up and then our homeschooling day is over and our children are free to play outside, read, build, draw, create, etc. while I accomplish my daily tasks and prepare meals for our family. 

I hope this gave you an idea of the way our family structures it's homeschool day and that it inspires you & puts you at ease. We don't have a six hour school day, we don't try to cram a lot in, and there is still plenty of time for nature and creativity. I love that it's something we can recreate no matter the season or the subjects that we are studying and that it meets all of my family's needs. Our days look so different from when we started this journey seven years ago and in another seven years i'm sure it will take a new form. I love that with homeschooling, that's totally okay. Not only okay, very much encouraged!!
Do you home school? What does your typical day look like? I'd love for you to share!
Not homeschooling yet but thinking it may be right for your family? Did this post help you at all? Let me know!

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