The following is a guest post written by Diana Stone of Diana Wrote.
Homeschooling an only child wasn’t ever our game plan. We both wanted 4 kids, but although that’s how many we’ve had, only one has stayed here with us to raise.
Nevertheless, we decided to still stick to what we felt God had called us to do with her, and possibly more in the future.
I formerly taught Pre-K and kindergarten before my daughter Bella, 4, and it’s taken a few years, a lot of books and trial and error in the early years for me to wrap my head around learning at home.
Although our learning truly happens all day, I chose to do our “school” in the afternoons for now.
I’ve tried for the past year to get things started in the morning, realizing that’s when the bulk of our household stuff gets done — laundry, errands, calls and general life. We only do 3 afternoons per week right now, the other two are spent with friends or errands.
7:30 Our dog Charlie barks in protest to go out. We get up and I make breakfast. While my coffee goes I clean up the house a bit, start laundry, and check emails. We get dressed.
9:00 I finish up any editing I didn’t get done the night before. I work nearly full time from home as a freelancer/blogger, so Bella knows when I’m on the computer, she’s free to play in the same room with me. She usually gets about 20 minutes on her Leap Pad at this point.
10:00 This time depends on the day. On Monday and Thursday our sitter comes so I can write at our Starbucks. It’s 5 hours a week of work time that allows me to crank out the bulk of my prep work/emails/posts totally uninterrupted.
On Tuesdays this is Bella’s and my time together. We spend a good two hours playing, reading, doing chores together or having playdates.
Wednesday we head to her play therapy on the other side of town, then lunch together at Chipotle. Friday our sitter comes to allow my husband and I to head to grief therapy.
12:30 Quiet Time. Bella still naps (I know, it’s amazing to me too), but we had to stop calling it a nap last year. During this time I clean up, play with the dog, work and prep for homeschool.
2-2:30 Bella’s up. Snack. I prep dinner.
This means that after we change up our calendar and talk about dates and weather, we read. Sinking into our beanbag chair, I read aloud the book of the week (Very Last First Time) and we discuss the pictures on each page.
3:30 Table time. I’m not a fan of seatwork at such a young age, but I do know now is the easiest time to implement a bit of it.
We discuss her Fold & Learn pages I’ve printed out. Today we learned about mussels, since that’s what our book was partially about. I’ve pulled up several sites showing what they look like inside and out, and a video on them and in Inuit people who gather them from the sea floor. We then cut out “mussels” from construction paper and glue some closed, using tinfoil to make the pan they’re kept in.
4:00 Our pre-writing program is Handwriting Without Tears — the PreK version. We’re learning about lines, holding a crayon correctly, and working in her own writing book.
While coloring a firefly, she starts to ask questions and I find myself googling them. For the next 15 minutes we’re learning about how they may not eat anything with such a short life span and that their bottoms do indeed glow.
She finds this hysterical.
4:20: An activity from All About Reading — their Pre Reading program — and a poem that goes with the letter D. We played on the clock today too.
4:30 Outside time. We do this in the morning as well, weather permitting.
5:30 Finish up anything left with dinner/set the table. We use this time for her kid yoga DVD, or just have her watch Doc McStuffins/play on her Leap Pad.
6:00 Daddy is home and dinner. Family dinners are a high priority for us, I have fond memories of my family doing this growing up.
8:00 Bed. This is also our Bible time, and it’s planned that way. I curl up with Bella on her bed and we read a story, then we read from either one of her children’s Bibles or Leading Little Ones to God. I love the latter because it explains things on her level, and ends with simple questions about the short passage, along with a verse and prayer.
For the rest of the evening, we talk, watch some TV, and I work on both writing and homeschool plans for the week ahead.
Who else is homeschooling one child? How do you feel about doing this long term? Was it planned or unexpected?