Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom
My–how one year can change everything. I now find my children, inching ever so slowly, through the phases of learning–moving gradually from Core Phase into Love of Learning.
We have plenty of days when everything seems to fall apart. You know the ones.
But we also have golden moments, when magic happens, connections are made, and my heart swells as I think, “It’s working! It’s really working!”
This is the joy and wonder of the homeschooling lifestyle.
What follows are the nuts and bolts of how that joy and wonder play out in our home.
An Overview of Our Day
These times are all approximate–the day generally flows from one activity to another and things happen when they happen, usually around the following times:
6:15 – I’m up to do blogging work and prepare for the day
8:20 – Kids come out of their rooms, get dressed, & have breakfast while I read to them
9:00 – Learning time–I spend some one-on-one time with each child
10:30 – Snack and stories
11:00 – Kids watch video while I write
12:00 – Prepare lunch, eat, I read from our current chapter book
1:00 – Free play, outside time, more learning time as needed
2:30 – Snack and prepare for rest time; Rest time in rooms for kids/I read, study, and write (& rest!)
4:00 – Rest time finished; all head downstairs for a snack
4:30 – Free play time and begin to prepare dinner
5:20 – Kids listen to Sparkle Stories while I continue dinner prep and chat with Steve (They used to watch another video here, and I’m thrilled to have found such a wonderful alternative!)
6:00 – Dinner as a family
6:30 – Dinner clean-up, begin baths, family time, kids go completely crazy time, and so on
7:30 – Bedtime story
8:00 – Kids to bed, Steve and I congratulate ourselves for making it through another day
Mondays – Yes Day
Tuesdays – Baking Day
Wednesdays – Class Day (The kids take a class at a local Waldorf school.)
Thursdays – Cleaning Day (more on this soon)
Fridays – Nature Day (We try to take a hike or go to a park after lunch.)
Each item on our list is there for a reason, and fits within a few guiding principles upon which we build our educational philosophy.
Here is a snapshot of those principles:
1. Learning can happen anywhere and anytime…if we don’t stifle it.
I am always on the lookout for an opportunity to inspire, and though you don’t see it on my schedule, inspiration is the glue that holds our homeschool day together.
School time doesn’t only happen at one time in the day–school time is the day. Whenever the desire to learn appears, we roll with it, following where it leads.
2. Nature inspires learning and curiosity.
A year ago my kids spent time outside every day, but not as much as they do now. A year ago, we lived in the suburbs.
Today our backyard looks like this:
Time spent outside is not time wasted. Every moment spent there inspires, encourages, and builds a foundation for learning.
Some life lessons, perhaps the most important ones, can best be discovered under open sky.
3. Read, read, read.
Chewing mouths provide a captive audience. I take advantage of that fact by reading aloud to the children at breakfast, morning snack, and lunch times.
We get through a lot of books this way, which builds attention span, increases vocabulary, and contributes toward a love of learning.
4. Me, not them.
This is one of the seven keys of great teaching in leadership education, and I take it to heart. My kids often see me with book in hand, and as they get older, I try to share more and more of what I’m personally learning. I want to serve as a model, a mentor.
Within every aspect of our day, I keep in mind that relationships matter most. They open the door to the mind…or slam doors shut.
I am the key to nurturing these bonds in ways that strengthen instead of tear apart. As I make that my focus, I find that all the pieces of our day line up…with a little dose of magic sprinkled in to add joy and wonder.
Any questions about our day or why we do what we do? Ask away!