Written by Kara Fleck
Good morning, Simple Homeschool readers! I’m taking you along on a typical day in our homeschool. Are you ready?
This is the fourth time I’ve shared our day in the life here. It is always interesting to me to see what has changed and what has stayed the same. Writing these posts is kind of a digital time capsule and it’s fun to look back.
My kids range in age from six to sixteen. It’s an interesting time at the Fleck household as we combine kindergarten through highschool.
Our mornings are one of the times where things have changed for us over the years. What has stayed the same is that I try to get up at least two to three hours ahead of the kids.
However, after getting up at five o’clock for years, I now let myself sleep in until around seven. I still have plenty of time alone thanks to my late-sleeping older kids. Ah, the joys of teens and pre-teens!
Another thing that has changed, for a variety of reasons, is that we just haven’t been able to make a morning circle time work this year. Instead we eat breakfast together (for some of us it is a second breakfast) and watch CNN10 or listen to a podcast.
I might read a story as I sip my coffee, but really, our morning time isn’t any more formal than this. We’re all happy with it and it’s a good gentle transition into the schoolwork, so I’m content to keep mornings simple.
For Christmas my parents gave us Colorku, which is like Sudoku but with colors. (I’ve got an instagram of it so you can see what I mean). I’ve taken to setting this up and then we work on solving it during the day. It’s a good activity all of the kids can do and it helps fill time if anyone has to wait for me in between lessons or questions.
We use composition notebooks as assignment books. We review the day’s work before they get started. Most of our work is done at the kitchen table, but we migrate to different rooms in the house, too.
The school day
We’re using Building Your Library and Khan Academy currently (I talk more about this in a recent YouTube video, if you’re interested). My kids are in kindergarten, third, fifth, and tenth grade.
If I’m being honest, this year has challenges. The younger kids still need quite a bit of one-on-one time with me and trying to figure out how to balance everything doesn’t come easily.
There are things we are currently sharing: computers, Kindles, art supplies, and books – particularly reference books. If we have a hiccup in our day, this is often what it is.
Peace not perfection, right? We do the best we can. It works out.
Lunchtime is an anchor point in our day. This is when my 6-year-old is finishing up her assignments and my third grader doesn’t have much left to do, usually just her chapter book reading.
I like how the tempo of the day shifts after lunch. It’s calmer. The older two kids focus on their work. The younger two finish up their chores and then head off to play, either outdoors or upstairs.
As the kids finish up their formal work, they turn their assignment books back in to me. Together, we make sure all the boxes get checked off.
My tenth grader generally has another two to three hours of work after the other three are finished, depending on the day. I like the two of us hanging out around the kitchen table, or in the living room if she’s watching a documentary.
I write out the assignments for the next day in each kids’ notebook, check any work I haven’t already seen, and then file papers away in color-coded file folders. Trust me, it sounds much more complex than it really is.
Four nights a week we have martial arts practice. Some nights it is a family class and sometimes individual lessons. I like using this time to knit and watch the kids. They like having someone besides mom as teacher for a little while.
Once we’re back home and the backpacks are emptied, it will be time for pajamas and brushing teeth. Then we start the whole thing again tomorrow.
No two days are exactly alike. But we do have a rhythm and routine that is a comfortable fit for us.
I share day in the life blogs on my YouTube channel as well, if you’d ever like to see what the Fleck Academy looks like in action. Thanks for coming along!
What are your homeschool challenges currently? What’s working well?