How do you homeschool all your kids?
I hear this question once in a while. So I decided to give you a realistic view of what our homeschool day looks like in general. We have a flow we try to reach for everyday. Sometimes it gets done early, sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes there is problems, and sometimes things flow smoothly. And always we are felxible to meet the needs of those around us.
My day starts fairly early. Between 5 and 5:30 A.M. I get up, usually with a crying baby who needs a bottle. After he gets his bottle, he is usually ok to go back to sleep alone, but sometimes he just is wakeful and fusses unless I am holdong him. On those mornings I may go back to sleep, or read for a bit while he cuddles. Other times I use that time to shower, dress, and excersize. I then go make food for my husband before he goes to work.
I start some music by John Williams because he is the composer we are studying this term. I like this time to give the kids to just lay in their beds and relax before starting the day. Sometimes one or two willl come out for a good morning talk, which is always nice too.
Around 6:45 I get the kids up by playing our “Call” song. I play it on the piano, and when they hear it they know the family is being summoned into the living room. Once there, we have a family prayer, read an encouraging thought, recite memorized scripture and sing either a folk song or hymn we are learning. It all takes about twenty minutes, but it starts our day on a good foot. We then start our “Morning Routine” music. In about twenty or thirty minutes the children are dressed with prayers said, beds made, hair combed, a morning job called a family blessing, done, and sciptures read (that one is for children over eight). They are at that point welcome to come eat breakfast which their sister made as her family blessing. We also have assigned buddies for the children over eight. If they can, the big brother/sister helps the younger one get their routine done. I fill in as necessary. This particular morning, I start asking who has their routine done find that my five year old and nine year old aren’t done with everything. So after the blessing I take them back to finish. I help my five year old sort her laundry while my nine year old follows me reading her scriptures out loud so I can help her understand them.
After breakfast, everyone helps clean up. “Many hands make light work” is one of our favorite sayings (except my five year old says “Many hands make lots of work!” Haha.
As they get done we pull out violins and practice for half an hour. Even Mom! We are all learning from an online program.
Most days they get done and still have time for a small break before lesson start. We start a family history or science lesson at nine o’clock, or as close to that as possible. This morning we are about fifteen minutes late. The good weather held everyone outside as long as they could. In fact, we only started then because I take the reading book outside, and start reading. There is inside actvities too, but by the time we get there they are engaged and ready to come in. The youngest children usually color a picture while we read, but this morning they wanted to stay outisde. So every few minutes I peek outside to check on them. This way I was able to rescue the poor cats who were getting sat on.
We get done with our focus lesson, and get a snack out to eat while we read our historical novel that correlates with the history we are covering. This is everyones favorite part of the day. Afterwards, the older two get out sentences they need me to dictate them, and I corral my five year old for a short phonics game. This morning we put all the phonics cards on the floor, and put a pretzel stick on each one. The ones she sstruggles with we put two or three sticks on them. She chooses which ones to jump to, say the sounds, and eat one stick until all the sticks are gone.
After her games, I read a book from my preschool list to her. Today it was
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. She has also been enjoying working through The Good and The Beautiful Pre-K book. So she does some of that while I start helping my seven year old with language arts. We decided to do The Good and Beautiful language arts this year to hellp us get out of the rut we were in. It has definetly been fun! So Today my son dictates me a story. He does a good job! He dictated two pages! We did get interupted once because the two youngest girls fought over some playdoh (their choice of activity while I helped the others). So I stopped writing long enough to help them talk to each other and communicate through their problem. I was pretty proud of my seven-year-old’s story in the end! It had dialog, and sensory sentences (yes I prompted him some but the majority of the words were his.)
Well, because his story took so long I don’t have time to read him his math chapter out of Life Of Fred: Cats. So he takes it into his own corner to read alone -he is an extraordinarily good reader for his age, and I don’t worry about him. So I move on to help his nine-year-old sister.
She would like help reading her Life of Fred: Goldfish, so we move into the living room to do so in the comfort of the couch. Before we go, I quick look at what she has in Language arts. A spelling rule, which means dictation. So I just grab along a boogie-board and her book to dictate after out math. We sit on the couch, read, write some words that use the spelling rule we learned, and read some poetry out of language arts.
From there I am almost done. The little girls are getting hungry, and it is lunchtime. My ten year-old son is all I have left. Today he only has some reading and a page of sentences to diagram. He loves the diagraming and is good at it. So I look at the reading for him, and quick help him with some vocabulary excersizes. Then he finishes his work as I find some lunch for everyone. Today it looks like sandwiches and chips are the winner. Often there is leftovers, but anymore there isn’t enough left from a dinner to feed everyone for another meal. So sandwiches and sometimes soups are my go to for a quick lunch.
As everyone finishes up eating, about ten minutes after we started, I remind them to quick sweep their areas. Within a few minutes the front porch, the entry, the family bathroom, the hallway, and the kitchen cupboards are straightened amd clean. I work with the little girls to clean up the playdoh mess that I forgot to follow through on earlier, and clean up lunch. From here, in the past I had quiet time, but we got out of that routine. I would like to reinstate it, but haven’t yet. So it is pretty much free time. I use this time to do laundry, clean places that need a “mom” cleaning, and whatever else needs done. If I am lucky I get a few minutes to blog! At four o’clock the alarm on my phone reminds us it is time to start dinner. My ten-year-old is on dinner tonight. He likes to make baked beans. So I cut some of the sausages for him while he mixes the pork and beans and other ingredients. It bakes for forty minutes and dinner is ready. My husband gets home from school, and we gather everyone to eat.
After we eat everyone helps clean up. Tonight, since dinner was so early, the kids have time to go play for a bit before our bedtime routine. But at seven I put the youngest three in the tub, and tell the others to get ready for bed as bedtime snack will be served in ten minutes.
Tonight bedtime snack is just graham crackers and a little milk. The kids love dipping them! While we eat we read a chapter out of the New Testament. Tonight we read Luke chapter 6. One of my favorites. Each child has their own New Testament/Psalms and Proverbs book. They are handed out free at our local festival every year. We just found a good use for them. I keep them in a basket on the cupboard and put the basket on the table when it is time to use them.
When our chapter is done, we have a family prayer, brush teeth, and I read out loud while everyone listens from their beds. I hold the yearling on my lap while he drinks a bottle and listens.
Another day is done! I tuck the last kids in, and have a few minutes to call my own before another day starts rolling again! Its just Daily life!