Monday, January 30, 2012

A Typical Day at School

We are a home school family.  We have been a home school family since the day my son was born.  It was something we started thinking about before we even had children and way back then it didn't seem like a possibility.  It just seemed too hard, too time consuming, too much opposition, and way too many other too much stuff (sorry, I was on a roll, there).  Once I had my son and saw his amazing love for learning, I knew that I had started home schooling the day he was born.  Don't we all, if you really think about it?  We are the ones who teach them words, colors, shapes, the alphabet, and so much more long before they actually start "school."  So we decided to officially home school our children.  We, as the parents, want to be the ones to choose what they learn, when they learn it (some subjects in public school come up waaaay too early in my opinion), and be free to add in Biblical studies and make them a part of our daily education.  We want to make sure that our children know that God is our Creator, He is in control, and we will follow Him.

So our school day is pretty typical.  I write out a lesson plan of what we will study and then Buddy Bear gets out his books and gets down to work.  I teach him the new skills we are learning for the day and then he tries them out as he completes his book work.  He works and I am available for questions, more teaching, and encouragement.  At the same time, I am working with Baby Bear and trying to keep her busy so she isn't interrupting Buddy Bear.  As I have previously mentioned, Baby Bear is preschool age and she doesn't necessarily do "book work" every day, but she is still learning through things like coloring books, playing with Lego blocks, reading stories, and just typical play.

Every day we do Bible devotions, penmanship, math, reading, and spelling with Buddy Bear.  He is in third grade, except for spelling where he is at a fourth grade level.  Then after we do the basics, I rotate in our other subjects which are science, health, language arts, grammar, social studies, and history.  He will usually do 2 extra subjects a day.  So this is what the list would look like for today for example...
Bible devotions
Penmanship
Math
Spelling
Reading
Science
Grammar

Then tomorrow the list would look like...
Bible devotions
Penmanship
Math
Spelling
Reading
Health 
Social Studies

We also add in special trips, gym time with other home school families at our church, going to the library, crafts, games, and much more.  There are many things we do around our house which are learning activities  that our children help with and don't realize that they are learning.  My favorite example of that is when we are having a rough school day, we will end the book work early and do some baking.  Buddy Bear and Baby Bear think they are just having fun helping make a tasty treat, but in reality it is a lesson in math, science, reading, and home ec.  We turn a trip to the grocery store into a learning adventure as I ask Buddy to help me figure out the best price on a item, if buying the bigger size is a better option, budgeting, and so much more.  We have our good days where everything goes as planned and school takes a reasonable amount of time and then we have bad days where there interruptions, appointments, or lack of willingness to work take much longer than expected.  We just have to work through those and make the best of it.  It isn't always easy and I haven't always had patience in home schooling, but it is rewarding to watch my children learn and to teach them and I am growing right along with them.  I have become more patient, more flexible, willing to ask for help when I need it, and willing to switch directions when things just aren't going how I thought they would.  Home school isn't for everyone, it isn't always easy or pretty, and it isn't perfect, but it is the decision we made for our children and it is the one we are sticking by.

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