Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How to Homeschool: Our typical day - so far

Our homeschool is on the kindergarten level. I do some things with my other kids too, but the primary focus is the kindergartener. Before we started, AT and I discussed the options. She chose to let me pick the topics and she wanted me to, mostly, tell her what to do each day. It should be no surprise to me that for her journal she dictated "I love my family because I like Mommy and Daddy to tell me what to do", however given the lack of listening skills when it's time to clean up, I'm dubious on this point HAHA! Anyway, in this regard it is both child led and parent led. She is the one who chose parent led education. I still give her choices but I've got an overall lesson plan, more of an outline, and I see what we can do to accomplish the goals as we come up on them. (Rather than see what she wants to study and fit in the goals or to leave out only certain choices for her or to use a strict curriculum)

They were all 3 at home last school year. This was mainly because I felt we couldn't afford pre-school after the company Hubs worked for closed their office in our city. After trying to homeschool last year, I felt that I couldn't afford to NOT send them to preschool, even though Hubs still doesn't have a regular full-time job. I know there are many people out there who successfully teach many children at different levels at the same time - I'm just not one of them. I'm neither organized enough nor focused enough to do it. At least I think that's why I was unsuccessful.
3 days a week (MWF), we have 3 concentrated hours of one-on-one school. AT is an observer. She watches, she listens, she absorbs - sometimes she absorbs things that we didn't know she was observing but that's another issue HAHA! She's not so much of a "doer" so this time is important for her to have me sitting close by giving her attention as she does her work. If I'm not paying attention to her then she won't pay attention to her work. On each day, but especially Tuesday and Thursday when her 2yo brother is present, a lot of her lessons are discussions; questions and answers from each side. It's important for me to ask her questions first because I often find that she knows things I didn't "teach" her. It is a waste of time and frustrating to her for me to give a lesson on something she already knows.

So we start at about 9AM with a quick review and then her writing lesson. This is her least favorite thing. We then segue into her journal, in which I write and she draws. Then we do more art based exploration of the day's topic. Montessori takes over after that and she chooses to work on a manipulative that she's already been presented or she picks one she wants me to present. At that point it is about time to pick up her sibling(s), then we have lunch, free time and unschooling. Montessori practical life activities take place in the evening as well as reading lessons at bedtime.

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