I got a lovely email from a reader yesterday wondering what our homeschool days look like for me; what do I do? It got me thinking. I guess I share a lot of Jack and Sarah’s days but not so much of mine.
As much as possible I try to allow Jack and Sarah freedom to flow through their days. I don’t make them sit down and do lessons with me. We go about our days together; with me leaving little provocations here and there to entice Jack and Sarah to explore further.
This was today.
The day starts
Our days starts around 6:30am. Jack usually makes himself breakfast but this morning he plays quietly in his room. Sarah is the last up at almost 8am. She heads straight to the playroom to work on some puzzles.
I put on a load of washing and prepare breakfast with Sarah.
I squeeze some fresh orange juice and soak the peels in a jar of white vinegar (for natural all-purpose cleaner). We all sit down and have breakfast together. After breakfast I head off for a shower. Jack and Sarah both come in several times to tell me extremely important developments 🙂 .
By about 9 o’clock we are all dressed and ready for the day. Our days aren’t overly planned; some days the kids will do art for most of the day, others they will work hard on their projects. Lately the weather has been so warm that Jack and Sarah have been spending a lot of their time playing outside. When everyone is dressed and teeth brushed, I head out to hang out the washing. On my way back I pick up some chalk, water and brushes and lay them out on the path for the kids to discover.
It doesn’t take long before they are happily drawing and painting themselves (btw they decided it was opposites day today and thought it was hilarious that they had become the other person).
I come inside and unpack the dishwasher and clean the kitchen. I have a few more jobs to do but before I get started I throw a few scarves on the trampoline.
I spend about the next half hour or so cleaning. I sweep the floor, make the beds, wipe down the bathroom, clean the toilets and dust.
Jack and Sarah have come inside by now and are playing in Sarah’s room. It’s time for a cup of tea. Sarah makes morning tea, lays out a blanket outside and brings out the reading basket. We all sit down for a snack and read some stories. Jack brings his drawing book and caddy so he can draw while he listens.
We tidy up morning tea. Jack heads to his room to draw and listen to an audio book while Sarah and I tend to our little ladies. This is always one of my favourite parts of the day. Sarah adores those chickens.
She feeds them their greens, fills their scratch bowls and collects the eggs. We pop the eggs inside then head back out to fill and tidy the birdfeeders. While Jack and Sarah play outside on the trampoline, I set up some math materials. Jack is learning how to represent numbers in different ways (working towards creating sums) and Sarah is working on counting and quantifying to 10.
The numbers and counters that Sarah are working with are from Wood Puzzles. All of the maths materials Jack is working with are from a cheap store.
We work together for about an hour. The kids head back outside and I tidy up the math materials and lay out some language materials. I also put out a calculator, stopwatch and number cards for Jack and Sarah to stumble upon later. Sarah has started to recognise the letters in her name so I set out this small exploration for her. The wooden shapes are from Handwriting Without Tears. There are just the right number of pieces in the tray for Sarah to make her name. The fruit alphabet cards are from Teepee Learning and the sandpaper letters are from Wood Puzzles. Jack works independently on his book. I make lunch while the kids work on their language explorations; returning every 5 minutes or so as Sarah wants to show me her writing or Jack wants to show me a new page in his book.
Jack and Sarah sit down to watch a couple episodes of The Magic School Bus. I take this time to clean the kitchen after lunch then join them on the couch to relax together.
As they go play again, I get started on dinner. We have swimming lessons late in the afternoon so I need to have dinner ready for when we get home. Today I tried out some dough for bread rolls in my Bellini. Not bad at all 🙂
Jack and Sarah are playing quietly in their own rooms so I pop the dishwasher on and have another cup of tea. I get afternoon tea ready and fold the washing while they eat. It’s usually around 3:30 that I need some time alone so I wander through the garden for a bit, pulling weeds and checking on our little seedlings. The apple and pear trees are blossoming, the strawberries have new flowers, our peas are growing nicely and there are new buds on the grapes.
I give the compost a mix and head back inside. I vacuum our lounge and playroom and the kids and I tidy up their rooms. It’s about 4:30pm now and time to get ready for swimming.
We get home from swimming at about 6:30pm. Time for dinner and our evening routine. I’m pretty tired after the kids go to bed so don’t do much more besides a quick tidy up of the kitchen and relax.
Then off to bed, ready to start another day.