Saturday, September 5, 2009

our daily rhythm

a friend recently asked that i write about my homeschooling schedule. i had to laugh because 'schedule' doesn't really fit into our vocabulary around here. however, i think that was the answer she was looking for. even though our day to day activities vary greatly, we do go through each day with a general rhythm.

in the morning, we go out to milk the goats, tethering them when we are finished and feeding/watering any of the animals that haven't been cared for yet. this varies greatly as my older kids are responsible for the animals when they are home but when they are at their dad's, it's mostly up to me to get the job done.

after that, we feed the goldfish in the water pond. my! they have grown. our 27 cent fish are now 2.49 cent fish! and, all 7 have lived so far.

next, we have breakfast. french toast, pancakes, oatmeal, bacon and eggs are most frequently seen on our menu.

after breakfast, i try hard to get schooling out of the way.
~we do a more 'formal' math program (math-u-see) about 3-4 times a week.
~we are working through story of the world volume 1. while it's geared for 1st graders, we are having a great time with it in our kindergarten curriculum! we are doing a chapter a week, next year, we'll slow down and review it more thoroughly but for now, it's a great start to having her see what the world was like once upon a time. each chapter has 2 stories so usually, i spend monday and tuesday reading those. the rest of the week, we do corresponding activities (some provided in the workbook, some i create) and read library books on the same subject.
~she is beginning to read. i'm not pushing it but she likes to read the bob books so we explore those every day.
~we also do art (mostly watercolor, clay play, coloring) and handwork (finger knitting, creating felt board pieces).
~we use bananagram or scrabble letters to spell out words and i have her write on a slate board to practice writing numbers and letters.
~i just recently bought the eric carle abc game which sage will be able to participate in as well.
~i also expose them to a lot of french and spanish. we have several different collected cd's and dvd's: muzzy, magical spanish/french, teach me french, teach me more french and teach me even more french, let's learn spanish name a few.
~i read books and stories to them as well.

i'd like to get more into waldorf learning to add to the curriculum and am currently reading donna simmons' kindergarten curriculum. in addition to all that, we do science stuff as well, including learning about herbs.

after schooling, we have lunch, check on the animals and gather eggs. sage still naps, thank goodness! so right about now is nap time. while he naps, jaden usually gets to watch a dvd and i try to get some writing for herbal roots zine done.

late afternoon, we straighten up the downstairs, feed/water animals again, gather eggs, do some gardening and start dinner. jaden loves to help me with dinner so i involve her as much as possible. sage is now showing interest so i try to get him involved too.

after dinner, i put the goats up, lock up the chickens, do the dishes, clean up the kitchen, wash and candle the eggs and take down any clothes off the line (i try to wash 2-3 loads a day to keep up).

another thing i really need to incorporate is a walk to the woods every afternoon or late morning. even though the kids play outside a lot, i want them to be more aware of nature. i've been working on assembling field bags so we can go and sketch what we see and keep a nature journal. i just haven't been organized to actually get this going. plus, sage is a bit too young still.

also, every day is very different. usually, mondays we stay at home much to my kids' dismay (they are such socialites!) tuesdays, we have to leave in the afternoon to pick up the older kids so we do all our errands that day...groceries, library, bank, post office, etc. wednesday mornings, i volunteer at a local conservation center for my master naturalist hours. they have a great time playing in the creek while i pull invasives and plant. thursday is playday so we have to rush through school work before 10am so we can enjoy the day with our friends. fridays are a let down too since we stay at home again. :)

other things that get thrown into the mix are: bread making, yogurt making, cheese making, clothing repair, soap making, medicine making, preserving, canning, drying, harvesting, etc. again, i try to include the kids as much as possible on doing all this. sage has even tried milking the goats a few times. he's doing pretty good for a 3 year old!

i find if i don't do our sit down school work in the am, it usually doesn't get done, especially on days when the older kids come home from school (as opposed to going to their dad's).

so, that's my day...what's your day like? what stays the same and varies each day? post your daily rhythm on your blog and leave a comment here so we can compare. i'm always looking for inspiration!


Tan Family said...

Oh, I love your homeschooling days! Thank you for sharing all of this. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job of balancing many educational elements, while keeping it very hands-on for your children. I like the idea of regular nature walks. We love Story of the World, too! If you are looking for a nice Waldorf-inspired curriculum, I highly recommend Earthschooling (tell Kristie that I sent you!). We are enjoying incorporating it with our 1st grader this year.

Polar Bear and The Dodger said...

man, you stay busy but it sounds like so much fun. all of your herbal roots stuff looks so amazing and lovely. great job with that.

Maria said...

Thank you so much for posting this! This is exactly what I wanted to know. We have no rhythm to our days and so far that has worked for us. But, I think it would benefit us all to have some small rhythm that we can count on on a daily basis. I'll do a post soon about our trail rhythm :-)

Maria said...

Here it is:

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