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Making the World Cuter: Schedule, "What do you do?"

A blog where one woman is on a mission to make the world cuter, one kid, cupcake or crafty thing at a time.


Schedule, "What do you do?"

I get a lot of questions when homeschool is brought up-I thought I would answer them here.

The first question, not always the first question asked, but no matter what, always comes up, is "What do you do?"

Well at first we just pulled stuff out of the air, and hoped it worked.
It didn't.
I learned real fast that we needed some sort of routine.
Maybe as the years go by, we can get away from it a little bit more, but for now, where my kids are, they need a routine.

There are some things we do every day, Monday through Friday.
It's how we start every morning.
  1. Breakfast. Every morning, very first thing we do is eat. Usually a bowl of cereal, because it's easy and fast.
  2. Get dressed. I do not start school until Bekah and I at least are dressed, the younger boys are usually dressed, but it is not mandatory.
  3. Bekah starts warm-ups, while I gather what we will need for lessons. Warm-ups consist of a worksheet that she picks out of a hanging file I have hanging on the wall. They can be from math or English, or a dot to dot, anything she chooses to do that day. Christopher also has a file with worksheets, but he is still a little young, and would rather play during this time. Warm-ups also consist of each kid tracing their name that I have written out in marker and then cutting out a shape. (I picked this up from a local preschool, that I might teach at, or might not, and thought it was a fantastic idea). Bekah can write her name already, and Topher can write T O, but this really helps with handwriting as well. Cutting out a shape each day helps them with their hand eye coordination. Besides the kids really like doing it.
  4. We have morning devotional. This is one of the reasons that homeschool appealed to me so much. My sister in law homeschooled her kids and mentioned that they did a devotional each morning and it helped make my decision to do this for my kids. Of all the learning I want my kids to do, spiritual learning is the most important. Devotionals also set the mood in the home for the rest of the day. I swear since we started doing these, it has felt calmer, the kids are nicer to one another, and I have more patience with them when they are not. It's a wonderful way to start the day. Our devotionals consist of:
  5. Song-usually a Primary song, that the kids are working on in Primary. Or sometimes, a hymn that they know, or just another spiritual song that the kids want to sing.
  6. Opening prayer to start our school day.
  7. Story from the Friend magazine-we are flying through these, which is great, since before they would get one or two stories read out of them and then stuck in the FHE box for church talks. This is a great way to open up discussions about the subjects they teach, and since my kids are so little, this is a great way to teach them gospel principles without going to far over their heads. As they get older I will probably incorporate scripture study in as well when their attention span is a little longer. We also sometimes go over Articles of Faith at this point if I feel I still have their attention.
  8. Next we say the pledge of allegiance. Both kids know this now, and we have only started this, as of this month. It is amazing how fast they pick things up when repeated every day.
  9. Story time. I read a book every day, sometimes we get our lessons from the book...
  10. Next we go onto our lessons, this is where it varies from day to day. (see below)
  11. End with some form of exercise, whether it's going outside and having a race, turning up the music and dancing or doing some pilates or yoga for stretching.
  12. The kids then have free time, while I blog, check my email, work on school assignments for myself etc.
  13. Lunch time. We are generally all done with school by about 11:30, and the kids have learned a lot, but are not mush for brains by the time they are done. School doesn't have to take all day when you are giving them such individualized attention.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

  • English
  • Math
  • Music
  • Art

Tuesday, Thursday

  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Life Skills

For lessons I pull them from all over, and I don't do all that much prep. I have found a few sources that work for us, and I stick to them. There is a great series of books, the first one being "What your kindergartner needs to know." It has every subject in it, and makes it really easy for the kids to understand. I also have a few websites that I frequent, and have a mountain of books that my sister in law handed over when she heard I was homeschooling. I will have to go into more depth on some that I have read in later posts.

  • English usually consists of some sort of writing-Bekah has a journal that she writes what she learned that day, or we just expand on something we read in our story for the day-such as vocabulary in the book, or other language themes, such as "What happened first?" "Why did that happen?" "What would have happened if they made this choice?" Just really basic-but effective, and it doesn't feel like I am shoving this down her throat, while she is just in the beginning stages of reading and writing. I want her to enjoy this more than anything and not make it feel like work.
  • Math-there are a lot of good ideas in the before mentioned book to make math fun, but Bekah is pretty advanced for them-she is already adding and subtracting fairly well, while most kindergartners are still learning their numbers and that numbers actually mean something. So I do the activities in the book for review and for Christopher to get to feel like he is participating more, and then just try to advance the activity as much as possible to challenge Bekah. She enjoys math, and usually picks a math warm up anyway. We find little ways to incorporate math throughout the day as well, like in cooking or cleaning.
  • Music-this is not a subject I am strong in. I try to make sure that they enjoy music though and learn what they can from me. I am basically just teaching them rhythm, beat, loud and quiet, high and low and we always sing lots of fun songs. I've introduced my kids to musicals through DVDs as right now they are not old enough to take to real productions, (Bekah could probably sit through one-but money is also an issue at the moment). Bekah loves Phantom of the Opera, Oliver, Fiddler on the roof and has seen many others. She goes around singing their songs instead of singing little kid songs. As they get older, I will have them do piano lessons, and Bekah is in ballet now, so that is also teaching her about music as well.
  • Art-This is something I never have to really plan for, my kids would do art all day long. I just have a cupboards and buckets full of art stuff, plenty of paper, glue and scissors and I let them just go at it. This is when they get the chance to be individually creative and I am constantly amazed at what they come up with. Sometimes, if the other lessons were short, or I feel like they are still in learning mode I will teach them some basics about art-warm and cool colors, lines, different forms of art or show them masterpieces from art books. I am pretty fluent in the arts, and feel like I have a lot to teach them as they get older, but for now I just want them to appreciate art and appreciate the ability they already have to create wonderful and beautiful things.
  • Social Studies-Tuesdays and Thursdays are my favorite days, and the kids' too. It should come as no surprise, because these were my favorite subjects as well, but the kids LOVE to learn about geography, cultures, legends, facts about other places and the places they know and love. Right now we are learning the continents-there are only 7 after all, and I feel that Bekah is old enough to learn them and learn some basics about each of them. Right now we are learning about Asia-I am not going into extensive details, but just giving her some fun facts that she can store away and pull out to impress her dad and grandmas. She thrives on that kind of stuff. We are learning about directions on a compass and finding things on a map. Both kids think this is so fun-seeing where they are in relation to other places, and realizing just how small their little spot on earth is.
  • Science-The other fun subject that both kids eat up. I have tried to mix it up so that they are getting a basis of all kinds of science, so that as they get older, they have a good base to start from. On Tuesdays I am trying to stick to nature, their bodies and the like. We have touched on seasons, recycling, insects, habitats, birds, plants, the 5 senses, their hinges etc... On Thursdays we do the experiments, sometimes they go with what we are learning in other subjects and sometimes they are just a fun way to make a mess or see how things work etc...We have done volcanoes, magnets, experiments about cavities and not brushing our teeth, today we made cornstarch slime. Good times.
  • Life Skills-This is something that we probably do every day, I just try to be more conscience about it on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Here we learn about service, or cooking, or organizing, tying our shoes, getting dressed, matching our clothes, doing our hair, why we need to clean, sewing, helping dad with the cars, how to navigate the Internet to find what you need, how to use a phone, remembering your phone number, address, birthday etc... These are all things that easily fit into other parts of the lessons and I don't usually have lesson planned per say-it's usually just having them help me or their dad out in things that we might otherwise not include them in and just do it for them. Teaching them things that will help them feel more independent and capable.

That's pretty much it, it seems like a lot when I type it all out, but it's pretty basic, not hard and for the most part free. I get most if not all of our reading material from the library or the Internet. We use stuff we have around home for our lesson materials, and the only thing I really buy are basic school supplies, a few things here and there for experiments and art stuff when we are running low. If you have more questions, feel free to ask.

I will be answering the question, "Why do you homeschool?" "What about their social life?" and "How long are you going to do this?," in future posts.



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Thanks for making the world so stinkin cute!

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