Homeschooling and Housekeeping

Ah, the beauty of  homeschooling the learning, the living, the everyday adventures, but let’s not kid ourselves, homeschooling is quite messy.

So I will start off by saying my house is not immaculate. It is nowhere close to that, in fact it is often quite a mess. On any given day you will find piles of books, piles of papers, piles of laundry waiting to be put away, and a floor that could use a good sweeping. But, with all that said, I would like to share a few things that have been quite helpful in keeping a CLEANER home, notice I did not say a perfectly CLEAN house. 

First and foremost, get your kids to help! If you have kids old enough to do things, take the time to show them how, and by all means have then do it. Very simple chores include; vacuuming, sweeping, folding laundry, and putting away dishes. Even toddlers can wipe tables or counters, and older children can do much, much more. We do our chores  in the morning after breakfast, we can at least start the day with a tidied house. As the children get older I plan to also have them do afternoon/evening chores.

My second tip is to come up with some time of schedule for cleaning. The first type is quite simple, you would come up with something like:

Monday: laundry and bills

Tuesday: bathrooms

Wednesday: sweep and mop floors

Thursday: laundry, dust and vacuum downstairs

Friday: dust and vacuum upstairs

Saturday: tidy bathrooms, empty small trashes

Obviously, this is just an example and what needs to be done in your home, will be different then mine. Everything cannot go on the schedule, some things need to be done everyday, such as dishes, which is why they are a good candidate for chores. Then you need to choose when you will do the cleaning. For example you could place it on your schedule everyday from 3-4pm. This type of scheduling is good for the very organized person. 

For the rest of us, there is another type of scheduling called Loop Scheduling. You can search it if you are unfamiliar with it. The basic idea is you have a list of things to do and you do them in order through the end and then back through again whenever you have a chance. If things need to be done often, you can place them more than once on the list.

For example:

Laundry

Bills

Bathrooms

Vacuuming

Laundry

Sweeping

Dusting

Clean out fridge

So, maybe on Monday I got through the first three items, Tuesday I didn’t have time, Wednesday; the next few, Thursday; you finish the list. Friday; you begin it again etc. This is good if you like to clean a lot at once, or if you don’t have much time on some days. 

My last tip is the “15 minutes a day” project idea. This is where we find 15 minutes a day to do a larger project that we really don’t have time for otherwise. List a few things that need to be done and work on them for 15 minutes a day until they are done. Projects may be… organizing the pantry, cleaning out the closet or going through the filing cabinet.

The main idea is coming up with a system that works for you and your family. I find with a tidied home, I am a happier Mom and we are all more ready to learn because I don’t have things on my mind like “when is this or that going to get cleaned…” We can focus and enjoy our days more, and I don’t feel guilty about taking a day at the park because my house is a mess and I should be home cleaning it instead.

Thanks for reading and God Bless.

J.

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Our Daily Schedule

I just thought I would take the time today to share our daily schedule. I like Charlotte Mason’s idea of short lessons, moving from one thing to something different in an effort to keep the child interested. I tried to keep this in mind as I created this schedule. I have divided our school year into six terms, and this schedule is for Term 1, as I plan to make changes to the schedule when cooler weather comes. We school Tuesday – Saturday because of my husband’s work schedule. Although, as fellow home schooler’s know the learning truly doesn’t stop just because the weekend comes.

So here it is……..

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
*Morning Routine *Morning Routine *Morning Routine *Morning Routine *Morning Routine
Breakfast/Devotions Breakfast/Devotions Breakfast/Devotions Breakfast/Devotions Breakfast/Devotions
Chores Chores Chores Chores Chores
Reading(20 mins) Reading (20 mins) Reading (20 mins) Reading (20 mins) Reading/Lit.

Math (20 mins)

Outside  (45 mins)

Snack

Math (20 mins)

Outside (45 mins)

Snack

Math (20 mins)

Outside (45 mins)

Snack

Math (20 mins)

Outside (45 mins)

Snack

Farmers Market

Picture study

Composer Study

Morning Meeting* Morning Meeting* Morning Meeting* Morning Meeting * Life of Fred
Science (15 mins) Science(15 mins) Science (15 mins) Science (15 mins) Art

History (20 mins)

Lunch/Lit./Break

History (20 mins)

Lunch/Lit./Break

Lunch/Lit./Break

 

History (30-60 min)

Lunch/Lit./Break

Geography

Lunch

Piano (20)

(Calendar/Weather

Handwriting/Grammar)

Piano (20)

(Calendar/Weather

Phonics/Grammar)

Piano (20)

(Calendar/Weather

Handwriting/Grammar)

Piano (20)

(Calendar/Weather

Phonics/Grammar)

 
Grammar/Handwriting Grammar/Spelling Grammar/Handwriting Grammar/Spelling  
Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish  
Park/Swimming/Bikes Park/Swimming/Bikes Park/Swimming/Bikes Park/Swimming/Bikes  

 As you can see, I do not assign specific times for subjects to happen, but instead a certain amount of time to finish each subject. You will see a few things on here twice, and that is because some things are for my son and some for my daughter.

Morning Meeting is really something great to add into your homeschool if you do not already. There are lots of ideas out there as to what to incorporate into morning meeting, and others call it by other names as well. For us, morning meeting includes; bible, prayer, memory work, singing hymns, fact memorization(right now we are working on skip counting), and reading a loud. Sometimes I read unrelated picture books, other times I read books related to our science or history studies. We also read poetry.

In the mornings we spend time outside, usually taking a walk or going to the park, or just in the backyard. Yes, I schedule the Farmer’s Market onto our schedule, because we go every week and we all enjoy it and this is something that will only be available through October. Saturday’s are what you would consider our light days. On Mondays we sometimes take field trips, but this is not considered a part of our school schedule. For example, last Monday we visited the zoo but we still did our normal Tuesday-Saturday schedule.

Feel free to ask any questions!

God Bless.

J.

 

Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

Okay, so after two years of kind of having no clue what to use for curriculum, and kind of coming up with my own stuff, we have settled down into some more structure for this year. My children are six and seven years old and we are doing a lot of our subjects together. So here goes….

History/Geography:  After pondering for a couple of years I have decided to start chronological history this year. We will be using Story of the World with the accompanying activity guide and some of the suggested library books. Although S.O.T.W. covers a lot of geography we will also be using Geography Songs in hopes of attaining a deeper knowledge of the world around us.

sotwgeo

 

Science: Science has been really tough for me. I like the idea of focusing on mainly nature study for the younger years. However, I struggle because my state requires standardized testing and therefore I feel the need to teach beyond nature study. This year I purchased Come and See from Queen Homeschool Supply. It is recommended for grades k-2. I LOVE this book, I think it’s fun and interesting. I think it’s perfect for my first grader who is just beginning to read. However, it is defiantly not enough for my second grader. We are supplementing with related library books and doing note booking pages. Toward the ends of the year we will be working through several other scientific topics such as force, matter, magnetism, electricity etc.

ComeAndSeefront

 

Bible/Devotions:

This year we are reading through Genesis, Matthew, Proverbs and Acts. For devotions we are finishing the book Devotions for the Children’s Hour and then moving on to Leading Little Ones to God.

Memory work: Selections from The Harp and Laurel Wreath, bible verses and other facts that I deem as important to know.

Literature: The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte’s Web, Pinocchio, A Lion to Guard Us, and others.

Poetry: We will work through Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses, and then move on to something else.

As far as picture study, composer study, art, music, and other things we will be using many different resources, which are far too many to list here.

devolittleharpozverse

 

On to separate subjects….

6yo:

Reading: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons followed by easy readers such as Little Bear.

Phonics: Spectrum Phonics 1

Grammar: First Language Lessons

Handwriting: copy work

Math: Singapore Math 1A/1B

lang read specsing

 

7 yo:

Reading: as  a very avid reader, he will be assigned various chapter books throughout the year.

Spelling: grade 3 spelling lists

Grammar: Finish up First Language Lessons  and move on to First Language Lessons Vol. 2.

Handwriting: copy work

Math: Singapore Math 2A/2B

Spanish: The Fun Spanish Level 1(he is loving this!)

Piano Lessons

fla singa span

I know I always love to see what everyone else is using, so hoping this post can help someone else out too.

God Bless!

J.