The other day I wrote about a specific day in our homeschool with the littles. Today I’m going to focus on a recent day of learning with my 9, 10, and 12 year olds.
As with my younger children, I do not consider only our structured homeschool time as our learning time because each day brings so many opportunities for natural learning experiences that I’d be remiss to not mention them.
As you may notice, our middle children’s homeschool day is very similar in structure to their younger siblings’. It is this familiarity that helps me remember everything that has to be done from day to day- and it also helps me keep my sanity!
A Homeschool Day with the Middles
Shortly after waking up, the kids approach me and ask to make some pre-cut troll sugar cookies I had bought. Morning baking has become somewhat of a routine here because it helps to warm up the newly chilly mornings, and who isn’t comforted by the smell of something good in the oven? 🙂
Caollin (12), our resident baker, decides to use some of her black fondant to make eyes and mouths for the cookies.
After eating their sweet breakfast, the kids help to straighten the living room and dining room before we start school.
Since I start the school day with the younger kids, Caollin, London (10), and Bailey (9) stay in their room and play either dolls, Shopkins, or draw.
Once the littles have finished, the middle children join them for our very first German lesson. Today is just introducing the German alphabet and watching a German cartoon to get a feel for the language.
After finishing German, the younger kids head out to play while Caollin, London, and Bailey do a short Bible lesson using Hidden in My Heart Scripture Memory Bible and some memory verse copywork.
After copywork, they take turns doing their math with me (Caollin- Spectrum- Grade 7, London- Spectrum- Grade 5, and Bailey- Spectrum- Grade 4). Caollin and London each opt to watch a lesson from Khan Academy before doing their workbooks.
While the kids wait for their turn with me, they work on basic math practice sheets, finish up their copywork that hasn’t been completed, read (Benjamin Franklinstein Lives!, Benjamin Franklinstein Meets the Fright Brothers, and Benjamin Franklinstein Meets Thomas Deadison), and write down facts about what they read.
By the time lunch break rolls around, Caollin isn’t yet finished with her math and Bailey hasn’t even started, yet, so we put everything away until after lunch and chores are finished. During our lunch break, all of the kids head outside to make an obstacle course and play live-action Minecraft.
After my husband gets home from work, we pick back up where we left off with school activities. Caollin and Bailey each complete their math, after which we gather in the living room for their read-aloud, The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower.
We discuss why the Pilgrims have decided to leave England and how they first went to Holland for eleven years before setting out for the New World. I’m pleased to find the Charlie Brown special about the Mayflower on YouTube, so we grab some blankets and sit and watch it together.
After the show is over, we go back to the dining room and start talking about Holland again. I show them some photos of the lovely tulip fields there to inspire them to paint or use chalk pastels to create their own tulips.
Once their pictures are finished, their homeschool activities are done for the day, so they head straight back outside to play Pilgrims and Indians. Although this was our first day of the pilgrims unit study, they are completely inspired and spend hours re-enacting what we read about and watched.
Once it starts getting dark outside, they come inside to eat dinner and do their chores. To wind down, they spend some time watching Spooksville on Netflix before heading off to bed.
Although their planned homeschool day took only about 2 1/2 hours total, the children all easily completed the required subjects whether we covered them in our lessons or not.
Relaxed homeschooling is such a wonderful way to bring some structure to the day while simultaneously providing plenty of free time to pursue interests or, as in today’s case, to bring the day’s lessons to life through not only what looks like (and is) play, but is also a demonstration that the kids were able to make important connections about what they learned.
Relaxed homeschooling really is the best of both worlds. It’s just the right mix of freedom and structure. Who could ask for anything more?