It’s our 7th year of homeschooling, and each and every year looks a little different as we have a different mix of grades and interests. This year some of the big things in our school routine is a 1 day a week co-op for my oldest and virtual enrichment classes for the youngest and adding chores to our daily checklists.
Mom is the late riser in our house. We start our school with a Google Home routine to gather everyone to the school space at 9 am. Before that, everyone is on their own to eat breakfast, get dressed, and have free time. They boys especially are encouraged to spend sometime outside letting off their energy before we start. On the rare day everyone is outside at start time, I will let them play and enjoy the extra quiet by myself.
Once we are all gathered, we start on our list of morning time activities. This list includes nearly everything except Language Arts and Math. We listen to our American History as an audiobook, do our science lesson, and listen to poetry. Previously this year, we did an Election Unit Study and US Geography. I plan 3 lessons for each subject for the week and rotate through them each of the 4 days a week that we do Morning Time. Planning only 3 lessons gives us space to add seasonal lessons or take our time in discussion and not do everything every day. You can see what programs we are using this year in my previous post.
One day a week, the 6th grader goes to a local co-op and receives her Language Arts, Logic and additional Geography assignments. She also takes an art class there. While she is gone I do a special set of work with the 5th and 2nd grader. Our activities when she is gone include their own art lessons and cooking. the 5th grader is autistic, and one of the areas that this affects him is fine motor skills and coordination. Though he is closer in age to his older sister, for many skills he is closer to his younger brother in ability. This makes art and cooking great activities to teach them together.
On morning time days, everyone completes their language arts and math after we finish learning together. We are a very routine driven family. Everyone knows the routine and finds the checklist to see what they need to do that day. All three are independent readers this year so their reading assignments come from a list of books I created based on our American History studies this year. The 5th and 2nd grader each have a language arts program they are working through. All three have a handwriting book as well to practice their formation and fine motor skills. The 6th grader has her assignments from the co-op tutor which she copies into her assignment book each week.
For math, they each know to do the next lesson in their book on their own. One uses video lessons and the other 2 have a work-text so the explanations and teaching are on the same page as the practice problems, allowing them to work independently. I check in with each child as the morning progresses to check off their progress and check the math assignments. I am always available to help when asked.
Chores and Time with Dad
This year has brought some work changes for dad to our family as well, which have added some new habits to our school. Dad works from home now and takes a morning break. Several times a week he will invite the boys to take a walk in our neighborhood during his morning break. They enjoy the exercise and special time with dad. With so much more time home this year we have added more formal chores to our routine. We made a short list of chores for each child. They are assigned one to each day of the week to do as part of their school checklist. One unintended result is that I am more motivated to do the bigger chores, knowing that so many smaller ones are now taken care of regularly.
Most of our school work is usually finished before lunch. About once a week we wrap up after lunch with chores or lessons. Our afternoons are fairly empty this year, since we are limited under a global pandemic. The unstructured time has allowed them to be creative and work on projects of their own creating. We have been able to continue with our 4-H club and Cub Scouts which provide us with field trips and workshops.
How has your routine changed this year? How has it changed due to the pandemic?