Our Homeschool Routine + School Shopping Haul
My husband was homeschooled. I share that because when I first learned that on our first ever phone conversation I quickly asked, "and is that how you'd expect your kids to be educated?!" It wasn't an excited ask, it was with a "public school will be fine, I'm sure I wouldn't want to school little people at home" tone that I asked the question. He replied telling me that he believed it was a calling and that it worked better for some than for others. I appreciated the response and ever since his answer has remained the same.
Over the years I've been the one to bring up homeschooling more and more. I've been the one asking the questions and intrigued by the lifestyle, habits, and curriculum my homeschool friends were using. He's laughed each time I bring it up and it's true, he's never pushed the topic but my wonder about it has increased.
Well, next year we'll be in the boat of a homeschool family. Technically, a University Model Homeschool family which may not pull as much street cred for those of you who come up with your own curriculums, but here we are nonetheless.
With no formal school here in Virginia since March it's been a really sweet transition for our family to get into the groove a bit as far as what next year will look like. We're hoping restrictions will be lifted and we actually will have school to go to a couple days a week, but besides that it's been a good time to set up some expectations and rhythms for how a school day will go.
So, here's a bit of what's been working for us. In our house everyone wakes up and this is show time for the boys. They all wake up at different times and some happier than others. Evan wants cereal, Anderson a gourmet breakfast, and Tucker could eat the same thing everyday. I try to watch the clock myself since this is my own time to get ready, read the Bible and catch up on email. By 8:30 I want to make sure we're all getting ready for the day with beds made, teeth brushed, clothes put away. On a good day we've been reading through a devotional and then praying for the day. The prayers are just as much for my own heart and to remind the boys to have a good attitude as well. At this point Anderson gets logged into Google Classroom and really is self-sufficient. This won't be the same for next year, but this is how it's going now. He may ask me a few questions but otherwise he's good-to-go. Tucker, Evan and I go down to the piano room or little table and I set out the papers for the day or our Good the Beautiful book. We all are motivated to get school work done by lunch time. After lunch Evan is pretty tired and everyone wants a break. Full disclosure this is when the boys get another show and then after that we're done with TV for the day.
I share this in hopes that it's helpful and also because I know sometimes I wonder if my kids are the only ones getting a movie most everyday after lunch but the reality is that's what's working for us right now and it's how I'm getting this writing done right now too. Grace over guilt friends.
I did want to share with you some great resources I've discovered during this time. I've been motivated to get our house set for the upcoming year and did a big Amazon order the other week getting things with each boy in mind. Here's what I got and what we're loving.
This post does contain affiliate links. There's no change in the cost to you it just gets a little back to me when you use the link here to help this space and our family.
Disclaimer. I rarely buy stuff like this for my kids so while it probably didn't feel like Christmas to them I had a lot of fun getting these things. All of them have been used or read in the last several weeks and are things we'll use for months and years to come. Here's what I got and why I got it!
Learning Alphabee for Evan. We need to keep working on letter and color recognition. I liked that this has a case, that we can eventually build words and that it has some numbers and shapes too.
Set of Three Puzzles- Wood puzzles last forever and I thought this was a good price for three. I knew we could use it for the older kids with big numbers and math problems too.
Alphabet Stamps and Washable Ink. Washable Ink should be a no-brainer. The stamps I really like because it's helping them identify letters and build words. Even if it's sight words or something they know, it's a fun way to do it and an activity I can potentially give them independently.
Math Cubes. I felt like a real homeschooler when I got these. I really like them for visual learning whether we're talking fractions, addition or subtraction.
The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls- We got books 1, 2, 3, and 4. I try to incorporate read aloud time during our school day and these books have kept everyone's attention. They go through stories in the Bible in a fun way for each of my kids!
Magic Tree House Books- We used to get these at the library but until we're back there, I did get the first in the series for more read aloud time
The Wingfeather Saga- My oldest has time each day to be reading. In the beginning of quarantine Andrew Peterson read this aloud and he was hooked! He's read books 1 +2 and can't wait for book 3 to be released in September!
The Green Ember (book 1). We haven't gotten too far into this one but I've heard great things and felt like it was a good independent read after Wingfeather.
I'd love to hear what resources you've been using. Have you been sticking to what your schools gave you or finding that you've needed to set your own path? Wherever you're at, thanks for reading along. This was a long post but hey, it's been awhile! I'm not an expert homeschooler by any means but I'm excited to continue to share and take you along as we learn together!