Thursday, August 2, 2007

Homeschool Open House

Tiany is hosting a Homeschool Open House, which I thought was a supurb idea. So here's my contribution to the home education community. :o)

How many blessings do you have? I have 3 children (ages 11 1/2, 8 1/2, and 7 years old). I'm also privilaged to babysit for 5 additional children during the week (some part time, some M-F).

How long have you been homeschooling? This will be our 7th year.

What does your homeschool day look like? After breakfast, showers, dressing and making beds (and getting the daycare babies fed and content), I have my 3 head to their computers to start their lessons.

My oldest is enrolled in an online academy which provides all her daily assignments, and my younger two use a different online program (not an official "school" like Sierra's is) for the bulk of their lessons.

After my younger two complete their online assignments, they take a little break followed by some "table" work. This is where one will do some worksheets (like math drills, penmanship, and spelling practice), while the other practices reading aloud with me, and then they switch places.

My oldest's "table time" consists of our on-going Maidens of Virtue book study.

By the time that's finished, one or all of the babies will require a changing, a feeding, or a nap. Depending upon the time! ;o) Some days, we're not able to get to the "table work" at all until the littlies are napping.

(We are very flexible around here, obviously.)

After lessons are out of the way, the children have a variety of chores to do, as well as helping out with the daycare children. My children are expert bottle warmers, playpen openers, peek-a-boo champs, diaper changers (only the wet ones---no pootie!), and snack servers. They also get lots of down time to blow off steam, read quietly, draw, paint and get some exercise in our big backyard.

What curriculum will you be using?

Sierra: The Jubilee Academy (6th Grade), Maidens of Virtue by Stacy McDonald (book study with mom), Algebra Blaster 3 (for extra help), Composers for Children (with Ethan and Abby)

Ethan & Abby:, My, texts and workbooks from Christian Light Education (Grades 2-3)

And whatever interesting websites, books, videos etc. we can get from the library that pertain to any of their current interests (China, sign language, elephants, etc.)

Do you schedule your day to the minute or have no real structure? We have a routine, but no real "schedule". I keep a running to-do list each day and have a general idea of what I want the children to cover that day, but with all of the extra children--most under the age of 2--we have to be flexible.

Some days are "model" homeschool days...then there's always the "I doubt they learned much of anything" days!

Do you homeschool in a homeschool room, at the kitchen table, at a desk, in the park on the grass? The children each have their own computers and desks inside our computer room/office. Most of their work is done in there, with a little done at the kitchen table and living room couch for reading practice.

Do you have any "must share" tips? Sure, I do!

  • First of all, be flexible! Don't get so caught up in keeping to a schedule that you leave no room for the interruptions of life.

  • Don't stress if one child doesn't learn something as soon/fast as any other child you know (including siblings!). Everyone learns at their own pace, in their own unique way.

  • Read books about learning styles to get a better idea of how to best teach each of your children, according to their strengths--not yours.

  • Pray, pray, pray! Ask God to show you what to teach, and when to cover it. Ask Him for His input on curriculum, books and other materials. He created your child and knows everything about him/her. He has a special plan for their life. Ask Him to show you how to best prepare them for it.

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