Really for us this is not all that different than what we do day in and day out. We have two extra little guys every day now instead of just on Fridays. They normally have preschool in the mornings Monday through Thursday. And normally the boys attend our homeschool enrichment on Wednesdays but all that is cancelled right now. But all in all the looks of what we are doing look pretty standard to normal. I know that’s not the case for most people though as they are navigating this whole new reality.
I don’t know if people are wanting or needing tips and tricks….I can’t really say we have that many, outside of trying to keep the routine going. As a family of 7 we just run and function better on a routine. Everyone gets up and does their chores after breakfast and then we dive in. We typically start around 8AM and shoot to be done by 12ish but sometimes we extend into the afternoon. Science often doesn’t get done but we make up for it on other days when we have time. Everyone usually starts with a journal prompt…..we have long since run out of ideas for those prompts and hope each morning or the night before we come up with something. And then we just start plowing through reading, writing, math, spelling, history, Bible, phonics, handwriting, science, piano, with some cello and test prep thrown in for Leighton. Some days things go smoothly but usually at least at some point there are tears or a bad attitude or whining. And we work through it and just push on. I’m not real picky as far as where the kids do their work as long as their handwriting is neat….Caedmon and I often camp out on the floor for his math and the bean bags work great for Edric with his reading. We have more ball chairs then actual chairs and Clint often heads downstairs to the couch to do history and Bible with Caedmon and Edric. When it’s nice outside we do everything on one of the porches. And each kid learns differently and likes different subjects. It’s actually been fun to work through and figure out what clicks for one and how to get another to connect with something. Leighton has spent this year in his literature and history studying the Eastern Hemisphere, so we’ve covered China/Japan/Korea/Vietnam/Thailand/Russia/India/Saudi Arabia/Israel/ and he’s just started diving into Africa. It has been fascinating and fun to learn a lot about a part of the world I’m not as familiar with. We’ve added Paxton and Coppelia into the mix, both are at totally different spots even though they are mere weeks apart in age. So we’ve found some free little worksheets for them and just expanded on the letter/number practice we were already doing to support their preschool work. They only do 20-30 minutes a day because they are 4 and really at their age their “learning” is more through play and figuring out how to interact and how the world works. I overheard them playing pretend airplane and Coppelia told Paxton they were flying to North Dakota….I have no idea where she even heard of North Dakota but away they went.
So as the rest of the country experiences home school over the next number of weeks first off don’t think that those of us who homeschool are any type of saints…we’re far from it and we just figure out what works (and likely what worked today won’t work tomorrow). There’s as many different styles to homeschooling as there are people that homeschool. This photos show the kids working and smiling…..it’s not always like that and so don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself or for your kids. Hang in there, you will get through this.