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How does your homeschooling day usually go? Over the years, we have loosely followed a schedule. This allowed my daughter to anticipate what would happening next.
Today, I am sharing how we did that for the elementary years, the time in my daughter's life that gave her the basics and, most importantly, a love of learning!
Setting a rhythm to our days, during the early years, helped my daughter to find hers, and to create her own schedule, when she was a high schooler....and later, as a college student.
Having a structure to her day, in the elementary years, helped her to improve her focusing and organizational skills. It also helped to decrease her anxiety, which was an issue early on, as she knew what to expect, and predict what would come next in her day.
Our Days Ways - Elementary
Starting in first grade, we followed a loosely structured daily pattern. I set up our daily routine, by looking at we were most alert, and when we were not, when we needed to be active, and when we needed down time....
- Morning Start - Breakfast together, with Circle Time, and singing songs from the Wee Sing books. I loved doing these!
Then, in a few years, this time became bible study. We began be lighting a candle, then turned to the bible verse for the day, and read the story that went along with it. This led to many great early morning talks.
- This was time for an video, or an audio book chosen by my daughter from the library, while I started the laundry. This gave me time to get organized for the day.
- Morning Studies - We always started with a favorite, which was Explode the Code (ETC), for many years, which my daughter loved. Then we worked in math, reading, and writing.
We focused on the three R's, with a lot of hands on learning, for all the early grades. This worked well with my 2e kiddo. She needed the time to focus on her reading, writing and math skills, and follow her interests, too.
We also did a lot of handwork, like hand sewing, a little knitting, art, crafts, etc. These helped my daughter improve her concentration and other task skills, such as direction following, attention to detail, etc. And they built many special memories, too.
In 4th, when we added in science and social studies into our homeschool. We used Oak Meadow curriculum for our history for many years, and liked how it included literature, related to the history topics, and tons of hands on projects, super for my kinesthetic learner.
- Clean up/ Lunch - We started in preschool, with this little cleanup song...and added in chores as she grew.
"Clean up, clean up,
Everybody clean up,
Put the toys in the box,
Everybody clean up."
So cleanup became a routine for us.
- Afternoon Activities - The afternoons were all about playtime, the library, playing outside, errands, taking a class, or having a friend over. If we had more from morning studies, we saved it for Fridays, our free day. I also loved working in field trips with our homeschool group, or going to the park, nature study, and that sort of thing.
- Before Dinner - This was often quiet playtime or a video while I prepared dinner. Sometimes I utilized a quiet play session, for my daughter, in her room, to give me a break. She was very active, and this gave me time, and her a chance to learn how to calm down and do some quiet play. This worked out well for us.
Then, after that, I often had a little cooking buddy, which was fun, too.
- Dinner - A time of connecting and relaxing together, with dad. We often did read alouds at dinner, as my husband loved taking on this task.
We often did read alouds from Oak Meadow, picking the one that we needed to work on the next day.
- Bedtime Routine - Time for more read alouds, after bathtime, etc. Bedtime was usually at 8pm.
- Parent Time - Then time for me to catch up with my husband, and relax, read, watch tv....
We tried to take date nights, when we could, to get out together, or just get an iced tea! These were important for us to keep connected and have adult time.
So this is how our elementary days tended to go, with lots of variations on the theme, as life happened, eg, sinus infections, special events, etc. When I felt tired or overwhelmed, we scheduled a break, and took a week off from our studies, and relaxed.
Meanwhile, this is how my daughter grew.....
Are you curious how our days looked during the high school years? Here's "A Week in My Teen's High School Life", all about how we did high school at home.....
This post is a part of the 8th Annual Back to Homeschool Blog Hop. Check out all the other great posts from iHN homeschoolers and more.
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Betsy is mom to her now college junior, whom she homeschooled from day one. She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early years, high school & college and wrote the book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind. She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting.
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