Even if I don’t get to everything in my homeschool day, I like to have a plan. This year, I bought each of my children, ages six through nine a day planner. Each week, I write out the lessons that they will be doing so they have a visual reminder of what they are supposed to accomplish each day. When they complete all their work for the day, they can put a sticker on that day. Of course the nine year old is too cool for the sticker so he skips that part. But, I can tell that seeing the list in front of him is helpful so he is not overwhelmed and frustrated as many kids are when they don’t know what is expected from them each day.
We begin our day with the Four P’s. Prayer, pledge, patriotic song and a praise song. This generally takes about ten to fifteen minutes. The way that I have the kids pray is they are to thank God for three things, pray for three people and then pray for one need that they have themselves. After the pledge, I like to throw in a patriotic song so they have that knowledge base. As for the praise song, sometimes it’s a fun kid’s song that praises the Lord or I will teach them a hymn or scripture based song.
We then read a chapter out of the Bible. My hope is to read through the entire Bible to my children, in our homeschool, before they move out of the house. My goal is to get through it several times but if they hear every single verse at least once, then I will be confident that they will have a good foundation. We are currently in 2 Samuel. I like focusing on only one chapter a day because I can expound on it and we can really see what is happening and what God might be speaking to us through it without us feeling rushed.
Recitations are next. We have just begun going through the New England Primer. I thought I would give the schoolbook that was used in the beginning of this nation a try. The prayers, songs and memory work are challenging, even for my oldest. If you are planning on trying this book, be sure to get the expanded version, otherwise it is difficult to read. Similar to the Declaration of Independence it uses the letter “f” is place of some of the “s”’s. It makes it almost impossible for me to read, much less my children!
I enjoy keeping all the kids together in the morning and keep them together as I read a chapter of a classic or fun book to them. Right now we are in the middle of Nancy Drew: Clue of the Black Keys. We have read through the entire Little House on the Prairie Series, Black Beauty, Treasure Island, The Hardy Boys and more. This is one of our favorite times of the day!
Science is another favorite in our home. We recently completed one Apologia Course and are now beginning Apologia Botany. These courses work well for us because my kids are simply science kids. This curriculum is extremely hands on with piles of activities, experiments and notebooking opportunities. The junior workbook is perfect for the younger ones with coloring, cutting, and gluing all while learning the same concepts as the older students in a simpler way.
History is the last subject where all my kids sit together and listen to me teach. After this, they break up and do their independent work or work with me. Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History by Golden Prairie Press is what we love to use for history. This curriculum uses stories and activities to teach history in a fun way.
We then break up so each child can work on their own age-appropriate work. For the time being, all my kids are using Abeka for Math. I like how the teacher’s guides are set up. It makes it easy to teach.
It took me a few years to find a spelling program I like and have found the most success with Alpha and Omega’s Horizons spelling program. The student has a worksheet for each day of the week with a test at the end of the week. The students get a good amount of practice with each word and I’ve seen spelling skills get better since I started using this.
Fortunately, all my kids enjoy reading. The Abeka readers have been a good fit for us. They are challenging, educational and engaging for my kids.
Both my six year old and nine year old use Abeka for English. The best fit for my eight year old though has been the Logic of English Foundations program. Abeka was too fast paced for him, jumping to a new concept too soon. Foundations stays on one concept until the child masters it.
We do have some other supplemental activities we throw in once in awhile but these are the core classes that I try to get in as often as I can. Sometimes it’s fun to see what others are doing so I just wanted to give you a glimpse into our day so you could see what has been working for us!