When we started our journey as homeschoolers over 2 years ago, I took a dozen online quizzes to see what my “style” was. I thought if I could narrow down HOW I wanted to teach that I could then plan out our whole year and everything would be awesome. (Insert LEGO Movie Soundtrack.) The thing is, each quiz was basically inconclusive. My results would show 60% in favor of one style or worse tied 33% each of three different ones. None of them matched for a style on top and I was left more confused than ever on how was best to teach my kids. At one point a test came back with the result that I was an “Eclectic Homeschooler” because mixing styles seemed to make most sense it claimed. I had preferences in nature based learning, unschool learning, traveling homeschooling, traditional religious teaching, loop scheduling and more. I pondered and pondered how to make our days work, how to fit it all in and finally, in our third year we are just going at it one day at a time, relaxed, laid back, doing what we can with some plans and a lot of grace. And sure enough it’s working better than I ever could have imagined. So what does a week in our life look like?
Sunday: We took an extra family trip to a local historic site to learn about frontier life. Since we viewed the home Daniel Boone lived in, we borrowed “Who Was Daniel Boone?” from the library to read later in the week while driving. Before bed, the kids read aloud together to finish the chapter book they were reading for a quarterly book club we attend.
Monday: We normally attend a nature based co op with child led learning where we explore creeks, dirt, woods, fields, lakes, pretty much anything outside you can imagine. We were off this week for a holiday so we went hiking as a family instead. Along the way we saw flooding, erosion, frogs, lizards and a major river in our state.
Tuesday: Before hopping in the car, the kids followed recipes to make a fruit salad and pasta salad for lunch later while we were out. We read a book from the Tuttle Twins series about the free market and economy. This one specifically was taking about how much goes into manufacturing every product, buying/selling, trade with other countries and cost of goods. We frequently read in the car on longer commutes. This one was for a park play date. The playground featured a pirate ship and volcano and the time spent was full of pretend play. This is vital language arts time as it invokes creative thinking, communication, and story telling. When we got back home, we did a lesson of science in our curriculum workbooks. Instead of completing the included worksheets and quizzes though, we only read the material, highlight what we found interesting and then write a small report back on our favorite parts. After science, I had the kids practice math using and educational Launchpad we borrow from our local library.
Wednesday: The kids started their morning with chores, which develop important life skills. Then we did a lesson of history and geography together. This is part of our curriculum as well and we complete it like we do science. Afterwards we attended a homeschool gymnastics class for some good PE time. While driving to our next event, we read a book from the Magic Treehouse series. Although fiction, these books feature a great deal of history facts and make learning a little bit about a lot of new things fun and interesting. After our drive and lunch, they attended an event at the library about the science behind music.
Thursday: To go along with the Tuttle Twins book we read this week, I planned a trip to a local soap shop to tour how soap is made. The kids completed a worksheet from the Tuttle Twins curriculum tracking where supplied came from. We read our book about Daniel Boone on the drive home then after lunch completed a lesson of traditional math.
Friday: We worked together to get ready for an upcoming trip, packing, doing laundry and making a meal plan. These things absolutely all count as part of our education. Then we did a lesson of our traditional language arts curriculum followed by more math practice on the library Launchpads. The kids spent some art time making creations out of model magic. To end the day there was a Girl Scout meeting for one of the two troops the kids belong to. The badge work is often STEM related and they experience a lot of community service as well as learning business skills through cookie selling.
Each night the girls also read over math flash cards for just a few minutes, read independently their choices from the library and spend a few moments journaling about their day/feelings/dreams/etc. Our days are also filled with a wide array of other things as no two weeks look alike. The amount of learning done every day is amazing to me as they absorb what is happening around them. I love the people I am raising and the person I have become because of them.