Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Organize homeschool day

I homeschool my 3 children 8, 6, and 3. I am looking into the Weaver curriculum and I was wonder how you manage your homeschool day.

This may not be the answer you are looking for - but it's trial and error! You just experiment some and find what works for you. So much of what makes your day flow well, your children learn, and you not burnout depends upon the personality of your children, of you, the hours your husband keeps, and other myriad of details. And, it sounds a little cliche - but don't forget to pray about it!

That said, I'll share how I do it - hopefully others will too - and there will be some ideas that will work well for you.

First, let me introduce those who have no clue what we are talking about to the Weaver curriculum a little bit. Weaver was developed by a homeschool mom. It is a unit study curriculum - which means that it takes a topic and all of the subjects are tied into that topic. It is based on the bible, it is hands-on, and it is multi-level - which means that you can teach your 3rd grader and your 1st grader the same material at different levels. The "core" curriculum includes bible, social studies, science, health, some art, field trip ideas and project ideas. It does not include math, reading, phonics, writing or penmanship - though there are separate Weaver programs available for everything but math.

So, let's say you are studying the days of creation. On the first day God created light. You might discuss and learn about rainbows, color, mirrors, shadows, light bulbs, and Thomas Edison. And you will likely do some type of project - for a little guy you might draw his shadow at different times of the day on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. The older guys might do a report on Thomas Edison or build a sundial. (Lots more info on the Weaver curriculum here. The email list is active and wonderful.)

I divide my day into 4 sections - the Weaver "core" which usually lasts for 1 -1 1/2 hours at the 1st grade level, math, penmanship & reading/phonics. We read aloud most days, and I try to spend part of the day outdoors if weather permits. (She also takes piano, gymnastics, we do an art lesson at home once a week, and she attends a homeschool "enrichment" program once a week.)

I let her chose which "section" to do first if she completes her morning chores (make her bed, pick up her room, get dressed and one additional small chore that rotates daily) and is ready to go when I say - usually around 9:00. Occasionally, if I have a long reading assignment for that day, I will ask her to do that first when her mind is a little more fresh, and then let her choose the order of the rest. My daughter is very active and needs "recess" time and frequent breaks.

So, here is how my mornings typically look. I'll include my early morning routine also in case it's helpful.

5:45- 6:30 - exercise
6:30-7:00 - time with God
7:00-7:30 - computer time, organize day, check emails, deal with any work issues
7:30-8:00 shower
8:00-8:30 breakfast
8:30-9:00 housekeeping chores
9:00-11:00 school (usually with a 10 min break)
11:00-11:30 lunch
11:30 - 1:30 finish school
1:30 -3:00 rest time

The state of Colorado requires the equivalent of 4 hours a day so I have structured that much time into the day. However, in reality, I don't watch the clock that closely. I just go until she is "done" and not absorbing anymore anyway. Sometimes we do math after supper because her brain gets "full" in the mornings. I know it averages out as we read together often, she helps me cook, we discuss things in the car, etc...

So, those of you that homeschool - how do you manage your day?

Have a question for WeaverMom? Email me!


MorningSong said...

We are still finding our rhythm but this week has been our best yet. My daughter is 4 and I am focusing on reading and handwriting. We use 'The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading' and 'Handwriting without Tears'. Last week I was overwhelmed but after Monday we have found a better groove. We usually start around 9ish, although I think my daughter is more ready to focus earlier. I tried 8 am today and she really responded MUCH better. I am glad there are other Moms in blogland to bounce ideas off of and to learn from. I have connected to a fantastic Homeschool group but it never hurts to have another place to learn from!


MorningSong said...

Meant to say she is ready earlier. Not more ready! LOL!!

Amber said...

This is GREAT!! I really need to work on a schedule like that. Thanks:)

God Bless,

Dawnelle said...

I enjoyed hearing a bit more about the Weaver curriculum- thanks for sharing that information. And I'm totally impressed that you exercise each morning! :)

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Wow - 5:45 AM? You are truly a dedicated woman! I want to exercise each AM, but struggle with 6:30 to fit it in.

Now, my question is, what is your 3 year old doing while you do your AM things - shower, check email, etc.? Mine are 4, 2 and baby and I have a hard time doing any of my own things...

Thanks for sharing this.

weavermom said...

Mary, When they hit 3 years old it gets SO much easier! They sleep until 7:00 or so and then they usually play together. Sometimes my little one will sit in my lap or play with his little cars in the bathroom while I shower. Sometimes I let them watch TV.

Dawnelle, I have to admit exercise is the first thing that "wiggles" :) Also, there are 3 of us that walk together so I get some girl time too and that helps my motivation.

Heidi Jo said...

do you fall into bed at 9pm too? holy cow what a day.

Summer said...

Thanks for the info.
I received the Interlock from Weaver about a month ago and have been busy preparing to homeschool my kindergartner and preschooler. I think I will really like the program a lot. I've already read through most of the units. My boys do really well with hands on learning which is what attracted me to this program most, that and how it is presented. I really love the concept and am hopeful it will work well for us.

Kelli said...

That sounds like a *great* curriculum! I love being able to combine grade make things a lot easier!

angeleyes Blue said...

I had two in one year. My daughter was born when he brother was 11 months. I used to shower holding her and I would have her brother sitting in the bathroom out side the shower playing with his trucks. As our Daughter got older I would contine having Kevin play with cars on the floor outside the shower and I would have my daughter playing with bath toys at the end of the tub while I was showering.

I think the Wiggles are great! I wish they were around when my kids were younger.

Have a great day ladies :)

Lori said...

You are one busy mom.
Your homeschool schedule is so organized.

striving... said...

I use the K-12 curriculum. It is an Online school. financially it is awesome. Last year was my first year with my 8 year old, and she made it cake walk. This year I will be doing 4th grade and Kindergarten, I wake at 4:00 and my girls wake up around 7:00, we start school no later than 10:00, and we take Sundays and Mondays off because those are daddys days off. Last year was a little rough with trying to keep my 2 little ones busy while trying to help the oldest, but this year, one of the youngest will be doing school also, so I am sure that will help. One thing I do count that is not on curriculum is when they help me cook, or if my oldest sits to crochet, it is home ec. So that helps too.

striving... said...

Also, the K-12 curriculum is great and functional, not just financially great.