Friday, May 13, 2016

Our Homeschool Day in the life with a 5-, 3-, and 1-year-old

I haven't written much about our home preschool approach recently, but I'm linking up (a little late!) with the Simple Homeschool day in the life post.  As everyone says, there is really no "typical" day in our lives, but this one was fairly representative (at least of what I hope our days can be like :-)). We are pretty unschooly in our approach with these little ones, so you won't find any set curriculum or required schoolwork here, mostly just lots of play and reading.

This day was actually a Sunday, but we don't discriminate between days for the most part.

6:00 AM
The baby wakes up. She sleeps in our room, so she usually just plays on the floor for a while until I get up (which is decidedly not at 6 AM). Although I have ambitions of waking up before my kids, the baby still doesn't sleep through the night at 14 months, so early mornings just aren't happening this season.

8:00 AM
The older two kids wake up and start wandering in to our room.  I help get everyone dressed and downstairs.

9:00 AM
We have breakfast outside on this beautiful spring morning. I make two dozen muffins that only last us through the afternoon! The kids do some impromptu crafts with construction paper and scissors and then play in the digging/mud area in the backyard.

10:00 AM
The 14-month-old goes down for her nap. She is at an in-between stage when she sometimes takes two naps and sometimes just one. When she takes two naps, like she does today, she and my 3-year-old do tag-team naps and I never have more than one kid asleep at one time.

11:00 AM
I have been reading and loving Playing with Math, published by the Natural Math folks, so I am very motivated to let the kids "play math" as much as possible. I get out our Cuisenaire Rods and we play with them for a while, building pyramids this way and that and making designs and "trains."

12:00 PM
We spread out the picnic blanket in the backyard and read picture books in the sunshine.

12:40 PM
The baby wakes up and we have lunch. While the kids are eating, I read some poetry from The Random House Book of Poetry for Children. I have a list of about eight poems or so that I would like the kids to memorize (just to have in their repertoire, not to recite or anything), so I usually read a few of those every day, mixed in with some new ones.

1:10 PM
My 5-year-old is looking at a dinosaur book and discovers that it has games at the back, so we get out game pieces and a die and play it together (with "help" from the baby).

2:00 PM
The 3-year-old goes down for a nap, and I ride my bike to Trader Joe's (this is the only thing that probably wouldn't happen on a weekday). While I'm gone, the baby takes a second nap, and the 5-year-old plays a computer game with Daddy for a bit.

3:30 PM
Mr. 5 loves workbooks of various kinds, so he does some math games in one of his workbooks. My mother-in-law was the first to buy him a workbook when he was about 3 1/2, and I was none too pleased. I was afraid his creativity would suffer and that he would either become a slave to the directions or shy away from any writing or math as a result. As it happened, I left the workbook around for a while and never insisted he do it; he started picking it up from time to time on his own and doing some of the activities. He will occasionally ask us to read the instructions or help with an activity. We don't correct or grade them; I see them as just a supplement to what he learns through play. The grandmothers add workbooks to his collection, and he does them when the mood strikes.

5:00 PM
Miss 3 is up from her nap, and she and I make the blackberry fool from the lovely picture book A Fine Dessert with occasional help from Mr. 5.

6:30 PM
Daddy takes Miss 3 for a ride on his bike while I make dinner. We eat and then enjoy the blackberry fool.

8:00 PM
I put the baby down to bed while the two older kids get ready for bed. I read them a chapter from Ramona the Brave and lie down next to Miss 3 while she falls asleep. Mr. 5 stays up a bit longer reading and drawing in bed.

It is past 9:30 by the time all the kids are asleep. I do some laundry, and Daddy and I watch a DVD and read some before heading off to bed ourselves.

Thanks for joining us on our home preschool day!

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