The Love of Learning & Our Daily Homeschool Routine

posted in: Homeschooling, Motherhood | 0

A common question I receive from homeschooling Mamas is “Am I doing enough?” or “How do you homeschool with little ones around?” I wrote this post for Waco Moms last year which explains my overall homeschooling style, but have recently been asked to share a detailed homeschooling routine.

We are trained by the school system to drill and kill. We use that phrase in math, but the concept overflows into the other subjects as well. Spelling – memorize lists…Math – memorize facts…Geography – memorize states. The to-dos go on throughout the years. We brain dump as necessary and get to adulthood either really in love with learning or absolutely dreading having to add anything else to our plate. Obviously, I’m simplifying the concept of education for this blog post, but I hear this story over and over.

As homeschooling Moms, we are then told to repeat the process with our kids. Somewhere along the road we feel like we have to recreate the school system – just at home. There are a lot of reasons how and why we feel this pressure, but I’d just like to say I don’t agree with that mindset AT ALL. Homeschooling is not about recreating anything else at home. This post is also not about the beauty of homeschooling as I could write a much more lengthy argument for that, but I say all that to preface “You are most likely doing ENOUGH!”

I encourage homeschooling Mamas to foster a love of learning for their children. There are so many practical ways to do this daily, but the overarching premise is that your children can and will lead you to the things they love. You can study your children while also being their teacher. You can help them fall in love with learning while freeing your entire family of the mindset that you have to do more.

So here is a little run down of our daily routine with lots of little ones in tow.

Breakfast 7:30 – 8:00 I shared our daily schedule here, but the time that breakfast falls definitely affects the rest of our morning.

8:45 I give the kids a heads up that they need to gather their school items.

9:00 or around then. I don’t force this time, but I can usually put the baby down for her morning nap.

I have recently split up the kids to 3 different learning spots. We don’t have a formal school room, so these pairs and locations are often rotating. I believe in a healthy balance between structure and comfort. Some of my kids learn better at a desk, while others prefer to move a little. Currently, I sit with the 1st and 2nd grader at the large kitchen table. I can supervise their Spelling, Math & Language while remaining in a centralized location for the older ones if they need me. I can also tackle any simple to dos or keep an eye on the babies.

The 3rd grader sits closely at the buffet with a Kinder buddy. My 3rd grader needs to focus and I pair him one of the quiet boys. My 5 year old colors and works in his book while the 9 year old does his Spelling, Language, Cursive & Math. I am usually rotating dictations for many of their Spelling lessons, but I don’t force them along on a certain timeline. Each child is working somewhat independently during this first hour.

The 5th grader sits at a desk in his room or the tiny school table with a 3 year old preschooler. He has the most patience during school and doesn’t mind the babies under foot, but he is also very driven and likes to get his work done. He can independently finish Math, Spelling, Geography, Spanish, Writing & Language. I can help him if needed or I check his work once the younger ones are done.

The 2 year old likes to mimic the 3 year old so he is usually cutting and crafting for at least an hour. Sometimes the 2, 3 and 5 year old will play most of this time by themselves.

10:30 On a good day, most of these subjects are done by this time. We head to the couch for discussion, prayer, Scripture memory, read aloud time and/or History or Science. Depending on what the day holds, sometime couch time is short and sometimes it’s 2 hours. We are finishing The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, which has led to lengthy discussions on the Holocaust, good versus evil, history and so much more. If couch time is rich, the baby is usually awake by now and sometimes the little ones have ran off to play more while the older ones are engrossed in whatever I am reading aloud.

11:30 Couch time and morning snuggles come to a break. My favorite place is on the couch reading and teaching the kids. We have soft blankets and I believe they are making healthy memories while learning so much through books and discussion. We break for morning clean up. All the books get picked up, blankets go away, school toys up and we move on.

11:45 We prep for lunch and multitask with folding laundry or other chores. A few of the kids really enjoy making lunch while the little ones unload the dishwasher. If everyone is outside playing, I will make a simple lunch and fold laundry.

12:00 Lunch and clean up. Each kid helps clean up. If they ate outside, they work together to clean up plates and toys. Around 12:45 I give the 6 kids that still nap a heads up on how much time they have left.

1:00 While it’s quiet during nap-time, I can look over the older boys’ work or finish their dictations. The 3rd grader usually needs some follow up to make sure he fully understands any new concepts and he appreciates that focused time.

We rarely work on book work past 1:30 p.m. In the afternoons, my older boys will work on their businesses, play games and Legos, read or go outside. They can keep themselves quiet until nap-time is over.

3:00 I believe learning continues well past traditional school hours. We are encouraging our children to become entrepreneurs and tradesman along with other avenues of learning. That means they can go down rabbit holes about something they are interested in. My 9 year old is convinced he will be President. I’ll let him chase that as long as he wants, but right now it means a lot of books, watching school board meetings, researching colleges and reading books about past Presidents. My oldest enjoys making kombucha in the afternoons. Together they have a lawn mowing business that keeps them swamped in the summer.

I know my homeschooling routine has educational gaps, but I am perfectly ok with that right now. Gaps will come and go as ages and seasons change. I am constantly studying other philosophies of education and learning alongside my children. With how many little children we have, I see God’s hand on our family’s educational journey. I am constantly seeking the Lord for wisdom about what each individual child needs. I am more concerned about their whole person than I am their book work. The world is changing quickly and I want to raise children that can face anything God has for them.

The first thing we can pray over our children as we teach them to love learning is Matthew 22:36-37.

Jesus declared, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”

I pray this is helpful and always available to answer questions or encourage you along this journey.

With Love,

Johnna

 

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