Note: These pictures are not all from one single day of school but I feel like they show a pretty accurate portrayal of the different things we do on an average school day.
I sometimes think instead of Addison Academy we should be Wonderfully Chaotic Academy. It seems like no one day is ever exactly like the last one. We follow a modified year round schedule, taking time off at holidays & other times, doing school Monday – Friday from 8-9ish until 1 or 2. Here’s a look at how our homeschool day usually goes with an 11 month old, 4 year old, and 8 year old.
My day starts early. Zac (the baby) usually wakes up at least once or twice at night. The last time I get up with him (sometime between 3 – 5) I bring him into bed with me. The baby and I usually wake around 7:30 when my daughter Ellie comes to my room. I'll be honest and let you know, I have a hard time getting up in the morning so I nurse the baby & we take our time getting up.
We get up, make beds and have breakfast. After I threaten to give his bacon to the baby, Zeke (my 8 year old) rolls out of bed. He is not a morning person either. Some days I let him sleep in but here recently I've been trying to get him to go to sleep sooner at night so he can get up earlier. (My husband usually arrives home somewhere between us waking up and lunch. He eats, chats and then heads off to bed since he’s been at work all night.)
After breakfast, I get the kids started on their schoolwork. Zeke is currently in second grade and Ellie is in preschool. I try to get them working on something independently so I can work on chores for a bit. We often will do piano first thing since my husband is still awake and won’t be bothered by it. Otherwise, Zeke usually starts working on his language arts workbook and his weekly reading, along with books from the library. Ellie starts off with some of her preschool workbooks and handwriting worksheets. While they start working, I try to get started on the dishes, laundry, and other chores close by so I can help as needed but still get some things done. If it’s a fussy day, Zac will be riding along in my wrap. If not, he usually busies himself with his toy basket. When they’ve finished that and Zac is ready to nurse again, we then settle into the living room for read aloud time – some days I read and the kids listen, other days Zeke reads.
After reading, we then delve into our other subjects. (Sometimes the baby will take a little hour nap.) Zeke is very hands-on. Although he is getting more into reading and studying things, he’s still very active and enjoys doing activities that require movement and action. So I try to incorporate that into our work. In the picture below he’s using sentence strips. For Math, I let him use manipulatives, money, or dice to go along with his Math worksheets. He loves flashcards and games so we use a lot of those too. History is one of his favorite subjects and I let him pick out library books weekly to go along with what we’re studying. We were alternating History and Science every other day but have gone back to doing a little each day because Zeke likes it better that way. He also loves using our dry erase boards (we have multiple ones in different sizes) for writing out math problems, practicing his handwriting, and of course for drawing.
Ellie enjoys getting things out of our “busy box” – a crate I have made just for her full of busy bags, manipulatives, puzzles, flashcards, and other preschool/early elementary activities in bags. I pretty much leave it to her discretion as to what she chooses and help her out if needed but for the most part she’s content to sort through them and lay them out on the rug for me to see. Around 11:30 – 12, we break for lunch.
After lunch, I usually let the kids take a break and play with their LeapPad or my Kindle, which has lots of good educational apps and games – Learn to Read from Starfall, SpellingCity, Madagascar Math, and others. Sometimes they’ll watch a little TV or a movie. The baby usually will nurse & then nap. I try to get Ellie to take a nap too but am not always successful in that endeavor. After that, Zeke will work on any other projects/schoolwork and we do more reading until around 2 or so.
That’s the end of our “formal” school day – that’s not the end of the learning though. I consider life skills a big part of learning too. The kids have time to play and they do chores until dinner time. They help me make dinner, load the dishwasher, change out loads in the washer & dryer, and other things. Zeke will sometimes hold or entertain Zac so I can do dinner prep or work on a specific chore. After dinner, it’s bath time and preparing for bedtime. Ellie goes to bed before Zeke, especially if she hasn’t napped, usually around 8 – 8:30 after I read her a story. (Zac usually listens in.) Zeke and I read a devotional together and I let him read or play Legos until 9-9:30 and then put him to bed. (He usually ends up being put to bed multiple times though as he is such a night owl and repeatedly gets up!)
So that’s our day in the life. As I said though, life is busy and crazy at times so some days that schedule is completely thrown out the window – like if I was up all night with a teething baby, if somebody is sick, if we have appointments, etc. Yesterday is one example - I had to take Zac to the doctor at 9 so the kids were with Gramma from 8:30 until I got home at 11 or so and we ended up having a half day of school. The great thing about homeschooling though is that that’s okay - we’re not “behind” now, we’re able to work at a pace that works for us. I love seeing my kids learning together and having fun doing it.