Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Typical School Day At Our House

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Just thought I'd share with you some photos of a typical day of school at our house.  As you may know, we are a homeschool family.  We have homeschooled all along, since K first started learning to read.  I guess you would say we have an eclectic style.  We don't use one curriculum, program, or style.  It's really a hodgepodge of things that work for our family which is what homeschooling is all about...making it your own. 

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We use the internet for tons of free resources.  I do, however, monitor it very closely and limit the amount of time the kids are allowed online as well.

For K, in the subjects of Bible, Science, and History & Geography, we are using Alpha Omega's SOS (Switched On Schoolhouse) which is a computer-based curriculum.  It's working out really well and she enjoys it. 

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For math, both of the girls are in Right Start Math, a wonderful hands-on curriculum.  Here is a photo (above) of the math balance.  Right Start teaches math using lots of games and manipulatives with very few worksheets.  We all really love it. 

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A lot of times the kids love to play the games even when they're not on "school" time. 

For phonics and Language Arts skills we are using Sing, Spell, Read & Write.  In the beginning, when K was learning to read, I chose a very basic reading program with no bells and whistles.  It was a wonderful program, but for us it didn't work well.  K is dyslexic (as is her teacher!) and sees things - including words - in her mind as 3D pictures.  So 2D words on a page were just too confusing to her brain.  At the suggestion of my sister, who had used Sing Spell with her boys, I switched to it and have had great success since.  J is not dyslexic, but we have used Sing Spell with her as well because we already have it.  And she just loves it and is learning to read like a whiz. 


Homeschooling for us is really not just doing "school".  It's a lifestyle.  In everything we do we can learn something, and that's what I want my children to learn more than anything else.  Children are like sponges and will absorb so much.  As a homeschool teacher, I feel that my job is really to awaken the love of learning in them and point them in the direction of learning.  They will take off on their own from there.  For instance, they constantly come to me when we are not on regular "school" time and ask me how something works, how it's made, why it does this or that, or even "Mom, I'm going to write a story about..."  It thrills me to the bone!


The kids will tell you they don't like school...but let's face it, how many kids ever say they like school?  But the real proof comes when we are done with our school day at noon and, after chores, they are outside playing while other kids are still in school.  They really do love this.  And once in awhile we even do TV school, like yesterday for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration.  J played with Legos on the floor, K had her sketch book, crayons, and markers and we watched President Obama being sworn in.  We looked up the floor plan of the White House on the internet, looked at Washington D.C. on Google Earth, and learned some trivia-type things about past presidents.  What a fun day!  I wish I could have done school this way.

1 comment:

  1. I know this post was written 4 1/2 years ago, and I don't even know if you still blog, but I was wondering if you could offer some advice.

    I am getting ready to teach my daughter first grade, and I need some ideas. Our kindergarten year was very loose, life-learning kind of thing with a few books thrown in for fun. I would like a stronger plan of action this year since she seems to do well with more of a focused day now. Any ideas would be appreciated--I will look into Right Start Math unless you now have a different suggestion. Thanks so much!


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