Our Homeschooling Routine

Our Homeschooling Routine

As requested, in this post I’ll share Our Homeschooling Routine – happening right now. We’ve been homeschooling for a couple of months now and are settled into a happy routine.

My boys (who are 3 and 5 years old) wake between 6am and 7am, they have free play and breakfast and we start our more structured learning at 8am. My 5 year old LOVES Lego so works on his latest building project first thing in the morning, between formal learning sessions and really at every free moment!

Rather than having a strict time frame for each day, I have a list of subjects and activities I’d like to achieve each day and week. I aim for at least 4 subjects a day – always English and Maths and we rotate Science, History, Geography, Art. I’ll give an example of each subject below.

We follow the Foundation Year Australian Curriculum for my oldest son, as he is in his first year of formal schooling. My youngest is in Kinder and we follow a mostly play based program, with bookwork included in along the way too.

English Activities

We always start with Literacy, including reading a few books – to both kids and one to one.

We then complete a few pages of bookwork – my youngest working through his ABC’s and my oldest learning to spell his first few words – cat, rat, mat etc.

My 5 year old is working through the Reading Eggs program, completing one lesson a day.

Maths Activities

Each day we work through a couple of pages of maths workbooks and then complete a couple of lessons of Maths Online, which incorporates the Australian Maths Curriculum.

My oldest LOVES playing UNO and we play round after round through the day – I see this as an informal element of his daily maths activities.

Maths is also incorporated into our regular cooking activities. Like last week when I discussed mass while weighing out different ingredients for a recipe.

Art Activities

I’ve already accumulated a collection of art supplies and the boys conjure up all kinds of creations using the materials we have.

From time to time we’ll do a more “formal” art lesson, this being our favorite one to date – Concentric Circles by Wassily Kandinsky – it was fun to complete and would be great no matter the age of your children. Here’s the video we watched which inspired us set about to create our own Kandinsky inspired pieces of artwork.

Science Activities

Through the year we’re going to be working through “365 science experiments” in addition to completing Australian Curriculum Activities. My boys just love all things science so enjoy taking part in hands on experiments. The 365 Science Experiments book is brilliant – so far we’ve gently inflated a balloon over a bottle with yeast, sugar and water, made sultanas dance in a mix of vinegar and bicarb and made goo with cornflour.

As for the curriculum activities, we’ve started learning about how living things need water, air and food to survive and will be going into more details about the needs of plants, pets and other animals through the year.

History Activities

For history we are starting with the history of OUR family. Right now we are working through a simple family tree project – it’s starting with a page about each of the boys – when and where they were born, the season they were born in and a little about them. We then have a page of a timeline of when they were born and each birthday – that’s my 5 year old’s favorite part and he loves showing off his timeline – when each birthday was and that he’s now FIVE!

Geography Activities

With the kids being born in Australia and having parents from South Africa (me) and England (their Dad) – Geography lessons have been occurring since birth! Now we will go into a lot more detail about the 3 countries which have an important place in their heritage – from where they are in the world, to their maps and cultures. When looking at our lift the flap map book however, we always go off on a tangent and chat about other countries, their languages and basic facts and figures.

The great thing about homeschooling is that we really can be directed by our kid’s interests. What started as an activity of of coloring in the Australian Flag the other day quickly progressed into watching video after video about Aboriginal Culture, Music and Stories – in detail which wouldn’t be delved into for another couple of years at least (if at all). My 5 year old showed interest, asked questions and we searched for the answers and inspiration together.

How do I keep my 3 year old entertained?

This is an area I sometimes struggle with – keeping my 3 year old entertained while I’m focusing on activities with my 5 year old. I’ve found the best solution is giving him activities which keep him entertained while requiring minimal involvement from me, while I sit at the table next to him and work with his brother. I have a couple of Kumon books to keep him busy. {He particularly adores the cutting one!} He also loves working with items on our light box or on an art project.

Record Keeping

While the state I live in (Victoria) doesn’t require formal record keeping, I’ve been finding it helpful to keep a diary of daily activities. I’ve been simply writing the activities we completed for each subject and when I have moments of “argh I don’t feel I’m doing enough” -  I page through what we’ve been up to lately and that puts me at ease that the boys ARE learning heaps!

Time Outdoors

Most days we’re done with our formal activities by around lunch time. After that we either head out for an excursion – either to a local park or sometimes even to the beach for some time in nature and activity outdoors. The boys love being active and will spend hours playing at the park, throwing a Frisbee, playing tennis or simply running track after track around the park.

Social Interaction

Both boys are incredibly social and have plenty of opportunities through the week to socialize with kids (and adults!) of different ages. From kids they meet at the park, to after school activities, to catching up with friends and family to homeschooling catch ups – they enjoy ample time interacting with people outside of our immediate family.

Overall Impression…

The past couple of months have flown by and I really treasure the closer bond I’ve formed with the boys and have delighted in the experience of learning new concepts together with them… even more when they surprise me by spontaneously demonstrating that they have retained the new concepts that they have learned.

Ultimately homeschooling is proving to be a rewarding education all around.

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Comments

  1. I love that picture you used at the beginning of your post. Such a great way to capture those homeschooling moments. :-) I love using Kumon books too, and yes, cutting seems to be a favorite at our house as well.

    I just saw that you have GAPS info on your site. NICE!! Off to read some of that now…

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