Our appointment days are fairly unpredictable; sometimes we can accomplish school prior and / or after the scheduled time out. Other days we are lucky to manage lunch and the appointments. For this reason, I decided to catalog one of our at-home days which are more organized and productive.
Just to give you a realistic impression of our day-to-day life, this is an average day at home with a later than desired start and hiccups along the way. It is by no means a perfect day, which we rarely have. Instead it's how we manage school along with the difficulties of every day life.
Morning:We began the day with a very late start. The night before severe storms broke out throughout the Midwest and we waited as the line of storms marched across Missouri producing tornadoes. The squall line came through our area around midnight and dropped a tornado in the municipality next to us, roughly 10-12 minutes away.
Of course, this day was also the scheduled state wide tornado drill, thus the sirens all went off at 9:00 am along with the weather radio for the test. I had already gotten up once to help Fred find things packed in the basement in case of overnight storms, and then a second time to give Biscotti his morning anxiety medication. I've been struggling with utter exhaustion since December and the night time storms didn't help. So I was still in bed during the tornado drill and despite the noise didn't finally go shower until 10 am. Amber rarely is willing to get up if I am not out if bed, because why get up when you can sleep. She usually needs it too.
By 11:30 she was ready for the day and I had already done the remainder of my morning house tidying chores besides getting myself ready and starting the weekly laundry. Amber opted to do a quick lesson in Fix-it! Grammar before we decided about lunch.
Confession: Amber and I eat lunch away from home many days. Sometimes it's because we need to get out and that's our only trip out for the day. On other occasions it is just more convenient so that we can run errands and grab lunch on the way to a hospital appointment for Amber.
We decided to head out for lunch because dinner would be at home and we had no errands; Amber and I get stir crazy if we stay home too much. There is a local barbecue restaurant which is a favorite lunch destination since it is close to our house, reasonably priced, quick, rarely crowded or loud, and provides a relaxing sit-down atmosphere. Amber and I love the smoked meats from most barbecue restaurants, but never use sauce. We're odd. This particular day we had one of our favorite servers, although the food was sub-par, which happens on occasion depending on the cook.
We were home by 1:00 pm and ready for the bulk of the school day.
Amber does a lot of independent work, however several subjects require my direct involvement. Since I was working on laundry and needed to take care of a few household items, Amber started herself. All of the planned lessons for the day in every subject were scheduled in Homeschool Tracker, so Amber was able to move through the independent lessons for the day. She did check with me that I had not changed my mind about the topics scheduled.
First up was history. It was actually the last of her Home School in the Woods Project Passport: Greece unit. When she finished her lesson for the day, Amber was able to turn in the whole folder with her completed Greek newspaper, timeline, and maps.
Amber went right on to writing next. We use IEW, but this was an easy day since Amber already had the assigned paragraph written and only needed to revise it before turning it in to me for evaluation. She knew exactly what to do for this assignment and it didn't take her all that long. She's almost finished with the curriculum for the year too. One more lesson to go!
The remainder of the assigned subjects required me to be directly involved. So at this point Amber took a short break for a drink, which she had forgotten to bring up stairs with her. I found a good stopping point in my household chores and got us setup in the guest bedroom for school lessons.
We are still needing to keep some of the cats separated from each other. It turns out Milori is the aggressor, not Biscotti. However, Biscotti is terrified of the other two cats, even with his anxiety meds. We are re-introducing Biscotti and Rosetta at a snails pace to accommodate Biscotti's anxiety.
So, for a while each day Amber and I hold school in the guest bedroom with Biscotti. It actually works well because we have lots of space on the queen sized bed to spread out books, plus we can prop up along the walls to sit. There are outlets for the laptop, if needed, and it is away from other distractions.
Our first joint subject was her next lesson in German. These go fairly quickly since we are reviewing previously learned topics right now. Amber took off a little while from German and then we switched curriculum. So, I felt it was better to review and start at the beginning of this new curriculum. That means she whizzes right through everything and does some pretty hefty eye-rolling at me when I give assignments. She works the assignments immediately and I grade them before we put away the German books. From past experience, it works best this way.
Next we worked together on Amber's Greek lessons. She is still entirely enthralled with learning Greek and puts forth her best effort on it. It does require me to learn Greek along with her, or at least to learn some of it. I don't have to memorize the vocabulary. We spent over an hour on Greek alone because Amber honestly enjoys these lessons and spends as long as she can concentrate on them. For this subject too Amber completes her assignments directly following the lesson portion, and I check her work basically as she goes along. To her it feels like we are working together when we schedule it this way.
Finally, we rounded out the day with Amber's online computer skills course. This is a new course for Amber, so I still sit with her while she works on it. There actually isn't anything for me to do since all of the instruction is online. Amber is currently using the laptop for the course, but may use her tower computer when she gets into other topics in the course. Once in a while she wants to comment on the lesson or has a question that is not answered, so I stay close by and monitor her progress. Amber has been working through several lessons at a time in the computer skills course since the introductory chapters are more about hardware and computing history
It was after 5:00 pm when we finally finished school for the day, although this is not unusual for us. We are just not early morning people, yet we still need to accomplish a full day of school hours most days of the week. I know quite a few homeschoolers who would be aghast at how late we finish each day and probably equally surprised at our late morning starts. It works for us though and we feel better than if we got up at the crack of dawn (or 8 am) to be finished when the public schools let out.
Amber rarely does any school work in the evenings, although she might read her literature assignment during her evening quite time. But on this particular day she helped me make dinner and then watched the most recent episode of Murdoch Mysteries on our Acorn TV subscription with me while Fred played Warcraft online with friends as he does once a week.
That is pretty much an average to good school day in our house!