What it is like to Homeschool Kids Who Take Homeschool Classes
Momie Tullottes, a fellow homeschooling writer on Associated Content wrote an article entitled What is a Day like in Homeschool? Our Typical Daily Schedule. I have to say I am awed by her organization and that I believe she is doing an excellent job. Our homeschool experience however is quite the opposite. It is not opposite because I am not doing a good job, but because my kids are very different from hers.
Where Momie Tullottes homeschools a 5th grader, a 3rd grader, a preschooler and a toddler, I homeschool two preteens aged 11 and 13. From what I know Momie’s kids have never been in school, and my kids started homeschooling in 2nd and 4th grade. Yes, our experiences are quite different. Here is a typical day in our homeschooling schedule. Actually, I am going to describe two days, you will see why shortly.
Monday morning, I wake the kids up around 7:30 am. If I am smart, the night before, I laid out their uniforms on the banister. Yes, they need uniforms (two days a week). We throw together something for breakfast. For my son, it might be two breakfast bars, a quart of milk and a piece of fruit (he is the 13 year old).
For my 11-year-old daughter, it will probably be scrambled eggs and toast. After they eat breakfast and take care of the cats and dogs, they have to pack their lunches. I prepare and freeze my daughter’s homemade egg rolls in advance, so she just has to cook them, and my son normally grabs ramen soup and a sandwich. At this point, it is usually approaching 8:45, and we jump in the car dropping my son off for his 9:00 class just in time.
Then my daughter and I head for the library where she drops off and picks up a full bag of books. She reads at the rate of a book a day in addition to her homeschooling assignments and computer use. I drop her off for Drama Club at 10:00 and she stays there along with her brother for the rest of the day. At this point, I am free to run errands, write articles, and re-stock the house with food.
My kids take numerous classes on Monday and Thursday. Thursday is the academic day for both kids, which includes History with Literature, Grammar with Latin instruction, Math, and Science. But we’re talking about Mondays here. On Mondays, my son takes Oratory (speechmaking), Piano instruction, Film class, Film Lab, Art, History through the ages, and Chorus.
Meanwhile, my daughter takes Drama Club, Art, and History through the ages, Music Theory, and Chorus. When the day is over at 4:15, they are hungry! (If they end up staying until 6 for extra drama club practice, they are ravenous). I usually start dinner before I leave to get them so I can finish it quickly when we get home. After we eat dinner, they usually read, watch TV and use their computers, while I work on my writing business.
Tuesday is a different story. This is the day I want all of their written assignments that were assigned on the Thursday before done. The reason I want it done by the end of Tuesday is so that they can study for any exams they may have and add final changes to projects on Wednesday (I hate late night, last minute homework). It took about 2 months to get this day to a comfortable routine, but the kids know I am unwavering when it comes to staying on task.
Breakfast and lunch are eaten on an as-we-get-hungry basis. While they are working on their assignments, I am nearby reading or writing. During school hours, I will stop and answer any questions they may have or help them find the answers. They are usually done by 4pm, which is when I allow them to turn on the TV and find other ways to entertain themselves. I start dinner at this point. The piano teacher shows up at 5:30 (for my daughter), so we have to be done eating by them.
When she leaves at 6:30, we jump in the car and go to the Fencing studio where they practice their sport and hang out with their Fencing friends for 2 hours. (We do this twice a week. Other evenings we do things like youth group or visiting Grandparents and all the cousins.) We usually get home around 9 pm. The kids spend their time winding down and going to bed while I get back to work with my writing jobs.
So these are the days of our homeschooling life. My kids no longer need my constant observation and attention like my fellow homeschooler Momie Tullottes, but they still manage to keep my days full with a completely different schedule each day of the week. As you read, some days they take classes. Some days they complete assignments. Some days we relax and they study. Other days, we take educational trips. Our evenings are spent doing sports and socializing, or unwinding from a long day. I hope you enjoyed this account of our homeschooling days. If you have not read Momie Tullottes account of homeschooling her young children, go read it now!