Monday, January 15, 2018

Captain's Log, Supplemental - Our Homeschool Days

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Captain's Log, Supplemental - Our Homeschool Days on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Welcome to "Our Method of Homeschooling" and the second week of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair, hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Each week of the Virtual Homeschool Fair has a theme, and this week's question is "How do we homeschool?" Some will share about their philosophy of education, or the methods they follow. I don't think I have the time to describe my homeschool philosophy in any detail - I feel like that might lead me into a wormhole! As for our method, the easiest thing is to call it eclectic. That means we take the ideas that work for us from several different methods and cobble it together into something that is mostly getting the job done. So I've decided I'll be one of the Homeschool Fair bloggers that invites readers to have a glimpse of what a typical homeschool day or week looks like at our place. 

It's understandable that we want to put our best out there when we blog about our homeschool experiences, so usually our blogs are full of great art projects and exciting field trips and cool science activities. And our cute kids. I'm here to tell you that this was much easier for me when my kids were much younger and we did those fun projects way more often. As the students advanced and spent more time studying independently, there have been fewer nifty hands-on projects to display. As they got older, they also got kind of weird about being in pictures so there have been fewer photo ops. So what's a homeschool mom of teens to blog about? Well, I've always tried to be careful of my kids' dignity and privacy, and to strike a balance of being real but not embarrassing them. (Their idea of what would embarrass them is not always the same as mine though.) But it's true that you'll now find fewer pictures of my kids, and fewer details about their lives and the specifics of their schoolwork. Still, because I think it's a good thing to present a realistic view of homeschool life, I try not to gloss things over and make it seem like we've got it all together. We don't. I'm not even sure where all of it is, so I can't begin to put it all together. This, folks, is an attempt at describing a fairly typical homeschool week at my house. 

It should go without saying that my day always begins with coffee. No matter what time I get up or what's on the agenda.

Captain's Log, Supplemental - Our Homeschool Days on Homeschool Coffee Break @
travel mugs for work and co-op days

Captain's Log, Supplemental - Our Homeschool Days on Homeschool Coffee Break @
regular mugs for at-home school days

We have two young adult sons that live at home, so the morning schedules change based on who has to be at work at what time, but most days Kennady is supposed to be starting school around 9am. Two days a week, Monday and Friday, I am at work during the day, so once I've seen everyone else off and had my first coffee of the day, I try to make sure Kennady is awake before I leave. Because if she's not, she might sleep until noon! This is something she does need to work on - getting moving at a consistent time in the morning. Anyway, she does have to work on her own those two days, although I'm pretty accessible by phone or messenger if she has questions about assignments. I like for her to message me throughout the day just to let me know what she's working on, but that doesn't always happen. What I need to work on is probably checking her work every day to stay on top of grading and any problems that might crop up!

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are at-home school days. Or they are supposed to be. I usually have to run errands on Tuesday morning, but that's flexible. Our goal is to do schoolwork that she needs my help with on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But the truth is, she doesn't need my help for much - except maybe to check up on her to make sure she's doing it! 

Tuesday evening is chorus rehearsal night. Kennady is interning, so she needs to be there by 5:30 for that group's rehearsal, then has a half hour break before her chorus rehearses. It does make for a long evening, especially because I usually have choir rehearsal as well and Landon goes to Civil Air Patrol. The good thing is that all those things happen on one evening, so we can combine the trip to town.

Captain's Log, Supplemental - Our Homeschool Days on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Wednesday is an at-home school day with Kennady's guitar lesson plugged into the middle of the day. It makes for a nice break, and is late enough that she can do quite a bit of schoolwork in the morning, and not have to take lunch break early or have it rushed. In the evening we have church activities, which often include worship team practice, which involves our whole family. Kennady plays uke or guitar and sings with the worship team, and that's part of her music credit.

Captain's Log, Supplemental - Our Homeschool Days on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Thursday is our co-op class day. That means an earlier start for Kennady (and that my coffee is definitely in a travel mug!), as we have to be at class for 8am! Meaning we are out the door around 7am. In first semester she took French I, Writing, and Speech/Presentation. The semester just ended, and since Speech/Presentation was only a half credit course, we'll be done at co-op about an hour earlier. We haven't decided yet how that will affect our schedule, and this first week I have a meeting and we won't be leaving early in any case. In first semester, most weeks we either stayed at co-op to have lunch with our friends there, or stopped to visit friends right afterwards before we headed home. It's actually a good opportunity to do a little socializing, and maybe run a couple of errands since we're in town anyway. 

So as you can see, I don't have much say over how Kennady organizes her schoolwork during the day. And at this point, that's really as it should be. She is able to manage her own time and schedule her assignments in an order that works for her. Whether she does it or not is essentially up to her as well. Co-op is a nice discipline, because there's no negotiation over when assignments are due. Even in the class I teach! I'm hoping that discipline continues to spill over into the courses she works on at home, and that she takes deadlines a bit more seriously. In general, she likes to start her schoolday with History, and then move on to the other subjects. She'd like if she didn't have to do Algebra at all, so if there's a subject she avoids, that's the one. 

Do we do school in the evenings? Sometimes. It depends on how things are going. If I come home from work and find out that she got stuck in Algebra that day, there's a good chance I'll get her to break out the books after dinner so I can help her figure it out. Sometimes she needs to finish printing out assignments that she worked on for co-op on Wednesday when we get home from church. Same thing on weekends. We don't plan on doing school on weekends, most of the time, but there are times when we really need to in order to get back on track or finish something on time.

My related posts:

From Monday to Friday - Our "typical" schedule as it looked in October 2017

From Monday to Friday on Homeschool Coffee Break @

The Real Homeschoolers series from 2015

the Real Homeschoolers series - Middle School Monday @

5 Ordinary Homeschool Days series from 2014

5 Ordinary Homeschool Days

What does your typical homeschool week look like - very structured or rather loose like ours? Leave a comment and let me know! Also, please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers as we all share thoughts about "Our Method of Homeschooling" in this week's Virtual Homeschool Fair.

This post is part of the Virtual Homeschool Fair 2018. This year the Virtual Homeschool Fair is hosted by Susan at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. Visit my fellow bloggers listed below and find out about "Our Method of Homeschooling" (all posts will be live by 8am EST on January 15, 2018)!

A Long Time Ago . . . Why We Decided to Homeschool on Homeschool Coffee Break @ - Week 1 "The Reasons We Homeschool" in the Virtual Homeschool Fair 2018

How Our Academic Co-op Completes Our Eclectic Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
A Method to Our Madness by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Finding Our Homeschool Method by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
How We Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Give Us.... by Annette @ A Net in Time
A day in our Home by Sarah@DeliveringGrace
Lit-Based Education: How We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter
Overhauling Our Homeschool - Adjusting our "How" to fit our "Why" by Sabrina Scheerer @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ
A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler: Expectation Vs. Reality by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
How Charlotte Mason Transformed Our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Captain's Log, Supplemental - Our Homeschool Days by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
How we get it done. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
How to Organize Daily Curriculum with the School Cart by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Learning For LIfe by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Eclectic Homeschooling: When It All Comes Together by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
A Typical Day? by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
This is the Way We Do Our School, So Early in the Morning by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
A Little of This and a Little of That: Eclectic Homeschooling by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
Still Classically Educating After All These Years by True North Homeschool Academy
So what exactly is Life Led Homeschooling? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
The way we learn ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Our Homeschool Routine by Joelle @Homeschooling For His Glory
Homeschool Methods – 8 Tips for the Journey by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

This post is also part of a #breakthrulinkup  at Breakthrough Homeschooling - Join us!

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Brittney said...

No coffee for me, but I do start with caffeine every morning!

I love seeing how other homeschool families structure their days and weeks.

Christy said...

No coffee or caffeine for me :( It's great to see how your days run. Some times I feel like we are never home, and I'm doing something wrong. It sounds like you've got a good handle on your schedule.

Sabrina said...

It's great to see how a mom with an older student organizes their homeschool! Thanks for sharing!

Michele said...

Too funny- as my kids get older the pictures grow less as well. Just today my 10 year old told me he was tired of me taking pictures of him for the blog.

Lori said...

Starting with your liquid encouragement is a good practice. :) Thanks for sharing some of how your week goes with an older student. As my oldest grows, things are changing and I am truly enjoying the changes. I think I am going to love having teenagers! Thanks for your honest and kind statements about life with older students. - Lori

ohhollyf said...

This is the norm, letting students find their knack for organizing. We were attempting to school in a.m., and him going to work in afternoons.
Work has been cut out bc school needs to be more important .
Now we sleep in, he does a couple chores, we eat lunch together, then break out the laptop for school. it just works for us.
He works weekends still, and has plans to work full time in summer.
Eatting lunch together helps us remember we are friends, before the teacher/student roles start.

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