Our daily routine varies quite a bit since I’ve had health problems. We have to work around doctor appointments, weekly infusions, and my energy levels. When my energy level is low we read aloud and do flash cards from my bed. I don’t sweat it when we miss a few days. We live an educational lifestyle.
The best way to prepare the morning is to start the night before by investing in an hour of cleaning and picking up before bed. Waking up to a clean house and clear school area makes a world of difference. Getting rid of clutter and keeping an organized home is critical to getting other things done. This is a message I feel passionate about and the reason I started Heart at Home Homemaking Blog. Not being organized leads to stress, frustration and anxiety.
- Before I Rise: I start planning my day while I’m still in bed. I pray over my day and ask the Lord to lead me in all my ways and to show me what He wants me to teach my children. See Scheduling by Faith. I make a mental “To Do” list. My husband is retired, therefore home 24/7. He is up about 4 am and enjoys alone time reading a few newspapers.
- Arise and Shine: The children and I get up between 5:30 and 6:30. The children dress for the day. (I confess most of the time I teach in my PJs.)
- Coffee with God: The key to a successful day is starting with time with God. This time is nourishment for our soul. Satan will fight you from getting this important nourishment. He wants this quiet time to be demanding and legalistic, frustrating, and boring. He wants us to dread it like we were made being forced to eat or drink something we could not stand. But this daily bread should be something we crave (as much as chocolate during PMS). Purpose to begin each day with God. Remember every morning as you wake, He is lovingly waiting to spend time with you! For more see Coffee with God.
- Notebook Planner: Next I check and update my “To Do” list in myNotebook Planner (click for Notebook Instructions). When the weather is nice we have coffee on our porch.
- Cooking Breakfast: DH cooks a big breakfast every morning. For which I am very grateful! While he cooks, our boys play Animal Crossing and I pick up the master bedroom, wipe down bathroom, start laundry, check email, and address any urgent business issues.
- Eat Breakfast: During breakfast hubby and I briefly discuss, “What’s on the agenda for today?” including dinner plans. Hubby fills me in on top news stories (with lengthy conservative right wing, dittohead commentary) and weather.
- Morning Chores: We all share morning chores: feeding animals (horses, dogs, goats, cats ); clean the kitchen; general pick up and sweep (if not done night before -dining, kitchen, family room, and mud room) empty trash; clean litter boxes; trip to dump if needed, etc.
- Workboxes: We use the workbox system. Explained in these posts. Here is a sample schedule:
- Workbox # 1 : Time with God: We use the Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach focusing on Bible Based Learning. School starts around 8:00 with prayer and Bible reading at the dining room table. WORKBOX #1. Our children need to understand there is nothing more important than our relationship with God. Academic subjects are important tools, but they are only tools, not the goal. We homeschoolers sometimes get so wrapped up in (worried about) academics we forget the One Needful Thing. Our boys copy Bible verses for copywork daily. You can print out the Bible worksheets here in manuscript, cursive or d’neilian.
- The boys follow the schedule by completing workbox #1 and moving to workbox #2, and so on. The workboxes contain directions for the subjects below.
- Computer Time Phonics and Math: We each have a lap top computer at the table. My boys do about one hour online with Click n Kids and Time4Learning while I process orders and answer emails. The boys have educational online games in their computer book marks like National Geographic for kids. If I get busy they play learning games.
- Workbooks and Flashcards Phonics and Math: The boys complete a few pages in a phonics and math workbook and review spelling words mounted on the wall. When the boys are completing assignments I squeeze in a few minutes of writing (like now).
- Read Aloud History and Science: We follow a 4-Year plan for history and science. I’ve been building our homeschool library for 20 years. You can view our history and science books by topic here. I keep several books in baskets for reading aloud in our school area filled with the theme we are currently studying. The boys read aloud (easy readers) to me and I read aloud history and science books to them. When the story is over, I ask questions about the story. I use the text in the stories for copywork, oral and/or written narration, vocabulary, dictionary skills, alphabetizing, art, handwriting, etc.
- Time Line Notebook: We are working on an ongoing Time Line Notebook as we study history chronologically. Some days they add copywork and an illustration to the notebook; some days they add scrapbook pages created with Scrapbook Max.
- Delight Directed: If I see a spark of delight from the read-aloud book, we find out more about the time period, author, or subject matter by researching other books, Internet sites, videos on Youtube or search the TV for programs. For more on Delight Directed teaching click here or An Unplanned Delight Directed Day. Examples: The story of Caddie Woodlawn can lead to a study on the Western Movement and American pioneers. The Story of Ping could lead to a study on China. Frog and Toad are Friends could lead to a study on reptiles. Mr. Popper’s Penguins could lead to a study on credit or penguins, etc.
- TV Time: I tape several history and science programs on the TV for the children to watch during free time. National Geographic, PBS, the Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel, the Science Channel, and the History Channel produce shows such as NOVA, Assignment Discovery, Newton’s Apple, Hands On History, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Mystery Marvels, and Magic School Bus. Watching theses shows often leads to unscheduled Delight Directed study researching the topic and watching videos on the computer.
- Life Style of Learning: Learning time continues throughout the day as I listen to a child read aloud while cleaning out the fridge or listen to a child go through flash cards while peeling potatoes for dinner, etc.
Most importantly: Purpose to begin each day with God. Remember every morning as you wake, He is waiting to spend time with you.