homeschooling, the beginning.

We're homeschooling our daughter... This is the end of the first month. And I can say that I know more than I did just a few weeks ago. We decided to play it safe and signed up with a correspondence school - secular, reputable (the list of their alumni is quite impressive)... We spent some time deciding on placement and such, and at the end went with a standard curriculum, 2nd semester of the first grade. It fits her well. But I want to add a proper grammar book and art study in some form...

Here's what our "school" looks like.

We get up around 11am. She might wake up earlier, I never know. She reads in the bed or colors or plays something quietly till I wake up.

We have breakfast and talk over what we need to do that day. We usually do a lot of work on Monday. She has to do Phonics and Reading comprehension books which are way too easy for her, so she does those quickly while I clean up and set up some other school work. [she reads at 2-3 grade level. We use a couple of other books to teach advanced phonics, but they are not a part of the "school work"]

When I plan our study time, I try to divide the work among 4 days. If we can't finish it or have something urgent (or more fun) to do, we always have time to complete it on Friday. I use a Teacher's planner that I've got at Target dollar section. I write down what we should do each day, and mark it when it's done. I also record our trips and PE.
Speaking of PE. We found that there are many places offering classes for homeschooler at a discount rate. You just have to ask. Kiddo is taking swim lessons and gymnastics.

School work usually takes us a couple of hours. I don't make her sit longer. I can make her do math drills on iPod or computer or finish her paper at some point later. I know that she'll pick up a book to read by herself.

We have a science experiment or two weekly. If she feels like coloring - I get her some coloring pages that have something to do with what we study that week in Science, Health or Social studies. Coloring is a good exercise for the hand - it helps to build endurance.

In the afternoons/early evenings -if we need to- we go shopping, run other errands. It also is the time when we have classes or meetups. If we're home - it's a free play. I need to scan the work that's done and I find it easier to do so every other day, otherwise I might have to spend an hour or two scanning, prepping, sorting on Sat. And weekend time is precious. Weekends are Family time.

We joined a local homeschooling group. We learn about local events and classes for HS, and we have meetups... We did not join any Coops yet. Maybe for the spring session. We go to the library a lot: we check the books our, we take part in some after-school programs and come to the presentations.

We have plenty of time to play. Kiddo's allowed to play on computer whenever she wants (she does not abuse this, so yes - it's whenever she wants). I do have to pre-approve what sites she goes to though. (btw, check your local school's website, they might have a login for BrainPop or other educational sites for kids. You can use it, too and save on subscription!)

We make dinner around 8pm. Sometimes she helps me cook, but usually her "job" is to set up the table. Daddy comes home around 10pm. She does not always wait for him, she eats her dinner earlier if she's hungry, and just has tea & cookies with us. And then it's time to brush teeth and read in bed. It usually is "I read to you - you read to me". Sometimes we read a few pages from the phonics primer... She'll keep reading for a while after I kiss her good night... We're "night owls". But we don't have to be at school at 8am, so it works for us...


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