This homeschooling day-in-the-life was kindly shared by Cat, an early childhood teacher who is now unexpectedly homeschooling her five year old son JJ, along with her 2 year old daughter Chloe. Follow her interest-led, Reggio Emilia flavoured homeschooling on Instagram or Facebook.
6:09am – JJ has been up 5am, Chloe since 5:45am, however that’s Daddy time and I have been lying with the sheet over my head dozing. But. The time has come. Daddy has left for work and the spawn are demanding breakfast. JJ goes and starts making breakfast which is all the motivation I need to exit my comfy bed. I find puddles of maple syrup with tiny dollops of yoghurt in bowls. Nice try, buddy. I supervise the rest of breakfast making and eating. We’re all done by 6:30am and our rhythm here is bookwork straight after breakfast. We wipe up and get started.
7:12am – Bookwork time. We sit at the dining table and we do what I consider some core essentials – phonics, reading, writing, handwriting and maths. Some days it takes a long time and we muck around a lot and some days it’s quick (much like school). Some days he needs a lot of help; some days he’s more independent (much like school). Unlike school, it’s relaxed, full of choice, laughing and unhurried. He’s happy to do it because he’s been frustrated by his own weak fine motor skills and lack of ability with reading and writing. He does like some tasks more than others, though. Generally, we both enjoy this 30-60 minutes a day. Right now, he’s sounding out words to write them by himself, phonetically, for the first time. We’re both proud.
7:59am – With bookwork completed, it being the only formal stuff we do, the rest of the day is ours! Today is Tuesday so both kids have classes, but as it’s going to be 40 degrees the kids decide an early bike ride is in order. Other days we head straight out to play dates or the beach.
9:45am – Chloe is dropped off at her gorgeous preschool down the road and JJ is enthralled at his homeschool science class with the most lovely teacher (with sport to follow and that has been more problematic; it’s not all roses! He will be supported by an extra teacher today and we’ll see how that goes.) I’m off to the shops for 2 hours of child free errands!
12:08pm – Starving spawn is starving! Sport went super well; he joined in, enjoyed it and had fun! He’s thrilled and so am I. Does anyone else have kids who want to do something but then get anxious? Now we’re off to my school to do a few things (yes, I still teach on Fridays!) before we pick up Chloe.
1:22pm – Quiet time. We read books, whatever JJ likes but I encourage him to choose things related to our current projects (which he has chosen and are: coral reef investigation; designing and building a birdhouse; and creating a book about the Octonauts.) We often use YouTube or documentaries for research. Sometimes we play a game, sometimes JJ has some tablet time and does a reading or maths app. Today, after an early start, a bike ride and sport, JJ is quite tired and so we are watching an episode of Grand Designs (a show about house design and building) and I’m linking concepts to his birdhouse project.
4:37pm – Daddy’s home! Pool time. Quiet time was extended a bit today because it is extremely hot outside. Often we go out or have friends over. Once Daddy’s home, it’s my time to cook (a lot of from scratch batch cooking here due to intolerances), plan or research for JJ, or catch up on other stuff. Apart from assisting toddler to go potty mid-swim!
6:15pm – Feeding time at the zoo. The kids are too hungry to smile, and fair enough too. After dinner it’s quiet play and books time. Often we read things related to project work. Then it’s off to bed for the kids, and some quiet time for me!