Homeschooling Update: Ready for a Mid-Year Break (and a bit about our current routine)

Homeschooling Kindergarten First Quarter UpdateJust in time for most people to go back to school (it starts next week here!), we’re looking at a break from schooling. It’s almost baby time!

I have tentative plans to do one more week of school, just to keep us occupied next week. We’ll see what actually happens however. Friday my parents arrive to help out, and that’s when the break will definitely start. After they leave, my inlaws will hopefully be here to occupy G & H and let me finish recovering. While G will probably be happy to show off his developing reading skills to anyone who will listen, I think that will be the extent of anything school-related while we have guests. Either right at the end of their visit, or right after they leave, my brother-in-law and a friend return to hopefully finish replacing our windows.

Once all of that is over, I have no idea when we’ll get back to what we’ve been doing, but I somewhat suspect it won’t be all that long. The kids seem to be thriving with the daily structure it provides us, and I may be desperate to get back to that sort of a routine!

Or, we may just go with lots of reading aloud on the couch for awhile, and figure any and everything else can pick back up whenever I’m more recovered. That’s the biggest advantage to me from both it only being Kindergarten, so I’m not worried about meeting a certain number of education days for the state (K is completely optional in Indiana), and also for having started it early.

Our Current Routine

I’m curious to see how our routine changes now. So far, a typical “school” day (not all weekdays are school days – appointments and other events are regular occurrences right now) begins around 9, with G starting off with handwriting. I’m usually finishing up a cup of tea, and getting H settled with a coloring book or something else she can do at the dining room table. After handwriting is over, we’ll keep going with other table work: math or DEL books or reading. Mix it all in with some cutting practice or maze and dot-to-dot books, then we’ll head to the couch with our big tote bag.

The tote bag includes all the books for our week’s read alouds. One of the best things I’ve done is get the kids used to taking turns picking what we read. I go first, then G, then H, and then we start over with another pick for me. I always start with the Bible story book, and then sometimes G picks one of his school books, and sometimes he picks one of our books or a library book. It’s totally up to him! H is unpredictable too – some days she wants one of G’s school books, but she’s just as likely to grab a favorite board book. We’ll read on the couch until my voice gives out, it’s lunch time, or it’s time for taekwondo. My picks are almost always the Sonlight books, but occasionally I’ll go with something else, especially if the kids have been picking those already!

Afternoons are quiet time (not the most successful around here; we’re working on it) and play time. Sometimes we read more, especially if we didn’t do a whole lot of that in the morning. On Fridays if the kids have cooperated all week / done what they were supposed to I try and do something fun – like meet a friend at the nearby splash park! Fridays are also our science project day, and if I have the energy, arts & crafts. That hasn’t happened all that often lately, but I do hope to get back to it eventually. ๐Ÿ™‚

Looking ahead

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where we’re going with all of this, and what I’ll want to use with the kids as they get older. While I’ve loved Sonlight so far, I do have some concerns with it when I think about using it in years to come. And then I remind myself that right now, it’s working well, and it’s manageable for me. In this season of life, ease of use counts for a LOT, so I’m going ahead and making plans to continue with Sonlight Core A for what will be G’s 1st grade curriculum. It’s already ordered and everything – waiting on a bookshelf in my closet/office. Looking it over, I think it’ll be another good fit for us, and as for what we’ll do for 2nd grade? Well I have plenty of time to consider that.

Not sure if I’ll have a homeschooling post next month or not – as there may not have been much at all in the way of homeschooling between now and then. ๐Ÿ™‚

Comments

  1. D. Kinkopf says:

    I hope you don’t mind a well-meaning comment concerning homeschool planning, from a former homeschool mom of 2 boys. When I first began homeschooling in the early 90’s, curriculum was quite limited, so there were fewer choices overall. As more companies began expanding choices for each subject, I would sometimes feel overwhelmed by the decision making required. So, when people would as me about my homeschooling future plans, I would glibly say with a smile, “Well, tomorrow’s looking pretty good, but I can’t really promise any further than that.” I truly am a planner, so this comment was meant to deflect the questioner more than anything. However, over the years, I did learn that even with planning, flexibility is one important key to homeschooling planning. So, it sounds to me like you are being wise in planning for your children’s future schooling!

    • I appreciate your comment – it’s nice to hear from experienced homeschoolers as I am still so new at it.

      Part of me wants to plan it all out for all three kids (yes, including the one still waiting to arrive), but I do realize that’s ridiculous and so I’m only looking way ahead to make sure I’m not prematurely closing any doors on us, but beyond that I’m going with rough plans for next year only. Some of the specifics will get hammered out as we get closer to it, and some things may change while we’re in the midst of it.

      Keeps things interesting at least. ๐Ÿ™‚

      While it is fantastic having so many options available for everything, I can see some real benefits to having more limited choices.

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