Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Homeschool: A Typical Week (or Two)

I was thinking that I'd post our usual homeschool week, with added activities, but then I realized that we actually run on a two week schedule. We do have some things every week, but there are several things that we only have fortnightly. I also find that the lines between homeschool and other life stuff gets blurred, so not all of this is directly related to the girls' education. There's not really a separation between what is part of the homeschool lifestyle and what is not. I work to balance it all and find a good rhythm for our family. So here's a breakdown of what a typical week looks like and what is weekly as opposed to fortnightly. I'm including mention of some of my usual chores so you can see how I fit those in.

Monday - We do our usual routine, and then we visit our neighbor. E has ballet in the evening, so this is the one day we do not eat together, as her class is so late that she needs a full meal beforehand, or she wouldn't get through it in a good humor. So after the neighbor visit, I make and serve dinner, and then E gets ready for ballet, and we head out. I do clothing laundry on Mondays, or at least it gets washed and dried/hung out to dry. It rarely gets folded on this day because this is one of the days that we've got two activities. (I usually try to keep it to one per day, but it doesn't always work out.) Our neighbor visit takes an hour, and ballet takes upwards of an hour and a half, including transit time, and that uses up most of the extra time in our day.

Tuesday - We do our usual routine, and I try to do an extra project or two that I've got on my list before taking Z to her violin lesson in the early evening. If we have our homeschool meet up the next day, the extra project I work on is usually preparing everything we need for the meet up. I need to make the example for the craft project and gather the materials that we take along. On the other Tuesdays, I'll do things like mending clothing, editing and uploading photos to a stock photography app, organizing something (the need for organizing never ends), or...whatever. My list of things to do is long and somewhat weird. If I've not folded laundry on Monday, I do it on Tuesday, unless there's a circumstance that prevents this.

Wednesday - Every two weeks, we have our semi-structured home education meet up on this day. When we have the meet up, we do not do our usual routine. Both girls usually prepare a presentation for the meet up, and so we spend the morning finishing those up. Because I am the one who organizes and facilitates this meet up, we have to take all the supplies for the meet up with us. By the time we've gotten there, set everything up, had the meet up, and gotten everything packed up and home again, I am exhausted. If I feel revived after a snack and a cup of tea, I might do a reading that both girls will enjoy, but otherwise I don't worry about it.

On the Wednesdays that we do not have this meet up, I reserve the day to do our usual routine and nothing else. We can all stay in our pajamas if we want. Wednesday night is Minecraft night, so there's preparation for that regardless. Z plays with J, and E can either watch or have some active screen time of her own, but they have to earn this. Both girls have to have all their own things put away in their rooms and around the house, and Z must clean the bathroom, so that keeps them both busy for much of the time they have free after either the meet up or our usual routine. I will either do a project from my list or work on laundry, sometimes both! (How exciting for me, am I right?) From time to time we'll get an invitation to meet with friends on a Wednesday that is not a meet up Wednesday, and we almost always say yes if this happens.

Thursday - This is the day I normally arrange for the grocery delivery to arrive, so we get our lessons started after that's shown up and everything has gotten put away. We visit our neighbor on Thursday afternoon, and then we get ready to go meet J at the end of his workday so that he can take the kids with him and I can go for a short run and take dinner to a homeless friend. Z usually cooks our dinner on this night; we nearly always have breakfast for dinner on Thursdays, and she's really good at preparing it. I can breeze into the house after my run and tuck right into dinner. It's pretty brilliant.

Friday - This day is kind of a wild card. If it's a week that we've had our meet up, I try to keep it free so that we can have a day to chill. We still do our routine on our chill day, but I don't plan anything else. We might go to the nearby playground or do some other fun little project, but because the weekend after we've had our Wednesday meet up is usually followed by a full weekend, the kids really need some down time. If it's not the week we have a Wednesday meet up, this is the day I will plan something fun if we'd like. We might have friends over or go visit someone, or we'll do a museum visit or some other kind of outing. If we go somewhat far, we won't do our usual routine. If our activity keeps us somewhat close to home, we will fit in at least part of our usual readings.

Saturday - Both girls now have theatre class, at separate times, on Saturdays. J takes them to these, as Saturday is my day off, or at least it is until late afternoon. Once a month we have children's vespers on Saturday, and that happens after Z's theatre class is over. I don't cook dinner on Saturdays, so we always eat something nice that someone else has made, which is something we can all look forward to. On Saturday, there is always dessert.

Sunday - Our church does not have liturgy every Sunday, so we attend church on alternating Sundays unless there's a fifth Sunday in the month, in which case we attend two in a row. Our church is about an hour away, and liturgy is pretty long, after which there is a late lunch. So this takes up most of the day on Sundays that we attend. On the Sundays we do not attend, we mostly relax, and I make Ethiopian food, but if we want to do something fun as a family, a non-liturgy Sunday is the day to do it.

Random Stuff We Work In - Both girls have things that the need to do a few times a week. Z is working on learning to type, and I want her to work on that thrice weekly, at least. I'd like for both girls to study French every day, but it's not always realistic to cram it in, so we aim for thrice weekly for that as well. Both have a couple of learning programs that they are doing either on an iPhone or a computer, and we are working on doing the thrice weekly thing for those as well. I am aiming to get some sort of check off system going so we make sure we get all these little things done, but we've been so busy this week with extra things that are not part of our usual routines that I haven't gotten that done yet. But it will happen. In the meantime, I'm committed to reminding them to do these things when they announce that they have nothing to do.

I am sure I am leaving some things out, but this will give you an idea of how things work for us. As with the daily routine, we adjust as necessary. For now, this is working pretty well. We like it. We will carry on.

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