How do you have the time to homeschool?
This is the most commonly asked question I get from people. I think it stems from the assumption that because our kids are in school for 7 hours a day we have to do 7 hours of school a day. If you chat to your child about their day at school, you will probably realise that the aren’t doing any where near 7 hours of actual work a day. We don’t do structured learning for 7 hours a day but the kids are learning all day every day.
Both David and I work from home so it was important for us to make sure we had a routine in place so that we had time to work in our day as well. We don’t have a strict routine, I am not inflexible about it but Emma works really well when she knows what her day is going to look like.
I have always been an early riser, I am up at 4h00 every morning getting a head start on work. This really makes my day so much easier because when we do start school I am not worrying about replying to emails or getting back to clients etc.
What does our day look like?
Jack is always up first. He watches TV while I take Cameron to the bus, make his breakfast and tidy up a bit.
We generally start at around 7h30. If Emma is up, she joins us otherwise Jack and I start without her. It is actually a little easier to start without her because then I can focus on him.
If they wake up late we start later, I do not wake them up to start. Emma loves her sleep and does not do well if you wake her, so we let her sleep.
We read first thing and each week we are doing a new poem, so we go over that.
We do Maths next. If I introduce a new concept then we do it together with Emma and we reinforce it for the rest of the week (and longer if we need to). Emma often does some Maths Seeds or Khan Academy work on the computer while Jack and I do worksheets together.
English is next. We are doing a lot of sight word work with Jack and Emma and I are doing word families. Neither one of them really enjoy this so it takes a little longer and I have to let them take breaks, make some tea, have some snacks or run up and down outside.
We end off the day with an art project and/or a discussion about the country we are doing. Sometimes I will put a YouTube video about the country on while they are doing their art project. Or we do a project related to our country.
Depending on how early we start we are usually done by 9h30/10h00. They then play a little with each other or on their own or I prepare a sensory play activity for them. Jack is better during this time than Emma, she struggles to find something to do. There is some TV time during this time but it is limited and we try to get them to watch educational shows like Our Planet, Brave Wilderness etc.
They both have activities on Monday – Thursday from 13h30, my mom-in-law fetches them for these and then there day ends at around 16h30.
I have a very early networking event every Friday so we don’t do school on a Friday. They spend the day with their gran and do a little work on Maths Seeds and Reading Eggs. Emma loves this program and would do it all day long.
Kiara has her own routine going, she starts around 8h00 and also only works until about lunchtime. She is trying to catch up on a few assignments at the moment so some days she does work a little longer.
She sets her own routine and goals for the day and honestly I am not stressed about her. Some of her days are longer, others shorter but she is up to date and in fact, she is probably a little ahead in some subjects.
Some days are longer than others and then other days we are done pretty early. I have learnt to let the bad days go and not try to force work out them if they are not in the right space.