As Emily mentioned in her post, we are giving brief snapshots of our homeschooling lives this week. And, like Emily, I would say that my homeschool philosophy is something of a mix between straight-up Classical and Charlotte Mason.I’ve got 3 in school this year. C is in 5th grade, E is in 3rd, and L is in 1st. Having 3 fully in school means that I have to rely pretty heavily on my schedule to make sure everybody will get everything done. My kids all have binders, and the first page of their binder has their schedule for the day. I have a master schedule (somewhere!), and then I have a schedule of what I should be doing at each point in the morning. My two oldest are largely self-sufficient for the morning. They do their math and history on the computer, and their Bible reading and seatwork items on their own. My 1st grader is a little more dependent on me–I help her with her spelling lesson, her math lesson, and beginning readers. The preschoolers, though, can’t be forgotten. I have successfully taken the advice of a veteran homeschool friend, to fill up my little guys first. I start the morning spending an hour with them, in the hopes that they will be a little happier to self-entertain for the rest of the morning. Generally, it works. I have, however, allotted slots of time to the big kids to entertain these two as the morning wears on.
In the afternoon, I do things with the big kids to take advantage of the time the toddlers are napping. We do our reading-aloud time (currently Pippi Longstocking), review our memory work, do our science lesson (everybody does the same science), and finish up with something fun, an art project or a geography puzzle. On a good day, we should be done by 3.
While I have been planning this schedule all summer, it has not withstood the test of time yet. I’m sure as the year wears on, we will tweak and tweak again, probably decide that geography is optional for most of the kids (hey, they looked at the atlas all the way across the country this summer, right ?!?), and that playing with the baby trumps our memory work, and that art is the only subject that really needs to happen every day. And I’m fine with that.