Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not Back to School Blog Hop - What Do You Do All Day?

This is the last week of the "not back to school blog hop" being hosted by Heart of the Matter. This week the participants are blogging about what a typical day is like in their family.

So what do you do all day? "

I get asked this question a lot.  Some people have very funny perceptions of homeschooling.  They are always asking the boys, "What did you learn today?"  (I always wonder if there is a hidden implication that they can't possibly be learning anything )  If you are new to teaching at home, get ready for this, as well as many other queries.  So many people are very curious about we do.  They are often a little bit disappointed when I tell them.

The part we all like best is that we wake up sometime between 8 and 8:30 AM.  I love this.  I am NOT a morning person, and in our previous life, we were up at 6:30, and out the door at 7:45.  So usually, the first thing I do is feel gratitude for starting my day calmly, slowly, and at a decent hour.  The boys get dressed and make their beds while I make breakfast, and I get ready while they eat.  Once we've all pulled ourselves together, we're ready to start our day.

My guys like a routine, so we choose to do more traditional type schooling.  We start with the pledge, prayer, and religious study for the day.  Then we have about ten minutes of handwriting warmups and copy work.  After that, we will do Math, composition and grammar.  Those are the everyday subjects. Then, depending on the day we will do a few of the following; science, geography, Latin, history, art (practice and appreciation), music (practice and appreciation), computer and library.  We have an actual curriculum, and by the end of the year, we've completed all of it, plus lots of other things that we came up with on our own.

We also take time every day for reading.  We have classic literature, and also things that ten year old boys like.  We read together, and we read alone., and we read a lot!

About Pys Ed. - I get asked this one quite a bit as well!  I make sure the boys get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.  They always surpass that, but we like attainable goals.  Their exercise includes mixed martial arts, swimming sessions, gymnastics classes, walking for fitness DVDs, Wii Fit, and good old fashioned playing in the backyard.

Another common question I'm asked is "what about their social skills?" With both boys being the same age and grade level, we are most often able to get work done efficiently and in a timely manner.  This allows us to get out quite a bit.  It's not part of our formal coursework, but I do teach manners and conversational skills.  I like to make a point of putting them in situations where social interaction is necessary, and let them practice.  They will order their lunch from a waitress, pay for something at a checkout lane, interact with the library staff, etc.  They also have peer interaction during sports and other get togethers.  I've found that when practiced in a more natural setting, their skills are improving quite a bit.

It's not very exciting, or unusual.  It's just our life.  There is schoolwork that comes from books, and learning that comes from living.  I feel very blessed and lucky to be the steward of my sons' lives and their education.  I'm probably getting more out of it than they are.

Read about some other homeschool families at Heart of the Matter online this week.There are some really interesting families whose days really are an adventure!  Lots of children of all ages and stages.  I can't wait to read some of these blogs.