This is the end of our first year (1st and 3rd grade)and I feel like we've tried everything, before coming to a nice homeschool schedule or routine. This is what works well for us.
We're up at about 6:30 and dad makes breakfast while I take a shower. The girls get dressed and do a few chores (we're still working on this). Dad showers and leaves for work.
We start with read-alouds, a left-over from our Sonlight attempts. We alternate between literature and living history, after finding we prefer to finish a book to reading bits of several.
We then work on writing, Monday is usually letter writing, Tuesday narration, Wednesday copywork/dication, Thursday IEW, and Friday journaling.
Then I need a pick me up tea and the girls have a snack and play with the cats.
Then we work on The Phonics Road.. My oldest gives the youngest her review lesson from the previous day, not realizing she is working on her own spelling issues. She loves playing teacher and is learning at the same time. Then I work with the day's lesson.
Then we do poetry memorization from IEW. The girls love this!
Each takes a few minutes to practice piano.
Math is next in our homeschool schedule. We are working on the transition lessons from Right Start, after completing Math U See alpha and gamma. We just needed a change.
Then we do topic de jour, an idea from A Thomas Jefferson Education - A game, poem, geometry "game" from Math by All Means, Art history, Composer history, or listen to a story on CD by Jim Weiss or drawing.
We are usually done by noon and have lunch. After lunch we have some activities which we've reduced greatly as the year went on.
Gymnastics, Ballet, Skiing
A Science Coop using Real Science 4 Kids Biology
A Nature Camp studying habitats, researching and presenting topics and lots of field trips
A Bell choir
Overall we found the strict homeschool schedule didn't work for us, checkboxes on completing subjects didn't work, even when the girls chose the order of events. For a while we tried "any thing you want to do alone time with mom" thinking we needed a little deschooling. Eventually we morphed into a flowing routine which everyone seemed to enjoy.
So that is where we are at the end of our first year. We've come a long way. Overall, things with a strong schedule - Monday do this, Tuesday this, etc didn't work for us. Setting a goal like study ancient Greece with a sequence of steps worked really well.
Next year I plan to add a stronger spine and sequence to the history, with notebooking and timelines which we floundered with this year. I'm looking into Susan Baur's new writing program and Jessie Wise's grammar. Our coop is planning on Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry and Physics and community service from Giraffe. Also highly recommended, keeping a reading log - my oldest read 63 chapter books this year, mostly with cats pressed up to her face purring! She is so proud of herself.
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