The title of this post seems a little silly, because we rarely have a “typical” day; however, we do have a schedule, we do have a routine, and I do have it as a goal to accomplish certain things within the school year. While I have absolutely no problem with unschooling (the philosophy of eduation that believes that there is more to be captured by living a full, creative, exploring lifestyle with learning happening through natural life experiences, child directed play, and household/work experience rather than a more traditional school curriculum), we use textbooks and have a syllabus for each subject.
Before I list out our schedule, I should also begin by saying that we made a commitment this year to nanny for our neighbor’s kids. That involves before/after school transportation and care for their 6 year old, and fulltime care for their infant son. He was 2 months when we began, and is now 9 months. Therefore, this year we’ve altered our beginning and ending times of our school schedule to facilitate their schedules and care.
At the beginning of each school year, I map out a daily subject schedule, complete with the amount of time to be spent on each subject. For the first few weeks, we follow it quite religiously. Then adjustments are made based on the actual time it takes for some subjects to be completed. Also, considerations are heavily made based on whether a child needs teacher direction on a subject. For example, if my eldest needs help with math, then I schedule subjects for the other kids that don’t need teacher direction, like typing or handwriting.
Our day, for the kids, begins at 9:30. We follow half hour individual school subjects until 11:00, at which time we switch to “couch subjects”. Couch subjects are Bible, history, and geography that we all do together. Typically, these subjects are read to them, or in the case of geography, we break into groups of 2 and work together. This year, we have been studying the westward expansion period of early US History.
At 12:00, two of the kids go to the kitchen and prepare lunch for us, while the other two continue in their studies for another half hour. The kids trade off cooking, every other day. Most of the time, I am in the kitchen with them giving direction and guidance to the meal.
After lunch, we continue with half hour individual subjects, wrapping up school time at 2:30.
The rest of the afternoon is spent with the little girl that we watch, doing activities with her. Their parents pick them up at 5:00, at which time we either run errands or get supper ready.
One evening a week, my sons are tutored in Spanish. Every other week, my kids meet with mentors who are coaching them in specific areas (innovation, computer graphics, life skills), mostly through the kind-heartedness of people in my husband’s business. And, of course, the girls are heavily involved in dance, and the boys are equally invested in Boy Scouts and Young Life.
With my eldest making decisions regarding college, every minute is precious, every minute holds the potential of future, and every minute reminds me that this time is slipping away. I am thoroughly loving my kids, who they are, and where we are in their educational process. There are definitely things I would’ve changed along the way, but as we stand right now, the future looks amazing.