Our Homeschool Schedule

We’re in week 2 of our Fall school schedule and I wanted to share what a typical day and week look for us. One of the benefits of homeschooling is finding a routine that works for your family. After some fine-tuning this past year (and our toddler deciding on a regular nap schedule) we have found a schedule that is working.

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Co-op Day

One day a week we meet with our Science and History co-op. We typically spend a couple of hours with our group, and then share lunch and playtime at a park. I do not schedule anything intensive for before or after co-op. I have only scheduled Logic, Computers and Spanish on co-op days, since these are topics that can be done casually and with some self-direction.

Event Day

One day a week we schedule events – library, park, you name it. We have a ton of homeschooling opportunities here in San Antonio, and so one thing that I have had to do is make the decision to limit our outings during the week. I am trying to keep outings contained to one day a week to keep me from turning into a bus driver. If I can keep that to one day a week, I’m happy. The only book work I schedule for our events day are Math Journal, Handwriting and Spanish practice. These are items that are easily done at the table during breakfast or dinner prep with some distractions.

Work Days

The remaining three days are our work days.

Keeping in mind I have two littles to keep up with, I schedule our school day into two blocks. Each block runs from 2 to 3 hours, depending on how efficient we work and what our attitudes are like that day.

Each day during our Morning Block, we work on Math and Language Arts. One day a week we study Art and Music Appreciation, Civics, and Health and Natural Wellness. One or two days a week we also work on our Bible reading and verse memorization for AWANA.

These are topics that we can do with some interruptions and starting and stopping. I don’t have us scheduled for specific times (for example Math from 9:30 – 10:00). I find it works better for us to just have the material we are working on in the block of time, and it can get done in any order. I do try to direct her to do Math and Language Arts first, but ultimately I leave the order up to Kyri.

Our Afternoon Block starts around 2 pm, after I put babies down for naps. I purposely scheduled those subjects that need more attention and less interuptions for our afternoon block. I have a 2-3 hour block of time on our calendar, but like our morning block, it can run shorter or longer depending on our efficiency and attitude. Each day during our afternoon block, we work on Hebrew and our Five in a Row reading and lapbook activities. We also do our Science and History reading and narration (one or two days per subject, depending on need) during our afternoon block to prepare for the upcoming week’s co-op.

As you can see, I have a lot of free time on our schedule. Having a determined block of free time on the schedule serves as incentive for Kyri. She knows that if we don’t work efficiently or are having attitude issues, our school work runs into free time. She also knows that if we can get our work done in a timely manner, free time starts early.

This is what works for us, and I know every homeschool family is unique. What works for you?

 

Schedule
   

 


 

How American Homeschoolers Measure Up

I had no idea that when we took the plunge two and a half years ago and decided to homeschool our daughter, that we would come to fully embrace the homeschool lifestyle. We have watched Kyri thrive at home, and we have every intention of continuing this homeschool journey with our younger children.

I was recently asked to share this infographic on my website. I always find this kind of information about the history of education in our country fascinating. This is worth the few minutes of your day to check out.

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up
Source: TopMastersInEducation.com

Our School Room

I am a firm believer that learning can happen anywhere. I don’t think you need a fancy classroom at home or color coordinated bins, or anything like that in order to learn. But I do think having a dedicated space, whether it is a room, a shelf or a nook in a corner somewhere, just for homeschool supplies, is so helpful for keeping organized and on track.

We have a spare room that works wells for a small classroom. We have a small card table, books shelves, and a white board. We have recently moved Kyri’s personal bookshelf and easel into the classroom, so that the space now doubles as the playroom. This works well for keeping Ender (our 2 year old) entertained while Kyri and I work on her studies.

I actually love doing our school work in the classroom because there are less distractions. But with two littles to keep up with (and four dogs) it often works out better for us to do our work at the dining room table.  However, having  a dedicated space to keep our books and supplies organized is absolutely essential to keeping our homeschool running smoothly. If we didn’t have the spare room, my shelves would be located in the dining room.

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We have a smaller shelf dedicated to school supplies: basic supplies such as crayons, glue sticks, paper and binders, math manipulatives, a multitude of flash cards, science equipment such as magnets. My office supplies such as hole punch and laminator are also on this shelf. I have another shelf (not shown) with bins of craft supplies, in our classroom closet.

The second smaller shelf is full of Kyri’s personal books, Leapfrog items, and musical instruments (triangles, train whistles, rhythm sticks, etc).

Our tall bookshelf holds all of our homeschool curricula and materials. Here I have each year’s portfolio binder for Kyri. We are starting Before Five in a Row with Ender this year, so there is a smaller binder for his work as well. While we have a ton of games tucked away on a closet shelf, I keep our logic games on our school shelf since we play those more frequently (you can read about the games we play for our Logic and Critical Thinking here).

We have a nice collection of books that comprise our personal reference library. We have gone through a couple rounds of downsizing with our books, but I think it’s important to have a core set of reference books for the children. Children’s dictionary, various children’s encyclopedias, bug guides, nature guides, etc. round out our collection.

I separate the curricula we are not currently using (either we have finished with it or it is for the upcoming year) from this year’s material. I have an entire shelf with workbooks, books, and curriculum guides that we are working from this school year.

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Finally, I have bins, one for each week day. I plan out the week, and then fill the bins with workbooks, books and printed pages. Each morning I can grab that day’s bin and have everything we need ready to go. This especially works well for working downstairs at the dining room table – I just take the bin to the table and have everything we need for the day without several trips back to the classroom.

For my school planning, I like to plan out 6 weeks at a time. I use hanging folders labelled for weeks 1 through 6 to hold printouts and materials. The Sunday before, I can then take all the material for the coming week and distribute to the daily bins. I also have a hanging folder for Math printouts. Because we use a Math Journal as a supplement, I try to collect printouts and activities from around the internet. I print pages off and keep in our Math folder. Kyri then has a selection of activities available to work on each week. I also have folders to hold printed materials that I compile for upcoming Five in a Row (FIAR) and Before Five in a Row (BFIAR) lessons. Completed schoolwork is placed in the “To File” folder for me to file into our portfolio binder at a later date.

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This is our school room. Even though we spend more time doing school work at the dining room table, our classroom gives us a space to keep our school materials organized, and it gives Kyri a place to go when she wants to work ahead on her own.

Be sure to check out what what other homeschool rooms look like! Head over to the Not Back-to-School Hop at iHomeschool Network!

 


 

 

Second Grade Curriculum

While we homeschool year round, we typically shift gears a bit in summer and take a lighter approach to our studies. We then kick it into high gear for the start of the traditional school year in August.

Here is a complete list of all the curriculum content we are using this school year. This post contains affiliate links.

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Math

We are continuing with double digit addition and subtraction, 2D and 3D geometric shapes, time, money, measurement, place value, and starting simple multiplication.

Kumon Grade 2 Addition

Kumon Grade 2 Subtraction

Kumon Geometry & Measurement Grade 2

Kumon Word Problems Grade 2

Kumon My Book of Simple Multiplication

 

Language Arts

We are covering grammar, poetry memorization and recitation, spelling and vocabulary, reading comprehension, and print handwriting. Kyri is also very excited to start learning cursive!

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 1

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 2

Kumon Grade 2 Reading

Evan-Moor Building Spelling Skills, Grade 2

Evan-Moor Building Spelling Skills: Grade 3

Flash Kids Reading Skills: Grade 2

Print Writing: A Creepy-Crawly Alphabet

Flash Kids Cursive Writing Practice Book

 

Science

Following the classical schedule, we will be learning about Earth Science and Astronomy this year.

Elemental Science: Earth Science and Astronomy for Grammar Stage

 

History

We will be learning about exploration and colonization of the “New World” through the Gold Rush of the 1840s.

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 3: Early Modern Times

The Story of the World Activity Book Three: Early Modern Times

 

Literature/Unit Studies

We are continuing with the literature selections of FIAR Volume 2. We will spend 2-3 weeks on each selection, and will be putting together a lap book for each row.

Five in a Row Volume 2

 

Foreign Language

We will continue working on basic Spanish – phrases, alphabet, vocabulary. We are also adding in Beginner Hebrew, which should be quite exciting!

Sarah And David Interactive Hebrew System

Brighter Child Spanish Grade 2

Brighter Child Spanish Grade 3

 

Nature Studies

Nature journaling using The Outdoor Hour as inspiration, and participating in monthly Growing Up Wild co-op will round out our Nature Studies. We are also using Herb Fairies, along with other resources, to learn about herbalism and natural health.

Growing Up Wild

Handbook of Nature Studies: Outdoor Hour

Herb Fairies

 

Art and Music Appreciation

We have really enjoyed Harmony Fine Arts. We will be completing Grade 1 this year and starting the Grade 2 material.

Harmony Fine Arts Grammar Stage Grade 1

Harmony Fine Arts Grammar Stage Grade 2

 

Critical Thinking

Kyri loves the various activities contained in Lollipop Logic. We will also play various games that strengthen critical thinking skills. I previously detailed our critical thinking lesson approach here.

Lollipop Logic Book 2

 

Bible

We will be participating in AWANA again this year – Kyri returns as a Spark. This is  a weekly club at a local church that teaches basic Christian principles through Bible verse memorization, games and activities.

AWANA

 

Be sure to check out what what other homeschoolers have planned for this school year. Head over to the Not Back-to-School Hop at iHomeschool Network!