I creak my eyes open and fumble for my phone, trying desperately to figure out how to snooze the soft music that sounds too loud in the stillness. It’s time to wake up and I’m not ready. Within minutes, I hear the slapping of little feet on hardwood in the hallway. It’s my littlest, and she climbs under the covers and snuggles in. Soon after, my middle one patters in, rubbing sleep from her eyes. She climbs onto the other side of the bed. Then the oldest comes in and perches on the end of the bed, book in hand. Always, a book in hand.
On a good day, most mornings start like this. A tired momma and three snuggly girls.
It’s time to get up.
We eat breakfast, get dressed, brush our teeth and do our hair. There are usually some snags: a nagging mother, sibling spats, a few tears. But finally…
It’s Morning Time.
Our “Morning Time” Routine: Truth and Beauty, History, Geography and Spelling
I put out snacks and we sip tea (coffee for me). We do our devotions, pray, read a storybook or five and read a poem. Some days, we listen to a piece of period music that corresponds to our history lesson. Most days, we do our history and geography lessons together at the table. We’re using Story of the World for history and Canada, My Country for geography.
This year, the older two (grades 2 and 3) are doing spelling together. Despite different reading levels, they fall at about the same spelling level, so we have our daily spelling lesson before transitioning away from Morning Time. Last month, I found a well-worn spelling book from the 1940s tucked away amongst hundreds of children’s books at a little shop in Bracebridge. I took it home and immediately scrapped the fancy spelling curriculum I had purchased for this year. This one is so much more gentle.
Independent Work: Math, English, Copywork
After Morning Time, the girls grab their independent work bins and their work mats and spread out wherever they are most comfortable (usually the living room floor). I’m on hand to explain instructions/lessons and help as needed. My middle daughter is doing The Good and the Beautiful, which is teacher intensive, so I sit down with her for the lesson.
Since we’ve switched to Teaching Textbooks, the older girls also each have a turn on the computer to do their math lesson. I mark their independent work, review their math lessons and have them do any corrections. I take note of any concepts that need extra reinforcement so we can build that into the next day’s lessons.
That usually brings us to lunchtime.
Other Subjects: Nature Study, Science, French, Etc.
Afternoons are for biking, hiking, nature study, extra-curricular lessons/classes, science, art, field trips, activities, etc. It will be slightly more challenging this year being down to one vehicle but it’s looking like it will still be a very full year.
We also have some interest-related learning that takes place in the afternoons. My oldest, a lover of rocks and minerals, is working through a book of rock/mineral related science experiments. She does one per week (with help). My middle loves baking, so she gets to bake once a week (with help). We all benefit from the middle child’s interests. 🙂
I’m figuring out my youngest. She’s four years old needs one-on-one time this year. I’m still working on seamlessly fitting my time with her into the rhythm of our days. But we’re getting there. (You can read all about her curriculum here.)
Throughout the day, any chance they get, my girls read. My oldest daughter reads one or two books per week from our list of living history books, along with an average of one “just for fun” novel a day. My middle daughter reads from one of her favourite storybooks or readers.
The girls also spend time playing outside or, on bad-weather days, inside with open-ended toys: dolls, blocks, lego, etc. (More on that another time.) Playtime gives me a chance to catch up on dishes, cleaning and meal prep.
For more on homeschool life, check out these posts: