How we Homeschool

A day in homeschool usually involves three sessions of school and the remainder of the day free play or field trips. I average 4 days of hard school a week and one or two easier days if we’re not traveling. A good school day, in our home, is three sessions of schoolwork. Every school day includes the technical skills both girls need. Reading, writing, and math. For reading and writing I really lean on the Explode the Code series. Goose has just started Beyond the Code, which assumes basic reading skills and expands into critical thinking. She seems to find the new workbook more interesting as it asks more of her imagination and what SHE thinks.
For handwriting, both girls have a version of Handwriting Without Tears. Bunny has basic handwriting copy work pages. When we started out, we did one or two worksheets a day. They’re both used to the work now, so we can average 6 pages a school day.

The Singapore Math system has been working pretty well for us. In the car we do math drills as a along the way game. Only the driver is excused from playing. Believe it or not, it’s even a good game on the trail. I know, hiking and math drills, sounds fun right? It keeps their mind off their legs for sure.

The format of science, cultural studies and history completely depends on if we’re traveling or stationary. Stationary, we’re at the library every two weeks or so. They have a good collection of science videos and history videos. I’ll pick a few books to cover similar subjects. The kids pick whatever they want, and they’ve picked some great ones. Animalium: Welcome to the Museum come to mind.   We’ve recently been gifted with a subscription to zoobooks and that’s going over great.  I was a huge fan of Zoobooks at Goose’s age and I think it’s genetic.  Both girls are animal scientists, and they love the in depth animal profiles.  This month has been Rhinos. To be honest, I’m usually the one telling people random Rhino facts now.  PS did you know that the biggest Rhino head is estimated at 2,000 pounds?  Holy Guacamole!

For history we flip between profiles of famous people and a somewhat chronological overall human history.  We started with Early Humans, which covers prehistory.  We’re using Usborne and Encyclopedia of Everything for history.  We fill that out with folks tales, mythology and religious studies.  We haven’t been formally studying ancient history much lately, but we left of at Islam and started reading The Arabian Nights. Bunny picked the current biography book, Rabble Rousers, which covers 20 women who had an influence on the American story.    I go through all the history and cultural books by reading them out loud and doing either a discussion or journal entry afterwards.  I love the journals because they’re not just great tools, they’re keepsakes.  We also cover Current Events on a somewhat regular basis. I’m a huge fan of New-O-Matic, which we have as an iPhone app.  It gives five stories a day.  Each story has a read-to-me (or to yourself) option, a slideshow and some video related to the article.  It covers politics (in a pretty friendly way!), science, sports and culture.  They even do career profiles, which I think is brilliant.  It’s a bit much for us to do daily, but a few times a week is a good habit to have.

For night time reading – Harry Potter.  Oh yes. 🙂

When we travel we cut way back on the library time.  We’re usually in National or State Parks.  And if we’re in a city, we’re visiting museums.  That gets us pretty far.  I fill out the read out loud with kindle books.

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