We are structured homeschoolers, and have a gentle rhythm to our week. I plan our resources and subjects precisely but we fit our studies around our fixed activities, which include sports, Scouts, and Spanish class. We also have regular and ad-hoc homeschool group meets. The rest of the time is used for mundane coverage of our core subjects: English, Maths, Science, Modern Foreign Languages, and Social Studies. (The latter subject is broad enough to include cross-curricula coverage of lower priority subjects like Art and Design.)
A typical day, in our homeschool, will include one of our fixed (external) activities and two of our core subjects. Our main workbooks are currently by CGP, and I supplement with printed resources from Twinkl and Teachers Pay Teachers. We also use various apps and online programs, such as Duolingo, Gus on the Go, HelloChinese, Khan Academy, Literacy Planet, and Typing Club. If there’s a topical event, like Thanksgiving or MLK Day, we’ll probably have some themed Art projects on the side. When we aren’t studying, the kids may choose to hang out in the schoolroom anyway; we have lots of craft supplies, Lego, and reading books there. They do sometimes… but, like most people, we have the usual electronics and no-one studies 24/7.
Yesterday, we finished some Maths assessments, so I could check their current knowledge and retention. As with most students, they’re acing some areas and averaging others. These assessments will help me adjust plans for this term, and ensure current resources are at the right levels. (Being able to tailor our curriculum, to suit each child, is one of my favourite things about home education.) It’s all marked and date-stamped, which I love. It will probably result in extra scratch-and-sniff stickers, which my kids love.
We don’t have the same resources as some super rich homeschoolers. I don’t have a purpose-built school room in the garden like actress Emma Thompson or full time teaching assistance like singer Charlotte Church. I’m an ordinary person with a tiny classroom in my home, and a lovely Spanish teacher once a week. However, I do have my love for my children, lots of enthusiasm, and a willingness to learn, love, and plan for their education and happiness. Whether you are structured or unschoolers, independently wealthy or on modest income, I truly believe that you can successfully home educate your children – in whatever way best suits your family.