Ever wonder what a typical day looks like in our house? We don’t follow a schedule, its a rhythm and like most rhythms there are upbeat days and slow days. Some days we wake up early and head off on adventures…If I’m feeling up to it, those kinds of days could happen as much as four days in one week. But it is by no means our norm. Our norm looks a whole lot like a snowy pajama day!
The kids wake up whenever they are ready and they are allowed to watch cartoons or play until breakfast. I will make breakfast based on when the last kid has woken up or if any of the others are showing signs of being ready. They turn off the tv and sit at the big table for their meal and I read the daily Bible selection. They then clean up the table and any toys they’ve left out and settle onto our big comfy couch for stories. We start with the littlest’s selection of books (usually 2-3) and move up in age until all four have chosen at least 1 book. I start with the younger ones because they have the shortest attention spans and are usually already playing with blocks by the time I reach the older two. Then we break out the only actual work I choose for the kiddos, math and copy work.
We use Singapore Math as our spine, but we are not strictly adherent to all of the options that are found with this curriculum, in fact we only even own the textbook! It is our spine because through it I know that I am not messing up how they learn math. I know a lot of unschoolers don’t use any math curriculum but its my weakest subject and I fully believe that because of its logical and mastery based nature there needs to be some sort of flow in how its introduced. So we use the Singapore set because we like it. Its simple, colorful, and very well broken down into steps. We go through a unit or two per week and use what we’ve learned in our everyday actions.
Little Mr. is currently working through 2A as a review, many of these things we have already introduced but he needs practice. So even though he understands what multiplication and division are, and even though he has his 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s and 10’s times tables memorized he still needs to be able to recognize that five bundles of ten is fifty. Its a bit strange but he understands if its written in a formula but seeing ten rows of five pennies doesn’t come across as fifty to him, he feels the need to count every one. Sooo, we are reviewing.
Anything organized looks like this. He giggles, he plays with his sisters, he pretends the book is a hat…anything to not get anything done. Which is why we utilize tea time and 10 minute lessons! Today it took him five minutes to read through the new lesson, thats it. We did more math later but he didn’t even realize it!
Little Miss on the other hand LOVES workbooks and textbooks so I went ahead and introduced her to their Kindergarten B (based on her placement test). She really enjoys having something that she can say is her “school” work. Her math also takes about five minutes to read through and answer some questions. Right now she’s learning about counting backwards so even though it took just a few minutes to go through the lesson we reinforced it all day long with little word games, books, and counting during lunch.
Little Curly Q has no interest in workbooks, at all! She gets her math through play and reading. We are counting everything with her. She likes to know if her things are equal to everyone else’s, she wants to know how many minutes until she can wake up from nap, how long do we have to be in the car and so many more unending questions throughout each day. Her inquisitive mind and creative nature are perfect for natural math!
Little Bitty is a mystery to us. She understands everything that is going on around her. She has a very strong opinion about EVERYTHING and yet she barely talks! She is in a transitional stage right now between grunting and pointing to pointing and trying to say things (mine= my/ please= bbblllee…except no, that one is very clear!). You can imagine our surprise when we realized that she’s learning how to count too, “one,two, tree”, and that she can match her colors up! There are no flashcards or extravagant games in this house…she’s learning from listening, because we talk a lot!
Copywork consists of one sentence chosen from one of the books we have read that day written out on a pieced of paper. I didn’t get a picture of that but the process doesn’t take more than 10 minutes most days. From that point on its free learning. Little Miss likes to grab a workbook and work her way through it, she has finished that Kumon workbook in the picture in three days, not because I force her to work on it but because thats what she has chosen to work on in her free time. Writing is most definitely her strongest subject, she’s very good at many things but for her writing is as easy as breathing… now if only we could get the phonics caught up so that her words are not a string of random perfectly formed letters!
These two spend as much time as possible with each other. If Little Curly Q wants to learn about space and solar systems then Little Bitty is right there next to her, trying to take it away.
To which Little Miss feels compelled to stop.
If given the opportunity Little Curly Q would spend all day reading, she is a natural storyteller and little things like knowing how to read don’t stop her from being a bookworm!
Sometimes they like to practice their photography skills…Im lucky she only took one selfie today!
For the Arts we go to plays, read books about artists, make crafts but their favorite thing ever is to have Pandora playing on the speakers during their free time. Today was a bit of Spanish Guitar, other days its Jazz, Classical, Hymns, Celtic, Movie Soundtracks (like Lord of the Rings!), Bluegrass, Folk or Christian. On especially silly days we will play kids music but even they can’t listen to that stuff for too long!
They play. A lot. With toys, markers, each other, blocks, tanagrams, dress up clothes, swords (made out of anything they can find), bows (that their dad made them with sticks from outside and 550 cord), Fishing poles (a stick, some string and a magnet)…if the weather is nice outside then I kick them out of the house and they play in the woods. From about 10 am to 2 pm (with lunch and tea time thrown in there somewhere) they learn through self directed play. I don’t intrude, unless its to kiss a booboo, and I don’t direct. It is during that time of the day that I work on dinner, make anything that needs to be made for the house, clean, organize or craft. If I have the energy (medically they are trying to find out why I rarely have any energy but for now its rough to come by) we will go for a walk, but not today. Its cold, snowing and I’m exhausted.
We are all out of Chicken Stock, so Ive got that pot simmering. Tonight is AWANA at church so dinner is in the Crockpot, mmm chicken fricassee over white rice.
From about 2pm to 4ish its quiet time. I read, write or sleep…anything that is purely for me so that I have something to call my own and for my own sanity. Little Mr. does 30 minutes of educational reading (purely his choice but must be twaddle free), 30 minutes of fun reading (30 minutes is a guideline here, if he gets into it then none will stop him) and the rest is time to be alone and quiet in his room. All three girls still need naps, if they don’t get them then not only are they super cranky but they tend to fall asleep in random places by 4. However, just because they need them doesn’t mean they actually take them (they all share a room so getting them to fall asleep when they don’t want to is really hard!) so their rule is to be in bed, quiet and no talking. Sometimes it works, sometimes…not so much.
When they wake up (between 345 and 430)they are allowed to play until we start cleaning up the house and getting the table ready at 430. Since Little Mr. does not sleep he is allowed to play games from 400-430 if his sisters are still asleep. When daddy gets home we eat dinner and end our day together as a family…unless its Awana, then mommy and daddy go out for a date with just one little one!!
Its our favorite night of the week…an hour and a half with only one kid!
So that’s our typical day. We don’t do the same thing everyday. Its not really a schedule because those times and actions change regularly but we do stick to the rhythm. Wake up, breakfast, stuff to do or places to go, lunch, play, quiet/sleep, dinner, family.