Wednesday, February 15, 2012

An Average Day

An average school day looks like this:

In our PJs, we meet at the kitchen table, and we do calendar work. We discuss the date, days of the week, upcoming events or activities, etc. Word of the Day is given- Fridays is a recap of the words we learned.

Still in PJs, Harrison goes to play and Carter and I go back to bed (my bed!) and Carter reads to me. Some days he reads a chapter from a larger book, some days Carter reads two other books, some days Harrison grabs a aa-level reader and will join us and read to us, some days I read a book or two to both of them, some days I read to Harrison alone after Carter and I have finished. We generally read for *at least* thirty minutes, but can last an hour.

Still in PJs- the kids play while I shower. Boys take showers next, we all get dressed.

Carter does while Harrison works on, or the boys take turns on the computer in the homeschool room. We are SO blessed to have enough computers for everyone in the house to have his own during the school day!

Unit Study time comes in early afternoon, generally after lunch. We will do unit based activities and readings- units are based on what the boys want to learn about. Because the kids pick the subjects, they are more likely to pay attention and be excited to learn. Amazing how cool math becomes when there is a graphic of an astronaut in the corner!

There is generally a short recess, followed by whatever work needs to come next. Grammar is something I stress- Carter understands punctuation and doesn't need reminding to capitalize the beginning of a sentence or put a punctuation mark at the end.

Science, art, history, social studies, and any spelling or vocab words are all based on the unit study and vary from week to week. I am IN LOVE with the Usborne science books and kits. In fact, I love them to much I just signed up as a consultant. Our "planets" solar system unit will take at *least* nine weeks. I think we are going to do an additional week on the sun- there was just too much knowledge out there, and the kids still have a lot of questions. At the end of this unit Kurt and I are going to take the kids to the planetarium at UNR (thanks to Grandpa Russ for the great idea!). The kids have coop classes and ballet classes, and our Church has a Primary program, in addition we do a lot of random outings to the library, museums, and parks.

As one can see, I greatly focus on reading. Once reading is mastered, the whole world opens!!! Carter and Harrison adore nonfiction books, and I believe reading is the cornerstone of a Lyle Family education. From the research I have seen, Kurt and I agreed to treat math as a logical concept rather than a necessary memorization of formulas. Carter and Harrison *DO* basic math- because if we move to a state where testing is necessary I want them to be able to pass well enough to stay home- but we do NOT stress memorizing- we stress conceptual understanding.

Here are a few pictures of an average day... =)

Harrison *adores* art and creation. Here, he is painting using "winter" colors. He was able to paint whatever he wanted, but I asked he use "cold" colors in his artwork. We discussed color temperatures and he picked his palate, then he painted whatever he desired. He painted a lot of Star Wars Hoth scenes =) (Carter painted as well, but did not love it.)

Carter *loves* technology. He uses for his phonics program, and it has been wonderful. We started Carter at the beginning of the program to build confidence in his reading and help him learn the program. There is a lot of review involved which helps retention and the positive feedback from the program is great! (Harrison works on the computer as well, but does not love it.)

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