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Homeschooling Your Way: One Day at a Time

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I wanted to finish up this week by sharing a little bit about how I do things. I don’t know about you, but I’ve loved reading about other people’s experiences and drawing on their ideas for our homeschooling as well!

Where in your home do you homeschool? Do you have different areas for read-alouds, workbooks and/or independent work? Is there anywhere that’s off limits?

We do our read-alouds on the couch or on the porch swing. My 5-year-old does her journal entry by herself at the breakfast bar, and we do the rest of her seatwork together either at the kitchen table, on the couch or in my bed after her daily quiet time.  Right now school is limited to those spots because she’s not doing much independent work, and those are the places that work for us together. However, as she gets older, she’ll have more flexibility to choose her own spot for independent work.

I shared a bit about how we organize workbooks and daily activities to make them easy to get out and pack away each day. This system is still working really well for us.

Do you have a set schedule for your school days? Do you have a set start time? A set end time?

We follow a daily schedule for the most part anyway, so we usually start school between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m, and it usually lasts until 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. My oldest and I finish up her work in the afternoon, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. or thereabouts.

How are your school supplies organized? Do you stock up on extra supplies? How do you organize the extras?

I didn’t do a really great job of stocking up this year, and I can already see that we’re going to blow through the dry erase markers and crayons. Because I will have four kids so close in age, we actually have our workbook pages separated and put in page protectors so that we can reuse them rather than purchasing 4 different copies of each one. I’m not sure if we’ll continue doing it that way as they get older, but for now it works because they love the dry erase markers and it gives them the opportunity to redo certain activities as needed!

Other than that, we don’t really use too many supplies, other than glue sticks, which I have been stocking up on and just storing in the craft bin with other extra craft supplies.

What do you use for recordkeeping? Do you store completed work? Do you go above and beyond the recordkeeping requirements of your state?

Again, because we’re just starting and school isn’t even mandatory for a 5 year old in our state, I don’t really know what I plan to do about recordkeeping. I like recordkeeping, but when we’re just working through a workbook (and using dry erase markers at that), there’s not much to really record. I do have an ongoing list of the books we read each week, but I probably won’t start worrying about more detailed records until next year, when we’ll move into a slightly more structured “core” in the Sonlight curriculum.

What is one area that you wish was more organized about your homeschooling?

I’m not sure there’s any area that needs to be more organized at this point, but I do wish I had a better idea of what homeschooling will look like in the future for us. I’m a planner, and although I think taking it one day at a time is the way to go as we start out, I wish I had a detailed plan in place to take us through the next 18 years or so!

I also wish I was better at figuring out what activities will hold our 2-year-old’s attention and keep her occupied while I work with her big sisters. She’s never very interested in the ones I prepare ahead of time, and it can make it difficult to focus when she’s getting into everything!

It’s your turn now! Whether you’re currently homeschooling, have homeschooled in the past or have just considered it at some point, I’d love to hear your best tips and biggest concerns. What aspect of homeschooling do you find most intimidating? What is your favorite part of homeschooling?

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5.5, 4, 2.5 and a baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

7 Responses to “ Homeschooling Your Way: One Day at a Time ”

  1. I don’t try to schedule every minute of the day. Since I’m more on the disorganized side, it gives me breathing room just to have goals for the day and get those done. We have a set start time and try to finish at the same time every day. That’s not always the case. After all these years I don’t sweat it.

    My favorite part of homeschooling is when one of my children looks up at me and has that ‘lightbulb’ moment. I have a tendancy to be on the negative side, so I have to work at being encouraging and positive. When they look at me like that I know it’s working!

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  2. I’m considering homeschooling for my kids (currently ages 2 and 4) but one thing I struggle with are the hours. Perhaps this is an obvious question that I just haven’t stumbled across the answer to yet, but how can you get a full day of schooling done in just a few hours? In public school kids are there for 6 or 7 hours, but is it accurate to assume that they are only doing school work for 2 or 3 of those hours? (assuming the rest is lunch, recess, etc.?)

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    Mandi Reply:

    Hey Tessa!

    I think there are a couple reasons it’s so much shorter. First, we don’t “break” for recess because play time is really the rest of our day. We also don’t break for lunch. I don’t have to spend one-on-one time with a dozen students to help them understand a concept. Half-day kindergarten is really only 3-4 hours of a day anyway, so what we’re doing isn’t that much less than what they do.

    I’m sure that as she gets older her hours will increase and that in high school she’ll be doing 5-6 hours of work a day, but so much of the time spent in the younger grades isn’t on actual instruction anyway, so when you take all of that out, I think it’s probably about the same. HTH!

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  3. hi, i was wondering, what could be a good start for homeschooling with two years old.
    we teach her two languages , which she picks up well. any idea , what materials ( working books ) could be good. thanks

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  4. Our first day of homeschooling is next week with our 3rd grade daughter. I just scheduled out what I want to cover next week. My biggest concern is being able to challenge our daughter and keep her interested.
    [email protected]´s last blog ..Overcoming Busy With Routines My ComLuv Profile

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  5. Hi my name is Wendy. I seen that you commented on activites for your younger child to do (2 yr old) honestly in my opinion get her up there with your older one. I haea 2 1/2 yr old and she knows how to cut with scissors. I bought dry erase boards from Walmart and she draws on them all the time. Also if your child is just starting on scissors you can add play doh to the scissors…..easy to cut and easy to clean up. I a daycare provider so with my daycae kids and my own children they are being taught their letters and numbers starting now along with shapes and colors. Anything you let her do now will be beneficial later. Sometimes its just leaning how to use a glue stick…how to glue things onto paper…..how to hold a crayon, marker or pencil….anyway I just thought I would give a few suggestions, Wendy

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  6. We love homeschooling and it looks different each year as another one of my children decides they want to “play too.” I have a 6, 4, 2 and 8 month old baby. My favorite thing for my 2 year old to do was to get a hula hoop and have special activities that she could only play while “in” the hula hoop. She would sit there for 45 minutes and play! Good luck.
    Carrie´s last blog ..New Truck and Monarch Butterflies My ComLuv Profile

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