Now that we are in our 11th week of school this year, I finally feel like I’m getting into a rhythm. I’d like to invite you to walk with us today and see how a day goes at Terrace Hill Academy.
About 7:15- Breakfast & Bible. We reviewed Awana verses and since we took a little extra time with this, we didn’t get to singing the hymn we are currently learning: Victory in Jesus. Then we read our Bible story about God providing manna to the Israelites in the desert. We had a great conversation about how manna, God’s heavenly bread, was a picture of Jesus, the Bread of Life from Heaven.
About 7:50- The kids did their morning lists (make bed, get dressed, put away clothes, brush hair and teeth).
About 8:20- Phonics. We started a new word wall and read Rain and What Makes a Rainbow. It was such a timely phonics lesson, since it rained this very morning. One might even think it was deliberate based on the weather forecast.
About 8:50- Turned on a LeapFrog for the younger boys (thank you, Netflix streaming!) while I did history and handwriting with the older two. I read the chapters in our book, Story of the Ancient World, about the death Joshua and the first few Judges. X-man and Princess K illustrated what I read to them and they narrated the stories back to me. In handwriting, they learned the cursive g and had to give me 6 perfect g’s.
About 9:45- We took a post-rain puddle-splashing nature walk. It was great fun! They jumped in puddles, explored what the world looks like after rain (we don’t get to see that much in California these days), found sticks and stems to make instruments for a band, gave me an impromptu performance, and enjoyed the smell of rain that hung heavily in the air.
X-man found a branch with leaves that he felt should be held over a marching queen or princess. Princess K happily played the part of the princess and even handed him her purse to carry as he shaded her from the (non-existant) sun. He walked behind her carefully and respectfully until she accidently got a stick in the eye and the princess decided she’d had enough shade. He then used the branch as a broom and swept the leaves off the ground ahead of us. We appreciated his efforts.
I am always amazed at how many things the kids can think to do with such simple items from nature.
About 10:45- We came home and decided to have a late snack of hot chocolate and English muffins. With snack, we first practiced our Spanish series (from Cherrydale Press’s Speaking Spanish curriculum) and then read the next chapter in Charlotte’s Web. We were especially excited about this book today because we found a web on our walk this morning, covered with raindrops and looking amazing.
About 11:15- Math time. I do 15-20 minutes of math with one student while the other plays with the younger boys and then the older two swap places. This system has been working out very well for us this year so far.
Today we had a real breakthrough day with the princess that left us both smiling huge and then the lesson for X-man was a game to practice skip-counting. He liked the game so much that when I took it away so as to keep it nice (and not lose all the cards), he acquired some index cards and a pen and made his own version. This turned out to be great practice and reinforcement and since it was his own idea, it was that much more meaningful and motivating.
About 11:45- The kids had some free time while I did some chores and made lunch. We had a later lunch today, since we had a later snack.
About 1:00- Lunch & science reading. We are doing Apologia’s Flying Creatures book this semester, and today we started reading about migration. We discussed the chapter afterwards and talked about the time when Daddy had found a couple of birds in our house and had to chase them out.
About 1:30- School is done for the day!
The kids went outside while I worked on some things I needed to get done. They dug in the rocks and found all sorts of things, including a little centipede. They were so excited and a bit creeped out by it. Princess K wanted to know its name (soil centipede) and Z-urchin had observed it closely enough to explain it very fully to his father at dinner time.
I didn’t do any dishes today, but I talked with my kids about Jesus and I walked with my kids and found a spider web filled with raindrops, a few totally awesome things about this day. I’m thankful.
My intended schedule goes like this:
7:00 Kids do their morning list
7:15 Breakfast & Bible
7:45 Morning Chores
8:45 Leapfrog/History & Handwriting
9:20 Quick break while I prepare snack
9:30 Snack & Read-aloud
9:45 Preschool Hour
12:30 Lunch & Science
1:30 Reading (a picture book for my younger ones, practice easy-readers 10 minutes each with my older ones)
2:00 One last project or book for school/Naptime for Shortstop
2:30 Free time
That’s the goal, but it hardly ever goes that way. I’d like to start using a timer to help me make sure I’m keeping to my intentions to have short lessons.
Though really, so often I’m interrupted by the loud toddler, the really good questions that I have to take the time to discuss, or the sounds coming from the other room that mean my almost four-year old might be destroying something. Again.
But these interruptions are what the homeschooling life is all about. Love. Family. Curiosity. Deep discussions about God. Learning to let go of my own agenda and follow God’s leading.
So there it is. A day in the life of me. Me and my four little learners.