I have some friends who are thinking about homeschooling. They’ve asked me about the “day to day” and while I suspect that it varies a LOT day to day and family to family, I also couldn’t really answer because I rarely get to be around for the day to day.
Over the Easter break, I *did* get to work with Jack on his studies for several days. I wish I had had time to sit down and record my impression then, but life got crazy again, so I didn’t.
This is my best attempt to record what I do remember.
We started each day with a big, relaxed breakfast and some chores. Then Jack was ready to sit down. As always, he wanted to start with maths. I heard his math chapter, and then we both wrote down our answers from the Your Turn to Play page, and then we compared notes. Jack LOVED that and chided his Dad for not playing along when he hears the lessons – the difference is, I was actually learning something. I didn’t learn much math at all at school while Rod majored in it. What was a mildly pleasant challenge for me would have been very, very easy for him.
But that was my first observation – what done together seems to really speak to Jack.
Jack went much further with math than I would have asked him to – because he really enjoys it. After we did about five chapter of his math book, he also wanted to do a sheet of problems, so he did. I didn’t have extras printed for me, so I didn’t do those with him. Besides, I had to…ummmm…wash the dishes.Yes, that’s it, I had to wash the dishes. Uh huhn, well anyway, math took a couple of hours, and I noticed Jack’s energy flagging toward the end, so I suggested that he go outside and run around for a while.
He went outside and ran around and played for a while, and he got really involved, so I let him stay out as long as he wanted to. (I think that real breaks between topics are an excellent way to give the long term memory time to process the topics so that each days work doesn’t become a blur. It also gave me some time to do my own chores, which would be even more important to a parent who was doing this every day.)
After an hour or so, he came in ready to go again, so we pulled out his history survey and he read several chapters to me from that. It’s not his real favorite, so that took some time – and because the survey is covering matters he has covered in greater depth before, we discussed what this book had to say that was different from what he had learned before and why this author may have left some particular things out.
We have discussed before that this book is written from a christian point of view and tends to be aimed and rather younger children, so it doesn’t discuss ancient religions in any depth (or with any respect) and they tend to play down some of the things that many children would be horrified or confused by (human sacrifice, relationships between the sexes, etc.)
It went on like that, covering a topic for an hour or an hour and a half, then breaking for a run around and a snack between subjects. We covered five subjects per day that way – always the maths, the Core Knowledge book, and the history survey, plus two other topics that change day to day. If Jack was younger, we’d have spent far less time working and tried to cover far less, of course.
I was pretty impressed that Jack always came back refreshed and ready to go after not terribly long breaks. It speak volumes about the sense of responsibility Rod has helped to inculcate into Jack’s view of his studies. It also, I hope, speaks well of my close attention to his learning style, so that the core of his studies are in his favored style, with extras in various other styles.
(He’s developed a fondness for ‘worksheets’ in his Geography lessons, logic introductions, and math practices and is warming up to writing out lessons on the computer or by hand into notebooks, though those will never be his favorites.)
Re-reading it, I have no idea whether I’ve answered your questions – if I haven’t, please ask either here or privately.