I have had various people ask me how in the world I home school. I have had new home school moms ask me to go through my day for them. I once asked a wonderful mom named Shirley to show me what she did and she invited me over for lunch, showed me her classroom, all her books, and her record keeping tricks. I am forever indebted to Shirley and her open and kind charity towards me. I don't think I would have ever had the courage to go forward without her "visuals" which is the way I learn to do things. My sister always read the directions to games, sewing projects, puzzles,etc first and then she would SHOW me how to do it. In that same spirit, I will show you how I do it. And remember, everyone does it a different way as time goes on. You'll find your favorite things, you'll find those things you can't school without, and you'll start buying and loving books which is a wonderful passion to have.
The Things I can't live without
1. The copy machine. For tests, records, scanning etc.
2. 3 ring binders of all sorts. My favorites have a clear pocket in the front to slide a picture into. Also crates and various containers of all sizes.
3. The highlighter. God bless who ever invented them.
4. My school room. It's bigger now and has been tweaked over the years, but I have always had a room where we did our school. Sometimes half a room.
|All my teacher keys and books are in this crate by my desk.|
5. Book shelves large and small. I am a bibliophile and so are all the members of my family.
6. This daily school planner. I love it very much.
How I Use the things I can't live without
At the beginning of the year, each child in grade school gets four binders: Religion, Language Arts, Science, and the History for that year. Each of the binders is a 3 incher and contains Grades 1 - 4 and then 5 - 8. These contain all writing, re-tellings, drawings, poetry, tests, papers etc. At the end of the year, I put the binders in a tub and save all the work from the year. Each child gets their own tub. I have seen older kids go through those tubs on occasion to look at the writing and the drawings and laugh or get nostalgic. In the front of the binders I put all certificates: Presidential fitness, Latin exam awards, report cards etc.
Here are some samples of things that go inside these binders. Much of this is lower school. High school is different.
|Religion binder with old calendar picture in front.|
In the Religion binder I put all their narrations of saint stories and illustrations and their Bible History
|Love, love, love the baby bumps Lovely Daughter put in here.|
|Samson pushes the pillars. I love how his hair hasn't grown out all the way yet, but just enough.|
|Jesus is baptized by John|
|This was St. Michael kicking the bad angels out of Heaven inspired by Michelangelo. Creative Child even put in the "cracks" on the fresco walls.|
|Example of the history binder: these contain narrations, maps, drawings, and tests.|
Hercules and his seven tasks
There is also a binder with poetry, reading, and grammar.
Poetry and illustrations - Lovely Daughter age 5
What we do all day
We start school around 8:30 am. Now that my kids are older, we start a little later as I know they can get the work done.
We all begin with the daily Mass Readings, the saint of the day, and a chapter of a read aloud book. I still think you should read aloud even to older kids. Contrary to popular belief, we do not do school in our pajamas. But we do have quilts for the reading aloud time.
Then we do the biggies: Latin, Math, Grammar, Religion
Then we eat lunch and take a break
In the afternoon, we do history reading, writing, and science.
Then off to sports, drama, and work.
What makes the day nice?
Coffee in a pretty cup. You'd be amazed how a pretty cup helps many things.
Pretty things on your school desk.
Windows for watching the outside world.
What makes the day doable?