Homeschooling an only child has a lot of benefits and some draw backs as well. I think it is easier to go off on rabbit trails and go deep into some subjects when you homeschool an only child. Tweaking one schedule because we decided to spend a month learning about Ancient Egypt or volcanoes has to be easier than trying to rearrange the schedule for three kids. On the other hand, there aren’t any other kids to answer some of the questions, or to bring different ideas to the table. Homeschooling an only child lets me focus all of my attention on her. The downside to that is that when I am always available, sometimes she doesn’t try to do things herself. Like anything in life, there are positives and negatives to homeschooling an only child. If you have an only child, don’t let that keep you from homeschooling. Overall it has been a very rewarding journey!
We homeschool with a very eclectic approach and as much hands on learning as possible. While we really don’t have a normal day, I wanted to share what a day in our homeschooling life looked like when AJ was in 6th grade. The day I am sharing is was a Thursday – one of the few days we didn’t have to go somewhere outside of the house. The way we do school changes as our needs change. Currently our school day looks a lot differently because I am still recovering from surgery. I hope you enjoy a look inside our school day. Parts of this post were previously published at Homeschool Mosaics, but sadly that site no longer exists.
Our day really starts the night before, when I quickly prep the classroom (our garage) for the next day’s work. I pull out any worksheets, write her morning work, and write a list of goals that we need to accomplish the following day.
We try to start our day early, and by early I mean waking up around 7:30am. I know that is sleeping in to some, but getting up before that doesn’t usually happen around here. After she finally wakes up and takes a shower, then she gets dressed and does a few chores, (making her bed, feeding the dog, putting the dishes away) before breakfast. After breakfast, she finishes getting ready and we do a quick clean up of the house and make sure my mom and grandma have anything they need before we start school.
At about 9:30 we make our way out to the classroom and she goes over her list of work that she needs to finish.
She has to do her morning work first, the rest of the subjects she can do in any order. The morning work for today is a logic puzzle. Some days there are sentences for her to correct, a difficult math problem, or questions where she has to find answers using things in the classroom. An example would be to name the 21st president, or list two countries in Africa. I try to switch it up, but keep the routine the same.
She works out the logic puzzle on her easel.
Today she decided to start with history. We are using Diana Waring’s History Revealed Ancient Civilizations and the Bible. It is a unit study approach to history and is so much fun. Today we started a new unit all about the Exodus. AJ started off by listening to the audio part of her history called, What in the World? While listening, she colored a picture out of the What’s in the Bible? coloring book.
After listening to the CD, it was time for a brain break. She rode her bike for about 15 minutes while I wrote the key concepts for the history chapter on the whiteboard.
When she came back in she went over the Key topics and Key people that we would be learning about.
Then it was time to learn about the pyramids. First she read a few pages in a library book.
Next, she made a pyramid fact chart, and then she made a paper pyramid that I found at Don’t Eat the Paste.
Then, it was time for her least favorite subject – literature. She likes the book we are reading, Matilda, but dislikes reading and writing. After she finished reading the two chapters and did a few worksheets, it was time for lunch.
While I started getting everyone lunch (it takes a while because I can’t stand too long) she began working on her math. We are using Key to Fractions. We love it. Everything is explained step by step, and the workbooks are consumable so she can write right in them.
After lunch she finishes her math on the easel.
Then it’s time to take the dog for a walk, or in AJ’s case, a run.
Next up is science. This year we are studying earth science. We are finishing up our study of volcanoes. While I read a few pages to AJ, she started cutting out her lapbooks.
Then, using the information I had read to her and a few library books, she filled in her lapbooks.
We reviewed what we learned the day before when we erupted our volcano, and then our book work for the day was finished.
Even though the book work is finished, there is still more learning to come. It’s time for cooking. AJ is learning how to cook a few things at a time. Today she decided she wanted to try and cook everything. She made tacos (under my supervision), beans, and rice. She did a great job.
Later in the evening, we made sugar cookies for a play-date she is having to decorate cookies.
When our day was finally finished, we watched some TV, relaxed and then got ready for bed.
It was a great day of learning. We were able to go in deep with some subjects and really have fun with learning. Not every day is this successful, and some days we get more done. It really depends on the day.