Our School Year at a Glance – Morning Time (Homeschooling)

I have had numerous mamas ask me what our school day looks like and what we use as our curriculum. So I figured it would be easier if I wrote a few posts and walk you through it. Our school approach is a mix between Charlotte Mason, unit studies and unschooling. I know those don’t seem to go together at all but I figured the best way to describe our school is to give some method titles. For curriculum we use a wide variety of things. We do use Ambleside Online as our basic reference as far as book lists go and we mostly follow the scheduled composers, hymns, folk songs, poets, artists and nature studies for the year, but not always. We do not follow the specific “years” because I have such a broad range of ages. When my daughter was in year 3 and my son was in year 1 I quickly (or not so quickly) realized splitting up what we were studying was NOT going to work for our family. So for a time I just picked a year that was usually between the two and we followed that. But then I would feel defeated when we would fall “behind” the weekly schedule. I kind of laugh now because, how can you be behind if you (as the teacher) are the one setting up the curriculum and expectations? It’s the homeschool mama struggle, for sure. Teachers guides are just that, a guide. They are not meant to be followed to a T. They are merely suggestions to help us mamas who need some guidance and direction from other moms who have done more reading and studying (than I have) or who have already graduated their children. The curriculum needs to work for us, not the other way around. Back to what I was saying about splitting up our topics and why we combine them. When my daughter was in 3rd grade, school would start like this. I would say, “Here’s your work, make sure to do this and then finish up that. Let me know if you need any help.” and then walk away. I would come back to a perfectly capable self worker (she was an early reader) having done nothing other than draw doodles all over her paper. Seriously! What was the problem! I figured out (after many tears of frustration from my daughter and myself) that she functions better in a group setting. She loves the community aspect of sharing in stories and discussions (I recently realized that I am the same way!). Poor thing, that’s how education had looked to her from the beginning. We did “school” together and then now all of a sudden she felt pushed away so I could focus on teaching her brother who was not an early reader. So we changed it up and have combined as many subjects as possible since then.  We’ve added more students/siblings to the mix and they seem to just slide right into the routine because that’s what they’ve seen from the beginning. This is what a lot of people refer to as morning time. I love the concept of the one room school house, that is real life to us. Our Morning Time varies a little but it typically includes Bible, hymns and the “riches” as Charlotte Mason calls them and usually some literature or science. This year our morning time will include: Bible, Hymn, Spanish, Literature and rotate between Composer, Artist and Poet(ry). Sometimes our morning time includes nature journaling and other times it includes solfege singing. When I say rotate between composer, artist and poet that means Monday we learn about our composer, then on Tuesday we would study our artist and now on Thursday we would study our poet. Wednesday we participate in a co-op and Friday we have nature studies. But say we only got to our composer on Tuesday so then Thursday we would study our artist and the poet would be studied the following week on Monday. I hope that make sense. That is what is called a loop schedule and that is the only part of our morning time that is on a loop.
Bible, Hymn, Spanish, Literature/Biography/Copywork (Loop) Composer, Artist, Poet
This year we’ll also be doing an overview from Medieval to Modern times for composers, artists, painters, sculptures, architects and poets with our weekly co-op. I’m excited because we’ll actually get to put together our time line/book of centuries! I have the perfect wall for it, just need to move the tv. 😉 It’s not plugged in so it’s not that big of a deal. haha Hymns at Home September: Children of the Heavenly Father October: Like A River Glorious November: All Hail the Power December: Amazing Grace January: All My Hope on God is Founded February: Crown Him with Many Crowns March: What Wondrous Love April: Savior Like Shepherd Lead Us May: A Child of the King June: I Need Thee Every Hour July: In the Sweet By and By August: Love Divine All Loves Excelling Here is our 2018-2019 Schedule that I put together for myself and for my kids so that we can all see what’s expected or the goal for the week. My kids ages are 13, 11, 8 (almost 9), 6 and 3. The only reason the 3 year old is on the schedule is because she wants to be a part of “school” and she’s a great little helper and wants a “job” like I give the rest of the kids. This is the schedule we used last year Mon-Tue-Thurs Schedule I would print one up per week per kid and they would check off as we went through our day. And this is our 2018-2019 Weekly Schedule. Notice how I put space between a lot of our end times and start times? I just wanted to give us all a little more breathing room and leeway. So far so good!   Let me know if you have any questions or if I need to clarify anything. I will write more about how we cover each subject per age/grade and what our afternoons look like. Would that be helpful? What age group are you wanting to hear about? Blessings, Alaina

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“Alaina Nunez is the professional photographer who specializes in documenting unforgettable moments in a lifestyle and documentary way. Home is in sunny Southern California with her husband and 6 children. They love to travel on road trips together so if you’re not in the area and looking to have Alaina document your family or intimate wedding contact her to see if she’ll be passing through your area.”
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