Sunday, October 22, 2006

Relaxed home schooling

Since realising last week that I was hitting overload I have been experimenting a little with the structure of our days. I'm feeling pleased with myself as I think I have it cracked. Next week is our half-term break, then when we start back we will be trying a new routine I think will keep our days simple and relaxed.

I'm going to split our days into three parts ...

  • Read alouds - relaxed and informal, reading to one or other or both in whatever order works best on a given day. If nobody is dressed at 9am when I aim to start "work" they can listen in pyjamas and get dressed as and when I am reading to the other girl. That way I will not get stressed because nobody is ready and I am behind. And I will also not get stressed about my failure to get everyone into a better morning routine. Everyone is enjoying read aloud time this year, after a bad run last year when we had a series of books that just didn't fly for one reason or another. (And yes, I have learned the lesson about not ploughing on too long with a book we are not really enjoying!)
  • Written work - the more formal stuff. Maths, English, French or Latin, and researching and writing notebook pages. The later part of the morning seems to be working best for this at the moment as Angel and Star don't switch their brains on very early, and we lose impetus in the afternoons.
  • Activities - after lunch and some quiet reading time, the rest of the afternoon will be free to do more hands-on things - science experiments, art, crafts, music practice, computer, cooking, trips out, walks, watching a DVD, playing games.
We will just "do the next thing" in each session, apart from the afternoons which will be more free-flowing - I'll keep a running list of activity ideas, but not plan in any detail. If we miss a session on a given day, we will get to it again on then next.

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