Baking bread, collecting eggs and acorns, singing songs and painting faces…
What’s it all got in common? It’s what a homeschooling day looks like in our house!
I’ve talked about why our family has chosen to homeschool in the past, but I thought today I’d share a little bit of the ‘how’.
There are as many different ways to homeschool as there are stars in the sky. Which can be incredilbly freeing, and daunting at the same time.
Right now my kids are 4 and 2 1/2 years old. So we’re keeping it pretty low key. I guess I’m leaning towards a Charlotte Mason -ish style, but really I just take what works from different methods and philosophies and mish-mash it together.
If I’ve got my stuff together (which, please believe me, is more rare then I’d like), we follow a simple morning routine of breakfast, feeding and watering animals, making beds and getting dressed for the day, and unloading the dish washer.
Both the kids are highly involved with all of this. I’ve even started having my 4 year old help cook breakfast with me sometimes. Tasks like putting away silverware are awesome for developing sorting and hand-eye coordination skills – I started both the girls on that one at 18 months! psh, I’m such a task master 😉
After all that is done we do circle time, in which we sing songs with hand motions, and read some stories.
Often at this point my 4 year old likes to get out some dry erase workbooks and do those for a while – matching games, tracing letters, that sort of thing. And then they play!
I firmly believe that the play is the best way to learn at this age (maybe every age!). So they get a lot of free time, inside and outside.
I’ve recently taken to reading aloud to them at the lunch table, right now we’re slowly working through The Hobbit. A bit deep for their age level, sure, but I stop and explain as we go, and I think it’s a good practice for them. And it helps keep me from going insane reading the same kid books repeatedly day in and day out!
After that they get some quiet time, which should really be nap time, but both my girls grew out of naps at age 2. Trust me, it’s the truth. But they (I) still need a little break after lunch.
Once quiet time has come to an end, it’s usually a time to bake bread, make yogurt, or do a craft project. I’ll be honest, I’m not great at this.
Hello, my name is Lindsey. And I’m a terrible crafty mom.
There. I said it. I don’t really relish in getting out the craft supplies and putting together some elaborate pinterest activity for my kids to do. Inevitably my 2 year old will climb into something and start her own ‘craft project’ while I’m gathering the supplies…which I loath to store in my tiny house anyway, ehem.
So to solve this issue, I got a craft box from Green Kid Crafts. Let me tell you, I. love. it. My kids do too, of course, but the easy factor for me here, is worth every penny. Each box comes with 3-4 craft or science projects that each include everything we need, and just what we need no extras to store (hallelujah), plus instructions….no more fumbling with my phone to look at a pinterest tutorial while my kids paint each others’ faces (yes…that’s really happened).
Shall I go on? These boxes are awesome, and I love using them as a part of my homeschooling routine. We do other crafts and projects too, but we all love it when the Green Kid Crafts box arrives! It makes things so much easier!
After craft/science time, we pick up and do an afternoon chore, and then they go have some free play again, collect the eggs and I’ll read to them. And sometimes, if they want, I help them “play” the piano.
As they get older they’ll join in more in participating in making dinner too.
I feel like these simple everyday things are great educational experiences in disguise.
Throughout each daily task, you can learn so much. Especially on a homestead! My kids know a ton more about animals then the average kid their age. They know what a chicken crop is and what it does, and they even know how to tell if it’s too big! They totally know where eggs come from, and the different places the hens lay them…
As we begin gardening again, we’ll start learning about measuring as the plants grow. They learn about counting (and eventually fractions) when we bake and they add ingredients. And they learn awesome motor and categorization skills by folding laundry and sorting silverware, and “playing” our piano. And yes, they get to learn a lot of valuable skills by crafting 🙂 Fine motor skills, learning colors, letters, numbers, how to follow instructions (or how to not follow instructions and follow your own creative vibes!), and countless other things.
It’s simple. And for now that’s okay. They love it. And that’s really my biggest goal. That they are happy, and love the learning process.