More often that not, Mondays are pure school days. Lots of times, we like to do schoolwork outside, but our current RV resort doesn’t have picnic tables at each site (unlike most places we’ve been), and it’s been super windy almost every day. So we’ve been doing all of our school work either in the RV or in the truck (driving to a field trip) while we’ve been here.
The kids and I slept in a bit today, waking up at 8. Before we start school at 9, we have breakfast, get dressed, make beds, brush teeth, have personal Bible study, and wash dishes. If they get everything done before 9, they get free time. They also get the privilege of getting a piece of gum to chew during school! Alas, today they didn’t get the dishes done, so no gum!
We always start our school day with Bible study. We just finished learning about Jesus’ life as recorded in the book of Matthew. Today we hopped back to the Old Testament and read 1 Chronicles 10, where the Israelite king Saul and his sons are defeated by the Philistines, and the Lord turns the kingdom over to David. For a long time, CQ has read all or part of the Bible passage, and then I finish up. Just in the last few weeks, though MB has decided he wants to read as well!
After Bible study, we normally work on memorizing scripture verses. We’ve still been working on the verses that our church back home focuses on. However, both kids have now finished learning and saying all their verses for the year! Woo-hoo! I think over the next couple months we may work together on memorizing a chapter of Romans or something, but for this week, we’re taking a break!
We end our Bible study time with prayer, then move on to our school work.
My approach to homeschool is influenced by my experience as a Montessori teacher. In a Montessori classroom, all the work is on shelves around the room. Each child has some guidance on what needs to be done within a specific day or week, but they have a lot of freedom of choice within those guidelines. I do somewhat the same in my homeschooling. Each week, I write out all the work each child needs to get done during the week, and then they choose which order to do those things in. I tell them each day the number of works they have to get done; today it was ten.
Here’s what our school day looked like today:
Read Aloud/ Copywork – We’re currently reading “Caddie Woodlawn,” a historical fiction story of a girl and her family in 1864. They live in Wisconsin, so while news of the Civil War is important to them, their personal lives are affected more by interactions with Indians. While I read, CQ and MB worked on copywork, practicing their handwriting. Each week, they have two print pages and two cursive pages to do. Once they finished a page of copywork, they each did some coloring as I read.
Readers – CQ relaxed in her bed and started reading “Sing Down the Moon.” It’s another historical fiction story, from the same time period, but this one is about a Navajo girl and what life is like in her world. The cool thing about this book is that the setting is almost exactly where we are right now. As the girl squeezes through narrow canyon passages and climbs to the top of mesas, CQ can perfectly imagine it – she’s done it in the past week! MB sat in my lap and read “Frog and Toad Together.” After they read, they narrated to me what they read.
MB Math – He started a new lesson today on bar graphs and number lines. His book (I’ll list all our curricula at the bottom of the post) has a week’s worth of practice and review for each lesson, and he very well may have just finished up the whole week’s worth if I let him! He thought this was a very fun lesson, although he wanted to make his own graphs, rather than reading someone else’s!
Lunch – The kids made their lunches (I helped MB make tuna) and ate at the table in their room. The Brain sits at his computer and keeps working while he eats, and I sit on the couch and enjoy a little downtime while I eat!
CQ Grammar – She’s just recently started a Grammar book. Each week, I teach a short lesson, she watches one or more Schoolhouse Rock videos, and she has two practice pages. Obviously, the kids love the videos, so she was eager for that! This week she’s focusing on pronouns, so we watched “Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla.” Twice.
Science – We’re currently learning about the human body, and today we were learning about balance. We performed a science demonstration to see how fluid moves within the inner-ear, sending signals to the brain. We also learned the names of the parts of the inner ear. At the end of each science lesson, I ask MB a couple of questions orally, and CQ draws and writes about what we learned in her science journal.
MB Spelling – He had a pretty tough word list last week (with some extra practice, he still managed a 100 on his test!), so he was happy this week to have a list of words that all have one spelling pattern: “igh.” On Mondays, we both sit down with dry erase boards to introduce the words. I say a word, we both write it, and then we both show our boards to each other. If his isn’t correct, he corrects it. At the end, I have him underline the spelling pattern in each word.
MB Explode the Code – This is an online reading program that they each do twice a week.
CQ Creative Writing – We focused on topic sentences today.
MB Blog – After deciding what recent experience to write about, the next step is typically looking through photos to be refreshed about the experience. He chose photos to include in his blog post for the week, and will actually do the writing later.
History – Today we learned about Jane Addams (a suffragette who built bridges between wealthy, educated people and poor, uneducated people) and Fiorello La Guardia (a NYC mayor who was very successful in defending the poor and fighting corruption.)
This was our list at the end of the day:
By around 3pm, CQ and MB both had ten works done. The Brain works on Eastern time zone, and we’re currently in Mountain Time Zone, so he typically finishes work each day around 3. We planned on going to see some petroglyphs nearby after school/work, but the kids asked for an afternoon to just play at home, so we did that. The Brain went to get our propane refilled and some groceries, I worked on some friend communications, an Amazon order, and this blog post, and the kids built a fort and lean-to in their room and had some full imaginative game going on.
The dishes had not been washed all day, so shortly before The Brain got home, I sent the kids in to wash dishes before dinner. Lots of arguing ensued (with each other, not me), dishes eventually got done, and we sat down to a delicious dinner of leftover beef stew and non-leftover garlic bread. Since we don’t have a good place to eat outside in this RV park, we move The Brain’s office equipment out of the way and eat at the table.
After dinner, it was time for showers, putting laundry away (the washer/dryer takes about four hours to run a load, and I got two loads washed during the day plus one running overnight), washing dinner dishes, cleaning up the huge mess in their room, and…bedtime!!!
History/Geography – Sonlight, Core E – American History from mid-1800s to the present. Currently reading “Children’s Encyclopedia of American History” and “The Landmark History of the American People, Vol. II.” We also use “Maps of the United States” by Heroes of History to learn about each state we’re in.
Read Aloud – Sonlight, Core E – “Caddie Woodlawn”
Science – “Science in the Beginning” by Berean Builders
Creative Writing/Reading/Bible/MB’s Spelling & Phonics – CQ: Sonlight, Core E. MB: Sonlight, Core C
Math – Math U See. CQ: Delta. MB: Beta. Also, MB is finishing his book in a few days, and we’ll finish off the year with Life of Fred, Butterflies.
Copywork – CQ: Pentime 3 Cursive, Print Wacky Sentences. MB: Cursive Writing Practice Jokes and Riddles, Handwriting Workbook for Boys
CQ Spelling – Sequential Spelling Level One
CQ Grammar – Grammar Ace
CQ extras that I use from time to time – Daily Paragraph Editing, Writing Detective Level One, Writing Letters
MB extras that I use from time to time – Draw and Write
This is part of a week-long series. You can view the other days here: