We are a family of four, recently relocated from Oklahoma to Illinois. Our decision to homeschool was brought about by this move and the difficulty of transitioning from a small school to a large, impersonal one. We have targeted mid-August to begin our upcoming school year.
A Day at the Brain Train Homeschool
Our day starts about 8:00, getting showers, breakfast, and chores out of the way. Our curriculum is Winter Promise and this year our focus is a geography / world culture / language arts program with Children Around The World as the theme and Rock Around the Earth for science. I start our day by reading aloud a chapter or two from The Bible for Children. If we have corresponding activity sheets the kids might do those while I read. Or draw.What we love best about our school day is the variety. Fun, interesting, accurate reading books (not traditional text books), creative activities, cultural experiences to better acquaint us with “Children around the World”, journaling, drawing, notebooking and mapping….
I am penciling in a weekly schedule, then mapping out a daily plan based on the lesson plan and our activities. Our school week is 4 days with Fridays dedicated to celebrating something specific to the culture/country we’ve covered that week.
A Mo-Thurs schedule might look like this:
- 8:00 Dress, eat breakfast and Bible reading/activity
- 9:00 Winterpromise Curriculum (Geography, Social Studies, Art, Science)
- 10:30 Winterpromise Language
- 11:30 Spanish
- Noon Lunch
- 1:00 Reading, activities, PE
- 3:00 Music lesson (or practice)
Dad does MathUSee in the evenings, but we’ll probably add some focus during the day this year.
Our Fridays will be our “Cultural Celebration”. We’ll have an English “Tea”, for Brazil, we will make cascarones and prepare some Brazilian Coconut Pudding. We’ll make a Kanga when we cover Zimbabwe. The entire month of December will be devoted to Christmas Around the World.
We have a primary homeschool room, but we tend to scatter throughout the house. We can finish a planned day by noon, but often we get engrossed and wrap up later. I’m homeschooling my 2 youngest. Nicholas is almost 11 and Lexi is 9.5 – some things we do together, some activities they do independently. Although our actual school focus is about 4 hours, we’ve discovered learning is 24/7, so it’s impossible to contain it to a scheduled time frame.
We don’t give grades, instead we stay with it until the lesson is grasped. With some subjects we may move on and circle back later to reinforce. I’m moving away from “fill in the blank” worksheets and tests, instead I’m trying to find more ways to encourage retention, creative thought and enhance handwriting abilities. We’ll forgo class work for field trips and hands-on learning experiences.
Here is our newly designed classroom – we recently added the right wall, cabinets and are in the process of getting additional lighting, bookshelves and tile installed. I plan to have it finished in the next month. Click the picture to see more detail.I hope this gives you a picture of how our children are being educated. Feel free to ask if there’s anything I didn’t cover or explain well.