Today was a FULL and busy day; those are good days. They’re good because we don’t have time to be bothered with wondering about much more than what we have to deal with for that day. It is so nice, especially like today. which was a FULL school day.
What does a FULL school day look like for us? Well, I’d be happy to share.
Most days run about the same for our family, unless we decide to take a field trip somewhere. And if we do, we try to only take those once a week. On the other 4 days of the week, the kiddos wake up depending on their personal schedules. GingerSnap has a religion class at 6:30 a.m. (so much nicer than 5:00 a.m. in Costa Rica – remember those days El Gringo and GingerSnap?), so she wakes up and leaves the RV to take her class in a spare room of the little cottage we are parked next to.
She stays inside the cottage until after 8:30, so she can complete her religion class homework, as well as her personal scripture study. The other two kiddos wake up at 7:30 a.m. and they start their day by putting away their beds (since we need to use them as a couch and a kitchen table), and then they get ready for their day. They too complete their personal scripture study, as well as any other goals or personal studies they have chosen to study in the many programs our church has to offer (Sunday School, Youth Classes, Children & Youth goal setting, practicing of memorizing the Young Men’s Theme / Young Women’s Theme, studying the standards from For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, etc.).
By 8:30 a.m. breakfast is being eaten. 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) the kiddos take turns preparing it for the entire family. It not only teaches them to serve others and help provide food for others’ needs, but it teaches them to have self reliance in cooking their own food and saving money, as well as health, from making things from scratch (stovetop cream of wheat, stovetop oatmeal, and stovetop pancakes).
At 9:00 a.m. Joy Boy and Curly Cook leave the RV to help with feeding the animals that live on the property we are staying at (serval horses, ponies, mules, goats, sheep, chickens, bunnies, dogs, a cat, and guineas). They LOVE this daily opportunity to be so close to the animals and just enjoy them. We LOVE that they have this unique opportunity too and we hope that they will have something to replace this with. when it is time to leave.
While the kiddos are feeding the animals, GingerSnap seems to have some time alone with her parents. This is when she can talk and share her plans for the day with us and inform us of any concerns she might have. I have been seeing the blessing that this alone time is for us all and I’m thankful we even have it, especially with the tight living space we are currently living in.
After our chat with GingerSnap, I use this time to study my own personal scriptures and to keep a running calendar of the “daily experiences” our family is having, as well as the moments I see the hand of the Lord in our lives. I also write my feelings and thoughts in my journal and practice staying positive and grateful. By the time I am finished with this, it is almost 11:00. The two other kiddos have been home since 10:00, where all 3 kiddos have been working on developing their gifts and talents (ASL/PCL, ukulele, guitar, sketching, water coloring, etc.) and their personal reading for the day (Curly Cook is 25 minutes, Joy Boy is 45 minutes, and GingerSnap reads until her heart’s content).
At 11:00 we have our family devotional called “Morningside.” This is where we practice singing a song from our Church’s hymn books, we pray, we practice memorizing something together, I then share a message that I feel inspired to teach, and we wrap up the time with listening to a General Conference talk and maybe discussing it. We finish the meeting with a prayer. During this time, we also are allowed to draw, sketch, watercolor, doodle, or fold origami. It allows us to listen with our hearts, while being creative.
After Morningside, everyone is usually ready for lunch. 2 days in the school week lunch is prepared by one of the children. During this lunch preparation time, I will read from our family’s read-out-loud history book. This month we are reading “The Winged Watchman”. It is so good! After lunch has been prepared, we sit down and have our Family Class. This class is held all together and it is a curriculum class. Monday is Science (taught by GingerSnap), Tuesday & Thursday is History (taught by me), and Wednesday is our Culture Class (also taught by me). I am loving our schedule because if we want to take a field trip on any of those days, we just move the family class that was missed to Friday. And if we didn’t take a field trip, we have extra time to work a fun family project together (thanks Kyriea for the AWESOME new idea book!).
After Family Class, the kids individually work on their Literature/Grammar/Language Arts/Art/Geography and Math courses. Since our handwriting is still in our shipment, we don’t have it to currently work on, but Kyriea did send us some calligraphy supplies to try out. I wonder if the kids would enjoy it? I am also interested in the kids practicing their typing skills again. Paul just found a deal on keyboards for each of their iPads and they love having them. It might be time to add that to our spare time things to do, but not until it is necessary.
After the kiddos work for the day is recorded in their individual recording books (a place where they log the date and exactly what they did for the day, as well as any notes taken from their Family Classes), and recorded the curriculum they completed in our Family Planner (a teacher’s school planner we use to log our time spent in Homeschool and can be given to the government as proof of Homeschooling if necessary), they are to clean up their school supplies, put them away, and then they are free to go outside and play!! (Or go into the van and sing at the top of their lungs with their guitar . . . wink).
Being where we are at has been the GREATEST of our blessings, for we are parked next to: the woods, lots of farm animals, lots of land to run and play in with 5 other cute kiddos, a pond, and we are quite far from other neighbors being around (which is great for singing our hearts out – wink). Curly Cook and Joy Boy have had so much fun being with the 5 children we live next to. I am so happy for them to have this blessing, as we had few children to play with in Costa Rica. It will be sad to leave this Eden in December, but each move has brought us new blessings and new cherished experiences to enjoy.
As for the kiddos needing my help? I am here for them to ask questions, help them find answers as much as they can on their own, and to help them be trustworthy and honest in what they do and don’t know. They are pretty self sufficient in their individual classes, all but Curly Cook can complete their curriculum on their own. But I am really only there to grade and make sure the kiddos understand what they are learning, before moving too far ahead in their material.
And that is a day at our homeschool. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below. Before I go, we had the yummiest dinner tonight. We had youth activities planned, so we needed a quick but filling meal to eat. Paul and GingerSnap purchased the MOST AMAZING turkey breast last Saturday at our favorite grocery store, Harris Teeter. We have been snacking on it each day, but tonight I chopped up the leftovers and put them in this yummy cowboy quesadilla from Our Best Bites.
As you can probably tell, I ADORE their recipes. So does my family! So we all highly recommend you giving this recipe a try, either for a quick dinner or a yummy lunch.
P.S. – All bold, italicized, underlined words are links to what is mentioned.