As we haven't started our new term yet, I am not able to write a day-in-the-life post. However, I do have some idea of how our day should turn out when we start.
The basic structure of our day goes like this:
- Wake up
- Morning chores
- Morning lessons part 1
- Morning lessons part 2
- Lunchtime chores
- Afternoon lessons
However, no two days are the same, as most homeschoolers will tell you.
The timetable above reflects the emphasis that I feel is needed in Tiger's Logic Stage years: English, specifically writing. I have been very gentle with Tiger when it comes to the process of writing in his elementary school years, giving him time to develop his fine motor skills and build up his stamina to write more than one sentence at a time.
This past summer we have done a few dictation sessions and some copywork. The outcomes of those far-and-few sessions show me that Tiger is now ready to write for a longer time than before and is ready for some formal instructions to get him started on the road to writing. While some children are natural writers who can write long compositions with zero or minimal instructions, Tiger is not one of them, and he recognises this in himself. To this end, he feels more comfortable having some kind of structure to guide him along (as do I!) and he sees the value of using a formal writing programme to bridge the (very wide) gap between his reading level and his writing level, so we'll be spending most of our time in the new year to develop his writing ability.
This seems like a U-turn from our more autonomous approach from a year ago. It is in some ways, in that there are certain basic skills that Tiger needs to master before he can confidently progress onto the next level of learning. Acquiring these skills (e.g. writing) isn't always going to be fun or easy, so if I didn't plan them into our week, there is a very high chance that they will get pushed aside and we will not have progressed at all on those specific areas by next summer. The timetable helps us stay focused on our tasks but we are not bound by the clock to move to the next subject if and when a topic really takes our interest. Homeschooling allows us to maintain a high degree of autonomy and flexibility in our learning approach while keeping a focus on achieving the goals that we have set for ourselves.
Having a timetable while maintaining an interest-led approach makes perfect sense to me but perhaps not so much to the reader yet. Afterall, I do have the advantage of having all my plans, schedules, activities and calendar at hand so I have a clear view of what's going to happen. We shall see how the new year pans out. It promises to be a very busy and exciting year of learning.
Each year our approach seems to alter just ever so slightly:
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