A lot of families considering home educating ask what a typical day looks like, but no day home educating is the same! There is no typical week either but our week is bound by certain rhythms (never routine!), and so in trying to answer the question of how home ed works on a day to day basis, I have put together what we’ve done this week:
We often start our week with a ‘circle time’, this is a time for meditations, thoughts about the week ahead and things they’d like to do or anything anyone wishes to share. L and T have shared a poem they enjoy in past circle times or something they have found, or they use it as a time to reflect on aspects of our home ed life, or often we simply share positive words with each other. It seems a rather formal way of being together, but we’ve found it starts our week off in a calm and happy way.
Most Monday mornings we go swimming. The idea is to spend 15 mins on stroke technique/distance/life saving skills, whatever they are working on & 30 mins playing (during which time I do my lengths and then usually end up playing a game of ‘sharks’ with them = me chasing them around the pool!) Today they spent a lot of time collecting sand from the bottom of the pool, which they then brought home to analyse with magnifying glasses!
Every Monday afternoon we have a meet-up with a couple of other families. We take turns around each other’s houses and learn/play together. We have been doing this for the last 4 years and have covered all kinds of projects, such as: WWF eco badges, Arts award, Crest science awards, Around the World, Big History, Local history. This week we were learning about the evolution of reptiles and dinosaurs, and the kids made dinosaur poo!
Papa (my Dad) came over to our house as he does most Monday’s to walk Legend for us and have supper with us in the evening.
We usually get home around 5 and do the usual kinds of things families do in the evening: eat dinner, hang out with Papa, play with the pets, play in the garden, sometimes watch a bit of telly they have recorded, read, play board games, get on with their own projects and creations etc
This morning we worked on our ‘Big History’ project (which we are doing with our Monday afternoon group), sticking in photos and so forth. We did this for an hour, then the kids meandered off to do their own thing, which this morning was making perfumes.
After lunch we drove to a home ed group about half an hour away where L has a drama class followed by a hair & nails class. Today she practised lots of nail art.
She has just recently started these classes and is enjoying them. It might be she does them for half a term as a taster, or it might be something she sticks at longer term. Whilst she’s in the classes, I have to stay nearby, so myself and T usually walk Legend at the park round the corner and then hang out somewhere, a quiet bench or in the car if it’s cold. Today we worked on some French together, listening to French songs and chatting, all done in the back of my car (a lovely spacious Berlingo) with cosy blankets and tea and with T standing on his head.
We got home around 4, had dinner and the kids decided to finish painting their animal models and then L decided to paint mine and T’s nails before I went out with friends for the evening.
Wednesday’s are sacred. I try hard to make sure we have no plans to meet anyone or go anywhere. We make them up as we go along, and we aim to spend a big chunk of them outside, whether that means chilling in the garden, working on the allotment or running around the woods.
Our Wednesday mornings are for relaxing, we eat our breakie in bed and read, and then usually have some kind of discussion about what the day might bring. Today we decided to pop to the allotment after lunch to plant more potatoes & collect nettles for tonight’s soup.
During our time at the allotment, we found a runaway dog. We guessed he’d snuck through the bushes from the park next door, so we took him back and reunited him with his owner. Whilst there, Legend had a run and the kids had a brief play in the park. On the walk back, L was full of chat and questions about colour in nature. I find we cover a lot of ‘science’ just by being out and about.
Then the kids were very keen to go for a quick swim, so I summoned up the energy and took them. Apparently they urgently needed to collect more sand from the bottom of the pool in order to solve the mystery of where it came from!
This evening was spent making up tunes on the keyboard, reading, making a grass & vegetable birthday cake for the guinea pigs and also T made a stone age axe and L made cakes. Both L and T enjoy cooking (L loves baking mainly, hmmmm I wonder why?!). T loves to help me make dinner and enjoys cooking savory dishes, usually pasta related ones. They can both bake and cook pretty independently, including following recipes and weighing ingredients. The clearing away part needs more practise though!
This morning we did more project work. We would usually do an hour or so of something resembling maths but they are engrossed in their Big History project this week and wanted to do that. They wrote about the first amphibians and drew lovely skeletal diagrams!
Usually on a Thursday we’d go and swap our books at the library, but everyone wanted to hang onto their books for another week.
After lunch we popped to an outdoor activity home ed group, where they met friends and did a ‘low ropes’ course.
This evening L and T were busy with their own activities, L has started writing a diary and T has recently begun writing a ‘Song’ book.
I felt exhausted this morning, and so did they. We chilled out reading books together and alone. At 11:30 I dropped them at their ukulele lesson and I walked Legend, then back home for lunch and an afternoon of play. At 5pm we took L to her football club and myself and T walked Legend again and T collected more sticks for his collection. He is searching for the perfect stick to make a catapult with.
Once back home, L and T picked up their playing exactly where they left off and this continued until 9:15 with just a short break for dinner.
I love to see them play like that, it’s my favourite thing ever. When they’re so engaged in play, I leave them to it where possible.