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In a previous post, I told my readers I was a hands off homeschooler. I thought it best to further explain just what I meant by that before I dive into posts about homeschooling resources I have found to work well for our family. That way you can better judge whether the resources I recommend would work for your unique homeschooling family.
Our school day is 5 1/2 hours long (not including breaks). My hands on portion of the school day is currently about 2 hours long. When my children were learning to read and write my time involved in homeschooling was longer, but now that my children are reading and writing, I act basically like a professor during office hours.
Every afternoon I am fully available for any help my children may need with their school work. In the morning hours, if a child can not figure out something on their own, I have taught them to lay the book aside, and go on to what they can figure out, and then bring the troublesome book to me during my set “office hours” time slot.
This allows me to work on other projects that need to be done, during the earlier portion of the day, so I can give complete focus to my children’s education during my homeschool office hours. By using this method, my children have learned to respect others time, as having just as much value as their own.
During my two hour “in office” time slot, the children then bring me their troublesome books to go over. I also mark the books they were able to complete and enter new spelling lists into their online program if needed.
Often I also help my oldest son with his science experiments during this time, although lately I have been turning that duty over to his dad, since he seems to get the experiments to turn out better than I can.
Outside of the two hours a day, 5 days a week, I spend very little time on homeschooling, except for about a solid week in early summer when their test scores arrive in the mail. I take those scores and write down each child’s weaknesses. From that list I start a internet search on products out there that could help the child in that area.
Once that list is made, I like to take a day or two to pray it over and ponder it over. Then I make any needed revisions and go ahead and place my on-line orders.
After I receive the books I then come up with a daily schedule for each child according to how long I think each area of study should take. I print this schedule up for the children to refer to.
Beyond our 5 1/2 hour school day, my children also have assigned reading each week that they do outside of our school hours. The younger two read one fiction and one non-fiction book a week and give me an oral report on what they read.
My eldest son, is doing My Father’s World, this year and it is already eating into his after school hours, so he reads just one book a week alternating fiction and non fiction. Upon completing the book he gives me a one page double spaced typed book report.
I stayed away from assigning reading for years, thinking that my children would just naturally catch the reading bug from my husband and I who both can be caught regularly with our noses in books.
This never happened and after 2 years of low reading scores, I decide to assign reading as well as a reading comprehension computer program for all of them. In the matter of 12 months one of my children went up 3 grade levels in reading, so obviously assigning reading was worth it.
Each child is also involved in one sporting event at a time. I believe that physical exercise is vital to not just our physical health but also our mental well being.
We also attend a very informal homeschooling co-op that is of a field trip only nature and meets for outings once or twice a month.
I may be 10 years into my life as a homeschooling mom, but I still feel like I have a lot to learn. Every year I inch forward, making each year better than the last.
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