A Day in the Life of a Classical CM Homeschooler
About ten years ago I wrote out a day, much like I've done here, and besides having an extra five children in the mix back then, the general routine we have now still looks very similar. Our two eldest are married and we have five children still at home. Three of those still at home have graduated and are working/studying and now I'm just teaching the two youngest, Moozle and Benj, who are in Years 5 and 11. We use the Ambleside Online curriculum and adapt it when required to suit our Aussie context.
6.30am - I get up. Nougat, Zana have already left for work. Hoggy leaves home at different times depending on whether it's a study day or a work day.
I'm inconsistent with my waking times but if I get up early enough I go out for some exercise but first on the agenda is:
A cup of tea, read my Bible and a section of Augustine's Confessions. This morning I wrote in my Commonplace book which I'd neglected lately.
While I was out I listened to a Circe podcast by Andrew Kern & Wes Callihan - 'A Perpetual Feast,' and I highly recommend a listen. There are a few in the series.
7am - Benj has his alarm set to get up at this time so he gets up and takes his time over a shower & breakfast...
8am - I get home & hang out the washing that was in the machine overnight and put on another load. I realise Moozle is still in bed so go and wake her. She is not an early riser...
Dad is also up but doesn't have to rush off this morning so I make him some bacon & eggs (rare!)
9am - this has always been our 'official' start for lessons but some of their independent work (eg music practice, maths - for the older ones, or copywork) may get done before then.
Me - hang out the washing; put on another load
Moozle - maths (with me), copy work, poetry
Benj - Bible, maths
Moozle - Read Abraham Lincoln's World - gives me an oral narration afterwards
I hang out another load of washing
Moozle - I send her off to make bed, and brush hair her hair, which she forgot to do earlier, then she does her cello practice
10am cello lesson - one hour
Benj - dictation; we look over his essay from the previous day and he prints it out
I start making dinner
Benj - science reading & science notebook
I finish listening to A Perpetual Feast podcast & clean up kitchen
Moozle - read chapter of River Rivals; oral narration; dictation
Benj - piano practice & exam prep. This takes up a lot of time at the moment.
Moozle - I read History of Australia aloud while she traced a map & then oral narration
French - Classical Academic Press; write vocabulary in notebook
12.30 - lunch
Listen to folksongs, French songs, composer (Rachmaninov)
We have about an hour where we all read; I check emails, finish off dinner preparation
Devotions - this is our time together and we've always referred to it as 'devotions,' because that's what we do first. We've been reading through 2 Kings, taking turns reading aloud. Then we do Bible memory - working on new portions and revising old, finishing with a prayer time where everyone prays.
Today we worked on a couple of newish verses:
Matthew 5 - the Beatitudes
Isaiah 43: 1-7
And reviewed some others:
Colossians 2: 6-12
I Thessalonians 5: 16-24
Plutarch - we're reading through Plutarch's Life of Demetrius. Benj will do a written narration about this tomorrow but Moozle will do hers today.
M's drawing practice
That's the end of our formal 'lesson time' for today. Later in the afternoon we drive Benj to work and Moozle and I come home for a short spell, pick up her cello, and head off to orchestra recital.
We have a semi-organised schedule for what we do each day during our together time but if we miss something it just gets done the next day. Basically it looks like this:
Monday - Shakespeare
Tuesday - Read aloud
Wednesday - Plutarch
Thursday - Nature Study & nature notebooks
Friday - Read aloud, Picture Study, catch up time for anything else we may have missed or that I'd like to get done.
Most days I also read a poem aloud & from time to time we review those we've learnt. Handicrafts or drawing are sometimes done during read alouds. Some of my children have been happy just to listen, others needed something to do with their hands or they got distracted.
For the past two years, now that I don't have as many children to teach, we've had extra out of the home activities in the afternoons. All seven of our children play an instrument and took lessons over many years. We've mostly managed to have teachers come to our home during the school day for lessons which was wonderful when I had babies & toddlers but also now with the extra running around we do. This is what the week's extras include:
Monday - Benj swims
Tuesday - Moozle has Highland dance lessons; Benj and Hoggy have band practice.
Wednesday - Benj works at a bakery for a few hours in the late afternoon/early evening; Moozle has a cello lesson in the morning and a two hour orchestra recital in the late afternoon. I stay there with her and get some reading, writing or sewing done.
Thursday - both Moozle & Benj swim. An outdoor pool, all year round. I read, write, or sew.
Friday - Benj has a piano lesson in the morning; dance lesson in the afternoon for Moozle if she has a competition coming up; three of the boys are involved the youth group band and two of them are leaders so they all head off to set up and practice around 5pm.
Saturday - morning jobs around the house & yard, car-washing; Benj teaches piano at our place - he's only just started doing this & is teaching an 8 year old boy from our church. Moozle entertains his little sister while he's having his lesson.
Moozle - Stars of Fortune by Cynthia Harnett (1956). A very good author of children's historical fiction, Cynthia Harnett writes about Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen of England, when she was imprisoned at Woodstock and her sister Mary Tudor sat upon the throne. The story unfolds through the eyes of young Francis Washington of Sulgrave Manor, which still stands. America's first President, George Washington, is descended from the Washingtons in this story.
Benj - The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson (1963) A very moving and inspiring story written by the man who ministered to the gangs in New York and started Teen Challenge ministries. Raw in places and I'd recommend a pre-read but it is a most wonderful story! It's scheduled as a free read in Ambleside Online Year 11.
Me - Most Secret by Nevil Shute. This book was written during WW2 and was censored until 1945. Set partly in England & Brittany in France, Shute does his usual interesting character development and presents the war from a unique vantage point. There's an overview of the book here.
I'm linking this post up with Alison @ Learning Mama for A Day in the Life of a Classical Homeschooler.