September 24, 2009

Homeschool Days 9/24/09

"I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn."
--Albert Einstein

I was doing "What My Children are Reading" on Thursdays, but I find that we read many of the same things over and over, and Robotson and I often are reading chapter books that take several weeks. So the posts can get tiresome, at least for me. I decided to write about more than just what we are reading, and offer a glimpse into our school days as well.

A little extra detail for this first one

We don't use a curriculum, instead we learn from life. I am neither hands-off, nor do I lead all of the learning. My kids are all still very young and I think playing should be what they spend most of their day doing. I also think it's important for them to learn how to be part of a family and a household. Robotson has daily chores in addition to his reading and other "school" work. Currently, we are working on how to keep his areas clean, his clothing clean, and his body healthy. He feels most comfortable when he knows what is expected of him and when, so his weekly schedule looks like this:

Monday- cleans his bathroom. That's the sink, mirror, toilet, floor, and trash.
Tuesday- vacuum the living room and hallways.
Wednesday- responsible for his laundry and towels from the bathroom. He washes, dries, and puts it all away.
Thursday- cleans his bedroom.
Friday- picks up and vacuums the toy room.
Weekends off.

We've been doing this routine for a year and he's really very good at it now. He needs no supervision and can handle everything as well as I do. We still have our struggles, but overall he's very responsible. As he matures, he'll do more with B and less housework.

The other constants in our days are 1-3 hours of reading, weekly play groups, errand day, and computer/Wii/t.v. time. The rest is for us to decide what we want to do or not. Here are some other things we did this week:

We are still reading Little Women, only 100 pages left to go. It's the unabridged text and quite a mouthful. I could breeze through Harry Potter, reading 50+ pages a day, but Little Women isn't an easy read. It's going slower, but it's a lot of fun.

Dimples and I went to the library and she picked out a few books. Purplicious is a followup to Pinkalicious, but I didn't realize that when we checked it out. Pinkalicious loves the color pink, but everyone else seems to like black. She has a hard week, but discovers pink still has a lot to offer.

We also read McElligot's Pool, which describes all kinds of fantastic sea creatures that might be lurking in the little pool. You never know!

Clara and Asha is a bit surreal. Clara has a
wonderful imagination that keeps her awake at night. Her friend Asha, a fish she saw in a fountain one day, comes to take her on an adventure instead of sleeping. They float around town, finally coming back to bed, but Clara isn't ready to sleep just yet.

Mind Your Manners, B. B. Wolf is about the Big Bad Wolf who is invited to a tea party at the library. He wants to be on his best behavior so he reads up on his etiquette and makes up a little song to help him remember. Turns out B. B. Wolf gets a bad rap, he's really a very well behaved and considerate fellow.

Robotson specifically asked me for science sites this week. I chose randomly from my delicious bookmarks and we ended up checking out I Was Wondering... and Visible Body. Women's Adventures in Science (I Was Wondering) had a robot builder that is based on Kismet. He's a favorite around here, so that was a big hit. If you build one, keep shaking the rattle at him. That brought a lot of laughs. We just played with the demo on Visible Body, but I must admit that I'm tempted to buy a term. The detail is amazing.

With all the rain, we didn't get out much this week, but we talked about floods, droughts, storms, and Six Flags. There is much concern that the roller coasters won't work after being under water. Looks like the park will be open this weekend, but we have other plans.

One last look into our week; I took updated pictures of the kids. I wanted a group shot, but it was not to be. Instead I got these three lovely photos to give out this year.


  1. Great photo's. I love all of the chores our son does and so independently. Did you work slowly up to that over time?

  2. Kylie- Yes. When we started out I sat down with him to explain what my goals were: to get him to take care of himself and his areas. Then we talked about what those things would involve and how I would help him for as long as he needed. It was not easy at first, but 3 or 4 months into it, he was used to the routine. We worked together for around 7 months before I could leave him to do it on his own, and there were still a lot of mistakes we both learned from. Only in the last 1-2 months has he gotten the bathroom cleaning down pat, and figured out that vacuuming in straight lines works better than zig zags LOL.

  3. Thanks for sharing these great ideas! It really helps to have a glimpse of someone else's homeschool day, especially as your balance between un- and school is where I'd like to find our family as well.

    Also, Gamma and I followed the link and enjoyed playing and finding out about Kismet. A good start to our day!

  4. What a great idea. I'm thinking about adding to my son's household responsibilities, beyond cleaning up after himself (his bedroom, getting his toys out of the living room, and putting his own laundry away).

    I'd like to see him run the toilet brush around the bowl once a week, help with DOING the laundry, etc.

    So we'll start gradually.

    We loved "McElligot's Pool"!

    Great photos of the kids!

  5. Great pictures! I am impressed with how much Robotson does at home. I hope we will get there one day. As usual, I have never heard of any of your reads except Purplicious. I did see Clara and Asha in the library and passed :)

  6. Beta-glad you liked Kismet!


    Wendy-Thank you. Yeah, add the responsibilities gradually and you'll get much less resistance. I wish I'd started a little earlier, but I'm happy with where we are at now.

    Raising a Happy Child-Thanks! It is nice to have help around the house. Your daughter is still young, but you'll get there!