A typical day for a Homeschooling Dad

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Children: Two – 9yrs, 6yrs

On a typical day in our family, we have a mix of strictly timetabled events, important/necessary events that should be fitted into the day at some time, and optional extras that would be nice to do.

The strictly timetabled events take two forms. Firstly, my wife and I both work from home as teachers, with my wife the primary income earner (my wife teaches Chinese and I teach critical thinking). We have a classroom set up in our home, with paying students coming and going at various times of the day for classes or individual lessons. Our children are sometimes involved in the classes as either teaching assistants or learners. The second type of strict timetabling is that the children have outside organised activities (currently swimming, ballet, music, netball, basketball, athletics, tennis, sewing) most days, which I take them to.

The important daily events (besides, of course, our usual household duties, which everyone helps out with) include the core academic subjects. At some point during the day (seven days a week, all year round), I work with the children on their maths and English. The children need their free play time each day, and this involves both imaginative/creative play and outdoor physical play (we live next door to a school, so in addition to our own backyard, we also make use of the school’s fields and playgrounds). Throughout the day, I am also always on the lookout for those teachable moments, where something will inspire us to have an impromptu lesson on any subject; many hours are spent in our family observing and discussing anything and everything in the world around us.

Most days the children practice their musical instruments, and they also spend time learning touch typing. Perhaps every second day my wife works with the children on their Chinese (our children are bilingual English/Chinese). I frequently use P4C (Philosophy for Children) inspired lessons to teach the children critical thinking.

The optional extras typically include day-trip outings, including nature walks, the beach and playgrounds. We often have overseas visitors staying with us, who we might show around our local area.

We probably spend about six weeks away from our home each year, with three main travel events. We spend a few weeks each year in China (we lived in China up until the end of 2014), we have a one-week campervan road trip, and we have a couple of weeks camping over summer.