Keywords: School-At-Home, HomeEd/School Mix, Gifted, Primary Aged, Structured
Children: Two – 10yrs, 6yrs (at school)
My son suits a highly structured system with a tight time table. This is a typical day:
8.45-ish Piano and trumpet practice till 10.30-11.00am
Feed chooks, pat goats, kiss horses noses
Maths program (purchased curriculum) for approximately one hour
Lunch and jump on trampoline, kiss goats, pat horses, play with kitten
Extra times-table practice for 20 minutes
Snack break, a few chores, more trampoline
Programming, English (purchased curriculum) or science or art
Finish at 3.30pm
Reading fills gaps before lessons, every evening before bed, when travelling in car or during any other down time. Once a week he goes to One Day School for gifted kids.
Keywords: School-At-Home, HomeEd/School Mix, Primary Aged, Semi-Structured
Children: Two – 12yrs (at school), 9yrs
We were home educating both children when our oldest asked to go to school. It was not our intention but, after making changes and trying some different approaches to homeschooling, it was the right decision to enrol her into school in the end. It has worked out well for her, it’s probably harder on us having to deal with both school and homeschooling actually. I was contacted by the school twice last year and complimented on our daughter’s sound academic grounding, her respect for teachers and caring attitude towards classmates. It has given us much more confidence in our approach. Our typical day involves dropping my older child to school and then spending the morning doing course work with my younger one. Maths, English and spelling are done every day, with reading and science alternating. Afternoons are spent on extracurricular activities such as sports practice, homeschool swimming classes, dancing, or free play. If we are going out for the day then textbook activities are fitted around this. We have no set finish time. On top of curriculum activities, we do problem-solving games, or design costumes and put on plays (which our older one participates in when she gets home from school). Although we are mainly ‘school at home’ in our approach, I have also taken onboard some ideas from unschooling friends and this has enhanced our homeschooling experience. Instead of set reading activities, if my son finds a book he is interested then we will use that, or we change a topic given in a writing exercise to one that my son is interested in. Although set work from textbooks is usually for 3-6 hours/day (depending on my son’s motivation on that particular day), we also use daily life as an education tool. With our child who is at school, she is used to us being actively involved in her education and willingly accepts our assistance with schoolwork and negotiating classroom politics, and she benefits from being “homeschooled” outside of school hours. We take her out of school for the day if there is something we feel is more beneficial to her education, or if we want to holiday as a family during the school term. Our philosophy was discussed with the school before we enrolled her and they have been very supportive.