After asking me whether we have to follow a set curriculum (No, we don't), and whether we have to do the SATs tests (No, we don't), the next question people ask me when they hear that we home educate is how we structure our day. Well, it has taken a few weeks but I finally feel we have slipped into a new routine for the new term ....
Every day we start by sitting together and reading and reflecting on a story from the life of an inspiring character from history. For us, this is also a time to prepare spiritually for the day by praying together.
The boys then get on with some number work. They are using workbooks - such as those readily available in stationary shops - at the appropriate level. For my eldest son, this means a book slightly ahead of his age-group, for my middle son - a book aimed slightly younger. When at school, my middle son had begun to say that he was no good at maths. So I am working on consolidation and building up his confidence. He now says he enjoys maths, which to me is a great sign of success. Sometimes their half hour of number work might also include playing a game on the computer, or playing a game (such as multiplication bingo) together.
I have decided to have a morning a week then spent on our literature project, a morning a week on science and a morning a week working on our topic. I am waiting to see what topic of interest will emerge this term. For science, we are working through a book of practical experiments. And for literature we are continuing our Narnia series having just finished reading 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'. As the boys are not keen on writing, and as we have no need to produce written work for assessment, most of our work is done practically and orally. Today, we painted a scene from the book, modelled some of the characters from Plasticene and photographed them, and role played an interview with one of the characters.
All this work can be finished by about 11.30, so the boys are then free to explore their own interests, get on with their own games and projects, or to go out somewhere.
On the other 2 mornings of the week, we are busy - once running a local group for International Women, and once travelling 30 minutes to join with our local Home Education Support Group, which has a range of activities going on. Once a week we also go swimming, and the boys each have an afternoon of the week when they go for time on their own with Grandma and Grandpa.
We also have to be flexible to allow for events which might come up .... Tomorrow we are expecting a television crew from Childrens' BBC to come and film the boys for 'Blue Peter'. It's amazing what opportunities seem to have come our way since we started Home Education!