Monday, August 26, 2013

Homeschool Kindergarten Typical Daily Schedule

We don't have a strict schedule for our homeschool Kindergarten work, but we do have a basic daily rhythm that we follow.  As part of the iHomeschool Network's "Not" Back to School blog hop, homeschooling families we'll be sharing a "day in the life" posts this week.  Here's a glimpse into one of our typical days..




This is actually our day on Saturday.  Learning is just a natural part of life (and usually fun), so we do it 7 days a week!  When the kids are older and the work gets more intense, they may need weekends off, but right now they're constantly asking to "do Kindergarten", so I'm going with the flow..

6:00am - I wake up, and as soon as I step into the hallway, the girls open their bedroom door and come out.  Although I miss the days where I could get a couple good hours of work in the morning before the family wakes up, I've started to enjoy early-morning time with the twins.

6:00am - 7:00 - The girls drink milk and watch two episodes of The Magic School Bus.  We sometimes do a science activity or discussion after the show, but not today.

7:00 am - I found a Reading Comprehension booklet on animals for $1 at Target.  It's supposed to be at a 2nd Grade level, but both girls have been able to read from it with approximately 75% accuracy (I help them sound out the harder/longer words).  I made photo-copies of the pages on the Animals of the African Savannah so they could each have their own little books to read and color. 


7:00am - 7:15 - L reads the introduction on Animals of the Savannah as well as the section on African Elephants.  We talk a little bit about elephants.  E chooses not to participate today.

7:15 - 8:00 - Both girls have been loving the Draw Write Now series of books (we own book 1 and book 8, and I'll probably post a separate review).  After reading about elephants, we learn how to draw them..

The book has step-by-step drawing instructions.  I work together with the girls to explain what to look for in each step, but they are the ones doing all the drawing..

Both girls work diligently on their drawings.  I'm glad I made them use pencil because E has a fit when her elephant's tail is not "perfect", but she keeps trying and trying until it is just right..

E colors her elephant gray and L opts for a rainbow elephant.  I love how different their personalities are!  

While they color, I recite a poem by Jack Prelutsky on elephants a couple times and see if the girls can complete the end of each line.  The last stanza is:

"When elephants gather, the ground starts to tremble
 Beneath the great weight of their ponderous feet.
 Be glad there are elephants left to assemble.
 Without them our planet would be incomplete." (Jack Prelutsky)

L asks what "incomplete" means, so we discuss that prefixes like "in" and "un" mean "not".  Then we talk about how "assembling a toy" (a term they are familiar with) and "elephants assembling" are similar, and what a good definition for "assembling" would be.  Next we cover "ponderous".


8:00-8:15  I'm putting a strong emphasis on handwriting this year because the girls are always trying to write and often get frustrated when they can't form letters correctly.  Today our letter is "E" (for elephant, of course).  First the girls practice a letter on an iPad app called Letter School, which teaches them how to form their letters correctly:

Then they practice writing the letters across the row on paper.  I'm starting them off on plain paper and then we'll move on to real composition paper later this year.  

They can write simple words, but today I wrote down "elephant" for them to trace.

8:15am - Daddy and baby brother H wake up.

8:15-8:30 - While the girls eat breakfast, I read them chapter 6 from The Story of the World: Volume 1 Ancient Times which is about the Jewish People and the story of God telling Abraham to take his family to Caanan.  After the story, E asks if God is a person or a ghost.  It's interesting that we learned about the Egyptian and Mesopotamian gods but they didn't really ask much about them.  I tell her that it is a mystery and nobody knows.  "I think God is a ghost," says E.  "Maybe God is a cloud," says L.  I love letting them think about things and listening to their insights. 

We locate Israel on a map, but I don't have any other activities planned right now on this chapter - I'll do some research online and see what I can come up with.



8:30-9:30 - The girls play with Imaginets while I do Tot School with H (almost 2 years old).

E invents a machine that dispenses candy (I forgot to take a picture, but it was pretty elaborate), and L explores shape composition.  She correctly identifies pieces that represent half a circle as well as a quarter of a circle.  I ask her if she knows how the coin called a "quarter" got its name, but she doesn't know (I explain, but she doesn't seem too interested.  I'm sure at a later point it will click for her).

9:30-12:30 - Usually during this time we either play downstairs or go to story time, nature hour, or gym class, but since it is Saturday we run errands, walk around the mall, and go out to lunch.

12:30-3:00 - Quiet time!  H naps, and the girls play quietly in their rooms while I try to get some work (personal software engineering project) done.  I give them stickers to color, but they have their own ideas.  I'm not sure what they were doing, but this is what their room looks like when they are done:


3:00-4:00 - The girls read books.  L reads Fancy Nancy and the Boy From Paris (1st grade early reader book).  E has a fit about how she doesn't like to read and it is too hard (I have no idea where this comes from, since she is an excellent reader).  But after seeing her sister read, E wants to read, too, so while I'm preparing snacks, L and E read an Elephant and Piggie book: A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems. 


I LOVE this picture!  We have so much fun with reading... it's neat to hear the girls read these books in such dramatic voices.  When they're done, the girls take their comprehension quizzes on the Book Adventure website so they can earn points toward prizes (like a chocolate bar, subscription to Highlights, or books).  We just started this program (which is free at bookadventure.com) so I don't have any feedback on it yet, but it looks neat.

4:00-5:00 - Baby H wakes up from his nap and all the kids watch TV (Jake and the Neverland Pirates), while I work some more.

5:00-7:00 - Free play in the basement, which includes dancing with Mommy, piano lessons with Daddy, and lot of fun.  I really enjoy watching how the twins are starting to include their little brother in their creative play - it is such a good experience for all of them.

7:00-8:00 - While the girls eat their dinner, I read them Chapter 1 from Life of Fred: Butterflies (we just finished the first book - Apples).  We get out the ruler to see how long a foot is and how three feet is a yard (which is Fred's height).  They measure themselves to determine that they are taller than Fred, who is five years old but has a very unhealthy diet.  

Nine butterflies fly from Fred's office, but I don't have butterflies handy, so I grab some flies instead:

We place the flies in a row (even Baby H helps with the counting), and then use a straw to separate them into two groups so we can figure out equations that add up to nine.  

L is still struggling with writing some numbers, even though we've been working on them all month.  I ask her if she wants to practice the number two, and she says 'yes'.


Usually E really enjoys our math lessons because I'm always bringing out different manipulatives and she's amazing at logical reasoning.  Today, however, she just listens as she works on writing a book about bugs..


8:00 - Bedtime.  We take a look at the calendar to see which girl gets to brush her teeth first, and take the opportunity to talk about today's date, day of the week, and what special events we have coming up next.  

As you can see, our official "school work" usually only adds up to 3-4 hours and is staggered through the day.  This has been working out really well for us, and I'm realizing that the entire day is filled with learning opportunities and to keep it fun. There is a lot of variety from day to day from worksheets to logic games to hands-on experiments. 

UPDATE: I was so inspired by how much my kids enjoyed early learning games that I created the La La Logic Critical Thinking Curriculum for 3-6 year olds, which includes online brain challenge games, printable worksheets, enrichment activities and more!

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our Homeschool Kindergarten daily schedule.  To see what other families are doing, visit the iHomeschool Network "Not" Back to School Blog Hop.



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5 comments:

  1. Whew! I'm almost embarrassed to say that you are half way through your school day before we even have had breakfast! I wish we could be that motivated in the morning.
    BTW that room is exactly how our girls room looks when I leave them to their own devices!

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  2. This is very inspiring! Thank you for being so detailed with it. My oldest son is going to a private preschool this year, and daddy and I have been doing a lot of praying, and research on homeschooling. We know it's what we should do, it's just abut getting motivated enough to do it. I'm thinking about doing another year of preschool next year and starting homeschool preschool with my will be 2 year old. We will be having another baby in August, and just don't want to get overwhelmed right away. Doing research on homeschool can be very overwhelming. I have this crazy idea that everyday needs to be FILLED to the brim with science, history and math, when that's very unrealistic. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Thank you for sharing all of this detailed information! It is very inspiring to see the outcome of your efforts as your girls seem very smart and eager to learn.

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  4. So helpful! We're homeschooling kindergarten with my 3 year old beginning next month, and it helps to see how your entire day flows (even though I'm sure it varies daily). Thank you for sharing!

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  5. I just found this site, and I'm currently struggling with my son who was just started Kindergarten last September at the public school down the road and I took him out to start online schooling at home in January. He still isn't very happy with the switch especially with the lack of being told what to do every 15 minutes. I am trying to find a groove that will work for the both of us, and keep him as engaged in learning as possible. If he has his way, he would use only electronics like his father to do all of his work. He doesn't like writing much, so that had become a struggle, and just getting him to focus and work for at least the 2.5 hours a day like he needs to is so hard, plus the online school has him starting on literally page 1 from day 1 of school. no resting nothing to see where he was at in the public school and where they're at in his online classroom. So right now it is a lot of testing of what he knows in order for him to learn something new. I am honestly wondering if this was a good idea after reading how your day is.

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