Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler

This is a reprint of a guest post I wrote three years ago about a day in our homeschool life. I thought you might enjoy this peek into my past.

Hello!  We're the Lane Family.  I'm Laura Lane.   My husband, Lowell, works at a church.  
My eldest, Matthew, graduated in 2009.  He attended high school after being homeschooled 
for 10 years.  I currently homeschool Emily, 16, Michael, 14, and Amy, 12.  

We're rather relaxed, eclectic homeschoolers.  I didn't really plan it that way, but life happens 
when you have a husband who is in ministry.  There's a bit of drop everything and go when 
he calls to our life.  Two years ago, our area was devastated by what the world knows as the 
Joplin, Missouri tornado.  We live about ten miles from Joplin.  A couple of days after the 
tornado, my husband walked in and asked Pastor Dan what he could do to help.  He walked 
out with a job as the coordinator and community liaison and a plan to house volunteers in 
the vacant house next door (about 400 over the summer by his estimates).   Though we no 
longer have volunteers staying with us, the kids and I have been on call to volunteer for the 
last two years. ~smile~  Things have finally settled down giving us the chance to settle down
 into a new autumn school routine.  

This is what our school days will look like this autumn, if all goes according to plan. ~smile~

We try to get most of our work done in the morning.  The first child out of bed gets the first 
chance to do math.  All of the children use Teaching Textbooks, a computer based math 
program.  There's a bit of competition between my two youngest children to see who's first.
~smile~  We eat breakfast and two children do dishes while the third goes on to start Bible.  
The others start Bible when they're done.  Math is done as the computer comes available.  
We will work all morning, then hopefully, be able to do some more creative activities in the 
afternoon.  Of course, if the lessons aren't finished, they'll have to be finished.

Where:  We homeschool all over the house.  I want my children to be lifelong learners.  
I think that allowing them a little flexibility in where they do their lessons makes them less 
resistant to learning.  I also catch them doing what I jokingly call "unauthorized learning" 
once in awhile.  You know, reading a book or studying even if it wasn't assigned.  I make 
a big deal out of it in jest. ~smile~

How:  Much of our learning is reading based.   We read a lot of whole books.  I was attracted 
to Charlotte Mason's teachings but never followed her 100%.  We have used a combination
of textbooks, workbooks, computer programs, videos and hands-on lessons over the years. 
We're still reading a lot for Science, but my older children will start Biology this year.  History 
and Latin are video based.  Michael and Emily will do history together.  All of the children 
learn Latin together.  Spelling, grammar and writing are usually a bit more mom intensive. 

Why:  To put it simply, God told us to.  
I explain it all in detail in this post:  Why We Homeschool.

Helpful hints:
♥ Pray!  God cares deeply for you and for your children.  He will guide you.
♥ Read read read to your children from birth.  Keep reading even after they learn to read.
♥ As soon as they can read, require them to sit and read/look at books for thirty minutes a 
day. Perhaps after lunch.
♥ When they graduate to chapter books, increase their silent reading time to an hour a day.  
My children have become excellent readers as a result. 
♥ Don't give up!  Your family is unique.  Your homeschool will be unique.  Don't try to 
do it just like someone else.  Pick and choose ideas and find what works for your family.

    What I really want you to know:  You will not be perfect in your child training, your 
    homeschooling, or your homemaking.  It's okay.  Pray, research the best methods for you, 
    and be flexible in your implementation.  Teaching your child to love the Lord our God 
    with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength is ultimately the goal.  
    God wants that, too.  He'll help you.

    Be blessed!

    Laura Lane is mom to four children, ages 15-25.  She's homeschooled since 1996 and 
    is married to her high school sweetheart. She writes about homemaking, saving money 
    through thrifty living, homeschooling, books, her family life, and her love of God and
    her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  

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    Thank you for praying for me! Thank you for encouraging me so much through this cancer treatment. I have the best blog friends in the world! Yes! You!

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    Laura Lane
    Cancer Survivor