With the start of a new school year there are lots of posts on face book about the first day, week of school. Most homeschoolers are starting a new school year at this time as well. I noticed some homeschooling mom’s are wondering how to structure their day. So, I thought I would share a few thoughts on how I do a day at the Hirn Homeschool.
When I started schooling my kiddos 14 years ago, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing and my schedule looked something like this:
Note that I am a some what organized person, I like to have a plan, but I don’t freak out if it is interrupted.
So, my first year of homeschooling I had two, six year olds starting kindergarten, a five year old, a four year old, a 2 year old, and a new baby born that September that we started school. I was pretty scheduled and my little ones napped well.
So, here is my schedule that year:
Everyone up and fed by 8 am.
Kids play freely well I do housework, older ones have small jobs until 10 am. (I rotated our toys in and out for best stimulated play. Then we had story time, we read all kinds of stories. Science, history, long, short, silly, fiction, non-fiction.
At 10 am, two babies nap, and the two oldest sit at the table and do school and the 3 and four year old watch and participate as they choose. We did reading, writing, math, colors, shapes, etc. I used Ace and Kristi that year. We would not take any breaks until lunch. At noon, we would have lunch. Then the four could go outside and play in our fenced in yard.
At around 1, it was quiet time. Each kid had an assigned place to play quietly or rest alone. Until 2ish.
In the afternoon we would do projects like exploring, painting, play doh, etc.
At five o’clock we would get ready for dad to come home from work, by doing assigned chores.
This was our typical day, but of course, there were days we went to grandma’s house to play, or we went to the grocery, or park. There were days when someone was sick or I had to help out at church. So, I thought my kids early that serving others is serving God, and that is more important than lessons. Oh, I worried that they weren’t learning at the same pace as other kids, I worried, I was failing at it all.
But God gave me peace and comfort with verse like,
Hebrews 13:20-21 “ Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Ephesians 4:11-16 “ And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
I truly believed and still do that if I tech my children the ways of God, that He will equip and prepare them for all the work He has for them. That isn’t to ay that I never worried or compared. Oh, I did. My sister started schooling her children the same year I did. She is a teacher, by gift and by training. So, her school days were very much like a school day at a public school. Her classes were very structured and her students (daughters) were learning and reading at a much faster pace than mine. Others in our church and community did school different than us and their children seem to be academically ahead of mine. I compared, I noticed.
But, back to schedules and structure of a school day. Those first few years of school continued in a similar pattern. We did school from Labor Day to Memorial Day. We took the month of December off. We did most of our academics in one long season in the morning. As the kids got older, I would do group activities and then assign individual assignments, and have them do them all at the same time. Very much like a one room school house style. We focused on learning how to play nice together, do simple household chores, serving others, and Academics were done only a two to three hours out of the day.
As the older kids reached fourth grade, my goal was that they could teach themselves and do their individual assignments on their own. Math, grammar, science, history would take them a little longer, and they might have to do an hour or so of lessons on their own each afternoon.
But when older ones started in Junior high and high school, It was tricky teaching everyone different things, and I switched curriculum to KONOS. I would spend the summer writing lesson plans and organizing all the subjects to be the same for each student. This would allow us to do most of our school together still, and the older kids only had to do one or two hours of work each day on their own.
It would only be a couple years later that I would begin the process of using the Bible as our only text book. So, you may be wondering how our school day is structured now. Well, this past year my oldest two, those six year olds, graduated from Hirn homeschool Academy. This year they have chosen to stay home and do continuing ed. with Hirn Homeschool Academy. I have a junior, a sophomore, a freshman, a seventh grader, a fifth grader, a fourth grader, a second grader, a kindergartener, a three year old, a one year old, and an eleven year old with special needs. So here is how we do school now:
We start our morning at 9 am with breakfast and morning prayer lead by Daniel (my oldest son). We clean up breakfast and do laundry.
Around 9:45 or 10ish we have worship and Brain gym lead by Lydia, age 15.
Morning devotions with mom.
10:30 ish we do either science or history as a group. MWF is history T<TH is Science
11ish is elementary group school. We do Bible reading copying with my method. This method covers Bible, memory work, writing, art, and language arts, grammar, Hebrew, and phonics. Each elementary student has a big kid to assist them as I facilitate this class.
12noonish we have a lunch break. We do mid day jobs, and run around.
1ish all big kids spend an hour doing the Bible Copying method on their own. All the little kids are with mom on a walk.
2ish to 5ish is independent studies (this is music, math, carpentry, plumbing, home ec., gardening, crafting, personal Bible study, literature reading, etc)
5 pm We do deep cleaning and meal prep.
6pm Dad arrives home and we have family dinner.
7 pm we start night school with dad. Character studies and story time. (books like Kisses from Katie, Rush Revere, other missionary stories or history based stories, or anything we can learn from are read at this time).
7:30 Dad Bible study. Dad takes us slowly through scripture studying it deeply.
8 pm Oral Bible reading (torah reading)
8:30 little kids go to bed and have story time with dad, big kids do copy method again for one hour.
9:30 Big kids free to study on own, once or twice a month we will have late night school, and do special classes for the big kids. (budgeting, Bible study on topics like dating, current event studies, etc.)
Lights out at 11.
So, the reason I am sharing this very general outline of our school day with you is to encourage you to make homeschooling work for your family. Our family wants dad to be involved in the education process, so we do it after he is home from work. Don’t be afraid to be different, try new things, and make it work for you and your kids. Our kids don’t do a lot of extra stuff outside the home, like sports and drama. But, when they do, we require them to make up the time on their own. Also, we still think serving the church and community is more important than schooling, so we will stop a school day or even week to reach out to others.
Now we don’t take the whole summer off anymore, but we adjust the summer schedule so we have more times of ministry and less time of lessons.
Hope this encourages someone, today.
Written by Katie
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We are Bible believing, scripture only people. We love to learn about the Hebrew roots of our faith. We believe it is important to not add or subtract from the Divine Word of God. The compiled scriptures that agree with one another and have no contradiction is the 66 books of what is commonly referred to as the Christian Bible, or the Holy Bible.
These writings were originally written by men inspired by God. They were written in the language of the writers and readers of the original documents. Many of the original documents have been lost, but God’s Word is eternal and remains. Therefore, it is important to us to study, learn, and consider the culture, history, and language of the original writers of the scriptures.
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