Note: This post was originally written and published as a guest post for my blog back in 2015 and has not been updated. However for the latest news and adventures check out their awesome blog over at www.frogotter.wordpress.com It is full of amazing ideas and activities so pop over and be inspired!!!
We have three boys. The older two are adopted and have a range of special needs. The youngest is a toddler. So, our house can be a bit chaotic and loud. Things don’t always go precisely to plan.
We do, however, have a plan. We’re quite structured homeschoolers. Even if days don’t always follow our plan, having a plan there to fall back on gives us some very welcome scaffolding.
When I first took the big boys out of school, I got a little over-excited about experiments, games, trips and groups. They got somewhat overwhelmed. We agreed a compromise. Now our days start with workbooks, which the boys love, then later I can offer projects and trips and we see how it goes.
The boys structure their days around food! They have breakfast as soon as they come downstairs. Eleven o’clock is morning snack. Lunch is at half twelve. Afternoon snack is at half three. We all eat tea together at half six. As they’ve been getting older, the boys have become calmer about the occasional time slippage, so long as no meals or snacks are ever missed.
The big boys do a bit from three workbooks each day. Over a week we have: Maths, English, Science, History, Geography and Programming. My rule is that they must take a break between workbooks of at least ten minutes. They often read during their breaks, or, on a really good day, they might put on a loaf of laundry or read to the toddler.
The toddler is working through some phonics books, with colouring and stickers. He also has fuzzy felt, magnet books and comics for when he wants to do ‘work’ like his big brothers.
On Mondays my mum comes round. We usually go for a walk together, often finishing up with a trip to the library and the park. Once a month, Middly has a youth group meeting in the evening.
On Tuesdays the big boys have a gymnastics lesson with a group of home educated children. While they have their lesson, the toddler plays with some other younger siblings. The gym is quite a drive from our home, so we listen to audio books during the journey. We’ve just finished ‘A Short History of the World’, which I very much enjoyed, so I think we have to hear ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’ next, which the boys all love.
On Wednesdays we have started a Science Club for home educators with a couple of friends. It’s early days, but I am quite excited about it! The boys are enjoying helping out. Middly has made posters and visual aids. Eldest has helped set up demonstration experiments. Both are great at setting up chairs, handing out biscuits and making new children feel welcome. It’s a lot of fun to have a joint project to work on. Then, in the evening, Middly has a church group and Eldest has Scouts.
On Thursdays my mum takes one of the boys to her house for the afternoon, they take it in turns to visit her, cooking together and helping out in the garden. Eldest also has a tennis club in the afternoon.
On Fridays we go on an outing with a group of home-educating friends. We’ve visited museums, zoos, old houses and woods.
We don’t do any workbooks at the weekend. On Saturdays Daddy takes the boys out. They take long walks, climb trees, and eat ice cream. I get a bit of time to myself to recharge my batteries and get the ironing done. On Sundays we go to church, the boys play with their friends. We usually spend the afternoon watching a film or playing boardgames together.
Then, we do it all over again!