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Homeschool 2.0

 We are in full-swing homeschool now! Noah started seat work and I am figuring out how to create a fun learning environment for both boys (at the same time). Noah has basically taught himself to read and I found that the phonics books were boring him after the summer. Nicholas has found a strong interest in coding and has taken some online intro classes- glad he is self teaching because I have no clue when it comes to coding.  Our seat work only takes 1.5-2 hrs/day,  both boys learn best while engaged in activities so we plan lots of learning fieldtrips, playdates, co-op, a few classes, continue to participate in cub scouts, ( but did change to a homeschool den) and experiment with science at home. We started the Marathon Kids challenge and plan to complete that marathon by February 2014.

Here is our schedule as of November 2013

Parents schedule: Dad still works M-F and is away from the home from 7:30am-6pm. He is having fun taking the boys to their piano/guitar lessons at Orpheus Academy of Music which also includes a group music theory class on Saturday mornings 9am-11:15am. Weekends are for the guys to bond!

I am home M-F, I am currently working Saturday and Sundays 7am-5pm. I joined  B.A.R. this month (become a runner) and have been training to run a 5K- getting up and out for a 6am run really makes for a productive day. Fingers crossed this will turn into a life long way to keep healthy. I also get in an evening book club, AACNS board meeting, and a date night with the husband every month.

Monday-Thursday will usually consist of some seat work- I noted the days that we have other activities scheduled and a little about what they are. (Seat work= sitting at the desk or in a comfy chair to read, listen, write or work with curriculum.)

Monday: Usually a home day- Noah is working on "Explode the Code" series, Oak Meadow First grade, "Miquon" math and will start "All About Spelling". Nicholas loves the "Life of Fred" math series-he is about to complete the elementary series and begin the intermediate series next month. He is in the middle of "First Language Lessons" level 3, "SpellWell" B, "Writing with Ease" level 3,  and reading "Harry Potter" series. Nick also uses Oakmeadow Fourth grade curriculum.  Both boys love "Story of the World" history curriculum-currently on The Middle Ages and we do this together, reading and working on geography skills using the maps. Nicholas will be adding in a vocabulary building program- "Wordly Wise Book 1".
Noah enjoys reading and is working on his early reader books: "Little Bear", "Mouse Soup" and all the Mo Willems books-still his favorites.

Tuesday: We have cub scouts 3x/month a 1.5 hr meeting 1:30-3pm. Noah is a Tiger cub and Nicholas is a Bear. Austin Globtrotters at 10am-11:15am- this class focuses on a new country once a month. Trips to the library happen on Tuesdays every other week.

Wednesday: Plan a playdate with our closest homeschool family once a month. Science experiment or geography, art, and crafts.

Thursday: Northside Enrichment Group Co-op is weekly- this is where the boys are exposed to kids of all ages and backgrounds they get to decide which classes they are interested in and make suggestions on future classes and topics of interest. This is one of the ways we are part of the Austin homeschool community. Here is a list of classes the boys have taken in the last year: Tinkering, Gymnastics, Early Spanish, Chefs, Pre-school Science, Candy Science, Cupcakes Decorating, Book Club, Nature Explorers, Parkour, Magic-The Gathering Game Play, Woodworking, and Pre-school Art. Wow, that is a lot of enrichment! Once a month we have cub scouts pack meetings at 7pm.

Friday: Once a month we attend the ANSC homeschool science classes. Our friends also homeschool attend the classes-this is our smaller more intimate community of homeschoolers that we "play" with. Playdates, field trips, homeschool activities, family fun and with other similar families- it's a fantastic tribe! We try and not do seat work on Fridays but enrich our day with fun crafts, art, music and entertainment.  This is also the day I will take off and let Grandma substitute (once or twice a month)  or arrange medical appts.

Grocery shopping happens in the evenings or the boys tag along. (still haven't figured out)
 Most days feel relaxed and un-planned which makes us a happy, stress free, and calm family. Lots of playtime in our home that is full of enriching materials.
This is not a set schedule just a general idea about how the days flow. Fieldtrips, appts., helping my mom/family/friends and/or playdates take priority. We love school and want to instill a sense of importance in learning but also want the boys to realize that their education is in their hands not ours. If they want to "do school" on a Saturday I sure hope they will just do it!

Daily Schedule: 
8:30-10-free playtime/outside
10am-seat work till lunch
12noon- lunch
2pm- reading time
4:30-5pm music practice
6:30- dinner
7pm-evening playtime
8:45-story time with dad (currently reading "Hardy Boys" series

This article is a great post that I agree with: (except the "we stay at home" part)

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