Wednesday, September 12

a sample schedule, if you will.

so. we are on day three of this home school biz and i am really, really loving it. what i love about it most is that it is making me a whole lot more intentional in my mothering. it is forcing me, yes, i guess i need to be forced, into doing and teaching the things that i want to do and teach them but am usually either too busy or too tired to actually do. to sum that up: basically, i needed the label i'm homeschooling my kids! to be slapped across my forehead so that i could become more engaged in their lives. i'll admit that truth. 

we also attended our first, and last, day of the co-op that i was so excited about. my had high hopes that were let down a bit… okay, a lot. but you know what? it was a learning experience and i am really glad that we tried it. it wasn't for us and that's okay. i had a great mom moment where i felt a bit like wonder woman when i said to myself, i don't care that i am not going to get a refund! this is not a good fit for my family, i know in my heart that i have got to get the h out of this place. and so we did. i left feeling liberated with two screaming crying kids in the back of my mini van. i mean, it was great. it confirmed to me, a hundred times over, that the decision caleb and i made to homeschool this year was so right for our family right now. it confirmed to me that i, their mom, am responsible for the education - no matter what that might look like. i hightailed it to my sister's to pick up story and actually felt an ache in my heart to get back home the whole time i was driving. i just wanted to walk right through our front door, grab a book, and cuddle up with all three of my babies. and we did just that. 

ahem. moving on….  i shall break down what this week looks like for us: we start off each morning with talking about how we're feeling today, what we're thankful for, any prayer requests we have, etc. then we pray together. which looks something like this: brody squints and begins focusing so hard on praying that he forgets he is supposed to be praying and just focuses on the focusing itself, and foster repeatedly mumbles dear Jesus, dear Jesus, dear Jesus the entire time i'm praying. then we continue on to do the calendar and weather for the day. then we might sing a couple songs, or do a couple finger plays, etc.

we open our bibles and find the verse that we are going to be memorizing and this week it is a soft answer tuns away wrath, proverbs 15:1. so we read that, and read it again, say it together, one more time now! and talk about what it means and how we can apply it to the endless wrath that happens amongst the brothers burkleo. in case you're wondering, they haven't grasped ahold of the soft answer gig yet. 

our FIAR book that i chose to start off with is, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World so each morning this week we will read this book. we also go back and re-read it later in the day, per the kids request. i love FIAR for many reasons, one of them being that it is establishing a love for reading (on their own, and being read to) at an early age. i planned out activities based off the FIAR curriculum for this book, and also used cohesive activities from creative resources for the early childhood classroom, and google. obviously google. 

because foster isn't even three yet, and i have a six month old baby, i am really trying to keep my school goals as weekly goals for what to accomplish with brody. because that is a lot more realistic. and doesn't make me break out in hives like daily schedules not being completed do. mmkay?

okay here's the good stuff (a lot of the activities we are doing fall into a bunch of different subject areas and i am sure i am forgetting a lot too, so just go with it.)

reading: i read FIAR book every day, work with brody on mat and sam from the bob books set 1. start teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons this week. phonics flash cards - working on letter sounds, consonants, and vowels.

finger plays & songs: way up high in the apple tree, days of the week, etc. 

social studies: use map to locate all the places that the character in how to make an apple pie.. visited to get her ingredients for her pie. brody and i both spend time together on the computer looking up facts about the different countries - compare and contrast them to where we live. talk about the different cultures. 

writing: brody writes out his bible verse each day, writes his name on all his worksheets, works on letter and number formation, matching capital letters to lowercase letters, etc. 

language: vocabulary words: FIAR curriculum offers new vocabulary from each book. discuss their meanings - use in sentences, etc.

bible: verse memorization and discussion, long story short activity and discussion a few nights a week as a family, bible reading every night. 

field trip: apple orchard this weekend! 

science: we discussed the terms spoiled food and freshest ingredients possible from our book this week. grabbed some spoiled milk from our fridge for brody to check out. just kidding. will be looking for fresh ingredients when grocery shopping this week. explore and explain evaporation activity: 1/4 cup salt and two cups water and let water evaporate. observe and discuss. our water would not evaporate…like ever... so i dumped it out when they weren't looking and told them it did. wow! look at that guys! evaporation! another activity: apples slices dipped in lemon vs not dipped in lemon juice. 

cooking (the best one!): make apple crisp, applesauce, apple pie, apple anything! top it with vanilla ice cream or else… 

math: read through math start books 1 & 2 and do corresponding activites. work with beads on sorting, counting, directions, shapes, left, right, etc. cutting up apples - counting the slices and different parts, etc. puzzles. measuring while cooking. 

fine motor: work on cutting with scissors this week. writing. 

gross motor: BIKES! soccer, kick ball, catch, running, etc. 

art & music: made seed shakers: the boys painted and decorated to small paper plates each- then we cut up apples and got the seeds out of them (a lot of apples - used them for apple pie), placed seeds inside paper plates and staple plates together. boom. rock out. also drew pictures of apple orchard, painting with apples as "stamps", decorated paper apples with tissue paper and construction paper pieces, etc. 

among all of that i also have a list of skills and concepts i want to work on when we have down time or i need a little extra something. i also have a whole folder full of worksheets that i pull out for brody to do when i need to do important things.. like write this blog post.


  1. I think this is a courageous thing to do with your children. Most times people look down on home schooling; though, home taught children statistically have better attention spans, vocabulary and communication skills. I also <3 the biblical aspect that you are putting into their education. That is something that is not taught in public schools. I think you are amazing Danielle. Kudos to you!

  2. O.k. I've been reading your blog for...a LONG time and I'm ashamed to say that I don't think I've ever commented! This post just gave me my own little trip down memory lane. I did FIAR (the same reading list as you) a couple of years ago with my son who is now in kindergarten. We LOVED the apple pie book and loved eating the pie that we baked even more! I have three boys and homeschooled the oldest two last year. I loved it. I hated it. It was a lot. Your idea to have WEEKLY goals as opposed to daily is the best advise I could ever give. My main problem was my expectations were way to high. We may be a homeschooling family again someday, but for now I felt like I need to focus on my youngest and preparing our home for bringing home #4 from Ethiopia (luckily the older two are loving "real" school :)). I hope you have a fabulous year creating cozy, priceless memories with you sweet kiddos!!

    1. well thank you so much for commenting!! it is so encouraging to hear the positive feedback that FIAR gets - all the best to you and your family!

  3. I'm not a mom, but this is so stinkin' cool. I love what you are doing and I love the emphasis on the Word. I never really knew what homeschooling was like! Huh!

  4. I just love this! We started homeschooling last year and still love it this year :) Good for you for recognizing what fits and what doesn't early on! The motto I've claimed for myself from the start is that there is no right or wrong way to homeschool, and i will not feel guilty if we have to switch gears when something doesn't fit. Good luck to you and your boys this school year!

  5. props to you friend, I cant imagine the discipline this takes for YOU as mama, esp with sweet baby on your hip. :) im so proud of you. and this post has me thinking that maybe this WOULD be possible for me to accomplish. still praying about it. love YOU! #octoberhollaholla

    1. love you!! you can totally do it - i have faith :) - if you feel like it's what will work best for your family!! xox

  6. Amazing! So happy that you are enjoying homeschooling and feeling that it's right for you guys. We don't have any kids yet (hopefully soon!!!!), but my heart aches with excitement when I read other blogs where families are homeschooling. Maybe it's the wannabe teacher in me or the thought of fresh crayons and chalk, but I look forward to homeschooling our kids some day.
    God speed friend! :)

  7. girl, you just went up like 100 notches in my
    'things that are awesome' scale. seriously.
    i completely and utterly admire moms that can homeschool.
    i've always kind of known it wasn't for me or my kids.. i am
    very easily distracted when i'm in my house. i'll notice something is dirty
    and before i notice i'm scrubbing it down. happens all the time during
    homework. if i had had more mothers around me (when i had my first) talking about homeschooling and doing it I wonder if I would have at least attempted it.
    so so glad your enjoying it!

  8. Wow, this is so awesome! I'm definitely bookmarking/pinning this post :0) I am really hoping to homeschool when my kiddos are ready, but sometimes it terrifies me to be in charge of all of those categories of learning/development. Especially when there are younger ones that aren't quite ready for school yet.
    But your schedule looks awesome!

  9. So neat!! You have such a lovely and inspiring blog! Happy to be your newest follower! Blessings, Heather

  10. You are off to such a super start in your homeschooling journey.

    Sorry co-op wasn't a good fit. I've been to good ones, even served on the board for a long time, but I have also been to bad ones. Good for you on realizing it didn't fit your kids or you.

    I have been homeschooling my daughter for over six years now. We use Time4Learning and supplement with things she is interested in learning. That is one of the things I love most about homeschooling, being able to choose what you want to study and how you want to accomplish it.

    Best wishes to you and your precious little ones this year.


  11. you rock. and i'm totally stealing some of your ideas.
    (i figured if i tell you, then it's not quite 'stealing' ) :)

  12. Girl I worked in so many preschools and sounds to me like you are doing school better than most. Oh and you're also running like 4 circles around the rest.
    Just saying. You rock!