What Do We Cover in Our Homeschool Each Day?

Someone had a great question for me yesterday.  Since I usually just post about one topic at a time on the blog she wondered what else we cover each day. I thought I’d stick my answer into its own post since other’s might be scratching their heads wondering if we have regular stuff we cover.  Here was my answer…

We usually have one or two units going on… right now we’re on rocks and minerals and world cultures (Africa). We usually work on at least one of those topics each day. Depending on how time consuming the activity is for that day, we might or might not cover the other unit.  Our activities range from reading a book or doing map work to doing an involved experiment, project or activity. Each day is different!

We also study German, but that happens only about 3 days a week. At times the kids are also working on other skills that don’t get much of a mention here on the blog like typing or critical thinking skills. I fit those in during math time from time-to-time. (Hmm… I can’t believe the last time I talked about the critical thinking activities was last May!!). There are also a few other things we do just outside the home each week (or every fortnight).

Then, we are always doing the basics behind the scenes even if I’m not talking about it. The basics are similar for my older two…

For LD and DD the basics include math; spelling and grammar (sometimes we do both, sometimes we just do one of the two); free writing (daily); and reading (both independent reading and read aloud time). DD also works on handwriting (a bit, not necessarily every day. She uses Handwriting Without Tears).

For LD, math right now is mostly long division, arithmetic review (a row or two of problems of multiplication/addition/subtraction/etc. from his math workbook) and just this week we started back into geometry after several weeks on equivalent fractions.

IMG_1996geometryDD’s math is mostly arithmetic review (double or triple digit subtraction & addition in her math book) and also multiplication problems and/or games. (Here are some of the multiplication pages/games I’ve made for her the past couple of months.) She worked on fractions for a couple of weeks as well, but now she is primarily working on getting some of the multiplication facts down.  She’s been singing a lot of the 6s times tables (to the tune of “This Old Man, He Played One.)… It’s a little rhyme song I made up for LD a couple years ago that seems to cement this in their brains! (Check out this video of the girls doing this to a clapping game.)

6, 12, 18, 24

30, 36 wait there’s more

then comes 42, 48, 54, Hooray!

With 60 we’re done skipping today!

For ED the basics include reading a “Bob Book” (though we’re actually using the free Sam books because they seem to suit her better. She’s on book 23 (of 52). More about those at the end of the post).  She also does some sort of math activity with me (I haven’t done a post in quite a while about those, but we do a lot of Montessori activities and assorted math games) each day.  I’ve had it in the back of my mind to do a post about those, but haven’t gotten around to that lately! ED also uses Handwriting Without Tears.  ED almost always participates in the activity we do for science or history. And, she has been listening to our Narnia book.  I also spend time reading picture books with her (and whoever else is interested). See the post a few weeks ago — 14 picture books my kids love at the moment. She spends a lot of time playing while I’m working with the others. I try to set out new games and activities for her like zoologic to keep her engaged.  You can see a lot of our critical thinking type games/activities here.

IMG_1934ED-readingLet’s see–anything else?  Well, most days I try to send the kids outside to play for a while as well. They’re outside playing while I’m blogging in fact! (I ran out and snapped this picture, but now they’re off doing something else!)

IMG_2023hammockAnyway, every now and then I do a post that covers all of what we’re doing or what our day is like… but often I find it easier to post about one topic at a time otherwise I would go on and on and on (as I’ve just done now, right?!)!! Life is action packed and full.

Oh and I should add that because we’re homeschoolers, we also throw everything out the window now and then and take advantage of other activities when they come up!

So that’s about it as far as our regular school stuff goes. I want to return for just another moment to talk about the Sam Books. I came across them last year when they were offered free at Reading Teacher.com. That has since become a paid website, but I found someone else who shares them for free.  This beginning reading program was developed in 1977 and since it was federally funded, federal law requires that the program be placed in the public domain.  What I like about them is that they have slowly developed a cast of characters — Sam the lion, Mit the monkey, Sis the snake, Nan the kangaroo and so forth who appear from book to book. The pace is slow — which suits ED’s needs.  My older two were a bit quicker to catch on to reading, but ED is doing really well with these. I suspect we will read through the entire series before moving on to Primary Phonics by EPS. Again, the free I See Sam books are available thanks to Dr. Brian Marriott. Here’s a photo of a handful of those books (between 1 and 21).


I’m sure I didn’t cover everything about our homeschool (I certainly didn’t mention the clutter that I could/should tackle!! Sigh…Hey, I’m blogging instead! Heh heh.).  If you’re curious about anything, just ask! ~Liesl

9 Responses

  1. Adina says:

    Thank you for the info about the free Sam books – I wasn’t aware of them and I was just looking free easy readers online!

  2. Linsey says:

    Do you get y’all’s picture books and literature books from the library or buy them new or used?

    • Liesl Den says:

      We have a wonderful library and these days I tend to check out 60-70 books at a time! When we’re doing a particular unit I often start on Amazon looking for books (with good reviews) and then go to our online library catalog and request them. I love, love our library system! Hooray for public libraries!

      When we lived in Australia, though, the town library was awful and I bought a lot of books from ebay and shipped them over. I got some amazing deals and had my Dad send them over to us. (Wonderful Grandpa that he is!!) I went to ebay and looked at the ‘lots’ being sold of Caldecott Award winners (and later Newbery Award Winners). Back when the kids were really little I even bought ‘lots’ of Hello Readers and those have gotten (and still get) tons of use because I’ll grab a handful of those for the girls to look at in the car. Because of that we have a lot of the classic children’s books (like Where the Wild Things Are, Stellaluna, etc.) and Hello Readers on our shelves here at home.

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