So we completed our first week of homeschool and school-at-home. Same thing right? Well, not quite. As discussed in a previous post, I've got one child participating in Virtual Learning through the public school that she attends. The other child is actually homeschooling with a self purchased Christian-based curriculum that will be administered by me. The week was surprisingly smooth. All of the fears that I faced regarding Virtual Academy through the public school was relieved. Jordyn's school was super organized and she has transitioned beautifully. So with my 9th grader squared away, most of my week was focused on my 2nd grader. It went a little something like this.
Because we no longer are in our own home, our space for a learning center was limited. To achieve the task, we rearranged a little of the main den to accommodate an area specifically for the kids to do their school work. I ordered a very affordable desk set complete with a three drawer rolling cart to house all of their supplies. The cost or both desks and drawer cart was just over $100 on Office Max's website. It did not require any additional tools and was a breeze to assemble. Finally, I ordered a multi-colored caddy to house all of their pencils, pens, crayons, markers, etc. The item ran approximately $15 on Amazon. It sits on the drawer system between the desks for easy access and my favorite feature is that each section can be removed for more convenient utilization.
Jordyn's schedule was predetermined so I didn't have to do a thing. For Lauryn's schedule, I looked at the subjects that were included in her curriculum and divided them among the weekdays. Bible, Reading, and Spelling are done daily during the first half of the day, followed by English, Social Studies, and Black History on Monday and Wednesday, and Handwriting, Science, and Math on Tuesday and Thursday. I decided to make Friday a testing only day, making her school week only four days (Mon-Thur). We loved it. In addition, I originally planned to begin schooling at 9 am, however, I found that by getting started early (8 am), it allowed us to be done with the day by 1-2 pm. It's just the schedule that works best for us. With all of the subjects, I was still able to fit in a snack time from 9:00 - 9:15 am, Lunch from 11:00 - 11:30 am, and an elective from 11:30 am - 12:00 pm. So far, we've been able to stick pretty closely to this schedule and it's working out great.
For Lauryn's curriculum, we decided to purchase Bob Jones University's 2nd grade bundle. This is the curriculum that her private school uses for 2nd grade and we wanted to be certain that she remained on track and ready to transition back into traditional school next year (if God-willing). I ordered the curriculum at the beginning of August with the understanding that shipping would be 7-10 business days. Three days before school was to begin, I got a message informing me that due to high demand and Covid, the materials would be delayed 2-4 weeks. I refused to panic, and I also refused to wait that long for her to begin learning. So, I created a lesson plan based on the scheduled subjects. I utilized remaining English, Math, Science, and Social Studies worksheets from last year that were left undone. I added Black History into the mix twice a week, and my mother had an abundance of DVD Bible lessons geared toward children in her library. I simply created word searches and found coloring sheets to accompany the theme. Lastly, I allowed for 30 mins a day to be spent on an elective. For PE, Lauryn got to exercise using her favorite game, Just Dance. For art on Tuesday, she and I created a sun and moon craft to coincide with the Science lesson. For Library on Wednesday we read If You Give A Mouse A Brownie while indulging in the fudgey treat, and unfortunately we missed Music on Thursday due to a health scare (stay tuned for that blog post)!
I'm so blessed and honored to be able to stay home with my kids during this uncertain time. I can't imagine how I would feel if I were still a full time employee having to come home and "do" school after an 8 hour work day. I applaud every parent that is in that situation. I am also blessed and thankful for my husband who believed in my ability before I did. He has been pushing me to homeschool for a while, and while I don't anticipate this being a permanent way of life, I am enjoying the quality time spent with my kids. I love that we begin our day with Bible and that I can add relevant and much needed subjects such as Black History to the schedule. I know that God is with us and that with Him all things are not only possible, but will be prosperous. All in all, I'm very happy with what we were able to accomplish and Lauryn tested very well in each of the subjects at the end of the week. We may have the hang of this homeschooling thing after all!