…to go over plans and supplies and see what I want to add and what I want to continue using. We haven’t hit the one year mark yet, so I think we are doing good with getting through our first official year of home schooling. There are things I want to change. Right now we are focusing on Phonics and Math more than anything else, and some days we may just watch an educational video, do flash cards, and goof off. Which I am allowing partly because Child #1 is already ahead of where they say he should be, and because Child #2 actually listens to Child #1 and picks up the things he tells him. Come September though I want to have worked out some of the major kinks (mostly getting me to bed at a decent hour so I can get up at 7am and get our day going, and get through all our lessons), and be serious about this. With The Spouse on board he expects certain things to get done now and that accountability on everyone’s part will be awesome and needed at times. Anyways here you go…

Homeschool Revision:

Phonics: Saxon Phonics 2
Language Arts: Harcourt Language Grade 1
Handwriting: Writing With Ease Level One Workbook

Math: Saxon Math 2

Science: R.E.A.L Science Level One: Life, Earth and Space, and Chemistry
Science: Houghton Mifflin Science Grade 1

Social Studies: Harcourt Horizons
History: History Odyssey Level One: Ancient, Middle Ages, Early Modern, Modern Times
History: A Little History Of The World

Art: Artistic Pursuits Book One Grades K-3

Music: Guitar Lessons

Physical Education: Karate

Japanese Studies: Teach Me Japanese, Teach Me More Japanese (the second part of the Teach Me series), plus other books on Japan

Sexual Education: OWL (Our Whole Lives) Grade K-1

Religious Education: Various UU materials and open honest discussion with the boys. This will be a more in depth subject with actual materials when they are older.

Virtues: The Virtues Project has info on teaching virtues to kids and that is where I got the idea to include a virtue for every week that we would discuss and go over. You can click here, here, and here to find out what items we will use. Aside from those we will also use fables and other stories that demonstrate the various virtues.

History twice a week, Social Studies twice a week. Covering two lessons a week in each subject.
Art twice a week covering one lesson a week. First part of the lesson will be the teaching part (on Monday), second part of the lesson will be the activity that ties into the lesson(on Wednesday). Some weeks if there is a holiday coming up Art will be based on that holiday and not come from our curriculum book.
After Grade 2 we won’t be using a phonics curriculum it will be strictly Language Arts.
Saxon Math works for us and it is easy to use. It also goes all the way up to High School Math (Algebra 1 and 2, Advanced Mathematics, Calculus, and Geometry).
We will have other materials and books to supplement these things, these will just act as our foundation for each school year.
Japanese Studies will change when we PCS, it will then become the study of whatever country we end up at, unless we end up back in the US then I’ll figure it out from there. Hahahaha.

Phonics and Handwriting: Monday- Thursday
Language Arts: Monday-Friday
Math: Monday and Wednesday
Science: Tuesday and Thursday
Social Studies and Weekly Virtue: Monday and Wednesday
History and Geography: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Art: Monday And Wednesday
Music: An hour with an instructor and 30 minutes of practice at home on non lesson days
Physical Education: One hour twice a week and then 30 minutes of practice at home on non lesson days
Japanese Studies: Fridays
Sexual Education: Fridays
Religious Education: Two Sundays a month

Ok here is our schedule time wise:
730am: Breakfast
8am: Get ready for the day
830am: Outdoor time (weather pending, if it is too hot or raining then we will stay inside and play)
9am: Phonics, Handwriting, and Language Arts
10am: Break
1130am: Lunch
12pm: Quiet Time
130pm: Art and Snack
2pm: Math/Science
230pm: History& Geography/Social Studies & Weekly Virtue
3pm: We Are Done!!

So it looks like our “school” day breaks up to about 2 ½ hours, 3 ½ if you add in the hour of practice that will take place at home (but that will only be on days when there are no lessons to attend). I think that is plenty and honestly some days we will probably get done with our work sooner than what I plan. But we do need a plan we can adhere to rather closely. I had made one at the end of 2008 and it was similar to this, but this seems far more doable and allows for plenty of none “school” time. This of course is just the Monday-Thursday plan.

Fridays will go like this:
730am: Breakfast
8am: Get ready for the day
830am: Language Arts
9am: Japanese Studies
930am: Head out for our Enrichment (the way things are going it looks like it will be either an ASL class or something to do with Japanese culture *either a craft or a field trip of some sort*)
12pm: Lunch *either with our friends or back at home, just depends on how the day goes and what we did that day*
1230pm: Quiet Time
130pm: Sexual Education and Snack
2pm: We Are Done!! Until Monday!!

I know folks will look at this and go “It’s so structured and school like”, and you know what that’s right it is. And there is a reason for that! We need structure in our home. We are the kind of folks who if we don’t have a schedule or a plan then chances are nothing will happen. We will sit back and chill, enjoy some movies, and surf the net. And while these things are great to do (I LOVE our lazy Sundays, and how we randomly clean the house while enjoying movies, and burst of excited playing), there are other things that need to be done. Our home school is school/academic focused because the main reason, the first and foremost reason, I ever even thought about teaching the boys was because of education. I care deeply about educating my children and don’t want to trust anyone else with something as important as my children’s education and minds.

I get that the unschooled thing works for some folks, but it doesn’t work for me. I’m all good with it at the age Child #2 is. It makes total sense to me at his age, but for Child #1 it doesn’t. He is at the point where we need to have things ironed out, planned, and structured so things get accomplished. Especially with the whole host of things life can throw our way I want us to have a plan in place so we can easily get back to our routine when duty calls, or someone gets sick, and so forth. We’ve had a lot of crazy things happen this first year of “active” home schooling and the one thing it has shown me is how unbelievably important a routine/schedule is to our schooling. We need this in order to handle the things that will get thrown our way.

For those wanting to know what grade we will be doing next year it will be more of a 1st/2nd grade thing. As for Child #2 he will keep working on the Preschool curriculum I found online, and going along for the ride. He is already saying the alphabet with a few missed letters (but he is only 2!) and he is counting to 10 for the most part with a few missed numbers like with his alphabet. He is also able to point out the parts of his face/head, and a few other body parts as well. So I’m pretty confident that he will do well this upcoming “school” year with the preschool work. I don’t foresee me starting Kindergarten work with him when he is four like I did with Child #1 (not any sit down work anyways), but time will tell. We will just take it day by day.

I think that is pretty much it. I know this is kind of long and rather sporadic, but I’m using this as a place to work out details. You all just get to witness the process LOL. So until my next set of ramblings folks…insert witty comment here.

Copyright (c) 2010 Rayven Holmes


  1. Your schedule looks good. Remember to let it change if necessary and FORGE AHEAD!
    I'll give you a general idea of what we do for a week:
    Monday-Sunday: Lessons in the AM, various subjects, random, whatever makes sense at the time, lots of creative writing, math, history and reading. We look for news and current events, get online for cool science and archeology news (my favorites! LOL) During lessons we listen to a variety of music genre. One thing I inherited from my dad was his music collection. LOTS of classical music. Also blue grass, blues, weird things he loved, and some other variety. Art? We look at and create art! Museums, etc.

    I guess I'm saying that we don't have much of a schedule! LOL I think we do well with a schedule, but it's tough to keep it up for very long. But, when we use one, we're very productive!
    On average, I would say we do about 2 hours of lessons a day. However, of course we do LOTS of activities that are educational that aren't strictly lessons. We have LOTS of breaks as John is totally unable to SIT STILL...LOL!

    Nice post, Rayven! Keep up the great work!!!

  1. not a big fan of ...Writing with ease. We have used it for years and I do not like it. I prefer fonts for teachers
    Dorothy Uribe
    Principal at LAUSD

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