Chad and I probably have different things to add on this as we have a different perspective and things are done differently when I’m at work then when I’m home mostly because we take advantage of those days to take field trips and just be together as a family.
There are three main things that get worked into each day the rest is just gravy on the top. Those three things are CC review. In our CC (Classical Conversations) Foundations handbook we learn things from each subject and memorize what we learn. They cover: History Time Line-an order of important events in history by dates from creation to present day, History Sentence-which is a sentence that sums up the period we are studying and usually includes some important dates (this week we learned about Washington becoming the first president of the United States next week it is the Louisiana Purchase), Science-right now we are learning about the human body and this week was the five senses, Geography-right now the kids are memorizing the states and capitols and later they will learn geographic features of the United States, English-in English the kids learn definitions for things like infinitives and present participles, Art and Music are in six week units that alternate, Math-which is skip counting and measurements that the kids memorize, and a science experiment that truthfully we have not been doing both of the older kids have been through this cycle before so they are picking up the memory work pretty quick and Eve is surprising us mostly because she really likes the songs that we use to memorize all the information. All though that sounds like a lot, when you review it each day and listen to the songs in the car (and we are in the car a lot) review is pretty quick probably less than a half hour a day most of the week. An hour or two the first day of the week as you have new info to introduce. The second thing is Math, I know we memorize skip counting and measurements in CC but that is not application. We do Horizon Math which are two workbooks that take the whole year to work through. The kids do four pages out of their math book a day (this is very portable and is frequently done in the car on our field trip days). The last thing is really two things Reading and Writing for these subjects the kids go to the library weekly and check out several books one is on their history subject, one is on their science subject and the rest are of their choosing but they have to pick books in specific page ranges dependent on their age (Eve doesn’t read yet but we do read to her) the kids write their history sentence three times daily for handwriting practice and to help them memorize it and they write an outline then a rough draft and final paper that summarizes their reading of the history book that they chose. The books are what makes learning fun, they draw the kids in the kids are so excited to go to the library each week and pick out new and exciting books where they can learn more. This sounds like a lot but really it takes about two hours a day and the next best part is that it is 100% portable the kids can grab their history book and math book and jump in the car and they are pretty set. We always have notebooks handy and our CC review is already in the CD player in the car. Two hours isn’t a lot are they getting enough? I think they are, state testing says they are, our field trips allow so much hands on, we are constantly discussing topics of current events and issues as well as historical issues and how they were worked out and all sides. They play with other kids at church, in the back yard and at parks and socialize easily with all adults. At the Oshkosh Saturday market Eve had to stop and talk to every booth. They have a friend everywhere we go with in minutes of getting there we probably need to work a little more on stranger danger with Eve but she is fun to watch because she is so lively and makes everyone around her smile. But most of all the reason I am so glad we are able to homeschool and travel is that I feel it is giving the kids a much more grounded and accurate world view than one would have if they never moved much from the area they were born.
I agree for the most part with Sarah. It is fun and engaging for the kids and while we do not spend a lot of time ‘in a classroom setting’ we do spend close to 3-4 hours a day doing our work. I feel that the hands on exposure they are getting through our weekly outing is so much more valuable to their education than the book work done in the classroom setting. It makes for a nice balance when they can get both. I feel that our kids really are getting the best of both worlds.