A Day at Hibbard Elementary

As promised, I finally got the camera into the school room this week!  How about a photo walk through a typical day? 
First of all, here’s our school area.  It’s one half of the “front room,” or what would technically be the formal living room.  The other half is the tv area.  We will eventually have a couch dividing the room in half once we get a chance to go pick it up (it will back up to the end of the bookshelf, and the table will be right behind it), and I’m sure we’ll do a lot of school snuggled up on that couch!  But, for now we have two lawn chairs in its place. 
School RoomWe start the morning around the table for Bible and whatever our first subject of the day happens to be.  We are on a sort of block rotation such that the morning subject is different every day.   Just as a bit of a side note, Steven’s age is a huge blessing this year.  It’s amazing what being four does for a child.  For the first time he is truly a part of what we’re doing. 
On days when I am mostly reading to the kids, all three of them get to find a way to busy their hands while they listen.  They can play with Silly Putty, work puzzles, do word puzzles, etc.  This morning Olivia quietly built a fort while I read!  Angela loves to do critical thinking pages or color.  Here’s Steven doing one of his workbook pages while I read today.
Of course, science days are a different story because it’s much more interactive than read-aloud days.  We had our first experiment this week, trying to light up a bulb with a battery.  The girls then recorded which techniques worked and which ones didn’t while Steven took his turn lighting up the bulb.  ScienceScience 2
Next comes spelling.  Steven has been dying to take a spelling test like the girls, so this week we finally figured out how to include him.  After I call out their word, I call out a letter.  He finds the letter on his dry erase book and traces it.  He was so excited to have his own spelling test!
After spelling the girls read their readers while I work a bit with Steven.  Then comes what so far seems to be everyone’s favorite part of the day.  While I rotate the girls through their one-on-one teaching time, whichever girl isn’t working with me gets to “teach” Steven for a few minutes.  The activity changes every day and ranges from reading him a book to helping him do a page in one of his workbooks.  They do lace-up cards, felt board play, flashcards, play memory games, etc.  This idea has been a huge answer to prayer and, so far, has worked beautifully!
Steven & Angie Steven & Livie
After lunch Steven goes down for naptime, the girls do independent work (anywhere they want to as long as they get it done in a timely fashion), and I have some “me” time.  This will be when I blog, study Polish, and (when I get a chance to start) work on my MA courses. 
Olivia  Angela
And that, my friends, is a day of school – at least for now.  The beauty of it is that when it gets old, we can change things up!  My hope is that this doesn’t get old for at least a little while because Mama likes this schedule! 


Stephanie Kay said…
Wow! What a great routine you have going! We are slowly getting into a workable routine. Funny enough, I started off with a schedule kind of like yours - school work all done before lunch. But I was stressed out and the kids were grumpy by me trying to fit it all in. This week we've had errands to run every morning (except Monday) and haven't gotten home until well after our normal lunch time. So school has happened in the late afternoon/early evening. And it's gone much smoother! I've also turned over math instruction to Daddy. I really do not enjoy anything about math. The boys love having Joel involved in the school and it allows me to sit with Ellie and do her workbooks. Win-win for everyone! :)

Finding the right groove always takes time. I think we're almost there.
The only reason it's working for us is because we're stretching the curriculum out - taking a year and a half to do a year's worth of work. So, we're taking four days a week to do three. Otherwise I'd be going insane!

I love that you figured out a way for Joel to be involved! I've been praying about how to have Doug more involved, and that wisdom just hasn't materialized yet. But, I'm definitely going to keep praying!
Sounds like you have a great system working for you!

I realize how long I've been reading your blog when I see how big Steven is getting!
Choate Family said…
Our kids take turns "teaching" Katherine, too. Like your kids, it's one of their favorite parts of school! Maybe on furlough we can do some school together - what a treat that would be :-)

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