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Homeschool routines can vary dramatically from family to family. However, I have recently connected with several families around the U.S. with 7 year old homeschoolers and have been shocked to see how alike we are.
This is a guest post written by Cypress King.
My son is seven years old…
Seven is an age full of exploration, constant learning, self-realization, and emotions. What an intense age!
If your kid is like mine, he or she
- never runs out of energy,
- you never know what they are going to say, and
- they think the world revolves around them.
My boy is your typical 7 year old. He is into LEGOS, sports, reading, gross sounds, tearing the erasers off of pencils, and anything that has to do with Sonic the Hedgehog.
If you asked him what his one wish be, he would say to be able to fly, breathe underwater, and have unlimited running speed. That’s not one wish, you say? Well… would choose them all. He can’t decide just one. How could he? There’s too many amazing things to wish for!
Although he is your typical 7 year old… he’s very different from the other kids on his basketball team. You see, he is homeschooled.
And, he’s super proud of it too!
One of my favorite thing’s to hear him talk about with his friends is how much he loves being homeschooled. It does this momma heart good!
A Quick Overview of Toby’s Homeschool Daily Routine
- 6:00-8:30: Relaxed Wake Up & Breakfast
- 8:30: Bible Quoteing
- 9:30: Interest Driven Science
- 10:00: Challenging Math
- 11:00: Quiet Reading & Snack
- 11:20: Music
- 12:00: Family History Lesson
- 12:30: English Language Arts (Reading, Spelling, Writing, and Grammar)
- 2:00: The Extras
Check off critical household, social, and hygiene skills for your child so they’re prepared (not petrified) of growing up!
A typical homeschool wake-up routine from my son’ P.O.V.
Toby has never known what it’s like to have a typical public school morning routing.
You know what I’m talking about?
- Brush teeth,
- put clothes on that you laid out the night before,
- slam down some cereal,
- grab your backpack,
- and head for the door.
His morning begins early and slow…
Although we don’t typically start academics until about 8:30-9:00, he likes to get up around 6 for some snuggle time.
Even on mornings that I’m already “up and at it”- I get back into bed for his snuggle times. I figure he won’t be doing this forever and I wan’t to cherish this time.
I love that the very the first thing on his mind is, “My mom likes when we snuggle and it’s warm where she is.”
Sometimes he runs full blast down the hallway just to sail across the room and under the covers.
He doesn’t have to worry about his dragon breath or how long it takes him to “wake up.” In fact, he doesn’t worry about anything except how comfy he can get during our time together.
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He doesn’t have to grab breakfast “on the go” either.
Well, not exactly (he grabs the eggs from the chicken coop each morning.) He may not really enjoy having to tend to the animals every day, but truly loves them. He will speak to, sing to, or hold each one at some point during feeding time.
Yes, it takes forever. We’re working on that…
Back to breakfast- because he comes in hungry!
Breakfast is an important meal. Some say it’s the most important meal of the day.
My seven year old would say that “breakfastesssssss” are the most important meal of the day.
Toby’s first breakfast is right after coming back inside from gathering eggs and feeding the chickens. He usually cracks some eggs and makes his famous”one bite eggs.” One bite eggs are his way of perfectly scrambling eggs on his own. Three-four eggs usually does it. I’ll make up some toast or waffles to go with. If we have them, any kind of berries go with.
He’s really a bottomless pit. Ten minutes after breakfast is over, he’s telling me he is hungry again. So… lots of snacks are part of his homeschool routine.
I believe that teaching the value of “real food,” how to care for animals, and cooking skills are great life skills and can be considered part of our homeschool routine.
“Mom, I cleaned up my breakfast plate without you having to tell me today. Also, I grabbed a handful of blueberries to take with me.”
My 7 year old is a Bible quizzer.
Toby knows that quoting for that day comes before academics starts. Sometimes he asks (even begs) to do it after school. But… it always comes first.
Our family is big into Bible Quizzing. We spend a lot of time and energy memorizing scriptures.
Bible Quizzing is a program where kids memorize God’s word and meet up once a month for competitive quizzes. The kids really enjoy it! It’s a lot of work memorizing, that’s true….
Hiding God’s word in their heart is invaluable. One added benefit to Bible Quizzing is the social aspect. Toby has made some of his closest friends through Bible Quizzing trips. His best friend is a boy his age that lives in Ohio. It really opens the world up for him.
Toby has been learning some pretty awesome study habits. I mean, it takes a lot to memorize hundreds of scriptures. He has memorized the books Mark, Proverbs, and Galatians so far. He is working on Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians right now.
So, his academic day technically starts after quoting.
This is what Toby’s typical daily homeschool routine consists of:
Fast paced and full. If you were to ask him he would tell you that, “Mom has me doing so many things each day. It’s a lot!”
We enjoy a relaxed morning because we can, but we work hard each day at learning new things.
Toby never has to wonder if he is going to have to strive to grow that day. He’s a hard-worker and an eager learner. He’s also got a perfectionist mentality, which is why were “growing” not “perfect.”
Starting with something he loves gives him something to look forward to.
Right now we’re studying weather. He’s really into thunderstorms… probably because we’ve had a few of those recently. Since he showed such an interest in them, I created a little research project for him to complete.
He was bubbling over with excitement about printing some photos and getting to type his report on the computer. As a bonus, I had him read his report to his dad and I.
He didn’t realize that I created that plan “off he cuff” because of his sparked interest. This is somethings I do pretty often when I see an opportunity to take an interest to the next level. To him, it was just a fun learning opportunity for him. For me, it was a lesson in typing, computer skills, writing, reading, research, and science.
Math really allows him to show his strengths. “What are we going to learn today, mom? “Oh, that’s going to be easy.” Are his typical reactions as he grins ear to ear.
Side note- it’s not always easy and he does get very frustrated at times. However, he continues to work hard to show up his older brother. Math usually lasts about an hour.
Toby really takes pride in finishing first in math. His motivation is really because he wants to beat his brother to the punch. But, there is another benefit as well. You see, whoever finishes math first gets to do quiet reading time first.
Quiet Reading Time
I didn’t realize when I started this routine years ago, that it would be so influential in the lives of my kids. I honestly started it because I needed some “down time” to cook lunch.
When I say what they live for quiet reading time, I mean they LIVE FOR quiet reading time.
For Toby, this started when he was just a little tot. He would sit and look through piles of fun picture books (while having a snack). Then, it turned into reading these books and laughing out loud.
Now, it’s discovering a new book series to enjoy and reading them daily.
I often have to gently (but firmly) take his book away to get him to put it down and come back to school. “Mom, I’m almost done with this chapter,” is a usual response.
Although this does take up valuable time during the “academic school day,” I do not feel like it is wasted. For Toby, learning to love reading was an important part of his educational career. I think it makes all the difference.
I know he’s probably thinking that mom is the worst for taking him from his precious book. But, music is pretty cool too!
All in all, Toby spends about 45 minutes on music as part of his homeschool routine. How much time he spends on different instruments each day depends mainly on his mood.
“Ahhhh, mom! Do I have to start with violin today?” “Nope, go play your guitar and then violin next.”
I believe in dedication and practice habits, but firstly I also want to instill a love of music in my children. That being said, I do allow for much of this time to be interest driven.
If he’s in the mood he will usually start with his violin to get it over with. It’s not his favorite to practice, although he does love how it sounds.
Then he will tackle his piano, bass, and drums at Ministry Central. Lastly, he gets to jam out on his guitar with a Yousician lesson. He really looks forward to those lessons and would spend the majority of time on guitar if I would let him.
For him, History takes about half an hour. He listens, colors, and reads together with his brother.
He’s a bit of a perfectionist (I may have mentioned that before), so I often have to remind him that it’s not about perfect- just about understanding.
Toby isn’t happy unless he is giving it his best. As a homeschool child, this is a great outlook to have. It’s one that we have always tried to keep when it comes to academics. I love the verse that says- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord (Colossians 3:32).
Here are a few things that I say on the regular:
- You can do anything you put your mind to.
- Good things come to those who work hard.
- We do hard things- well.
- Failure isn’t failure unless you give up. Never give up.
- If it’s hard, it’s worth doing.
He works hard to remind himself of these simple truths. Sometimes, he mutters hem under his breath while working out a difficult task.
English language Arts
All in all, Toby’s ELA consists of reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and snacks.
I have found that with him, it helps to allow him to choose in what order these tasks are accomplished (snacks of course is for all out it). He likes the sense of ownership.
Making that simple decision seems to make the lesson more enjoyable for him.
Sometimes he starts with the reading part because it’s his favorite. Other times, he saves it for the last because it’s the reward at the end.
I think there is value (life skills) in knowing how to self-regulate and be able to plan for what you need to do. Like my father-in-law says, “If you know you you have to eat a frog that day… wake up and get it over with.”
Like any typical seven year old- he often tries to save what is least desirable for last. That’s human nature, right?
That being said, we have been working on getting done with what is least favorite first to help the afternoon go smoother. Altogether, ELA will take him about an hour and a half.
The “extras” only happen when we have extra time.
As any homeschool mom will tell you, we plan too much.
Too many activities, too may obligations, and too many extras. It’s part of it… we wan’t everything for our kids- the best of it all!
It took me a while to come to a peace about allowing my children the opportunity to do all things, but allowing interest to drive them with where they spent much of their time. I had in mind for my kids to do then all each day… it just isn’t gong to happen in this lifetime.
His interest changes from day-to-day, which I am totally fine with. He needs to experience different things to find out what he loves and thrives in.
Knowing that he get’s to do the extras at the end of the day helps motivate him to finish all tasks on time.
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Bonus: My seven year old loves listening to Adventures in Odyssey while he eats his lunch. It’s a Christian based kids radio program that teaches life skills through exciting stores. His dad actually listened to AIO when he was young boy. His family traveled as evangelists and they played the cassette tapes in their van. Well, we don’t have cassette anymore but this website has all the old recordings (and new ones too)!