Thursday, February 20, 2014

A day in our life

I've always enjoyed reading other people's "typical homeschool day" posts, and since we're now pretty settled in a happy routine, I thought I'd write one of my own. This is what happened on a day when we had no fixed commitments outside the house, but the morning portion, in any case, would be more or less the same, regardless of the day. On days when we have afternoon activities, though, we do make sure to get Quran done before we leave the house. Math happens maybe twice a week, on average.

7:30 - everyone wakes up, wanders upstairs, and the girls (Basbusa, 5.5, and Kunafa, 3) eat their Breakfast, Part 1 (toast and marmalade - it's a multi-stage meal, these days!)

8:00 - the girls head downstairs to build a fort out of cushions and blankets, and play in it with flashlights, for about an hour. (Let's call that engineering and teamwork.)

9:00 - I call them upstairs for Breakfast, Part 2 (strawberry smoothies), and then we move to our Project Room, which is where we do most of our homeschooling. Kunafa wants to "play chess," which means me following her very complicated instructions for which pieces go where, how they move, and how they can be traded from person to person. She runs off to borrow Baba's chess set, while I remind Basbusa that she mentioned yesterday that she wanted to learn a new design on her Rainbow Loom. She's all excited about it, so I get her a laptop, show her how to use Google to search for "Rainbow Loom videos," and leave her to her own explorations. Kunafa and I "play chess" for about 15 minutes, and then I read her some picture books. (So, I guess that was technology and research skills for Basbusa, and, hmmm, game design and literacy for Kunafa? I also consider all this Rainbow Looming as part of Basbusa's project work. Her interest in sewing has lately expanded to include some crochet and this rainbow-loom work, but it all seems related.)

9:30 - Basbusa has chosen a design, and gotten the elastic bands all set up, but needs some help understanding how to loop them. So I ask Kunafa to play by herself for a while (she chooses to climb in and out of our new loft a zillion times in different ways, usually using me as part of her stairs, so let's say that's P.E. and problem-solving). Then I sit with Basbusa for a full hour while she tries to figure out what the lady in the video is doing. It really is pretty complicated! But eventually, with some suggestions from me about which of the umpteen little elastic bands each step in the video might be referring to, she gets the hang of it. (So, that covered a whole bunch of fine motor skills, following complex instructions, a whole lot of perseverance, and some design and creativity).

10:30 - Basbusa still hasn't finished the bracelet, but her concentration is pretty much shot, and anyway it's time for Breakfast, Part 3 (whole-wheat crepes, this time). So she and Kunafa tidy up a bit, and they eat their crepes while I read them some chapters from our current Read-Aloud. Then I send them downstairs to get dressed to go outside, since it's a beautiful day.

11:30 - we head out for a walk, for about an hour (so, P.E. and nature study, I suppose).

12:30 - The girls go off to play in their fort again, while I make pizza for lunch.

1:30-2:30 - The girls play in the fort and in the project room for about an hour.

2:30 - I round them up for Quran (which takes 15 minutes for Basbusa, and about 5 for Kunafa. Basbusa is up to Surat el Inshira7, and Basbusa is working on Surat el Ma3oun. For Basbusa, this time includes Arabic reading as well as hifz, because I have her figure out for herself what the day's new ayah says.) Then a super-quick math lesson for Basbusa (Lesson 66 from RightStart level A, which I'm hoping to finish up before the new baby arrives in May, insha'Allah). Kunafa played with play-doh while Basbusa and I did math.

3:00 - we head out to the library, the craft store (Basbusa is almost out of those little elastic bands for the loom), and the thrift store.

4:30 - home again, and the girls are free for the rest of the day, while I get dinner. Basbusa chooses to
watch a "Signing Time" video after dinner, and although I'm usually 1000% anti-screen-time, she does seem to be interested in learning ASL lately. So she watches while I clean the dishes, and she teaches me the new signs that I "didn't have a chance" to see.

So, for Basbusa, today included engineering, teamwork, technology, research, design, fine motor skills, patience and perseverance, PE and nature outdoors, Quran, Arabic, math, and ASL. Oh, and she also read maybe ten picture books, and half of two different chapter books (I didn't mention her reading explicitly in the schedule above, because Basbusa spends so much time with her nose stuck in a book that it doesn't even cross my mind to notice it any more.) I think that sounds like a good combination of learning for a Kindergartener. Kunafa got most of the same, which is pretty good for a preschooler.

We didn't get in as many picture books as I usually do with Kunafa, and we didn't spend as much time outdoors as I would like. That's a problem I've been trying to solve for a while... hopefully it will be easier once the weather warms up a bit, insha'Allah.

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