Monday, 25 August 2014

Our Routine for Year 5

As we haven't started our new term yet, I am not able to write a day-in-the-life post.  However, I do have some idea of how our day should turn out when we start.

The basic structure of our day goes like this:
  • Wake up
  • Breakfast
  • Morning chores
  • Morning lessons part 1
  • Break
  • Morning lessons part 2
  • Lunch
  • Lunchtime chores
  • Afternoon lessons

However, no two days are the same, as most homeschoolers will tell you.

The timetable above reflects the emphasis that I feel is needed in Tiger's Logic Stage years: English, specifically writing.  I have been very gentle with Tiger when it comes to the process of writing in his elementary school years, giving him time to develop his fine motor skills and build up his stamina to write more than one sentence at a time.

This past summer we have done a few dictation sessions and some copywork.  The outcomes of those far-and-few sessions show me that Tiger is now ready to write for a longer time than before and is ready for some formal instructions to get him started on the road to writing.  While some children are natural writers who can write long compositions with zero or minimal instructions, Tiger is not one of them, and he recognises this in himself.  To this end, he feels more comfortable having some kind of structure to guide him along (as do I!) and he sees the value of using a formal writing programme to bridge the (very wide) gap between his reading level and his writing level, so we'll be spending most of our time in the new year to develop his writing ability.

This seems like a U-turn from our more autonomous approach from a year ago.  It is in some ways, in that there are certain basic skills that Tiger needs to master before he can confidently progress onto the next level of learning.  Acquiring these skills (e.g. writing) isn't always going to be fun or easy, so if I didn't plan them into our week, there is a very high chance that they will get pushed aside and we will not have progressed at all on those specific areas by next summer.  The timetable helps us stay focused on our tasks but we are not bound by the clock to move to the next subject if and when a topic really takes our interest.  Homeschooling allows us to maintain a high degree of autonomy and flexibility in our learning approach while keeping a focus on achieving the goals that we have set for ourselves.

Having a timetable while maintaining an interest-led approach makes perfect sense to me but perhaps not so much to the reader yet.  Afterall, I do have the advantage of having all my plans, schedules, activities and calendar at hand so I have a clear view of what's going to happen.  We shall see how the new year pans out.  It promises to be a very busy and exciting year of learning.

Each year our approach seems to alter just ever so slightly:

This post is linked up to:
  1. The Homeschool Mother's Journal (8/23/14)
  2. 6th Annual "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop: Day-in-the-Life Week
  3. Hip Homeschool Hop - 8/26/14
  4. Finishing Strong #27 - Electives
  5. Collage Friday - Who Let the Homeschoolers Out?
  6. Weekly Wrap-up: Pre-Break Week


  1. I can't help thinking something has changed over here lately. Is it that Tiger's health is so much better? There seems to be a great energy!
    Your planning sounds fantastic. I hope it all goes to plan. I'll be interested to see how the writing goes. We're doing the same with my T, only he is three years older and still finds writing really hard. He is due to take his physics GCSE next summer but unless his communication in writing improves I don't see how he can, regardless of how well he understands the science. It's noses to the grindstone this year!

    1. You're very perceptive, Claire! Yes, indeed things are shaping up here. Tiger's improved health has indeed much to do with it, as well as the resultant positive improvement in his temperament. Things are a lot easier when a child "sees the light" and becomes more cooperative! :-)

      The focus on writing is very much driven by the need to bridge the gap between Tiger's learning (input) and his writing (output). It has become apparent to me that the gap is just going to get wider if I don't actively do something about it now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for improvements in this area after putting in some efforts. I shall certainly blog about the approach if it works!

      Will you be posting about how T is going about with exam preps, and your process of getting him ready, with locating exam centres, finding the appropriate exam boards to study, etc? I'll be very interested to learn about that! :-)

    2. He learns his physics with another home school parent, who is teaching his own older daughter. I'll certainly post about what I learn when I learn it. I just can't see T taking an exam without putting much, much effort into getting his thoughts down on paper. We are planning an intensive year this year with him and if it is to no avail I may consider getting him tested, with the hope he would be able to take the exam on a computer (he types much faster than he is able to write).

    3. I see. Thanks for sharing this, Claire. Boys and a delay in writing seem to go hand-in-hand quite frequently. Well, I'm having to deal with one here! :-) Sounds like this is going to be a year of really hard work for both our boys, and us.

  2. looks like a great schedule...enjoy your labor day weekend!

    1. Thanks, Melissa. We have lot of work to do in the new year! :-) Hope you have a good weekend too!

  3. I'm going to be doing some more focussed writing skills with my boy this year too. He would also be Year 5. We will be concentrating on handwriting legibility rather than anything else. His content is fine and spelling seems to come quite naturally to him. Once we have neatness cracked, then I will look at building quantity. It's very interesting to see your timetable. It's so very different to ours :)

    1. It's interesting to see how other homeschoolers structure their days and their learning, isn't it? Each family does it differently and I've seen many inspiring ideas online. Thanks for stopping by, Belzi. Both our boys have work to do in writing, albeit in different aspects. We'll be busy! :-)

  4. I like the structure of the day maybe because it isn't dissimilar to ours. The advantage of home education is that we can fine tune to our children's needs. Apologies, I published your comment on my blog then accidentally deleted it and can't find how to retrieve it.

    1. Don't worry, Sarah, I'll pop over again to comment on your blog entry! :-)

  5. It sounds like you and Tiger have a wonderful plan, Hwee - I'm so pleased for you! I agree, the best thing about home educating is having the flexibility to do what works for us - however that may evolve as our children grow. I am very much looking forward to following your adventures this year!

    1. Thank you, Lucinda. The plan remains quite fluid, but I'm glad to put a structure around it, as I find that having a structure helps me to have a better vision of where we're heading, at least for the new school year. Now I'll have to worry about the delivering on the plan, in keeping with Tiger's interest. This is actually the more difficult bit. :-)


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