I keep a diary of our home school activities. Mainly to document our progress in case of a a control visit from the State Supervisory Authority. But also for our own use, to help us keep an overview of our work and activities through the years. I now have diaries from the past 10 years and sometimes I go back to help myself find an activity or way we did things, to inspire us again, to think in a new way. I am used to documenting, so it really feels as a natural choice to me. It gives me an overview of our life. I have also often shared my diaries with new Home Schoolers, who wrote to me and asked for help to set up their own.
Our diary looks different throughout the year, but has a rhythm. The year goes as follows in our Home School:
From August until November and from January until April, we work systematically from a classical weekly schedule, that covers the basic subjects like Math, Danish, Languages (English, German, Spanish, Latin and Chinese), Physical Exercise, History, Geography, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and so on. We spend from 1-6 hours a day on our classical School work. Often we will have field trips as well, so we try to do our classical school work around those trips.
Here is an example of a weeks diary entries in that period of the year:
The 2 oldest children chose a book of their own choice, read it, took notes and made a 15 minute talk to the rest of us about the books subject. This week the chosen subjects were “Witches before and now” and “Leonardo da Vinci”. The oldest child made a math test with the subject potency, square roots and cubic roots, she also translated from an English book called “The lives of Einstein” into Danish and did one page in her Danish grammar book “Min niende danskbog”. The youngest girl completed one page in her English book “Let’s do it Step Four”, one page in her Math book “Sigma for femte” and one page in her Danish book “Min femte danskbog”. The second oldest child completed one page in her Danish book “Min sjette danskbog”, one page in her English book “Let’s do it step five” and did a Math test in the subject linear functions. The youngest child completed one page in his Danish book “Læs nu løs – opgavehæfte 1A”, two pages in his Math book “Sigma for første A” and read aloud for us from “Læs nu løs”. At 11 o’clock a friend came over to take part in our Arts classes, where live drawing was planned. We talked about colour circles and experimented with oil, pastel and charcoal.
The two oldest girls chopped the wood for our fireplace. My husband came home from work and made an experiment with static electricity – we charged a balloon with a wool cloth and then turned on the water and it bend in reaction to the static charge.
The youngest child makes 2 pages in his book about knowing the time “Jeg lærer klokken” and his youngest sister helps him. The three oldest children complete one page in their Danish grammar book “Min femte, sjette and niende danskbog”. The two oldest children completes a math test from “Sigma”. I read aloud from our children’s bible “Børnenes illustrerede bibel” and the children drew an animated story that fit the bible storys content. We all practiced our Spanish, by working on Duolingo for 20 minutes. We then all went to a library where we met up with other Home Schoolers, and the children played together and read. In the evening the two oldest children, went together til an evening class, to learn about physics and chemistry.
All of us played mini-yatzy, an Alkalær card game with the most used 120 Danish words. The oldest child wrote a song for our musical project. The two youngest children made a movie featuring them making music on different objects around the house, inspired by our book “Skrammelmusik”. Two of our children practiced playing on our keyboard. The three oldest children made two pages in their German book “Gut Gemacht”. All the children made one page in their Math book “Sigma”. All the children made one page in their Danish grammar book “Min første, femte, sjette og niende danskbog”. The youngest child read aloud from his reading book “Læs nu løs”. The second oldest child went to her Drama School – Eventyr Teatret, and the oldest child followed her there. The two youngest children went to play with some friends at their house.
The three oldest children filmed and practiced the last part of our film about the Peacock mantis shrimp. Martha edited the film. The three oldest girls wrote sentences in Latin and mum read aloud about Pompeii and a family that had been found in the remnants from the volcano. Hjalmar practiced reading from the book “Læs nu løs”. The three oldest girls then made one page in “Biologi – Pirana” and the oldest child supplemented with knowledge from her book “Menneskekroppen – Politiken”.
The youngest child completed one page in his Math book “Sigma for første A” and one page in his Danish work book “Læs nu læs – opgavehæfte 1 A”. The youngest child helped mum make a chocolate/beetroot cake. The two middle children sewed on their costumes for the musical we are going to perform in our garden.
The three youngest children read aloud from the chemistry book “Fysikemi 1”. We wrote a chemistry report plan together. We watched a film about Benhams colour wheel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham%27s_top The youngest child read aloud from “Læs nu løs”, he also completed two pages in his Danish work book “Læs nu løs – opgavehæfte 1A”. Mum read aloud from the Science book “En meget kort historie om næsten alt” on the subject Einstein and his Relativity theory. While mum read, the three oldest children took notes. Together, we practiced writing, pronunciation and understanding of a number of Chinese signs.
The three youngest children tidied and cleaned their rooms. The oldest child edited the Peacock mantis shrimp film and put it out on our youtube channel Videnskanalen.
Mum went for a walk with the two youngest children. The two oldest children went on their newspaper round. In the evening mum went with the second oldest child to her ballet lesson. Later all the children played and build with Lego in their rooms.
The oldest child worked on her animation for her little brother – a birthday present.
The second oldest child worked on a card for her little brother. The second youngest child feed her snake and discovered he was about to change his skin.
The second oldest child went on her bike to the supermarket and mailed some letters. One of them a letter her little sister had written to a friend. The children all played together with Lego.
In the evening we watched “Hair” together and talked about the Vietnam war and read about it on the internet.
Early morning the second oldest child went with her mum to go swim in the ocean.
When they got back, she helped mum make dough for crispbread. The children build and played with Lego. The whole family went to the cinema and watched “The Lego Movie 2”.
The rest of the year, December and from May until July we have another rhythm.
December is a special month for us. It is the Christmas month. We love Christmas and all the traditions. So we have a goal every year, to get half way in our classical material work books, so we can focus completely on celebrating Christmas with gift making, singing, trips to see Santa, Santa Lucia, visiting Christmas show and exhibitions, making Christmas decorations and watching Christmas movies. We really love Christmas.
May until July we have our summer holiday. Mum is not working in this period of the year, so we have reclaimed all the evenings and can spend all day together every day. We spend most of this period of time swimming in the ocean, sewing, reading, writing, playing games, watching movies, going on trips, visiting friends and talk and talk. We also look at our wish list for the year and see which things has been on it for a while and we still all really would like to come to life. So now we often get time to realise those projects too.
That quite nicely sums up our standard year, and we love it. The best thing is, that we can change everything if we want to, from day to day. Home school is a flexible way of learning and you can always evaluate if your daily routines work for all of you.