1 year ago our oldest daughter started writing a musical. After 6 months she had completed the the manuscript. During the writing, she had already knowledge of who would likely we taking part in the musical as actors.
We got a team together and started meeting up 3 hours every second week. We started out with designing the costumes, and making them. My oldest daughter wrote the lyrics for the songs and my second oldest daughter put together the choreography.
We then started practicing the songs, the acting and the dancing. We made a poster and started getting an audience together who would like to see it.
On the day, we also held a bazar with different stalls. We calculated the prices together with the children and break even for the things on sale.
It was a great learning experience for the children and the grown ups.
People often ask us to tell about a typical home school day. So here we go. The main thing about home schooling, is that there is no such thing, as a typical day/week. You have the freedom to have a new plan everyday. But for us, there is a need to have a plan and the security of repetition.
Many years ago our oldest daughter asked to have a weekly schedule put up on the wall every week, so she would know what our plans were. So every week I make a new schedule and put up Sunday evening. Some things will continue to be on the schedule for a long time and others, are only one of events.
The subjects on the schedule is a mix of adult and child wishes. I have chosen that they do general subjects that keep their learning above public school level, so it would be easy academically to enter a public school, if we no longer are able to home school. But also to prepare them for high school or other later education of their choice. Then the children have chosen to have additional subjects, like Spanish, Latin and Chinese. Subjects and how often we have them can vary on our schedule. We can also have weeks where we do project work intensively.
Well, back to a typical day. Let’s start with today. Today we had a day at home. We try to ballance days out of the house and days at home. We often get to plan too much, especially trips and activities out of the house. That often leaves us exhausted and longing for a day at home to get back our energy and catch up on basic stuff. We also really like to get good food and to have time to eat. As a general rule, we try to stay at home in the daytime every second day.
We usually get up at around 7 am-8 am. Then we all do our chores, do our exercises and positive confirmations. The kids empty the dishwasher, they put away any clean dry laundry, they open the windows and air out the house to start of with a fresh oxygen filled house. In the evening I have put their books ready on the table, so they can start working when they are dressed and have done their personal hygiene. I hang up any wet laundry to dry and put on the washing machine with a new load. Then I do my exercises, while the kids do their individual schoolwork like math, Danish, English and German. I go to and from my exercises to help them when they get stuck and so goes the time until around 9 am-9:30. Then I usually get time to get dressed and get ready. I make breakfast, alone or with a kid who needs a break from school work. Then we sit down together and eat.
We usually then do our common school work. That is the rest of the subjects, mentioned above. Today we did biology, Latin and biology project.
I prepared bread in the kitchen while they worked on the Latin exercises, and then corrected them together with them.
Then the children worked on a movie for their youtube channel, while I prepared lunch together with the smallest child in the kitchen.
Then we watched their work on the computer while eating, and decided on redoing it after eating. So we shot another section of the movie, until we were happy with the result.
Then the youngest child and I made a beetroot chocolate cake in the kitchen, while the oldest child edited the movie together and worked on her musical as well. The two middle children sewed on their costumes for a dance show they are planning.
Then we were expecting two good friends to come over for a sleepover, but unfortunately they had gotten the flu, so we had to eat the cake on our own. Don’t worry friends, if you read this, we will make a new one for you.
The at 3 pm we have quiet time until 4 pm. At that time you can do what you want to do – play on the computer, watch movies, talk to your friends on the phone, read, play outside or go where your imagination takes you. I meditate and drink tea.
Today we have a quiet evening. No spare time activities or work. We all enjoy having our meals together and being able to talk and relax in the evening with a movie or game together. The kids often work on creative projects in the evening, writing, sewing, knitting or drawing. They often also just play and make lots of noise and play music and dance.
So how does a typical week look?
A general example of our weekly schedule could look like this:
The subjects at the bottom has stayed the same for a while, because it work well. We have a language a day, as the kids like languages. We have math and danish three days a week, because they got fed up with having it every day. We finish our books already in april every year anyway, so we manage to do enough work anyway, to be ahead of general curriculum. My work is on the schedule, so the kids know when I am not at home in the evening or daytime. The childrens newspaper route is also on the schedule, so we are able to make everything work out with the time we have available. Creative subjects are not on the schedule, as they are present in most things we do, and they infiltrate most other subjects. Project on thursday and friday is a new thing we are trying after the kids started a knowledge based youtube channel called : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2ECOh462jxQraolPZ53evw
At the middle of the schedule you see events that vary from week to week, like playdates, trips, hobbies, meetings and so on. The kids attend different sparetime activities outside the house like physics and chemistry, drama and ballet. They figure on the schedule on and off, when they have their seasons.
The weekend is also included, as we often go on educational trips together as a family in the weekend or visit friends and family.
Next week will be the winter holiday. Originally, when starting out home schooling, we did not separate school and spare time, but we have found that we have a need to do this. So we now have the same holidays as schools. The difference is just that we do not do the usual subjects, but mostly do trips and project work. This winter holiday we will work intensively on costumes, painting the barrel and go pick branches for our fastelavn celebrations. We are so looking forward!
Going to playgrounds, has been a thing we have been enjoying, all during our home schooling years. We live in a country where there are just so many wonderful playgrounds. We live in a city where there are just such a great selection of playgrounds. New ones are build and old ones are rebuild. There are always new ones to explore. It is an absolutely amazing side to Copenhagen and Denmark in general. Denmark is wonderfully child friendly.
When I grew up just outside Copenhagen, in the countryside, there wasn’t any playgrounds. The nature was my playground. It was also wonderful. But it still makes me appreciate the selection of playgrounds I have available for my own children very much.
Well, what do you learn from going to playgrounds? First of all I would say it is physical exercise and getting out in the fresh air in a fun way. Often the playgrounds are also motorically challenging. The children can test their strength and abilities. They can compete and improve their skills from one visit to the next.
Often they have areas where you can build fantasy worlds and role play. Sometimes building blocks where you can build structures. The playgrounds available are just so different and when we visit a new one, we spend much time examining the opportunities that particular one has on offer.
We all love to chop wood. It is a good way to keep warm and get motivated to get outside, when it is cold and we have run out of wood inside for the stove. We take turns swinging the ax and work together, carrying the finished pieces inside.
After having lived out the Iron Age two times (Our Iron Age experience). The children started talking about wanting to try living as Vikings in Sagnlandet Lejre. It was a bit more expensive than the Iron Age trip, but included a bit more survival luxury, like having trips arranged for us and more staff to help us. We even sometimes had help cooking our food over the fire. Included, was also a trip on a vikingship in Roskilde ￼Inlet. Also a 1½ hour horse carriage trip around Lejre. In the mornings the staff did story telling around the fire, and that was so much fun. There was also many craft opportunities. We did tin jewellery over the fire, Straw dolls, carved spoons and knives, dyed wool and spun yarn with it, forged kitchen equipment and knives.
The whole family were equipped with Viking outfits, which we wore the whole week.
We sleept 6 people in this tent. It was very little space, but waterproof.
Our youngest son enjoyed the outdoor freedom.
Every day, we had 1 hour fighting strategy training.
There was time to chill out with a knitting project.
There were goats right by our tent, and the children liked to drop by and feed and pad them.
There were blacksmith facilities and you had to work together to make a knife.
One evening we were attacked by the nearby Iron Age inhabitants and challenged to a burping duel. We lost. But the next evening we took revenge! We had a bulls horn that we had gotten quite good at blowing in. So we won, this time.
Sailing in a Viking Ship in Roskilde .
Our oldest daughter is very fond of languages and particular Antiquity and the Viking Age. So when one of the employees said he could teach her runes, she was very exited.
That is the horn we won over the Iron Age people with 🙂
The main difference we experienced between the Iron Age and the Viking Age, was the improvement in the cut of the clothes, better weapon, better knives in the kitchen and it seemed that they generally had become better trade Merchants.
One thing we always seem to be in deficit with, is going to the forest and to the sea. You just can never do those things enough. It brings on tranquility and peace of mind. It makes you high on life and brings on so many questions about our Mother Earth. The seasons changing, the change in weather. The change in the surroundings. And it always gives you free exercise.
Photo from Hareskoven 2018-10-17.
Photo from Bagsværd sø 2018-10-17.
Often Home Schooling 4 children and trying to do your best all the time for everyone, can turn into just to high a speed. Then we go to the forest or sea and chill out and try to live life slowly and feel time in another way. Today we spend 5 hours in the forest just doing what ever came up. I had my knitting with me. My oldest daughter had her book of Survival with her, which had a peculiar collection of advice in many weird situations. They had a long role play where invisible dragons fought on the lake. We had lunch. They set up a play, which they acted out with me as audience. We did gymnastics and yoga together by the water. Some of us tipped our toes in the water and splashed a bit. We observed the leaves falling from the trees. But most of all, we talked and talked. Sometimes I think that home school really is about talking to your kids and listening to your kids. We spend just so much time doing just that every day. It is wonderful to get to know what goes on inside their heads.
30th of June 2018 we held a Cirkus and Market in our garden. It all started with us talking about making a play in the garden, as we had already done twice. Then one of my daughters said:”I would rather make a Cirkus and a Market, this year”. So I thought about it, and could not see anything wrong with that idea. All the other children also thought it could be fun to try. So we started reading books about cirkus and creative books about the subject. So we sat down and wrote all the acts and stalls we would like to have and quickly saw that we did not have enough artist. So we announced our idea in our Homeschooling network and 2 families wanted to take part. So we made a plan for how and when we would meet and practice and make props, costumes and so on. So for 3 months we met up every second tuesday for 3 hour and worked on the show. It was hard work and great fun. It was also challenging, as in when you throw yourself into a new unexplored area, you find out many new things about yourself. We also decided to charge an entrance fee. It should be symbolic, but an amount the children could use to calculate with. It was decided that the children should split the entrance fee, so they would feel more part of the project. When the show date arrived, it all went very well and we had an audience of nearly 50 people.