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This is the first year for us to have a child in the elementary school and another one in the junior high school. According to the trivium, both of them are included into the logic stage of learning. Therefore, we change the daily schooling time adjusted to the requirement and their ability. Here are some changes that we make for the daily schooling time:
We have not started morning church yet as it was before. Honestly, we plan to go to church again after a long time holiday. Kids usually wake up at 4.45 to get ready to church. They go home at 6.00AM and have some breakfast. From 6.30AM to 7.00AM they practice music. Ken will go to the piano and Tom will get ready to beat the drum. From 7.00AM to 8.00AM they usually go to a short sleep that they need a lot. Otherwise, they will get sleepy during the lesson. Here is the time for me to do some chores and get ready for the day.
Start At 8 O’Clock
We start with some opening or you might say a circle time or warming up time.There are some variation for this circle time:
- Reading the bible based on the daily Catholic liturgical calendar. We usually check some links to Catholic tradition and calendar sites in other websites or in God Listens to Our Children: Kids’ Prayers for Every Day of the Liturgical Year. We love the book as it includes 3 years of the daily and weekly calendar circle with prayers suited to the reading passage. We might do some copy work of the most interesting verse(s), memorization, or meditation of the passage. There is also some sharing.
- Singing some religious or national songs together. First, kids learn to read the notes or solfege. Then, we read the lyrics of the song and try to comprehend. Next we put the lyrics under the notes and sing together. Most of the time I play the piano or electone to accompany them singing.
- Reading the saints biography and discussing their life is also another great time we have. We usually go to That Resource Site to get the correspondence materials.
We try to be really punctual to start the lesson by using handphone automatic alarm clock. I am not a very punctual and discipline mom, but I try myself to be on time. The most important thing, we pray before the lesson is started to thank God and ask for blessing so that we can do things well.
The Length of the Lessons
Most of the lessons are 40 minutes and 5 minutes transition. Most of the lessons demand longer time to finish and one of my goals this year is to get them concentrate longer and independent in learning. At this moment they have a tendency to spend longer time to finish their work. We use timer to help everyone getting faster and more punctual in finishing work. The 40 minutes lessons include Science and Geography (three times a week), Maths and English (every day), Bahasa (twice a week) and Civics (once a week). Those are lessons and subjects with the national exams. Reading is outside the schooling time most of the time, except for written work.
Some of the lessons are 30 and 20 minutes with 5 minutes transition.This belongs to lessons and subjects without the exams, like music study (SQUILT), World History, Religion and spelling.
An Option for Nap Time
Ken and Tom, the two elder sons, don’t have to have a nap time at this moment. It is really hard to get them take a nap in the afternoon after the lessons. Therefore, they have an option to get quiet in the bedroom or go to sleep. They might do free reading, planned reading, a little or quiet play, or do some quiet hobby. This is the time when I can blog or do the computer work.
More Responsibility toward Individual Own Schedule
Until last year we put the individual schedule on the bulletin board, but this year we put it on the clip board. Each child has its own so that they can control the schedule that they have arranged by themselves much better. When they cannot finished it, they should try to complete the left out on the weekend or Saturday so that they have a sense of responsibility. It is completely different from last year. It is quite hard to decide this part. I discuss with them and my husband before praying for the decision.
In the afternoon, children have some extra activities based on their interest and choice. Ken has 4 hours of wushu training in a week, 2.5 hours of swimming, and 1.5 hours of pingpong. He has 30 minutes of piano lesson in a week. Tom has 2.5 hours of swimming, 1.5 hours of drawing lesson, and 30 minutes in a week. Tom chooses to take a leave capoeira temporarily. Jim has 2.5 hours of swimming and 30 minutes of piano lesson in a week.
Everyone has boy scout meeting biweekly with our homeschooling support group. In Sunday Ken and Tom have Catholic youth meeting for 2 hours at church, while Jim has Sunday school and choir practice.
Closing the Day
When they have finished the extra activities, they have time to play. We keep the electronic games for weekends to get them communicate better. After dinner, they clean up themselves and get ready to read or do some family activities before night pray together. Kids go to bed at 09.15PM. We try to make it earlier.
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