Can you believe we are already in October? Most homeschooling families have started lessons for this school year already and are either loving their daily schedule/routines or needing to tweak them a little bit. Last year I changed up our daily rythm several times! That’s totally fine to switch things up and try out a few different things before finding a good groove to your day. This year is only our second full year of homeschooling and very different from last year. With a new baby in tow, we have had to be flexible about the structure of our days. We may have to stop mid-story to change a diaper, but I still wouldn’t have it any other way! I like to see what other homeschool families are doing and love recommendations on homeschool curriculum, so here is our new homeschool daily rythm and our 3rd grade curriculum choices for the 2021/2022 school year!
I really do not know how mamas with multiples balance all the lessons every day. I will get there someday and hopefully will be able to manage it all. But for now, I just have my one 3rd grader to teach and an almost 2 month old baby in my arms. So this daily/weekly routine is going to look very different from the family with 3 kiddos.
Theodore (the baby) usually wakes me up to feed around 7:30 or 8:00. I will nurse him in bed and get him changed and ready for the day. Then I will try to wake up Liam (my 8 year old) which takes a few times. He would sleep until 11:00 every day if I let him! I am scared to see what this kid is like as a teenager!
I go upstairs to the kitchen (our bedrooms are in the basement of our house) and head straight for the coffee maker. I eat a quick breakfast first and then will make Liam’s breakfast and drag him out of bed and to the kitchen table. I try to eat first so that I can read to him while he eats. I will read from a kid’s bible every morning. On Monday’s we watch Church At Home and then all other days will read from a children’s bible. Some days after I read a bible story we watch a kids video on YouTube of that story so he gets to visualize the story as well. Starting our day getting to know God has been the best thing ever! I just love it when Liam begs me to read another bible story. We also will say The Lord’s Prayer together every morning. Then we clear our plates and either do a worksheet in our morning binder or head upstairs to the homeschool room. I will be sharing what is in our morning binder over on my Instagram soon if you are interested in seeing that.
Last year I tried to squeeze in some chores after breakfast and I find that for my kiddo, he won’t be fully awake just yet and will take FOREVER to do the smallest task. He gets distracted quite easy, too. So we jump right into our school day and so far this year, this has been the way to go! We moved our chore time to the afternoon.
Once upstairs in our homeschool room, we start our day out with saying the Pledge Of Allegiance while Liam holds a small American flag. Then we do the calendar and take note on what the weather is like for the day. This is also a good time for us to go over any upcoming field trips, events, or visitors.
After the calendar, I let Liam choose if he wants to start with Language Arts or Math. Math is his least favorite subject, so sometimes he wants to get it “done and over with” and other days he wants to put it off as long as possible. I find that letting him choose causes less meltdowns over Math.
Our math book is from Masterbooks and you can find it on Amazon HERE. I stuck with this curriculum because I used Level 1 last year. I may try a new math curriculum next year because I think Liam would do better with more hands-on learning. I also occasionally let him play some math games on education.com.
Both Liam and I just love our language arts curriculum! We used The Good And The Beautiful Level One last year and really enjoyed it. So we are using the Level 2 this year. Since this is only our second year homeschooling and we have only used this curriculum for language arts, I have nothing to compare it to. But I would still recommend this to anyone! They seamlessly weave in art, God, geography and history. This is our reading, writing, and spelling work. In addition to the lessons in the Level 2, Liam chooses a new book every day to read aloud to me. Thursdays we do additional handwriting practice and are learning cursive. The cursive workbook we use is also on Amazon and you can find it HERE.
Lunch break– Liam will play Legos or draw while I put together lunch. We like to take our lunch outside if the weather is nice. On cold or rainy days I like to put on a kids storybook podcast and make it nice and cozy with a candle at the kitchen table.
After lunch we clean up and head back upstairs to do our “loop” subjects. Some days we get all our lessons done before eating lunch but most days we need that lunch break to finish out the day.
Every day we do Math and Language Arts and then have loop subjects on different days of the week.
Mondays– For Science we are using The Good And The Beautiful. We have started out with the Mammals unit and once we finish that will move onto either Botany or Geology. This year I let Liam choose what he wanted to learn in Science. He has always had an interest in animals and often will recite random animal facts he learned from a book or the Wild Kratts YouTube channel. The Mammals unit is challenging enough to keep him interested but not so difficult he can’t keep up. These lessons are quite long and could be done in two day a week. I keep to one long lesson on Mondays because he doesn’t want me to stop reading and learning! So far we are really loving this curriculum. My son really loves the interactive map that comes with this curriculum and I love all the vocab word cards for the bulletin board.
Tuesdays is art day! We have been using the Picture Studies Portfolio from Simply Charlotte Mason. I will choose a few more artist portfolios for the rest of the year and then may switch things up. If we are not learning about a famous artist or painting on canvas to create a piece inspired by that artist, we are doing other arts and crafts. The other day we dipped leaves in beeswax for art. We have done some sewing, painted peg dolls, and other handicrafts. This day is all about being creative and expressing himself. Then in the afternoon he has an an acrylic painting class that is held in a church and through a local homeschool enrichment group. He just adores his art class! While he is in that hour long class, I run a couple quick errands and do my grocery pick up.
Wednesdays we learn history. This year we are learning early American history and have been following Our American Heritage 3 which I found at a thrift store for $2! Because my son is very interested in colonists and Native Americans, we are taking our time on this period and will be diving deep into this era over the next several weeks. We will be cooking meals made during that time period, learning some new handicraft skills, and visiting a few local museums. My goal is to offer several hands-on projects and field trips to help us immerse ourselves in to the history lessons.
Fridays– The first and third Friday’s every month I lead a local Wild+Free group so we will be gone for a few hours doing that. We are both pretty tired when we get home so if we do any school work, it’s something relaxing like reading or drawing. On opposite Fridays we will either go on a field trip or do a nature study. A long nature walk and sketching in his nature journal is one of our favorite parts of homeschooling. I don’t plan these nature studies out in advance. I just either pick something that morning or ask Liam what he wants to do. We can usually find something here or there in one of our nature reference books and watch YouTube videos about what we are researching. From medicinal herbs to types of local trees and wildlife, we study an array of nature subjects on Fridays. Looking for a cheap printable nature journal for your little explorers? I created one that you can print out endless times for only $3! Check out my Etsy shop HERE.
How I Keep My VERY Busy and wiggly 3rd grader to pay attention
My son has a very hard time staying on task. He is so very easily distracted and it can be frustrating for me as a teacher. There are a few things that have really helped us get through our school days without me losing my temper or him having a meltdown or completely zoning out all day. When I was in primary school, it was easy for me to sit still and listen to the teacher talk for hours. But my son is built just like his father, who still cannot sit still for long periods of time. And I don’t blame him! He is an active boy who wants to play and climb and explore. We take our lessons outdoors when we can but there are some subjects and projects that we just have to do inside. Especially with our very long Winters here in NW Montana where we just spend more time time indoors. And now with the baby, it has been easier to get most of our lessons done in the homeschool room while he sits in his swing or lays under his play gym. So here are a few things that help us enjoy our homeschool days together…
- Wiggle breaks! Sometimes Liam knows when he needs a break, other times I tell him to stand up and get ready to move his body. This is a 5-10 minute break where I will either give him specific tasks to do or he can choose what he wants to do. He loves animal moves or holiday/seasonal-themed movements. I say things like “slither like a snake. Jump like a kangaroo. Balance like a flamingo.” This month has been all about Halloween so I tell him to “walk like Frankenstein. Fly like a bat. Roll around like a pumpkin.” It usually ends with giggles and then he sits down ready to get back at it.
- Essential oils have been a big part of our daily lives for many years now. When Liam was just a toddler, it was essential oils that got him to calm his body down and go to sleep. Or de-stress him while we went to over-stimulating grocery stores. He still uses lavender every single night to fall asleep. And now we use different oils to help him stay focused during our homeschool lessons. We love diffusing Hocus Focus and rolling Study Time on the back of his neck. I keep the roller blend right on the table for him to use and grab whenever he wants.
3. Keeping his hands busy while I read is also a great way to keep him focused. He usually will draw or color, Sometimes I bring out a small ball of playdough for him to mold with his hands. If I let him play with action figures or blocks, he gets too immersed with his play that he doesn’t listen and comprehend what I am reading.
4. If I am reading from our Science book or History book, the passages can be rather long. Instead of waiting for his eyes to glaze over as he zones out staring out the window, I stop every few minutes and ask him some simple comprehension questions.
We have several things we do differently each season, as well. For the month of December, our morning time follows A Gentle + Classical Christmas. In the Spring we follow A Year of Tales in the mornings and for Easter we use this Easter Unit Study Bundle. In the warmer months we spend a lot more time outside but during the Winter we tend to want to cozy up with a weekly warm poetry teatime. Another really great resource is the Rooted Childhood seasonal bundles. We LOVE Rooted Childhood! Every month is packed full of unique handicrafts, poems and stories. We use these seasonal bundles for art and morning time and weekly poetry tea time.
And there you have it! Our daily and weekly homeschool rhythm. This will probably change again towards the end of the school year when baby Theo is a bit older and crawling around. As of right now, all he does is eat and sleep and need his diaper changed so it has been actually quite easy to work that all into our school days. He doesn’t have a real set napping schedule yet. Making sure I have a diaper station stocked up in the homeschool room has been convenient. Now I don’t have to go downstairs to change him and we can keep going with our lessons.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you check out my Spelling Activities Bundle