I have a new interview for you today. I got to chat with my friend Lori Hooten from At Home: Where Life Happens and find out all about her busy homeschool life.
Kemi: Lori can you tell us a little bit about your children’s ages and grades?
Lori: 3 Kids. E is 10 and in fifth grade. She is quite the reader and finishes all of her library books the day after we check them out. We cannot keep her in reading material. She also enjoys drawing and science. L is 8 and in third grade. She is very artistic, enjoying dancing, reading, horses, the violin, and anything girly. J is about to turn 6 and working on kindergarten levels. She loves numbers and math. She sings all the time and is finding the process of turning letters into words very fun. It has become a scavenger hunt everywhere we go to find sight words.
Kemi: What homeschooling method do you use?
Lori: I would describe our homeschooling method as eclectic. We do a lot of reading and we love talking about books but we don’t do a whole lot of question and answer guides for books. Unit studies are fun but they don’t fit everything we want to learn about. We try to pick things that really catch the girls’ attention yet teach them what they need to be learning.
Because our style of education is so eclectic and we get such a wonderful variety of resources through being reviewers for The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, we also do a lot of recitation and verbal recall of information. At the ages the girls are, we find it is really important for them to be recalling information and allowing them to talk about it. They remember so much this way. (Great tip Lori!)
Kemi: Can you give us a peek into your typical homeschool day?
Lori: Well, we let the girls sleep until they wake up. Our oldest especially has always needed a lot of sleep. They all tend to be awake by 7:30 or so, though.
We eat breakfast and they generally get their own, sitting at the table in the kitchen reading a book while eating. I let them play for a bit and get woken up good.
After the kitchen is cleaned, the girls have a morning check list they have to work through. It includes things like make bed, put dirty clothes away, take medicines, brush teeth, pick up 10 things in your room, etc.
By now it is around 9:30 or 10. They pull out their school boxes and we plug away at school. We always start with Bible and our memory work. Our day just goes smoother when we start there. We work through our plans for the day until the overwhelming need for more food comes up.
Depending on time, we either break for lunch or get a snack. After lunch, I let the girls play for a while as I get Daddy’s food packed for him to go to work. When he leaves, we finish up whatever school we need to do for the day. After we have completed school, generally around 3:30, they are free to play or read or do whatever they want. We have a couple of days we have to go to dance but other than that, we just enjoy time at home.
We try to include a lot of field trips, as we are really blessed to have some wonderful places close to us where we can get out in nature or dig into history or science. We enjoy hands on learning and field trips are so helpful with that. We do a lot of talking about what we learn and what was observed.
Kemi: We love to see where homeschooling happens. Can you give us a peek into your homeschool room?
Lori: There is no picture of a homeschool room for us because we homeschool wherever in the house we want to. We often use the dining table but just as often you will find someone at the computer or in a comfy chair or on the couch or on the floor. Read my post about how we utilize our living spaces.
Kemi: So you know that Homemaking Organized is all about homemaking or the details of home. We love to find out how others keep their homes. Can you tell us about your own homekeeping and how you manage to fit it in with homeschool?
Lori: Homemaking works right into our homeschooling day. Everyone is responsible for putting their own dishes in the dishwasher or managing to hold onto their drinking glass all day. (Mind you, this doesn’t happen as often as I would like, though.) Their morning and evening checklists include chores that get assigned as needed. But, mostly, I ask them to pitch in whenever something needs done. We do laundry while taking a break. We do sweeping as part of a checklist. We all pitch in and do what we see needing to be done. That is the goal, at any rate. Homemaking and homeschooling work hand-in-hand.
Kemi: Do you have any crafts or hobbies that you would like to share?
Lori: I love to sew, read, and spend time with my family. I often have several projects going at once. Currently, I have been focusing on sewing and my sewing seems to have been all about adding length to my girls’ skirts and dresses. The girls are sprouting so tall that they need longer hems! However, I have found that I really enjoy sewing clothing for the girls’ 18” dolls.
My name is Lori. I am many things but the most important is a child of God. In His image, I try to be a good wife to a fantastic husband and mother to 3 beautiful girls, currently 5, 8, and 10. As of the end of the 2013 public school year, I became a formal teacher again, homeschooling the girls. This journey promises to provide much fodder for writing and encouraging others going through the journey of life as well. I grew up in New Mexico but have spent the last 20+ years in Texas. These two very different worlds have given me a lot to share with the girls and write about. I enjoy reading (especially historical fiction and classics), sewing, embroidery, and spending time with my family. And a new thing for me – I enjoy spending time outside observing the birds!