Each day at SHINE Together is unique, yet there are daily rhythms that guide us as a group. We gather each morning in a circle to connect with one another and make plans. We return to the circle as needed throughout the day to discuss challenges and learn new concepts. During free time we explore on our own or together, sometimes delving into one big project, other times engaging in many small activities. Every day at SHINE Together includes outdoor time except in cases of extreme weather (i.e. subzero temps or severe storms), which usually includes a nature walk and tending to whatever is growing during warmer seasons. Individuals bring their own lunches, but we all eat together, and after lunch there is often a period of quiet time, allowing us to process what we’ve learned, explore an individual interest in depth, and recharge from time spent together.
There are other regular activities that might not occur on a daily basis but have still become part of our rhythm. We enjoy doing art projects, science experiments, and building projects together. We read together, make music together, play games together, and create skits or movies together regularly. Sometimes the group plans a theme for the day, and we engage in a variety of theme-related activities.
Whatever we do each day, the subject areas that Minnesota requires all homeschooled students to learn are interwoven in our activities. These required subjects include:
basic communication skills including reading and writing, literature and fine arts
mathematics and science
social studies including history, geography, economics, government and citizenship
health and physical education
A subject web is used to help record activities each day and is sent to families to include in their own homeschooling records, along with photos and other documentation. It is easy to see the interconnectedness of concepts and activities in these learning snapshots.