Students arrive at school at approximately 8:00 o’clock. It is a time to greet friends, tend to projects, and start on seat work. Seat work consists of a daily review of math and grammar facts, catechisms, memorization, handwriting, and so on.
At 9:00 the whole class gathers for the Morning Meeting. Here they recite the pledge, sing a patriotic song, review catechisms and any class memory work, read and discuss a passage from the Bible. They also sing the hymn of the month and have a time of prayer.
Following the morning meeting the class shifts into independent learning. Students already know what they need to do because they have their daily goals in writing. It is their responsibility to make the most of their time. There is no class schedule dictating that a student must work on math from, say, 9:05-9:55. A student works on his math assignment until he has mastered it, or until he needs to take a mental break and switch to another subject. Another student may be engrossed in a biography and spend a good deal of the day just reading. Good learning isn’t ended by a bell.
Throughout the day, students come forward individually for “recitation” with the teacher. The student demonstrates that he has mastered the goals set at his previous recitation. He does a variety of math problems and English exercises. The teacher reviews writing assignments and hears recitations of history or science. A new list of goals is generated and goals not mastered continue on the new list. Students who are new to the school or who have not adapted to independent learning meet with their teacher often throughout the day. Students who have become mature independent learners meet with the teacher every few days. Mature students are not bound to their desks. Some seek help from other students and some collaborate on projects. The teacher, aside from “hearing lessons,” is up and about checking on students, asking questions, and provoking thoughts and actions.
The school day includes a lunch break and recess breaks. The day ends with a very short afternoon meeting and dismissal. Not every day follows this pattern. The calendar will be punctuated with field trips, special guest teachers, and seminars for all or some of the students.