What does the day of a homeschooling family look like? I know this was one of my big questions in the years leading up to when we began homeschooling, and even though we have been at this for several years now, I’m always interested in how families work out the day to day details of their homeschool lives. I love to get a peek into curriculum choices, routines, activities, and styles of other homeschoolers. And I love A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler posts. So here’s mine!
This is my third run through with sharing my “Day in the Life of a Homeschooler”. The first time I shared a normal, according to schedule type of day homeschooling a 7-year-old & a 4-year old with a baby on my hip.
Then last year I shared what our day looks like when it involves an out-of-home activity (with a complimentary car accident, just for fun). I thought I’d play it safe this year and went with another regular day at home seeing as I kinda like my shiny new van.
Here’s how a typical homeschool day looks around here, while I learn along with my 9, 6, and 2-year old.
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Is anything worse than a Monday morning in February?
Today is February 6th, 2017. It’s Monday, and it’s 7:20 am. I don’t know if I ever mentioned it here before, but I don’t drink coffee. I know, right?! I do, however, eat chocolate, and it totally saves my life in the afternoons.
In the wintertime, I have the hardest time getting out of bed. But get up I must, so it’s into the shower for me, then dressed & hair brushed and into the kitchen. Daddy has already left for work by the time I come downstairs. But of course, he drinks coffee.
I make breakfast while checking my email, Facebook, and taking a peek at the Canadian Online Homeschool Conference. My kids are all up and dressed, and working on their morning chores and piano practice.
At 9 am breakfast is ready and on the table. We each eat our oatmeal while reading our Bibles somewhat quietly. Emphasis on the word somewhat for my 6 & 2-year-olds. Trying to read my Bible & pray while we eat is the best way for me to make sure it actually get’s done at this stage, but I know it’s not ideal.
We all hustle together to get the table cleared, washed, and the dishwasher loaded. Then everyone brushes teeth and hair.
Morning Time – a highlight of our day
By 9:40 we are finally all put together and ready to begin Morning Time! This is everyone’s favourite part of our “school day”. We all gather around the dining room table and enjoy a hot beverage while we enjoy some of our best-loved things. Today these included singing our weekly hymn (Victory in Jesus, with some pretty enthusiastic voices), a reading from Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, our memory work, picture study, and Song School Latin.
Independent and one-on-one time
At a little after 10:00 we begin individual bookwork with mama. My fourth grader works independently (math, copywork, French) and entertains her youngest sister. You could almost forget that I actually have a toddler when you look at our days lately — she’s become so much lower maintenance this year! I suppose she almost classifies as a preschooler now, and our days of homeschooling with a toddler underfoot are pretty much over.
I work one on one with my first grader (phonics, grammar, penmanship & math) for about an hour.
When we’re done, she is free to go play while I work with her big sister on spelling and writing. We wrap it all up by around 11:30 and she runs off to join her sisters while I begin clean-up and lunch prep.
Quiet Time – the most wonderful time of the day!
After lunch means Quiet Time around here. This is a most favourite part of the day for this mama! The girls each go to their own rooms and listen to podcasts or audiobooks, read, or play with toys. I enjoy reading, writing, and eating chocolate.
It’s a daily ritual that I guard carefully to preserve my sanity as a homeschool mom. It’s been a bit of a challenge maintaining it this year due to the number of out of home activities we have been participating in and the fact that the youngest quit napping at an earlier age than her big sisters did. I’m disturbed twice today for a potty break, and also because Barbie’s head pops off, which incidentally is quite a tragedy!
Afternoon – science, art & play
I end Quiet Time first for my oldest so that I can have the chance to read with her for a bit. I read Canada in North America to 1800 (Brown, Harman & Jeanneret) which I found it recently at our library and it’s turning out to be a great living history book and has a lot of wonderful illustrations. At around 2:30 she pulls out her science books and I retrieve her sisters from their bedrooms.
Today, my fourth grader is reading all about friction today in Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics, and I’m reading about birds with my first grader. She draws the birds and I write what she dictates on notebooking pages I created for her using NotebookingPages.com‘s Web App.
At 3:00 we put away the books and get out our art supplies. My fourth-grader works on her next ArtAchieve project and works away independently while I help my first-grader with Home Art Studio. When she’s almost done her project, she cries, yells, and rips it up. This, unfortunately, is how art usually ends for this kiddo. Sigh.
Next, the girls notice that it’s snowing, and the flakes look so soft and beautiful! After having read Snowflake Bentley last week, we suddenly get the idea to try to catch some flakes to look at under the microscope. We pre-chill some black construction paper and get out the mini microscopes we use for nature study. So beautiful!
The kids decide to put their snow things on and stay outside and play, and at 4:45 Daddy calls to tell me he’s on his way home. Yay for being on time! I start supper and watch more of the online conference seminars while I cook.
Evening – family time
At 5:20 I get another call, he’s NOT on his way home and is going to be late after all. Daddy finally gets home at 6:00, and we have supper. Then the table is cleared, dishes are washed, and the kids disappear for another quick playtime before bed.
Next, it’s tidy up time and then the kids have a snack, get jammies on, brush teeth, and hop into bed for storytime — tonight we’re just finishing up A Cricket in Times Square. I read to the big girls and daddy gets the littlest one.
By around 8:00, everyone is tucked in, and we head downstairs. The house is fairly quiet, though we can hear the big girls reading and chatting in their room. Tonight there are no little feet on the stairs, and we get to enjoy some adult-only time and catch up with each other. We end up spending in inordinate amount of time watching YouTube videos before going to bed at around 11:00.
I think I fell asleep at around 11:30 — which of course is why tomorrow I won’t be up at 6:00 am to exercise, read, pray, or get a head start on breakfast. Nope. I’ll be hiding under the duvet until my husband raises the window blinds at 7 and wishing that there were some magical hot brew that could help me wake up and face the day.
So that’s what our day looked like today. On Tuesdays, we add piano lessons and an evening kids club to the mix. On Thursdays, we have almost a whole day out of the house with French classes, a library & grocery visit and gymnastics. One Friday a month we have a co-op. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday usually find us at home, but Grandma usually takes one or all three girls swimming at lunchtime on a least one (and sometimes all) of these days. I guess that means that this “typical” homeschool day isn’t really all that typical after all!
Check out my other day in the life of a homeschooler posts:
A peek into the lives of three different homeschool families using a classical/Charlotte Mason homeschool style.