This post should be called “Joel’s Homeschool Day in the Life” because three months ago my husband and I traded responsibilities: I accepted a full-time position working from our home and he exuberantly took on the role of full time caregiver and overseer of our family’s home learning.
While my day-to-day role has changed I remain involved in our big picture homeschooling strategy and planning, research resources and supplement specific learning themes whenever possible.
Here’s what our family’s average day looks like right now.
Mom and Dad wake up. Sometimes the kids are up with (or before) us and sometimes they sleep in for a bit. Joel heads to the kitchen to make coffee while I do some simple stretches. I bring my coffee and breakfast downstairs to my home office and the kids eat, get dressed and play while Joel cleans up breakfast.
After my seven-year-old son has eaten, dressed and brushed his teeth he may join me downstairs and we co-work — sharing the quiet space of our apartment-turned-home-office and learning nook. There is a closet filled with fun learning resources including: pencils, pens, a stapler, paper, workbooks, flashcards and games. He picks something to do out of the closet or I might have something laid out for him. It’s a nice quiet time for the both of us.
Around the typical morning coffee break we both head upstairs and have a simple circle time with the family. This has really helped the transition for everyone. I find myself missing the kids and I know it’s a big change for them to have me working all day. We light a candle, sing a song, and give everyone a chance to voice concerns or frustrations, as well as gratitude and sweet stories.
After about 15-20 minutes I go back to work and they head out on a field trip. Sometimes they go to the library or science center and other times they do an errand or take an adventure outside in the neighborhood.
After a simple lunch it’s time for stories and crafts — nothing fancy. Taking out some simple art supplies and letting everyone have fun goes a long way. We keep library books in regular rotation and there are always old favorites from our home collection.
Next is free time which usually translates as media time. We find the day flows best when we make a conscious decision to keep electronic devices out of sight and out of mind for the first half of the day. Mid-afternoon they can play with apps or interactive ebooks on the Kindle Fire, my oldest son will play his Nintendo DS or they might watch a movie.
I work until 5 pm and come upstairs for a simple supper. Then it’s bath time, clean up and books before the two younger kids go to bed.
My oldest stays up until 9:30-10:00 (perk of homeschooling– he can sleep in the next day!) and he really takes advantage of this special one-on-one time. Either we are reading a chapter book together, playing a game or doing some sort of activity.
Before we go to bed, Joel and I sit down at the table and look at our family binder. We have a monthly and weekly homeschool planner and every evening we transfer information into our daily template. We fill in the meal plan, a few (realistic!) tasks to accomplish and any important appointments. We also write down pre-planned overarching learning themes to guide our every day living and learning.
And then we pray that everyone sleeps well so we can get some much deserved sleep!
Has your family ever gone through a major transition that affected your homeschooling?