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Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom
Jamie’s homeschool day in the life – Monday, December 30, 2013
5:50 am – My iPhone alarm goes off, and I push snooze. Now I have ten minutes until I must be up, no excuses!
6:10 – Downstairs to begin writing. I find Jonathan (age 9) on the couch already. My early rising boy doesn’t like to miss a moment with Steve before he leaves for the Love146 office each day around 6:45.
After a quick hello and hug to Jonathan, I start to work on this post. After 40 minutes I’m mostly done, so I respond to emails and schedule a few links to post throughout the day on my Facebook page.
7:15 – Jonathan asks if we can check the weather. It’s our morning tradition–he likes to keep an eye out for snow.
Later in the week we might see some of the white stuff!
7:30 – I sit down to breakfast on my own and hug a sleepy boy I cross paths with on the way. Elijah (age 8) asks if it’s time to play yet. I say yes, but he yawns and heads back upstairs to bed.
While I eat my granola I brainstorm goals for the upcoming year, according to the blueprint set out by my friend and mentor Lisa Byrne. (FYI: Lisa’s new e-course, Replenish 365 starts this month if you’re looking for coaching and encouragement.)
7:45 – I head up for a shower. Wonder what the kids are doing?
Jonathan is listening to Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator on audio while he works on a potholder with our new loom from Christmas. Trishna (age 10) is still asleep (our night owl) and Elijah went back to sleep after all.
8:30 – We usually begin our “official” day now, but I’m no fool. I know a good thing when I see it.
Right up there with that classic “Never wake sleeping children” I would have to add “Never interrupt a child engrossed in a book.”
8:50 – Jonathan comes to show off his completed potholder and I finally announce good morning!
While I start breakfast the kids get dressed, and Trishna begins to fold the laundry on the couch (one of her jobs.) “So I won’t have to do it later,” she says.
What a helpful girl.
9:05 – We sit down at the table, pray, and the kids begin munching.
Today is the chapter about Almanzo’s Christmas from Farmer Boy, and we have a great discussion–plenty of questions and insights raised like “you can tell his family is richer than Laura’s from the description of the house.”
(This doesn’t always happen by the way.) Plenty of days I make it through reading time by sheer self-discipline and after many reminders given about appropriate table behavior!
9:40 - It’s time for morning chores, and everyone pitches in.
Each child is assigned a specific area: living areas, kitchen/dining room, or upstairs. We set the timer for 12 minutes and go for it together!
10 am – We start our “school” time now. On a typical home day, I try to set aside 10am to 1pm as a focused learning time with the kids.
We follow the Leadership Education philosophy in our home, and one of its principles is that we structure time, not content. I spend about 45 minutes with each child individually – the others play or work on something in another room until it’s their turn.
Today we write thank you notes for Christmas gifts. There’s also math and phonics on Time4Learning, reading with Mommy, listening to audio books, and playing with Tinker Toys/Lego.
1:00 pm – It’s lunch time now and after I eat I read two more chapters from Little House Christmas.
The second chapter is pushing it a bit–everyone seems a little stir crazy. I know what this means – time to bundle up!
1:45 – The kids rush outside–a wave of thick coats, gloves, and hats passing me by. They grab their walkie-talkies on the way, a Christmas gift from their aunts this year, perfect for chatting with each other on our five acres. I clean up from lunch.
2:00 – One of my new year’s resolutions is to exercise every other day–no matter what. But I can’t bear to go out in that cold, so I put on an exercise video for 30 minutes instead.
(Is this too detailed? Now you know about my exercise video?! You’ll be asking what type of toilet paper I use next, but a girl has to have some secrets…well, fine, now you know everything.)
2:30 – Kids rush in to announce that one of the walkie talkies has gone missing. I bundle up and go look for it with Elijah, but no luck. We’ll try again later.
3:00 – The kids make themselves an afternoon snack. While they eat I check and respond to emails and Facebook.
3:30 – On to afternoon study time! This sounds fancy, but it’s just the new name we’ve come up with for what we used to call rest time.
Personally, I call it “sanity time” – as it’s when everyone works or plays (in an ideal world quietly) in their rooms for an hour and a half.
Today here’s what they choose:
- Elijah: Listens to this book about Paul Revere on audio (It’s his lucky day, which means he gets the iPad to listen to stories.)
- Trishna: Plays with her extensive collection of miniature dolls and works on writing stories
- Jonathan: Back to his loom work/potholder-making and reading books
I try not to do too much work during this period, but to actually use it for study or rest of my own. Today that means:
- reading Pride and Prejudice (you’re invited to join Nicole’s Jane Austen book club this year, too!)
- reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
- working again on my goals/dreams for 2014
- resting on the couch for 15 minutes
- finishing off the post to announce this series
5pm – The craziness, I mean afternoon begins.
It’s dark now, and the boys gather their magnifying glasses (another Christmas gift) to search again for the missing walkie-talkie. Back in a few minutes later, they continue the search indoors (It’s a loud search, I assure you! FYI – We did find it later!)
5:30 – It’s Sparkle Stories to the rescue! These audio tales save the day on cold winter evenings when the troops get restless.
The boys settle down to listen, Trishna heads upstairs for a shower and I start dinner. Tonight I’m making a pesto pasta dish that 4 out of 5 Martins enjoy, and one young Martin routinely grumbles about.
6pm – Steve arrives home from work and dinner’s ready. During dinner we chat about our day and also have a competition to see who has the lowest voice (random family life).
6:30 – The children are now mostly in charge of dinner clean up (yip and hooray!). We’ve been doing this for a few months, and their quality control is slowly improving.
Tonight Elijah and Trishna divide the job between them.
While the others work, Jonathan and I hang out in the living room and start looking at old photos from when he was a baby. Remembering those days, and now seeing these big kids, it’s craziness I tell ya.
7pm – I put on an episode of Reading Rainbow (one of my favorite shows) for the children to watch.
7:30 – The kids slowly begin the heading upstairs process–choosing books to read, finishing up one last conversation, asking for one more hug (They’re pros at dragging this out!)
8pm – I chat with Steve and do the day’s final email check and Facebook posting.
8:30 – I head upstairs to brush everyone’s teeth, give nighttime cuddles and say prayers. Then I run a bath and enjoy the success of another day completed.
Thanks for tagging along!
My how the days have changed:
- 2011: My homeschool day in the life with a 5, 6, & 7-year-old
- 2012: My homeschool day in the life with a 6, 7, & 8-year-old
- 2013: My day in the life with a 7, 8, & 9-year-old
“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.”
~ Henry David Thoreau