Kris’s homeschool day in the life (with a 13, 15, &, 19-year-old)


Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

It’s 7 a.m. when the alarm starts buzzing. I fumble for the snooze button – as always.

Both my husband and I have our own dual alarms and we both use the same technique – we set one warning alarm and one “I really have to get up” alarm for about 15 minutes later.


On regular school days, I’m usually up by 7:30 for my workout because, if I don’t do it first thing, it doesn’t get done.

Running shoes

At 9:00, I’m in the kitchen preparing my Spark (a vitamin/energy drink that fuels my day) and telling my 19-year-old goodbye as she heads out the door for cosmetology school.

We probably won’t see her again until bedtime. Such is the life of a teen going to school part-time and working the other part of most days.


I read my Bible and pray before turning on the computer. As a blogger and social media manager, I try to get in an hour or so of work before waking my night owl teens.

By 10:15, I go give them their 15 minute warning. We are, apparently, a family who has trouble getting started in the mornings.


Josh (15) and Megan (13) are at the table, still looking a bit groggy, by 10:30. We start the day with CNN Student News. It keeps us abreast of current events and gives sleepy teens a chance to get coherent.

Megan quickly hits the pause button at the end before host, Carl Azuz, starts his daily puns. She and Josh both find them over-the-top corny.

Next comes Bible study, scripture memorization, and prayer, followed by a video on nutrition from Standard Deviants Accelerate (we took advantage of their six-month free trial).

After we finish the comprehension quiz on the nutrition unit, I read-aloud from one of the books related to our current history topic. Yes, I have teens who are perfectly capable of reading their own books, but they still enjoy a good read-aloud – and so do I!

It’s 11:45 and we’ve still got about 15 minutes before I typically start lunch. The more we can accomplish before lunch, the less rushed our afternoons are, so we squeeze in a YouTube video related to our current science topic.

Then, Josh and Megan do their Easy Grammar and Daily Grams while I get lunch ready for everyone. They finish at different times and wander off to do their own thing until lunch is ready.


Sometimes the kids fend for themselves. Other days, I pop a lasagna in the microwave or a pizza in the oven while they’re working.

The dog is happy that it’s lasagna day. It’s his favorite because he knows he’ll get to lick the cardboard tray clean of any scraps. It’s a sandwich and soup for me since I think frozen lasagna tastes about as bad as it smells.

lasagna day

We take our usual long lunch. This is my time to work. I do this to the background noise of the electric guitar as my musician son practices.

It’s a gymnastics day, so Megan works on her independent work during lunch. She’s on the competitive team and has 3.5-hour practices 3 days a week. It makes me very thankful that we homeschool.

At 1:30, I call the kids back to school.

We alternate spelling and vocabulary four days each week and we do science and history together in the afternoons. Today is a project day. We’re dissecting a plant (which is much more palatable than the frog we dissected a couple of weeks ago).

plant dissection

The kids are also sculpting pyramids out of clay as a part of our Ancient Egypt study.


We’re winding up the part of our school day that we do together by 3:30 (a little earlier than normal since it’s almost time for Megan to be at gymnastics).

I go over the kids’ writing assignment with them. They’ll work on that independently, along with math and their silent reading assignments.

Typically, our school day is over by 4:30 or 5:00.

I know that’s late by many homeschoolers’ standards, but it works well for our family and, the way I look at it, we’re still finished long before most teens have started homework. Of course, with her gymnastics schedule, Megan still sometimes has some work to finish in the evenings.

Do you homeschool teens? How does your day compare to ours?

How the days have changed:

About Kris

Kris Bales is the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest voice behind Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She and her husband of over 25 years are parents to two amazing teens and a homeschool grad. Kris has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. She also seems intent on becoming the crazy cat lady long before she's old and alone.


  1. Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your day 🙂 I love seeing how other homeschoolers work it out.
    Jen’s latest post: Weekly Review: New Adventures, New Stories and A New Do!

  2. Sherrylynne says:

    Praise God! A post with older homeschool children. This gives me hope. As our eldest son approaches highschool, almost ALL of his peers have been enrolled somewhere. Most blogs, wonderful blogs, are filled with younger students. It is harder and harder to find myself and my family in the circumstances that we are. It is sometimes lonely to be taken this narrow path alone. So thank you!

  3. Thanks for sharing. As Sherrylynne said above, it’s great to see how an older group of students manage their days…we have a big age gap here so I still have one who is very hands-on and one teen myself and it’s becoming more and more difficult to find good blog with teens. My own 14 year old detests having her photo taken so sharing her work/activities can be challenge!
    Erin – The Usual Mayhem’s latest post: Towards Minimalism: 5 Inspiring Posts

  4. I am so glad to read this post! I have a 11 and 13 year old, and often we don’t really get our day started until around 10:00 or later. I always feel bad about this, but maybe I shouldn’t!

  5. This was nice, to see another family homeschooling with older kids. I have 2 off at universities now and 2 at home, ages 12 and 17. Our day seems similar to yours in that we often get a late start and can go into the evening hours before we call it a school day. Actually, sometimes we homeschool more in the evening just because we currently live in a foreign country (Peru) and whether we tackle their classes earlier or later, it’s all the same to us!
    Camie’s latest post: Weekly Nutshell

  6. I so enjoy reading these, and being able to look back through the years. One of the things I love about homeschooling (and I’m just a rookie) is the flexibility. I love that you can let your kids sleep and then just carry on a bit later. We are at the opposite end- starting and wrapping up earlier. My kids are toast by the time we see the big yellow bus pull up in our neighborhood at 4pm. I’m so glad they aren’t on it 🙂 And, oh the dog! Love the lasagna face 🙂
    Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies’s latest post: Library Day Stillness

  7. Thank you for your post. Not because I need to juggle 3 children, as I only have one adorable little guy. Not because I have teenagers, because the little guy is only 5 years old. But because you & your kids aren’t early morning people and don’t start school till mid to late morning . I read different blogs and fb posts about homeschooling and it seems if you aren’t up, devotions, breakfast and the kids have first subject completed by 8:00 am then you somehow a slacker in the homeschool world. (An even bigger slacker in the Christian homeschool world) I loved your more relaxed approach 🙂 Thanks.

  8. I love this series! Thanks for sharing. It’s a great way to “see” what life might be like when my children are older. And our homeschool may change over the years.

  9. I had to laugh when I saw the part about CNN student news. My daughter stops it before the corny jokes start too. 🙂

  10. Thanks for sharing your day. I have two (2) teens, a boy 13yo soon to be 14yo and a newly turned 16yo daughter. Your post was very encouraging. Our days tend to start later and end later too 🙂

  11. I’m feeling very nostalgic and reminiscent, as my one and only child graduated last Spring. We only homeschooled for her last 3 and a half years of high school. We ended up loving it and I really miss it! But, it did serve a very good purpose of helping her to manage to go to community college, which seems incredible, considering that we just adopted her at age 13 and she knew no English at that time. Homeschooling was definitely the best thing and it was entirely my daughter’s idea. While she begged me, as a teen, to homeschool her, it turned out to be SO much fun for me, too! I really miss it! Enjoy it, everyone! It’s over way too fast!

Share Your Thoughts


CommentLuv badge

Never miss a blog post,
PLUS get Jamie’s FREE ebook: