Written by Cait Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies
I have always loved Simple Homeschool’s Day in the Life series. I remember stumbling upon it when I first found myself suddenly, unexpectedly, homeschooling five years ago.
The posts gave me solace as I struggled to wrap my brain around what homeschooling would look like for our family. I found a wealth of ideas and inspiration. It gave me a starting point when I so desperately needed one.
Nowadays, I continue to adore this series. I never fail to find a new idea or a fresh outlook. I also love to watch our own family’s routine grow and change.
But every year, this post gets a little trickier for me to write. We are so deep into the homeschooling lifestyle that our days are fluid and ever-changing.
No two days are the same and you know what? We love it that way!
Our homeschool routine includes delicious books, fantastic games, and a patchwork of creative resources. We love to dive down rabbit holes and we adore a good lazy unit study. There is no “typical” day over here!
With that in mind, I want to share what we try to cover each day. This includes:
- Silent reading
- A little bit of writing
(Don’t worry, we get to all the other core subjects throughout the week, but they vary by the day. You can read more about our curriculum choices year-by-year here.)
We are a family of morning people and the bulk of our homeschooling takes place before lunch.
My kids are early risers and we love to gather at the kitchen island each morning and read a stack of amazing books. This treasured morning tradition is called Coffee and Books and it allows me to cover a wide variety of academic subjects.
These are some of the books we’ve been enjoying this month: (afflinks)
- Mr. Revere and I (History)
- The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Language Arts- we are using the Brave Writer Arrow Guide for this title)
- A Poem for Every Day of the Year (Poetry)
- Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White (Biography)
(If you are a book lover, we have been keeping a growing list of the titles we’ve enjoyed so far in 2019. You can check it out here!)
After Coffee and Books, it’s time for our other morning activities:
- Piano practice
- Language arts
One of our absolute favorite homeschool things: The “Lazy” Unit Study
Children are passionate little creatures with a wide range of interests… and those interests can change by the day!
I used to spend hours creating amazing unit studies for my kiddos, only to find that by the time the unit study was ready they had moved on from the Humbolt squid to Greek Mythology.
I know I’m not alone!
In recent years, I have embraced the art of the Lazy Unit Study.
And do you know what? My kids have learned just as much- if not more- from these lazy unit studies because I’m able to keep up with their passions!
This winter, we have enjoyed many Lazy Unit Studies focused on animals.
We use a couple of incredible books as the spine, add a documentary or two and some great conversation, sprinkle in some writing and art, and then add a dollop of play and hands-on exploration for good measure.
You can read more about our super simple, yet simply irresistible, winter science plan here. (It’s a perfect example of what Lazy Unit Studies can look like!)
Our afternoons vary by the day, but you can usually find us enjoying time outdoors and then enjoying creative and/or athletic pursuits.
Depending on the day and the time of year, afternoon activities include:
- Field trips
- Weekly art lesson
- Weekly piano lesson
- Weekly Story Club
- Weekly STEM class
- Athletic practice (soccer, swim, or ski, depending on the season)
- Gameschooling dates with friends
We return home by dinner, especially this time of year when everyone feels like hunkering down in front of the fire.
Pre-dinner activities may include:
- Board games
- Silent reading
- Dinner prep and help
- Imaginative play
- Movie night
I am writing this post in February and we are deep into our annual Gameschool Challenge.
(We always make space for play, but each year our challenge reminds us to make play a priority.)
And then it’s time for dinner, followed by bedtime and more stories.
What you don’t see here…
Please know that I’m just a homeschool mom, doing this homeschool thing right beside you.
I have the same worries that you do. I second guess myself all the time. My kids bicker. They spill juice and the pup walks through the puddles, spreading stickiness through our home.
I raise my voice more often than I’d like to admit. They roll their eyes more than I wish they would. There are laundry baskets scattered throughout my house.
This is real-life homeschooling, in all its beautiful, sticky, messy, wonderful glory. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.
My, how the days have changed:
- 2018: Cait’s homeschool day in the life (with a 7-, 9-, 10-year-old and puppy)
- 2017: Cait’s homeschool day in the life (with a 5-, 7-, and 8-year-old)
- 2016: Cait’s homeschool day in the life (with a 4-, 6-, and 7-year-old)
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Thank you Cait!
It gives me such reassurance in the homeschool trenches to hear others who share my woes and joys and still survive the day!
I home school 13, 11, almost 9, and have a 6 year old (in a Baptist Kindergarten up the street from us using A-becka curriculum), who will be coming home for learning next year. It’s a balancing act, that often feels so unbakanced, but with Gods help we persevere!
Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley
Homeschooling has its ups and downs, and balance feels near-impossible, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Thanks for sharing today!
Mother of 3
I too love reading other’s homeschooling day in the life posts because I do get ideas, or feel solace in not being along when it’s 3 and we still didn’t tackle that one subject we always seem to put off to the next day. I find that I can only write a day in the life post when I pick one day and document it because our days too are so varied.
Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley
Yes! It’s hard to describe a “normal” day because there is no normal! But I like it that way 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
I love reading these day in the life posts. Thank you for writing them. I feel like I am a pendulum swinging from fun and relaxed to I must get this work done so I can check the boxes. I am currently in the later and it never feels good. I like how you balance the work work in the morning and have time for fun in the afternoon.
Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley
We are so hard on ourselves as homeschool moms. I am always second-guessing, too, but I find the most learning happens when the kids are smiling! Thank you for sharing that you struggle with this too!
Beautiful. LOVE this! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Brigit!
Cait’s latest post: Spin-A-Roo: A Fast-Paced Counting and Sorting Game!
Hi Cait! This was such a great post, thank you. Thank you tremendously for all the inspiration as well as practical ideas! I love how you managed to condense so much into this summary. Your writing is absolutely amazing! Do you still do daily “quiet time” after lunch like in previous day in the life posts? Best of luck with your family this year!