Jamie’s Homeschool Day in the Life (and a few tips on connecting with your kids) ~
Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool and Introverted Moms
Hello and good morning, fellow Simple Homeschoolers – Welcome to my 11th day in the life!
Some of you have read every single one, watching my kiddos grow since they were mere babes. Now they are somehow fully-fledged young people, all of us trying to make our way in the world together.
It is glorious and beautiful AND challenging and tough–kind of like life!
Prefer to listen instead?
So here’s your peek behind the curtain of today:
Jamie’s Homeschool Day in the Life
6:45am – I am up (no little ones waking me anymore) and head downstairs, where my first move (always) is to turn on the kettle for tea.
Note: Last week I had a shoulder injury and was not up this early, though I prefer it when possible so I have quiet work time before the house steams into full motion.
I say hi to 16-year-old Jonathan, who tells me he’s currently working on an article for our homeschool co-op newspaper before he begins Geometry. He says he has been up since 5:30am. Yep, crazily enough it is possible to have an early to bed, early to rise teenager, and I have one–through absolutely no effort of my own!
7:00am – I sit down in the living room to do an hour of Creative Work for my Introverted Moms Community.
(Are you an introverted mom, too?! Add your name to the waiting list here–I’d love to have you!)
This year we’re choosing Habits of the Month to work on. I make notes for the new video I will record soon to announce our next habit to members.
7:20am – Elijah (15) runs down and asks me to turn on his audiobook, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (afflinks) – it’s his second time through this 57 hour audio! He is fascinated by military history.
A little later I say hi to my daughter Trishna (17) who comes in to fold the laundry, one of her main family responsibilities.
8:00am – Jonathan’s Geometry lesson hasn’t gone well, so I attempt to cheer him up with a few Bernie Sanders memes, and when we are both laughing I head upstairs to get dressed.
I listen to my audio Bible while in the shower, bathing myself in the word of God and hot water to prepare for the day, then follow that with an anti-anxiety meditation as I get dressed.
When I come out of the bathroom, I put away our newly-folded laundry, even if it means we won’t start the homeschool day exactly at 9am. I’ve found this is the only time of day I have energy to do it!
Because of our schedules we only do these short read-aloud sessions twice a week! I can’t give it up altogether though, not after all these years.
We finish a little early today, so we reach into the “prayer bowl” at the center of the table. We’ve filled it with people, organizations, countries, and causes on our hearts, and each of us choose one slip.
Amazingly enough, today Jonathan has randomly chosen the one that says “Simple Homeschool readers.”
He says a prayer for all of you, friends, that you would find encouragement and perseverance on your path as you teach your children today.
9:45am – I dismiss the kids to their cleaning jobs, and sit down with my prayer book for a moment before starting my own decluttering job.
I find that without these small, sacred pauses I am prone to rushing, which leads to worry and anxiety.
10:15am – My job these days, as a homeschool mom to three teens, has a lot to do with getting resources for everyone.
All of us have started a meditation practice this year, using the app Calm, so Trishna comes in after finishing her cleaning to ask me which meditation she should do today.
(I will also mention that this practice hasn’t been popular among a couple of family members, but we have called it one of our homeschooling essentials. I’ve found it to be worth it!)
10:30am – I sit down to do reading and math with 15-year-old Elijah.
Because of his learning disabilities, we continue to work hard to grasp the basics – like we’ve been doing for the past seven years or so!
This means that lessons can be tiresome and exhausting for BOTH of us, which leads me to:
Connecting with Kids Tip#1: Pray before challenging lessons.
I find that praying before a lesson, reminds us both to have patience with each other, to be grateful for this opportunity to learn, and to remind us that we aren’t just trying to get through it, but to keep our relationship the focus and goal.
11:05am – Afterwards, I head upstairs to sit in quiet for my own 10 minute meditation, getting distracted and bringing my thoughts back approximately 100 times, which they say is the point!
11:25am – Then I leave with my daughter to drop her off at her piano teacher’s house nearby.
On the way we listen to a few songs from her Amazon Music playlist.
Connecting with Kids Tip#2: When relationships feel strained, try music (or another interest).
It’s amazing how much showing a little interest in the music a child enjoys begins to tear down walls that have formed between you!
11:50am – When I return I sit down with a few tortilla chips, carrots, and hummus – my current lunch of choice.
Soon I leave to pick Trishna up again, and as I wait for her to come out I read for a few minutes. #selfcareonthego
12:25pm – After we’ve returned and settled in, I sit down with Jonathan for the first half of his All About Spelling lesson. (This program has been an absolute answer to prayer!)
Still discouraged by his Geometry struggles in the day, he suddenly says, “Why did you read Anne of Green Gables to us when we were younger? Now I’m just like Anne when it comes to Geometry!”
“But if I’m like Anne…,” he goes on, “…you’re like my Miss Stacy.”
In a few seconds he adds, “Make sure you put that in your post.”
You never know the unexpected moments of delight that might appear in your day as a homeschool mom!
12:50pm – Trishna is currently doing Duolingo Spanish, Elijah has returned to military history on audio in his room, and Jonathan has gone upstairs to study in uninterrupted quiet.
I pause to tidy up bookshelves and the kitchen, then sit down to peek through some of the kids’ work.
1:30pm – Jonathan comes to finish his spelling lesson, and after 20 minutes of writing dictated sentences I can tell he needs a brain break.
I send him out in the frigid air to “take a couple of turns,” a Jane Austen term we’ve adopted, referring to walking around our 5-acre property.
While he’s out I write captions on our “Best of 2020” photo album. Amazingly, 2020 looks pretty good when you’re only viewing the highlight reel!
2:05pm – Trishna is now working on PreAlgebra, Elijah has moved on to The Tempest on audio, and Jonathan and I are in front of the wood stove for what we call our 2pm “reading hour.”
Connecting with Kids Tip #3: Try the Chapter a Day Book Club
As your kids get older and begin doing more of their homeschool work independently, it’s easy to feel disconnected. Enter the Chapter a Day Book Club.
It’s simple: Choose a title together and agree to read one chapter a day.
This way you are always at the same part of the book, and can discuss it easily. We’re currently on our third title since we began doing this, and it has been such fun.
3:00pm – And this homeschool day is a wrap!
The kids make sure to update their individual checklists (see more details in last year’s post), so I can easily see what has been done throughout the day–good for my peace of mind and their sense of accomplishment as well.
Afternoon and evening involve fresh air, a friend over to hang outside, a nap (for me), dinner making and eating, and the Amazing Race! 📺 Thanks for stopping by!
My, how the days have changed:
- 2011: Jamie’s homeschool day in the life with a 5, 6, & 7-year-old
- 2012: Jamie’s homeschool day in the life with a 6, 7, & 8-year-old
- 2013: Jamie’s homeschool day in the life with a 7, 8, & 9-year-old
- 2014: My homeschool day with a 8, 9, & 10-year-old
- 2015: My homeschool day with a 9, 10, & 11-year-old
- 2016: My homeschool day with a 10, 11, & 12-year-old
- 2017: My homeschool day with a 11, 12, & 13-year-old
- 2018: My homeschool day with a 12, 13, & 14-year-old
- 2019: My homeschool day with a 13, 14, & 15-year-old
- 2020: My homeschool day with a 14, 15, & 16-year-old
What’s Your Homeschool Mom Personality? Take Jamie’s quiz now and receive a free personality report to help you organize your homeschool based on what your personality type needs most!