Jessica’s Homeschool Day in the Life (with a 9-year-old only child) ~
Written by Jessica Waldock of The Waldock Way
January is a slow month for us, it’s a time for easing back into a routine after the busy holiday season. It’s a time when we like to hygge it up and spend lots of time snuggled up on the couch together. We are all night owls so no day ever starts early, and coming back to homeschooling after the holidays can be challenging.
Over the years, I’ve developed a great solution for this in the form of a homeschool challenge that we’ve come to love. It’s our answer to those long winter days stuck indoors.
When you’re homeschooling an only child like we are, sometimes you have to get creative about how you build connection and make learning fun for a single homeschooler.
Our answer is to participate with our daughter Emily and learn together as a family.
A Simple Homeschool Challenge to Start Our Year
January is usually the time of year when the newness has worn off and we start just checking boxes on our homeschool to-do list while we wait for Summer. My solution to January bleh is our “book and game challenge.” It’s a family homeschool challenge we do every year.
A book and a game a day has become a big family favorite here at The Waldock Way.
We spend a whole month playing fun games and reading great books together. I usually try to match the books with the games.
For example, if we read about rocks and minerals, we might play ROCK ON!, (afflinks) a geology game with a rock and mineral collection we love.
If all we do that day is read a book and play a game together, I count it as a homeschool win. The workbooks, science experiments, and projects can wait until February… unless we want to dive in early of course.
Jessica’s Homeschool Day in the Life today
A little background before I share the nitty gritty of a homeschool day in the life. My husband and I both work from home full time, we are homeschooling an only child, and we are night owls.
Today began slowly, we slept in as usual. Kevin decided to do some yard work this morning before it got too hot (we live in Florida and it’s still breaking 85 degrees most days). After I had my caffeine and became a human, I decided to read Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill by Steven Kellogg while Emily ate her breakfast. Emily loves tall tales like these; they always fill her with curiosity and wonder. These were no exception and lead to some amazing lengthy conversations.
After we read and discussed our books, we moved to the dining room table to play the game Tall Tales. It’s a storytelling board game we are currently having tons of fun playing. Tall Tales offers many fun ways to practice language arts with kids. Plus, it’s a great way to encourage creative thinking.
Kevin finished the yard work and took over playing one last round of the game with Emily while I made us all some sandwiches for lunch. During lunch, we listened to American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne on audio. Emily is obsessed with the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne so she was ecstatic when we found it.
Once we finished lunch, Emily surprised me with an excellent idea. She wanted to write her very own tall tales. So most of the afternoon was spent writing and drawing illustrations for her own imaginative tall tales. I assisted her with some spelling, but otherwise worked silently on my laptop alongside her answering emails while Kevin spent the afternoon working in his office.
A few of my favorite things about the book and game challenge are the interests sparked and the rabbit trails taken. It’s the perfect child-led learning start to the second semester of our homeschool.
After we ate dinner, we popped some popcorn and all piled up on the couch in the living room to watch the Disney Tall Tales: An Unbelievable Adventure. It was a successful homeschool day filled with learning, play, and connection; just the way we like it here at the Waldock house.
Jessica’s Homeschool Day in the Life – a typical day
I’ll admit, that this wasn’t a typical homeschool day in the life for us, but it’s the perfect way to restart after a holiday break or a busy season. We don’t normally stick to any kind of homeschool schedule – a schedule would be too rigid and drive me insane.
Instead, we have a general routine or rhythm that we try to follow. While no two homeschool days ever look the same, a typical homeschool day has a flow. That way, no matter what time we start, we go through our day and no one ever feels rushed or behind.
Typically our homeschool routine day in the life goes something like this:
- Morning Basket (mostly read alouds)
- Table Time (any structured lessons for the day)
- Learning Lunch (lunch with a podcast or educational show)
- Afternoon Activity (science experiment, art project, nature walk, etc.)
If you would like to see what a typical day looks like for us, you can homeschool with us in a youtube video that shares a full day in our life.
I’d love to hear about a typical homeschool day in the life for you and your homeschoolers.
Share your homeschooling journey, favorite books to read aloud, or fun games you play in the comments so we can try them in our homeschool this year too.
Q for you: Are you more of a slow starter or a jump-right-in-with-both-feet kind of person?
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Thank you for sharing! I love that you and your husband learn with your daughter! This has been one of my favorite things about homeschooling. I am very impressed that you and your husband work full time and you homeschool. That is very impressive.
I absolutely love the idea of focusing on books and games in January! We are just coming out of the blahs and I’m writing down this idea for next year. Really resonated. Thank you!