Jessica’s Homeschool Day in the Life (with a 10-year-old only child) ~
Written by Jessica Waldock of The Waldock Way
We have found that a strict homeschooling schedule doesn’t really work for us. Instead, we have a flexible routine we follow. This gives our homeschool days a loose structure without needing to stick to a strict timetable.
Having a more flexible approach to our homeschool days ensures we don’t feel rushed and anxious about being “behind schedule” either.
Follow along to see what a day in the life of my homeschool family looks like these days!
Jessica’s homeschool day in the life (with a 10-year-old only child)
Before we get started with the day to day details here is some background on our family: My husband and I both work from home, we are homeschooling an only child, and we are a family of night owls.
Starting Our Homeschool Day Off Right
I am not a morning person. In fact, no one in my house gets up very early. These days we all wake up between 9 and 10 am since we tend to stay up late reading or listening to audiobooks independently.
The beginning of the day moves slowly with breakfast for everyone. After breakfast, Emily does whatever I strew for her. Strewing items like this allows me to start my day slowly and gives Emily a chance to learn independently through exploration.
This morning, I set out winter block-building activities for Emily. These activities line up nicely with our winter unit study and encourage her to think creatively before we begin formal lessons. If you’re looking for winter strewing ideas for your homeschool, check out my Winter Strewing Ideas and Printables.
While Emily is busy with strewing items (or doing another activity independently if she’s not interested in what I strew that morning), I’m able to engage in healthy physical activity. This is when I work on lifting weights or doing other exercises. Then we all go for a walk together as a family.
We finish our morning routine with some household chores like making beds, feeding the cat, and doing laundry. This is also when we can get a shower and get ready for the day.
Learning Lunches in Our Homeschool
Once our chores are finished, it’s usually about lunchtime. Lately, Emily has been a big fan of a snack-style lunch. I prep lots of fresh fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods so she can grab food whenever she feels “snacky” throughout the day.
Prepping healthy snacks like these helps ensure our homeschooler can always grab something to eat when she’s feeling hungry without disrupting the school day.
Then we have our learning lunch. This time is so important for me because it’s a space in the day where I can do things I need to do, take a break, make phone calls, or do something for myself. Meanwhile, Emily continues learning with a great documentary, podcast, or audiobook while she has her lunch.
There are so many great documentaries, podcasts, and audiobooks she can enjoy while she eats. Check out our favorite documentaries and the best podcasts to get ideas for your homeschoolers too.
Our Homeschool Routine
Our homeschool routine is very flexible and interest-led. After lunch, we will get started on lessons including working from whichever unit study we are currently doing together. This Winter, you’ll find us enjoying the read-aloud books and activities in our Wilson Bentley Unit Study all about snowflakes.
I don’t always know all the activities and lessons we will cover in a day. This is because I try to allow grace for all of us as we homeschool. Keeping it flexible allows us to roll with it and not come unglued when we don’t make it to all the things on the list.
Sometime during the afternoon, Emily engages in a fun STEAM activity or lesson with her dad, Kevin. Today, they’re making artificial snow with a fun chemical reaction science experiment.
Our Evening Routine
Once Emily finishes her more structured activities, we all sort of go our separate ways. This is a time when Emily can have free time to do what she wants. This is also usually the point in the day when I do my work.
Then it’s time for dinner. Emily sets the table while we prepare the meal. We all enjoy a family meal together.
After dinner, we start our favorite part of the day: family quality time. This normally looks like us playing games together but can also be watching a show or movie together. When we have a family games night each of us gets to choose a game and we play them all together.
After homeschooling and family time, everyone is ready to wind down for the night. Around 10 we do our final household chores and begin our bedtime routine.
Our Bedtime Routine
Our bedtime routine looks a bit different now than it did when Emily was younger. We have a bedtime basket routine (similar to a morning basket) that we use to wind down and build connections before bed.
To learn more about how to use a bedtime basket in our homeschool and get ideas for your own bedtime basket routine, take a little peek at our bedtime basket.
This routine is shorter because Emily often reads by herself or listens to an audiobook on her own when we finish our bedtime basket. Then Kevin and I spend time together watching a movie or reading books and enjoying our bedtime tea routine.
Lately, I’m using this time to read for my own enjoyment. It’s one more way I’m engaging in self-care as a homeschool mom.
Our homeschool routine works for our family and we have found that flexibility is the key.
Being flexible about the number of tasks we accomplish each day as well as our start and finish times has been a really important part of making our homeschool sustainable and filled with learning opportunities for our whole family.
What does your own homeschool routine look like? I’d love to read about a day in your homeschool life too, so don’t forget to share your own homeschooling routines and adventures in the comments.
My, how the days have changed:
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