Kari’s Homeschool Day in the Life (with a 1-, 3-, 13-, and 15-year-old) ~
Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane
A note from Jamie: Remember that our Homeschool Day in the Life link up is this Th, February 24th! Come by the site then to share details about your own day!
Every homeschool day is practically perfect. My plan for each day is executed without hiccup, lessons are learned with eagerness and ease, and our day ends each evening with a joyous family dinner around the table where each child gratefully receives the food that’s served. There are no interruptions. Every day my hair looks great.
You too? Me neither! But sometimes it can seem like everyone else has days like that without end.
Here’s my day, a real day:
Most mornings are slow and sweet, but I haven’t yet opened my eyes and I can already feel the I-didn’t-have-enough-protein-yesterday headache while baby Ben’s cry is escalating.
My 5:30am alarm hasn’t buzzed yet so whatever time it is it’s too early. I slide my leg over to the left side. Jeff’s already up. To my right I can feel the warmth of a little person. He stirs, slipping his arms around my neck. I stay still. Usually, I lie there with eyes closed and savor the silence, think through my day, and pray.
Today I just pray. Gonna need some strength today, Lord.
“Mama, Ben is crying. Let’s get him and go downstairs,” Justice (3) whispers.
He carefully pronounces downstairs because he used to say downtairs, and I’d always repeat it and grin and kiss his face. The successful s-blend reminds me: He’s growing up.
Together we rescue Ben, and I pull both boys back into bed with me and nurse the baby until he’s happy. Now they’re both wide awake and eager to begin the day.
It’s 6:16am. *sigh*
Ok, here we go!
Downstairs Jeff has the fire going and I smile — our heat pump wasn’t working for a few months so it was a necessity, now it’s just a luxury. Justice’s hand is slipped in mine as we walk down the stairs and Ben clings tightly.
I drink water, pour coffee, and usually (there’s that word again!) settle down on the couch with Bible and journal. But since the boys are both awake and already hungry, I begin breakfast.
I’ve returned to breakfast-making to gather us all around warm, nutritious goodness each morning. Justice requests “Jake the Snake” (long pancakes made to look like snakes) and I remind him we had those yesterday. Today it’s oatmeal and omelettes. I hand Ben a banana to occupy him while I cook.
Jeff joins me and we begin discussing some big decisions we have ahead. I’m sure none of you can relate to this (smile) but somehow we misunderstand each other. Before it can resolve, both teens enter the kitchen and the opportunity for private conversation abruptly ends. *sigh*
Jeff heads upstairs to shower.
I fix plates and we all eat and I marvel again at how much. So much food! While mouths are full I run upstairs and apologize to Jeff. I head back down and feed the baby the next bite.
Jeff and I try to pray together every morning no matter what, so Heidi heads off to care for the goats, Dutch does chores, and I give Justice instructions to get dressed. Jeff and I sit together on the couch with the baby crawling around at our feet, and pray. He kisses me and he’s off to work.
Goats are fed, chores are done, baby Ben is now bathed after a diaper blow-out, and Justice has dressed himself successfully. Heidi points out that his shirt is inside out and she suspects he has no underwear, (which is true) but I applaud him nonetheless. Heidi brings down a load of clean laundry and sets it in the living room–it’ll end up sorted (but not folded!) at some point today.
Now, the big kids start on school. Dutch (15) is a Freshman, and he does all his work on his own (woohoo!). He takes Geometry through HSLDA online academy (love!), and US History, World History, Personal Finance, and PE at FCCT.
FCCT is the “school” for homeschool teens we attend every Monday. I teach literature there and my husband Jeff teaches PE. On his own he’s doing Apologia Biology, and working his way through his Freshman booklist I’ve created. In his free-time he keeps a blog called DutchWorld and reads XKCD comics.
Heidi (13) is mostly on her own, with help here and there from me. At FCCT she has a lighter load, taking my literature class, study hall, yearbook, and dance cardio for PE. At home she does Life of Fred Pre-Algebra with Biology, Apologia General Science, and Civics.
Her free time is mostly full of dance and theater classes/rehearsals three days/week through CYT. The Little Mermaid show is just around the corner! In other pockets of free time she enjoys practicing graphic design on Canva.
Once Ben goes down for his morning nap, I join Justice for what he calls Preschool. Some days we do Play-doh and practice shapes and letters and some days we do worksheets that Heidi enjoys making for him. Today he just wants to read aloud so we curl up on the couch with a blanket and the stack of Richard Scarry books we love so much they’ve long since lost their covers.
After an hour of this, I need a break. Heidi emerges from the shower and asks me to do her hair — she perches on a chair with To Kill a Mockingbird, our current literature study, while I braid. My phone buzzes: Activity in the nursery.
Ben is awake.
Mid-day unfolds: We gather for lunch and while they’re eating I whip up a double batch of meatballs for a birthday party tonight. While doing this, Justice unrolls the tin foil all the way down the hall, like a runner. We roll it back up. Correct. Teach.
I realize I’m out of eggs and run down to our housemate’s fridge and grab two. Last year my KitchenAid mixer fell on the floor, so now it only mixes on double speed. When I turn it on to mix the meatballs, it shoots the egg out of the top and lands on the floor.
I may have scooped the egg off the floor and put it into the meatballs. Yes, I may have done that.
While I clean up the egg, Justice has spilled a canister of rice on the floor. WHY?!
At 1pm I hear a loud thud and chuckle — my dad is here. He always pretends to run into the sliding glass door upon arrival and the littles laugh hysterically. My mom recently passed away, and we’re all figuring out how to do life without her. Thankfully, we get lots of time with Papa.
At 1:30pm a fellow homeschool friend brings over her cousin who is interested in renting out our downstairs while her husband is deployed, so we give tours and catch up while the additional six children play outside. It’s gloriously sunny and by some miracle I’ve actually managed to have everything ready for the party tonight and the kids have finished school.
I realize my headache is gone and silently thank God.
At 2:30pm I put Ben down, Justice gets settled next to Papa to read The Baby Whale, Sharp Ears, my mom’s favorite children’s story. I eat some leftover chicken and hop in the shower. It’s been a few days since I’ve showered, so this is a treat!
Usually (ha!), our afternoons are quieter, and we wrap up school somewhere around 3pm and have some free time. Bible studies, theater, and having friends over for dinner usually occupy our evenings. Or on family nights, we put the littles to bed at 7pm and have a couple hours with the bigs to play 7 Wonders, Code Names, or Settlers of Catan.
Lately the teens love to talk so we’ve spent a lot of evenings on the couch catching up–I love those times!
At 3:30 we head out with Heidi to begin the route of theater drop off, Costco run, then arrival at the 60th birthday party. Dutch is on duty babysitting the littles tonight and I marvel that the little boy who was so incredibly challenging could turn into a responsible, capable young man who can serve dinner, change diapers, and put babies to bed.
Again, I thank God.
We arrive home at 10pm with full hearts. All three boys are asleep. I silently thank God for this blessed full life, full of teachable moments, glimpses of grace, and opportunities for forgiveness.
I thank Him for these four precious souls I get to nurture. There are no perfect days, but I wouldn’t trade this for the world. Thanks for joining our day!
My, how the days have changed:
- 2021: Kari’s homeschool day in the life (with a newborn, 2-, 11- and 14-year-old)
- 2020: Kari’s homeschool day in the life (with a 1-, 10-, and 13-year-old)
- 2019: Kari’s homeschool day in the life (with a 5-month, 9- and 12-year old)
- 2018: Kari’s homeschool day in the life (with a 9-and 11-year-old)
- 2017: Kari’s homeschool day in the life (with a 7- and 10-year-old)
- 2016: Kari’s homeschool day in the life (with a 7- and 9-year-old)
- 2015: Kari’s homeschool day in the life (with a 5- & 8-year-old)
- 2014: Kari’s homeschool day in the life (with a 4- & 7-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!