Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
I‘m not going to lie – because I don’t do that: I was kind of dreading writing my day in the life post this year. You see, about this time last year, my teens decided to switch from our eclectic mix of hands-on curriculum to workbooks.
Workbooks, y’all. Bleck!
Not long before they decided to make the switch, I was in the homeschool aisle of our local used bookstore. I told my husband that it made me want to break out in hives – because the shelves are stuffed with used workbook-style curriculum.
(Don’t take that personally if you use and love workbooks. It’s just not my preferred method.)
That means that this year’s homeschool day in the life post won’t include any fun hands-on projects. It won’t include any fun stuff that I am doing with my kids because the only thing I really do with them now is algebra and that’s no fun – well, except when we figure out the dreaded word problems together. That elicits some high-fives.
But, then, I thought that maybe somebody needs to hear this kind of day in the life. Maybe there are moms who are still in the trenches of teacher-intensive days who need to know that easier days with independent teens lie ahead.
Maybe there are moms who need to know that it’s okay to let your kids pursue a learning style that is the polar opposite of what you would choose for them. It is, after all, their education.
So, here goes – a homeschool day in the life with independent teens.
My day starts by 8 a.m. most of the time. I get up and spend a little time with Brianna, age 20, before she heads out the door to cosmetology school. She is almost finished and has been preparing to take the state boards.
She will have all her hours completed any day now and won’t be leaving for school in the mornings. Hopefully, she’ll be leaving for work at a local salon instead. That will be a new adjustment for all of us.
After I send Brianna off, I head to the treadmill. I’m working to build my running time back up because I’ll be running a 5K to raise funds for Mercy House in April.
Usually by 9:30, I’m showered and ready to face the day – after some quiet time. I’ve been using the Journal and Doodle Bible study guides for about six months now and I love them!
They add a bit of creativity to my journal.
After I finish my Bible study, I spend an hour or so working. In addition to running my blog, I’m a freelance writer and social media manager. Then it’s time to start trying to wake the kids.
Yes, at 11:00. I’ve shared before how we’re not morning people and that certainly hasn’t changed with two teenagers.
I usually manage to drag everyone out of bed by 11:30 and they start their schoolwork. On their own. With their boring workbooks. (My opinion, not theirs – they really like the structure and independence.)
They typically work for an hour or so, then we stop for lunch, which has become something of a free-for-all. Megan and I usually scrounge around for leftovers, while Josh prefers pizza or hot wings. I also try to make a pot of soup most weekends so we can have it for lunches during the week.
We take a long lunch break, but it’s one of my favorite parts of the day. Josh is a talented guitar player and he usually spends an hour of his lunch break practicing. He’ll also play video games if his friends are online.
Megan likes painting, writing (as long as it’s not a school assignment), and singing, so those are her lunch break activities of choice – at least until her BFF is available to Skype.
After lunch, the kids finish up whatever wasn’t finished before lunch. At least two days a week, I work with Josh on history and science since it became clear that these are two areas in which he still needs me to remain actively involved.
Both kids typically put off math as long as possible, too, which means it gets done in the afternoons. I am called on to help with difficult concepts when needed.
One of the most surprising things to me is how much more sense algebra makes now than it did back in the Dark Ages when I took it the first time.
The majority of our school days ends by late afternoon or early evening, though the kids may still be wrapping some things up after supper. We won’t even talk about what time they go to bed–that might be too stressful for some of you.
It’s kind of strange being a mostly hands-off homeschooling mom after so many years of being right in the middle of everything.
And while it may not be fun to read about, it’s pretty fun to live because it means that I now have something I’d almost forgotten about – free time!
The time isn’t always so free since it’s often filled with online work and household chores, but it’s still exciting because doing those things throughout the day means that now I get to go to bed at a decent hour.
I don’t have to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to enjoy peace and quiet or to catch up on all the things I didn’t have time for throughout the day.
So maybe this wasn’t such a boring day in the life post to read, after all. Maybe it’s given some of you a little hope for less intense days ahead.
They arrive sooner than you expect.
Are you homeschooling teens yet? In what ways has your homeschool taken an unexpected turn?