Written by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler
What a year it’s been! Has it already been a year? These Day in the Life posts tend to be milestones for me, especially as they arrive right around the new year. I’m always a little surprised that time has passed so quickly.
But it has and it does and, you know what, I’m not sad about it. Wistful, perhaps.
But I am enjoying watching my children grow up. While there was a time I enjoyed teaching them basic reading and writing, I’m glad to be past that stage.
Another BIG change that has occurred for our family over Christmas was our move from California to Washington. While I am still in shock over how smoothly this transition happened (NOT counting the drive, from which I think I’ll be shell shocked for a long time!) we have just begun to pick back up on our homeschooling.
This is definitely one of those times that I am thrilled to be a homeschooler/unschooler. I couldn’t imagine worrying about getting the kids transferred into a school.
So for better or worse, this is how our routine currently looks. I offer this with the caveat that it has changed pretty recently and might continue to evolve over 2020 as we settle into a new place.
I get to sleep in as long as I want, but I do make an effort to be up by 7am. The children get an hour of screen time between 8 and 9 a.m.
They are usually up by 7:30 or so and they have breakfast or do something quietly until 8, which is when the boys wake up my oldest daughter.
Now that she is 11, she is transitioning into sleeping in like a teenager and refuses to be the early bird she has been in the past.
Sometimes, I wake up and write. Other times, I check messages and Facebook and plan my day and head out for a walk.
We have assigned chores for every child, so when screen time is over, they head straight to those and get ready for schoolwork with me.
We do sit down work (mostly math and spelling) between 10 and 11. This is also time for individual attention for each child. If they are struggling with something in particular, this is when I try to work with them and resolve their problems.
Except integers – my current nemesis. I refuse to teach those and recruit my husband’s help to teach them on the weekends. Everything else is fair game.
When that intense 10 o’clock hour is done, we tend to relax a bit. We tackle social studies and science mostly through documentaries and discussions, so we find something interesting to watch or head to the local library to find something to read.
I leave the children free in the afternoons to do whatever they want. They are responsible to make their own breakfast and lunch, but I do make sure they eat so they’re not grumpy later.
Often my daughter uses this time to bake a sweet treat, usually cookies. Afternoons are a free-for-all screen time, so the boys usually find something to play together.
This is my time for myself to read, write, run errands or, some days, take a much needed nap.
My husband usually leaves for work early in the morning, so he comes home early as well. Usually he is home by 4, which is when everyone in the family heads out to play.
We enforce outside play time for the children for (at least) an hour between 4 and 5 and we make sure we play ourselves.
At least three times a week, my husband and I head to the garage where we lift weights for an hour. This is our time to chat about our day and work out. Sometimes the children join us, sometimes not. We don’t push it either way.
After working out, I start dinner and we make sure we eat together as a family. Dinners are not always formal and not always at the dinner table.
Sometimes we settle around the coffee table with our food and chat or watch a movie. Some nights, we just hang out with finger food and drinks while my husband relaxes with Elder Scrolls Online. (Yes, we are an unabashed gaming family and we don’t hide it._
Lately after dinner I’ve been watching Master Chef and my youngest (who enjoys cooking) watches it with me.
Bedtime for the kids is about 7:30pm, after which they retire to their rooms for quiet play.
My middle son usually reads at this time and my daughter likes to draw. The youngest finds some way to entertain himself and/or annoys the others until they throw him out or he gets tired.
Lights out for the children is at 9:30p.m., but we’re not super strict about it as they get older. For instance, my daughter sometimes stays up past hers if she’s deep into a sketching project. My husband and I head to bed about 10pm, ready for an early morning.
With the huge changes that we have made recently, we are still adjusting to the new weather, different people and a whole new culture. But by and large, we are enjoying being closer to family and Washingtonians have been extremely kind to us.
Here’s hoping we strike some deep roots and make new friendships.
My, how the days have changed:
- 2019: Purva’s homeschool day in the life (with a 6-, 9-, & 10-year-old)
- 2018: Purva’s homeschool day in the life (with a 5-, 8-, & 9-year-old)
- 2017: Purva’s homeschool day in the life (with a 4-, 7-, & 8-year-old)
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