Homeschooling doesn’t always look the same. But that’s one of the things that makes it so great — it doesn’t have to!
In the past several weeks, our fourth annual homeschool day in the life series has featured families homeschooling between one to six children.
We’ve heard from those who follow Waldorf or Leadership education philosophies, classical homeschoolers, unschoolers, and everything in between; those who embrace schedules–and those who have embraced a bit of necessary chaos!
As contributor Cheryl Pitt said in her day in the life post:
“As you read the Day in the Life series, I’m sure you’ll notice the fact that everyone’s day is vastly different. That’s a blessing of homeschool, we can do life with school.”
So now, we’d like to hear from you! Today is your chance to share your homeschool day in the life with Simple Homeschool readers.
Please link up your own day in the life post using the linky below. (If you don’t have a blog, feel free to share the details of your day in the comments section.)
Thank you so much for being a part of this series, and for sharing your days with us. I look forward to grabbing a cup of tea and “visiting” many of you!
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”
~ Carl Sandburg
Lucinda @ Navigating By Joy
Thanks for the link up, Jamie – I really enjoyed sharing our day!
Kate - An Everyday Story
Thank you for the opportunity to share our day with you. I’m looking forward to visiting all the other wonderful homeschooling families too.
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to share our lives, and learn from others as well!! Happy Valentine’s Day!!
I have so enjoyed this series. Thanks for the link-up! 🙂
Our typical day homeschooling a 3 and a 5 year old: Friday
8:00am. First thing every day, my 5 year old reads a page long message I taped on her door the night before leading her to find small treats (like raisins or nuts) by correctly defining a vocabulary word we studied the day before. While she does that, I wake the 3 year old.
Then we all cuddle on my bed together while I read a “big girl” book to them. Right now we are reading, “Charlotte’s Web.” Depending on what they feel like or what we are doing that day, this activity can last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
By 8:30am or whenever we get downstairs, we have breakfast.
By 9:00am, or thereabouts, we start lessons. Only my 5 year old really does the lessons but my 3 year old drifts in and out of the room and participates when she feels like it. Every day starts with some kind of math. Right now we are working on money. I give her a small pile of coins and some dollar bills. Then I get something she really likes to eat, like dried mangoes and blueberries. Then I tell her the price of each item and she “buys” it from me by giving me the correct amount. One mango slice may cost $2.43 We do this for about 15-20 minutes.
Then we move on to writing. I give her a new vocabulary word every day. Today the word was “provoke.”I write it in a sentence and she copies the sentence as neatly as she can. She is then charged with using the word on her own at least once that day before bedtime. If on the rare occasion we get to bedtime and she hasn’t used the word, I ask her to use it in a sentence right before lights out. But she (and the 3 year old) find an occasion to use the word most of the time. I use the word throughout during the day as well to remind them.
At this point, depending on the day, we move on to our next subject. Each subject takes from 15-20 minutes and we stay on that subject for 2-3 weeks. I incorporate youtube videos, worksheets, online websites, library books, my own creations, etc., as needed for each lesson.
Mondays are Geography and we are currently studying everything about Germany;
Tuesdays are History and we are currently studying everything about Native Americans;
Wednesdays are Science and we are currently studying the solar system and all the planets;
Thursdays are hands on projects, activities or experiments to solidify a topic we studied Monday-Wednesday. Yesterday, we put together, painted, and labeled a mobile of the solar system and hung it in her room. Next Thursday, it might be making an Indian headdress to complement the Native American lesson;
Fridays are Art/Music Appreciation such as drawing practice or identifying classical art or music.
Today is Friday so we will practice drawing. She practices shading from light to dark. Then I give her a simple still life (like a ball) and we practice drawing and getting the shading and shadows right.
Then I read 2-4 books to them. Usually they are story books from the library related to the subjects studied that week—this week they are Indian folktales, German fairy tales and Valentine’s day stories.
Then they have free time until lunch at 12:00pm.
After lunch, they have free time. Weather permitting, we may go outside to a park. Some days, we have playdates, storytime at the library, or they just play independently at home for several hours but TV is never allowed. Today, we have nothing scheduled so they stay indoors and play. At 2:30, they break from playing and I read another 2-4 books to them.
At 3:00pm they have a snack while they both play computer games like Reader Rabbit or Starfall.com or Peep and the Big Wide World. Screen time last for about 30 minutes.
On Fridays, the 5 year old has piano lessons. So I will take her to her 30 minute lesson while my husband stays with the 3 year old.
By the time we come home, it is close to suppertime. Because we are studying Germany this week, my 5 year old will make German food for supper. I found a simple recipe online for a typical German meal and she will read the instructions and cook it with some help from me: sausage and sauerkraut with fried potatoes and onions.
My husband is a native Russian speaker and so after supper, I leave the room for several hours while both my kids interact with him exclusively in Russian. The Russian lessons may be outside if the weather is nice.
By 7:15pm the bedtime routine starts. After putting all their toys away, brushing their teeth and getting into pajamas, we all get on my bed again and I read 2-4 more books. Then we usually take turns telling stories. My 5 year old loves to tell and hear scary stories.
By 8:15, I put the 3 year old to bed. I sing her songs and we chat quietly in the dark for about 5-10 minutes. The 5 year old and I then practice piano for about 10-15 minutes every day in her room. After piano practice, I leave her alone in her room and she usually stays up until 9:30-10pm reading, writing stories, or listening to music. I remind her to turn the lights out around 9:30pm and I tape the new message on her door for her to read the next morning and we start all over again.
Of course the day I chose to record for this link up is one of the most abnormal days we’ve had as a homeschooling family. None the less, it was fun to join in and share a day in the life of our family in our current season!
Sorry, I tried to link my blog but don’t think I did it right so I am going to post the link here. Thanks…I have loved reading others day in the life…
I wanted to say thank you for doing this series Jamie, and for everyone who participated. We have been looking at homeschool since Sempember. Other then knowing one family who homeschools we had no prior knowledge of the topic. After much reading and researching I stumbled across your blog, mere days before your “day in the life” series started. It was such a huge blessing to me. It showed me many options of what homeschooling can be mad where it can take us as a family. It inspired us and motivated us and helped us make the final leap into the unknown. We started homeschooling this last week, and while I’m sure there are many challenging days ahead, this last week was a compete joy and I’m so glad we made this choice! Thanks again for giving us all a glimpse into your lives! I’m sure our family is not the only you have all blessed and inspired with your openness and willingness to share! Blessings 🙂
You’re so welcome, Mallory! And I’m so happy to hear it’s been a blessing to you!
Thanks for the link up.
I just realized when re-reading my blog (posted in the link) that I had added a link to one of Simple homeschool’s blogs. Ha!
I run a bookkeeping business and home school with 11, 9, 2, and 1 year old. We can just title mine “One of Those Days” and I’ll share just to make other moms smile. Despite the following description, I was smiling and enjoying my day through each “oops!” and feeling blessed to have everyone home. We also managed to get all our homeschool work done…Can anyone say miraculous! Yay!
5:?? – I’m awake. DD2 has climbed between my husband and I. I’m not really aware of the time…just that there’s a little one demanding my attention. DS1 is asleep in the living room because he wouldn’t fall asleep in his room last night. I’m still pretending that I might be able to fall back to sleep.
6:00 – “I’m moving. You can have the bed to yourself now.” DS1 is playing in the living room. DD2 wants milk. Flip on lights in the living room, dining room, kitchen. Start coffee. Feed dog. Uncover bird.
6:48 – DS11 is at the table with his laptop working on math. He has already cleaned his bedroom and taken a shower….wish I did mornings that well. DD2 is asking for her 3rd color of play dough. I’ve checked my email and task list (4 tasks overdue, but today is catchup day!) , paid federal and state payroll taxes for a client, and am considering another cup of coffee.
7:40 DD9 and DH are still asleep. DS11 is taking a break from his school work. I just finished Windows Update and am daydreaming about home school stuff that I wish I could afford. Lego Mindstorms (I have a video of DS11 and DD9 playing with one of these I borrowed a couple years ago). Robinson Curriculum…wonder if someone has this and I could look it over to see if I like it. App subscription for DD2…and it would be neat to get the kids into some kind of sports.
8:17 I opened the dishwasher to put away last night’s dinner dishes only to find that I forgot to hit start last night. Running the dirty dishes now. Moved DS11 laundry from the washer to the dryer for him. Starting colored laundry. DD2 is upset over a puzzle and mom not getting her an 8th color of play dough. I’ve tucked her in for a break on the couch in front of Sesame Street. DS1 has the vacuum cleaner dissected…..use your imagination…moved the vacuum cleaner into the laundry room and vowed to take care of it later today. Switched from coffee to green tea with honey (wouldn’t want to spend the day twitching because of the caffeine!). DH is still sleeping (perhaps, pretending?)
8:24 Asked big kids what they’re going to be doing today (my way of making sure they understand their work). Little ones into fresh diapers and daytime clothes. DD2 insists on pink penguin footy pajamas. Smile! Wonder how long she’ll be in a the “I only wear pajamas” phase. I notice my bed is made and hear DH in the bathroom getting ready for the day. Second bathroom needs toilet paper restocked. Cloth diaper wipes need restocking. DD9 still in her pajamas is playing with DS1 on the living room floor. DS11 is cooking eggs and toast for breakfast.
9:48 DH calls from work. It’s going to be more productive if he works from the home office….DD9 is coming down the hall in tears. She broke the blender and it scared her. She accidentally left a spoon in it while making her huckleberry banana smoothie…it punched a hole through the glass. It was loud. She’s afraid of getting cut on the glass. I tell her that I’ll clean it up and to focus on her typing for a while. Oh, DD2 served herself a bowl of shredded cheese which she spilled on the dining room carpet….and I still haven’t cleaned out the vacuum to vacuum it up. Mopped up 6 feet of counter space covered in huckleberry banana goo and glass, the front of the cupboards and the kitchen floor. As I clean the vacuum explosion I discover that there’s no suction and head out in search of a standard screwdriver. In the process of cleaning the vacuum, I sucked up the edge of a reusable shopping bag. Ahhhh! Off! Off! Off! Where’s the Switch? Horrible burning smell emanates from the vacuum.
10:08 DH is home…and gone to the office. Vacuum is still in pieces. DS1 and DD2 both demand attention. “School time” pauses. DS11 gets his laundry from the dryer. DD9 puts her laundry in the washer wondering aloud if it’s snack time yet.
10:35 DS1 curled up in his car seat in the living room and fell asleep. DD2 is playing the conga drums on three loaf pans next to his head. I move the car seat into the boys’ room and shut the door. Big kids are whining about doing their writing assignment. I’m ignoring the whining. The vacuum is reassembled, the cheese is vacuumed up, DD2 is snacking on yogurt. DD9 asks what “denominator” and “numerator” mean. “Oh, I forgot the “narrator” to read it” she jokes. LOL.
10:46 Last night’s dinner dishes put away. Breakfast dishes loaded. Off to check if DH needs more coffee in the office. DH had me watch a 14 minute video on how microchips are made….the vocabulary made my head spin….way cool though!
11:05 DD2 and I had fun jumping on the bed. Defrost chicken for dinner. Restock pantry shelves with groceries left on floor after last shopping trip. Ponder whether boiling a pound of wagon wheel noodles and dumping canned chili on it counts as lunch. Sure does! I’ll just serve some veges with it. Hmmmm…DD2 is now wearing blue monkey footy pajamas. How did that happen? I need a break. Green tea + laptop + recliner…I can get stuff done while relaxing. I pull student reports. DS11 needs to finish his typing lessons. DD9 needs to finish one of her two math programs.
11:38 DD2 has a gallon of vegetable oil with the lid off…”Thank you, I’ll take that!” Disaster narrowly averted! Whew!
…..lunch and the rest of the day were a blur….I didn’t stop to write anything (I bet other moms can understand that!)
What a lovely day today. I am sharing our day with you. 6:45am I got up, making coffee, fry eggs, chocolate-coconut-oil-glazed cake for hubby’s breakfast. He left for work at 7:40( I didn’t need to make his lunch today, yay). One by one, kids come down to me and give me a hug then have their breakfast with the chocolate cake and coffee cake I prepared yesterday. Oldest kid sweep floor and put away dishes. I clean the kitchen. By 9:30, we start home work for the 9 and 7 years old boys: catechism memory work, math, phonics, grammar, spelling, handwriting. Young kids are playing/learning phonics on iPad since it is only way to teach them by a deaf mom. By 12, mom warm up leftover soup for lunch. Everyone ate some. After lunch, older boy study for science test and took test, second boy read his book, while young kids play in dirt in back yard(it is 80degree today). mom works in garden, having young kids help pick last broccoli from some of the plants, then I can cut them off to make room for new sweet pea plants. Kids watch their favorites shows on YouTube on living room tv. Hubby text to ask if i want order food for dinner tonight, i said no because we are trying to avoid eat bad food as much as we can. Instead I ask for his help by picking veggies from garden to make salad when he gets home. Mom takes break time by reading many stories of other home schools blog about their day. Kids want more chocolate cake, two out of four don’t like soup and not finish up so they can’t have cake and they weepy……
I don’t allow weepy kids win over me for a cake, so I waited for maybe 10 minutes. They stopped crying. By 3:30 Older kid went in front yard for one hour; he didn’t want to sit anymore on work. second kid continued to finish his math. Young kids played on their own. I work on 30 minutes exercise, young kids were eating their snack with carrots. Around 5, young kids helped me with preparing sweet potatoes, shredded cheese for chicken, all in oven at same time. By then hubby home. While He picked veggies: arugula, baby kale, red leaf lettuce, baby celery, spinach, I watered the garden with young kids’ help. older kids cleaned up broccoli leaves and put them in compost. After a hour in garden, i started getting dinner ready. Young kid helped shredding more cheese and more cheese, carrot, and we mix all with veggies in a big bowel, finally we put in avocado and feta, stir well with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Older kid set up the table. Ate at 6:30. Nobody complained about food. Now everyone is doing whatever on their own: reading, playing Lego, connect dot to dot before daddy starts read them Bible. Then mom watch/help older kid practice piano(yes, I play piano too. Still learning). By 8:30, everyone got ready for bed and prayer before bed by 9:30.
This is such a fun idea! Off to enjoy some new blogs…….
Right now I’m doing homeschooling with my preschooler. The amount of time it takes to homeschool is so little. Sometimes I find myself a bit unsure what to do with the rest of our day.
Today actually I thought about how maybe he would be happier in school, less “bored”… not that he complains of being bored, but it’s hard when it’s winter and we stay home a bit more. But reading that last quote in this post has made me feel more confident. We just joined a homeschooling group with 50+ families in my county so hopefully we can become more active. Also our local YMCA holds gym 2x per week for homeschoolers.
I’m enjoying reading everyone’s posts! I tried to link my blog above, but am having trouble doing so. I hope it’s okay if I post my link here instead:
I’ve only recently started homeschooling my eight year old daughter. She’s been struggling with school since pre-school. So we decided to try something different with her. I start my day by getting my 6 and 11 year old on the bus. Then it’s me time until my DD wakes up, usually around 9:00. We start with reading a book of DD’s choice. I read to her, but lately she’s been asking to read it back to me. Yay! When we first started she would burst into tears at the thought of having to read anything. Then we practice reading by writing sentences on a dry erase board and having her read them. This doesn’t intimidate her, and she likes to erase everything when we’re done. Then we pull out the math book. It generally takes about two hours between these two subjects, but the we can take a deep breath the hard stuff is done. We take a break and eat lunch. After that I go over our history and science lessons. She likes to skate around the house while I do this. I figured out immediately that asking her to sit next to me would never work. Skating in circles seems to help her focus. We’re working on cursive writing. She makes up a sentence and I write it in cursive for her to copy. Then we have an English lesson. I like ending our day with her telling me a short story which I write down for her and then read back to her. Then we head outside until her siblings get off the bus. She helped me work out the schedule and for now this works for us.
Thanks so much for this link up! I had never pecked out a day in the life post before, and I am loving reading all of these lovely blogs!
Thanks for the opportunity to link up. I enjoyed thinking through our day, and I’ve just spent some time reading lots of other posts. Now I’ve got some new inspiration and ideas.
We just adopted two littles from China and our year has been very upside down a bit. Typing out our day made me feel a bit better about where we are!
Rebecca’s latest post: Homeschool Day in the Life-ISH (a 6, 4, 3 and 2 year old)
What a great idea!! I have already checked out a couple of the links to people’s days, and it is really fun to see how different people homeschool. So, I will have to get started on our day. I JUST started a blog, so this will be kind of another fun way to introduce ourselves to the world. I will be back in a couple days with a link to our day. 🙂 Thanks for the opportunity to share!
Thanks so much for this! We’re looking at switching to homeschooling next year and with 3 kids I really need some idea for how the days go!
Hello, I just discovered your blog and have read your very helpful posts on how you schedule your day, clean monthly, and organize monthly. I was wondering, when do you schedule errands in? Also, what about exercise? I was a dancer growing up, and I still like to take a dance class at least once a week. Do you have any recommendations?
Grace Mark’s latest post: Five Years