Shawna’s homeschool day in the life ~
Written by Shawna Wingert of Different by Design Learning
This is my seventh year detailing our homeschool day in the life.
My oldest son is turning eighteen in just four days. My youngest is reading now, despite a very long, hard struggle.
Our homeschooling days are less hectic, and my boys work much more independently than ever before. I love it but, after reading my past day in the life posts I must admit, I also really miss being so much a part of their learning.
This particular day is only Day 2, back from a long and lazy holiday break. We are still trying to get back into routine. We are still a little cranky. We are doing our best.
Shawna’s Homeschool Day In The Life
I wake up before the rest of the house, on purpose. After so many of years of barely making it through a cup of coffee in the morning before the needs of my boys took over, I have grown to love the peace of a quiet house each morning.
I sip coffee, read, and begin to put together my to-do list for the day in three categories: work, homeschool, and house.
The list is too long. We are only in our second day back after break. The house is a disaster and I am anticipating some resistance from my youngest today (by anticipating I mean pretty much planning on it).
I decide to let most of the house stuff slide in favor of stabilizing our homeschool routine.
My youngest comes downstairs, dressed and a little grumpy. He cuddles his dog while I make some oatmeal. We talk a bit about the day before, about a favorite song he listened to on Spotify before getting up, and then I set-up our plan for the day.
He is unimpressed, but willing. So far, so good.
My husband comes down next. Since he is working from home now and for the foreseeable future, our mornings are much slower.
His departure for work was a kind of signal that my boys and I needed to begin our day. Without it, we all sort-of putter around a bit longer than I would prefer.
My oldest calls for me and I head into his room to discuss the day (I bring him an iced coffee every morning. I’m afraid I have instilled in him my love for coffee and, I love sipping coffee together as he begins his day).
For the final semester of his senior year, he is taking online classes through a local private school. He begins a government class this week, a requirement for graduation.
Once he has his coffee and schedule for the day, I head back downstairs.
My youngest is watching a YouTube video about poisonous substances with my husband, so I decide to get ready for the day just in time for lunch.
As I go back into my room to get dressed, I pull laundry out of the dryer for my oldest to help fold (life skills!). I put it on my bed so I will have to get it done before I can sleep tonight.
After lunch, my husband heads upstairs. He is working late tonight and I am grateful he was able to spend the morning with us.
My oldest logs into online school for government, a student meeting, and language arts.
I try to rally my youngest to get started on his learning for the day.
We begin with reading (his choice) a few pages from Harry Potter (his choice).
We then move into an ongoing, hands-on anatomy study (afflink – see top photo) we have been completing off and on throughout the year.
Because it is interactive, but not baby-ish, he is all in. (I take back what I said about resistance. He’s doing quite well…)
We then take a break, in the form of rock climbing.
His Christmas present this year was building his own rock climbing wall in our backyard. It was my Christmas present too, in many ways. This activity is a perfect way to help him move, relax, and get back on track for the day.
When we come back inside, I try to get him back onto the computer for math. His brother also comes downstairs, finished up for the day, and they both decide to watch a few Modern Rogue videos. I let the math go in favor of interest-led learning.
I make a cup of tea and pay some bills.
Because my husband is working late, we pick-up Chipotle for dinner.
The boys come with me, to get out of the house, and listen to music together while I run inside.
We eat in front of the TV, watching a nature documentary about the jungle at night (their choice, but I’m into it as well).
After a few more YouTube videos, we all head up to bed.
I see this…
I decide to put it all back in the laundry basket.
I tell myself it’s because I want my son to fold them with me and that I am a really good life skills teacher.
The truth is, I want to climb into bed and watch my own show.
There will be plenty of time for laundry, and for more learning, tomorrow.
My, how the days have changed:
- 2020: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with a 14- and 17-year-old)
- 2019: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with a 13- and 16-year-old)
- 2018: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with a 12- and 15-year-old)
- 2017: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with an 11- & 14-year-old)
- 2016: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with a 10- & 13-year-old)
- 2015: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with an 8- & 11-year-old)
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I really enjoyed this post. I do homeschool with our three children and it is inspiring to hear about the ups and downs of other homeschoolers.
In my experience it seems like we have to give ourselves as parents a little breathing room. We need to take each day as it comes and do the best we can. Some days are better than others!
Thanks again for the great post!
Luke Zitterkopf’s latest post: Stay at Home Dad Advice – Stuff You Should Know – Part 2
So well said. Luke! Thank you for taking the time to comment.
Just what I needed to hear. I especially love the fact that you are such a good life skills teacher! My room often has the laundry baskets full and migrating from bed to floor. Thank you.
Jen! I am glad I am not the only Life Skills teacher not doing the laundry. 🙂
I loved this post. My son is now 17 and I have been home schooling him for 7 yrs. He never liked any of it and refuses to do any now. I just don’t no what’s going to happen in the future. He doesn’t want to go to college or any kind of work skills. I’m at a total loss of what to do.
I would like to have the same good relationship with my children when they are teenagers. One of my biggest fears is that they will drift away from me.
It looks like you’re doing great.