A few years ago, when I first started homeschooling, I remember wanting more than anything to know what my typical day would look like. I was so thankful for Simplehomeschool.net‘s posts on a day-in-a-life-of… homeschooling series. It was then that I realized that homeschooling days look different for each family. And in fact, each family’s day-to-day looks different as well. That is the beauty and the freedom in home-educating your children.
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One of the things I love most about homeschooling is that our days are unique and never look the same. My children are all still young so we are able to move through our day without a strict schedule. I find that having anchors in our day is where we find our rhythm and balance. My favorite days are the ones where we get to stay home. I love being home, and so do my children. Don’t get me wrong, field trips and lessons are fun, but there is nothing like home for us. We are a family of introverts.
In the past Sophia (7) has taken ballet and gymnastic lessons. The two older children are currently involved in piano lessons and the three older children are taking horseback-riding lessons. We are planning on cello, violin and guitar in the future; but my hope is that we keep the number of lessons manageable for our family.
We base our day on Ann Voskamp’s 7 daily rungs. I just wrote a blog post about how I made it into 8 Daily rungs to work more effectively for our family. We also follow the Charlotte Mason Method of learning where “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.”
Each day looks a little different for us, but here is our typical day.
0400-0500-I am awake and up and try to read, write, and pray. I am a morning person and I relish this time alone, this quiet time where it’s just me and Jesus. The silence of the house nourishes my introverted soul. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday find me either at the gym or running in my hills.
0600-One child awakens. I am sure they collaborate the night before to decide which will be the one to disturb momma’s alone time. 😉 We snuggle and read age appropriate books.
0700-The other sleeping children are roused from their beds, whether they want to be or not. There are chickens to be cared for; our to-do’s to be done, memories to make. We do breakfast and read out of Psalms or Proverbs during this time. The kids eat while I read to them out of the Bible. Often times, there is some type of classical music playing in the background, thanks to my number 2, Sophia. There may be some dancing around the kitchen as well.
0800-Breakfast, clean-up and to-do’s (our chores) are done next. This sentence looks so clean and easy, but do not be fooled. This hour is often filled with crying and frustration, for the kids and myself, while learning how to perform duties efficiently and thoroughly. It’s also filled with frequent reminders when children get distracted.
And if you are wondering, I do not make my three-year-old wash dishes. It is something she loves to do; I hope she never outgrows this. 🙂
0900-1130-Education officially begins and we climb our rungs. Rung 7 and 8 are not typically done daily at this stage in our family’s life. Latin, Math, and Geography are spread throughout the week while my children are young. Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child’s Education by Raymond Moore has been influential in shaping these early homeschooling years for our family. He has eased my guilt about not doing “enough” and has provided research regarding children’s readiness for “schooling”.
Homeschooling amazes me. I am always intrigued by how many subjects we naturally are able to touch in one lesson. Hymn study easily touches on Bible, Geography, Art, History, Reading and Handwriting. So little time is wasted. Much of our day is spent outside playing (most definitely a form of learning), scripture memorization, journaling, narration, or reading from living books and the Bible.
I require a little more depth from Caleb (my 9-year-old) since he is two years older than Sophia (age 7).
We have four children, but I am only officially “educating” the older two. During this time there are two younger children running around playing, fighting, needing to be wiped… you get the picture. This is most definitely NOT uninterrupted time. But we have never known any different, so we make it work. I often read a book to my littles while Caleb and Sophia are working on an assignment I’ve given them.
The education time will look different and lengthen as the kids get older. But at this phase of our lives, I feel my job as mother and teacher is to create an atmosphere for the love of learning in our home (Charlotte Mason).
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” William Butler Yeats
1130-Lunch. The kids help to make lunch (Life Skills, Home Ec, Health, oh how I love homeschooling) and often eat it outdoors. We live in Southern Cali and the weather is most often sunny and beautiful.
12:30-2:00-By this time of day, I am in desperate need of some quiet time (did I say that I am an introvert?). I eat lunch during this time, quietly, with no disruptions. I work a few hours from home so this is the time I have set aside. The kids are allowed to spend this quiet time alone, but they most often choose to spend it together. They go outside or play games,Legos, Playmobil, knit, sew, draw pictures, listen to audio books, music, stories… They love and look forward to this time as much as I do.
2:00-3:00-We pick up from the day and begin dinner preparations and read more books. The kids will often chop vegetables while I read.
3:00-5:00-Outside play, nature journaling and then showers. We also try and finish picking up around the house and preparing supper. But know that some days the house stays a mess and we eat smoothies and popcorn or cereal for supper. We may squeeze in another book or chapter if the day is going well and we have time. We love to read.
5:00-6:00-Daddy gets home and we eat dinner. Often times, Joey will read while we eat. We just finished the Little House on the Prairie series and are now reading C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books. When I have the kids set the table for supper, Caleb (my 9-year-old) always places the book we are reading next to Joey’s plate.
6:00-7:00-Clean-up and play with Daddy time. Or leave the kitchen mess until tomorrow and head to bed ASAP depending on how the day has been.
7:00-Get ready for bed and bedtime worship.
7:30-Bedtime snuggles and then mommy and daddy time. I always look forward to this time. But it’s funny; the minute they are in bed, I miss them and look forward to them crawling into bed with us sometime during the night.
Please understand that our home and our days are messy and imperfect. Putting it in this “schedule” makes it look like I have it all together and under control; and I DO NOT! But while it is messy and imperfect, it is home, and we feel blessed to spend our days together every. single. day.