Homeschooling: a day in the life

This year I have two students learning at home (age 7 and 16) and one in private school (age 9). Our learning style is relaxed and interest-led, influenced by Charlotte Mason and the model of Leadership Education. In other words, we do a large portion of our learning through reading good literature, and we believe nature study and real-world learning are just as important as our main subjects.

We don’t do every subject every day, and we’re still in the ramping-up phase of our year so we’re still working our way into some subjects. Our routine also varies from day to day based on weekly activities. For instance, we have weekly visit to the allergist, and we’re trying to do two field trips most months. And then, of course, there’s life, which we all know happens in the most unplanned ways.

homeschool life: a typical day

For an overall look at what we’re doing this year, check out our 2016/17 Homeschool Plans. For a closer look at our homeschool life, I’m sharing a typical day — in this case, an uneventful Wednesday.

A typical day in our homeschooling life:

6:15 AM – My alarm goes off and I hit snooze.
10 minutes later, it goes off again and I get up. I make tea first thing: priorities, people! Then I make the kids’ breakfast and pack Scout’s lunch since I didn’t do it the night before. I let the dogs out and feed them, too. The little kids are early risers, and almost always already awake when I go in to call them to breakfast.

7:10 AM – Ken takes Scout to school on his way to work. I spend a few minutes writing with actual pen-on-paper but I’m not feeling inspired, so I take a little quiet contemplation time with my tea to get my head ready for the day.

7:40 AM – I sit down with Jem for his tablework. This consists mostly of copywork and math. I keep subjects short and sweet because he’s a 7 year old boy, and they’re not made for long periods of sitting still.

8:30 AM – After a quick change from pj’s to running wear, I go for a run. Depending on the weather and how far I plan to go, I sometimes let Jem ride his bike alongside, but today Piper keeps him company while he draws and plays LEGOS. Kathryn is [mostly] awake but still in bed.

10:30 AM – I’ve showered and had breakfast after my run. (I had a snack while I fixed the kids’ breakfasts.) By this time, Kathryn is up and having breakfast at the table while she starts on Latin.

11:00 AM – Read-alouds on the sofa with Jem. Right now we’re working our way through Farmer Boy at a rate of one chapter a day. We usually read a shorter in-one-sitting book, too; today that’s Dr. Suess’ One Fish, Two Fish. He practices reading the first few pages himself after I’ve read it aloud, then I have him finish up the last bit of math at the table.

Wearing a sheriff badge, reading Dr. Suess:
reading Dr Suess

11:45 AM – Jem plays with his cars while I check email and catch up on some blog reading before making lunch.

1:00 PM – After lunch, Jem looks through one of the nature guides that usually reside on our coffee table, and asks me approximately 847 questions about sea turtles. A little later, he heads outside to play. Kathryn works on government, then reads Jules Verne while eating lunch. She rarely needs my help with her work, but I try to be available most of the day.

2:25 PM – I leave to go pick Scout up from school, while Jem continues playing outside (it’s a pretty day!) and Kathryn continues her schoolwork.

3:00 PM – Back home. Scout’s school does not assign homework on Wednesday since most kids do church activities that night, but she does have a reading log so she reads for about a half-hour. Jem keeps on playing outside; she usually would too, but today she opts to play inside after her reading time.

6:30 PM – Choir night for Scout and Jem after an early supper. After dropping them off at church, Ken and I take that time as a quick date night at a nearby Mexican restaurant: Mmmmm, chips and salsa! Kathryn chooses to have quiet time at home and watch a show on Netflix.

8:30 PM – By now, the little kids are in bed and the big people watch a few episodes of our current favorite binge-watch show Psych before we head off to bed ourselves. I prioritize my sleep so I’m in bed as close to 10PM as possible!

Not everything I’ve shared is directly related to homeschooling, but after this many years, it’s just part of our daily lives. One of our frequent dinnertime conversation topics is sharing something we learned that day, whether in or out of school — and that goes for the grown-ups, too.

I want our kids to understand that learning doesn’t stop at the end of the school day, or at graduation, or at any point in life!

We try to set the example for that, and include the kids when possible. For instance, Ken wants to learn to sail and has been researching boats and listening to podcasts about sailing. He took the kids to a wooden boat show last weekend and they all learned all kinds of things about boats, saw a boat being built, and even got to make their own little boats!

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Take a peek into the lives of other homeschooling families at iHomeschool’s Day in the Life blog hop. You can add your own post to the link-up, too!