What a Day in our Homeschooling Life Looks Like (Daily Schedule)
(Mom of two boys, 6 months pregnant and awaiting 3 new children in a matter of months. I use a literature-heavy, eclectic approach to homeschooling with influences from Charlotte Mason, Unschooling, Wholehearted, Thomas Jefferson Education, and a bit of Ruth Beechick)
I’m inspired to write about some of the specifics of our homeschooling journey.
Up until now, I’ve hesitated to do this because there are so many differing opinions out there. So, let me state, right from the beginning, that I believe many options for schooling work for many different people.
Just because we’ve chosen this way, absolutely does not mean I think this is the only way.
I’ll talk more about why we’ve chosen to homeschool and how that works for us as a family later, for now I’m going to stick with what our daily routine looks like.
A little Background:
I’ve been guiding our children at home from the “get go” because that’s naturally what you do as a mother. Staying home after Zayne was born was the course I took without blinking. I never had a doubt that’s what I wanted to do, even though some days were rough and I had to mentally rearrange my own ways of thinking.
This “rearranging” of old thinking habits happened gradually over the years (it’s happening still). I’m coming to understand that we never stop learning or growing as we get older.
Anyway, homeschooling appealed to me for many reasons, the least of which is that I’m a “freebird” and a “do-it-yourself-er”.
So, I’ve been teaching my kids at home since Zayne was in Pre-K. I suppose that puts about 5 years under my belt in regard to this particular journey.
And let me state that among homeschoolers, there are so many different ways of doing things. You can tailor-fit this type of school to fit your own family and your own story!
Every day is different!
This year I’ve been very intentional about making sure I’m flexible! Because if I’m not able to move and bend accordingly, then our days would be so stressful…
I try to schedule our weeks where we at least have a couple days that are relatively free. If it’s a lazy day, I enjoy exploring many things around the home and wrapping up our day about 3pm.
I also have a list of school subjects I’d like to cover during our busy days. That is our daily minimum. That way, when life is crazy, I can rest easy that the kids are still learning.
One more thing… we love exploring and learning firsthand, so most weeks include trips to local caves, museums, rivers, or classes. And we squeeze in as much daily outdoor time as possible whether that’s basketball or baseball or fetch with the dog or a trip to our local park in the afternoons.
Those are some things that are important to us.
We are slow in the mornings. It takes me a while to wake up and feel prepared for the day…
7:30—I usually wake up about 7 and lay in bed for a bit. At 7:30 I get up and make the kids’ chocolate milk (with probiotics). Get something hot for myself and get back under the covers!! Ethan wakes up and gets in bed with me for some cuddle time.
This is the time of day that I try to get all my personal work done. I spend time with God (right now, I’m reading “Raising your Child to Love God” by Andrew Murray). After this, I try to get in some writing time and a bit of catch up on the myriad of things gracing my “to-do” list. I try to take care of most financial things and business-related items on Mondays.
Zayne usually wakes up sometime in here and the boys have their chocolate milk, then play either on their own or together throughout the house. (I love it when our kids play together \ because it’s important to us to promote sibling devotion and friendship as well as natural creativity. Much of our learning stems from their own imaginations and curiosity)
10:00 – Breakfast together
- Morning Responsibilities – the boys make their beds, get dressed and brush their teeth, pick up their room, feed the pets, etc. I usually pick up a bit and pick out the materials we need for the day’s school.
- Learning time! This should be fun so I start off with rewards from the day before. They earn their token money from chores and their coupons from having good behavior.
- Then we sit down for an interesting book and we discuss our thoughts afterward.
After this, we may or may not read some out of our current chapter book (Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder). There are a TON of questions and discussion with this one!
Then, we break up and do a mix of Independent work (which I’ve set up earlier) and School with Mom. I take one child to the table to accomplish his days’ allotted work (I do this for many specific reasons, btw.), while the other child sits with me and we go through things like phonics, reading, math, etc.
After this, we switch!
12:00 – Lunch Break! Sometimes we listen to music or an audio book, other times I’ll let them watch something on tv that’s educational. I get in a bit of kitchen cleaning and some laundry.
1:00 – Finish up school. This is anything we haven’t fit in earlier, plus I’ll read some History and discuss from “Story of the World” Volume 1.
2:00 – If we have nowhere to be by this time, then we settle in for Quiet Time. (this is also valuable to us for many specific reasons!) I ask the boys to find time to quietly read a book on their own during this time. We are also about to start implementing some journaling projects during this time.
While they are upstairs playing, reading, and journaling, I am downstairs in the QUIET!!!!! I might try to read, take a nap, or once again tackle that massive “to do” list.
4:00 – Kids come downstairs and we straighten the house for Daddy to get home. This is the chance for the kiddos to do chores and extras for money (earlier responsibilities don’t earn money, simply obedience), then head outside for some fun.
I head outside also and try to be silly and fun for a while.
5:30 – Inside to prepare dinner. Kids can either continue playing or come inside for some of our current audio book (“The Magician’s Nephew” by C.S. Lewis).
6:30 – Dad is home and we all eat dinner together!!
Like I mentioned earlier, this is a home schedule that I try to leave room for at least two days every week (hopefully three…), but much of the time we’re scooting off to gymnastics or basketball or the park or horseback riding or errands or the library, etc. and this schedule is partially implemented. Also, part of our schooling can easily take place in my bed if I’m sick or on bedrest (or taking care of a newborn and exhausted!!!)
My goal is for our day to flow easily from one thing to the next, so the times are flexible.
And the NUMBER ONE thing I have to do everyday?
Connect with our kids and show them what Jesus’ love and patience really looks like.
Love, love love….fun, fun, fun.
If we’ve done that, then our day has been a success!