When I was first considering homeschooling, I was painfully curious about what a normal homeschooling day would look like.
What do homeschoolers do all day? Is it school all day long? Would I be standing in front of a whiteboard for hours? School done before lunch?
Is everybody lying around in their pajamas? Do you ever get to leave the house? How challenging is it exactly? Could I measure up? Do I have what it takes to live the homeschool life?
I had a lot of questions! I had a few friends who homeschooled, but they were never as specific as I wanted them to be. That really frustrated me because I am a planner and wanted to know ALL the details.
We have been homeschooling for almost 2 years now (kids currently ages 7, 5, and 3) and we are loving it!
If you are curious about homeschooling, I want to do you a favor and spare you from having to ask your friends awkward questions about every minute of their day.
I am going to give you a close up look at a normal day around here with all the details I was dying to know when I was in your shoes!
My husband gets out of bed for work which wakes me up. We both tend to get up around 5:30 so we can drink coffee and really wake up before our kids. I walk downstairs and throw some bread in the toaster and turn on the Keurig. I’m feeling much more tired than usual. Its Friday, and I feel like the week has caught up with me.
I start drinking my coffee, and open my laptop to read the news, balance my bank account, and do some blogging things. I have my workout clothes to change into to go downstairs…but that’s not going to happen today.
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I go upstairs to shower and get ready for the day before the kids get up.
All three kids come out of their room and the day is off and running! We use these Stoplight Sleep Enhancing Alarm Clocks for the girls and it helps with letting them know when they can leave their rooms. It has been awesome to help our day start off on the right foot – and at the right time!
The girls usually play a little and then sit down to a breakfast of cereal, fruit, and PB&J toast. Since, I’ve already filled up on coffee and toast earlier, I use this time to unload the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, and talk with the girls.
***Our homeschool does not start formal curriculum before Kindergarten, unless the child asks for it. I didn’t always think this way though, Check out Why I Quit Homeschool Preschool to see what changed my mind.
School starts for the day! Middle came up to me this morning and asked to do her math book (Math U See Primer) with me. She does not start a formal kindergarten curriculum until the fall, but we picked her up some workbooks because she was very interested in doing school work like her older sister. We only do school with her when she asks and for as long as she is interested.
I never know when Middle is going to be interested in doing school, so I just try to go with it when she asks. Since she wants to do school right away, I assign Oldest to do some independent work in her cursive handwriting book. Middle and I do a few worksheets together and have fun identifying shapes, coloring, and counting.
My 3 year old is in my lap most of this time and asking for her own math book to work on. She is always asking for work to do like her sisters, so I finally ordered her a dry erase letter tracing book! It arrives today! Looking forward to having something to hand her that she can trace, erase, and repeat.
Middle eventually gets tired of math and runs off to play. Oldest and I manage to knock out math, reading (she reads to me), and our read aloud book (I’m currently reading her “On The Banks of Plum Creek” – such a great story!).
The order that we do subjects is very random. I wrote here about how we structure our day by posting all the subjects that need to be covered and then flipping them over after each one is completed. Sometimes I pick what is next, and sometimes Oldest gets a pick. It helps keep things fresh!
Break time! Oldest needs a break after a solid hour of work. I take this time to read some books to Youngest and make snacks for everybody. The girls start playing together really well, so I extend the break for awhile.
I decide to sit down and order next year’s curriculum. February is when everything is on sale, so I have been meaning to order before the end of the month.
I realize how funny it is that it now takes me about 10 minutes to order our curriculum and when I started homeschooling, it took me months to make a decision!
If you’re interested we use My Father’s World, and I write here about why we love it!
Back to work! Time to tackle our favorite subject – U.S. History! We read a great story about the California Gold Rush, watch a fun youtube video, and then write a summary about what she learned. After that, she takes her weekly spelling test.
The younger kids are playing mostly independently – looking through books, playing with toys, playing together, and sometimes wandering into the classroom to sit with us.
Oldest needs a break so we stop to play for awhile. Even though it feels like I should be doing 100 other things, I spend about 10 minutes playing with all the girls together. They love it when I play with them, so I am trying to make it more of a priority. We all 4 play a hazard game of catch and manage to not break anything – success!
Back at the classroom to finish the English assignment for the day. I routinely hear “Why do I have to learn English – I can already speak it! I should be learning, like…Spanish!” Sigh. Today’s assignment is answering “why” questions (which is ironic) and a little copy work.
Copy work can cause a flood of emotions for my 2nd grader, but today – mercifully – she does the work without issue. Woohoo!
We are all out the door to run an errand to the grocery store. The store I go to has grown accustomed to seeing me with school age kids in the middle of the day – no weird, questioning looks anymore – which is nice!
Home from the store, everything put away, and its time to put lunch on the table for the girls.
I have started using lunch time as a little break for myself. Once they all have their food and drinks, I sit down in another room and eat alone. I find this to be a wonderful way for me to recharge during the day.
I like to think of it as my kids are eating in the lunch room and I’m in the teacher’s lounge. I think they have fun being a little more silly when I ‘m not sitting at the table correcting their table manners or listening to their conversations. I can hear them giggling while I’m eating and working on my laptop – so sweet!
After lunch the girls play some more together and I pick up around the house.
Everybody is settled down in their rooms for Quiet Time. I wrote a post here about how important Quiet Time has been for our homeschool and for our family. I take some time to rest, have a cup of coffee, and work on some blogging things.
Everybody is out of their room and together again! Oldest has one more lesson we didn’t get to yet – Bible. We have a great discussion about the importance of not worrying and why we can trust Jesus with everything. The four of us pray together afterwards – one of my favorite parts of the day.
We all start getting ready for a nature walk! I have just started including this in our routine and the girls really like it. We go on a walk on a trail near our house and the girls pick something they find interesting (a leaf, log, flower, etc.). I take a picture of it and they draw it in a log book back at our house.
Today the girls go to look at a stream and see that all the snow run off has melted away and the stream is no longer as loud and rushing as it was the day before.
We have a great little impromptu science lesson about that and I’m feeling great about the girls seeing science up close and not just reading about it in a book….Then the girls ask if they can cross the stream on little stepping stones. I think, “Sure, what could happen?! They could walk across it because it is so shallow.”
Yeah, it was a bad idea.
Two of my three kids fell in the water and it was about 45 degrees outside. They had to walk all the way home with wet cold pants. Oh well. Lesson learned: being the fun mom doesn’t always pay off.
We are home now, clothes changed, and tucked in blankets on the couch. Friday night movie night is starting! Every Friday, the kids get turns to pick shows they want to watch and/or a movie. We always make pizza and macaroni and cheese for dinner – a nice break from cooking for me!
My husband and I usually give the girls dinner at a little table near the TV and then he and I eat by ourselves and catch up on everything we haven’t had time to talk about. A nice little date to look forward to every week!
Movie night is sadly over. The girls have a little ice cream and then we start the bedtime routine of baths, brushing teeth, brushing hair, pajamas, and reading stories.
Everybody is tucked in, lights off, and doors shut. The week of school is complete! Husband and I have some more time to hang out together before we go to bed around 10pm.
So that was our day! Not so bad, huh? Keep in mind that every homeschool is going to look a little different based on kids’ ages, curriculum, and philosophy of homeschooling.
Our days do vary based on when we have morning co op scheduled, sports, or scouting activities. Also, sometimes I take more time with Middle because she wants to do more math worksheets or we work on her reading curriculum. When she starts kindergarten it will be a whole new ball game and I will be sure to post that routine too!
So are you thinking this may be something you can handle? Not as scary as you thought? Maybe even manageable? Dare I say, less stressful than some public school routines?
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