A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler

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READING TIME: 4 min.

Our mornings start pretty late, with me rolling out of bed around 7:30, or whichever time our 18 month old, Abigail, decides to wake up for the day. Sophie (our 4 year old) has been awake since Husband got out of bed, so I come into the living room and find her hanging out in the living room with an episode of Sherlock Hound and a bowl of dry cereal.

I let her finish the episode then turn off the television. Lilly (who will be 7 in two weeks) wakes up around 8:00. This works out great as she has gymnastics practice in the evenings and usually doesn’t even get home until 9:00! (I often wonder how kids do team practices when they have to wake up and BE to school by 7:45.)

Mornings are by far the easiest time for Lilly to learn (and the time that my other two are less crazy more easy going), so immediately after breakfast we wipe down the table and pull out the schoolbooks.

Around 9:00 we finally start with handwriting – pencils have been sharpened and erasers are standing by. As of 9:20 we’ve finished going over the words she’s practiced, and she munches on a few grapes for a snack.

I suddenly smell the baby’s diaper and realize we need to change that thing – NOW.

Abigail’s clean diaper has made her realizes she simply must have physical contact with me, so I sit down on the chair and nurse her while Lilly decides whether she wants to do reading or math next. Her preference is almost always math, and after much stalling and deliberation she decides it is again today.

We’ve been using Singapore math this year, and the combination of pictures and story problems has her absolutely addicted. When I tell her it’s time to put the books away she literally tells me she wants to go onto the next page – yay!!

Sophie comes in at least 7 times during math, but we’ve got time so I try not to stress about it TOO much. Abigail is circling us in the kitchen –  pulling utensils out and bringing them to me at the table. By the time we’re finished it’s 10:45 and I have a huge stack of kitchen utensils sitting in front of me at the table. I put all of those away and send Lilly off to play with her younger sister for a little break.

Next up is piano practice! We don’t get to this everyday as we should, but in 15 minutes she’s practiced all of her songs and ready to move on to her next subject: drawing.

One of the things I’ve learned about homeschooling is that it doesn’t have to happen at a desk, or any of the other ways I’ve always thought of when I conjure up a visual of “learning”. While I’m in the bedroom making our bed and organizing laundry, she wants to be close to me. Thus, she settles herself in the master bathroom practicing her drawing for her co-op class. Sophie comes in and jumps on the bed I’ve just made, and Abigail toddles in with her ragdoll. It’s almost her naptime. (Phew!)

We get lunch ready just as Husband pulls into the driveway – one of the perks of living in Richardson is that he can come home almost every day to spend lunch with the family! After lunch, Abigail goes down for her nap and Sophie goes to her room for some quiet time. I get Lilly set up on the floor with her Phonics Pathways books to practice her vocabulary and strengthen her phonemic awareness (which is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds-phonemes–in spoken words. It’s very important!!)

This happens, again, not a table but on the floor (and as I clear the table and load the dishwasher – after breakfast and lunch it’s time to run a load of dishes.)

 

When she’s done we curl up and she reads me a book – then we mark it off on her Bookit! form (even homeschoolers get their free pan pizza from Pizza Hut for reading!) Since we’ve got a bit more time before her sisters wake up we crack open The Land of Oz (unabridged) and devour a chapter. She wants me to read another, but…

Abigail and Sophie both arise from their naps/quiet time at around the same time – 2:00 – and with that it appears that we are done for the day. Lilly wants to go ride her bike with Sophie, and so I help them get their bikes out and let them expend some more of their overflowing energy.

Before the day is over, I will try to have Lilly practice either her reading/spelling at Click’N Kids or her math at Dreambox for another 30 minutes or so. (These are also my go-to schooling options if one of her sisters, or me, is sick.) If I’m really lucky I’ll even be able to squeeze in a quick trip to the gym for some blessed “mommy time” before dinner preparations start.

Not all my days go nearly as smoothly as this one did, so I’m feeling grateful, blessed, and ready to go out and enjoy the sunshine myself.

Do you homeschool? How do your days compare?

6 COMMENTS

  1. We tend to most of our 6 year old’s work at our kitchen table because if not, our toddler is into whatever we are working with! She climbs into her booster seat at the table and wants to be learn like older sister. Our toddler does simple crafts, stickering, puzzles, and free art while older sister is doing her lessons. Little sister gets jealous if she can’t be learning too 🙂

    Totally agree with you on having a more flexible schedule with homeschooling. Our daughter started the year at a traditional school and it was very hard on her natural sleeping/waking patterns. She arrived at school at 7:40am and was dismissed at 3:40pm. Then came two hours of homework for 1st grade! That is 10 hours a day of school/homework for a 6 year old.

    With breaks and lunch, her lessons now take no more than 4 hours a day (only 2.5-3 hours is actual work time). For our schedule, we try to keep to a four hour lesson block per day (M-F). That still leaves plenty of time for a weekly playgroup, field trips, and outings. If we keep our current pace, we should finish many of our 1st grade materials by February and be able to start 2nd grade 🙂

  2. Your day sounds amazing! DD will be 3 in 6 weeks and I really want to homeschool. DH isn’t really on board (and our ped isn’t helping, harping on us to get her into a mother’s day out or preschool) and the idea feels completely overwhelming. You make it sound so doable.

    • I would encourage anyone to homeschool who feels the desire – even though it’s definitely overwhelming, there are so many fantastic options for families in Dallas! Between the co-ops (so your kids can still be in a school setting with out kids) to the Home Educators Resource in Lewisville, there is so much support.

      And I wouldn’t worry about putting your little one in a mother’s day out or preschool unless you really feel inclined. I have three girls who are all completely different socially – they are who they are and all I can really do is guide the personalities they have into the adults I hope they become. 🙂

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