Because every family is different, I want to share A Day in the Life in our homeschool. You’ll feel better about your schedule by the time you finish reading.
When I started homeschooling, I had one daughter, and then two. Two little girls are easy. And quiet. And fairly orderly. So it was easy to keep to a schedule.
Now I’ve added two little boys. Schedule? What schedule?
I always have a schedule printed an on the fridge. But these days it becomes more of a checklist, since it’s virtually impossible to stay right on target!
On a good day, it goes a little something like this:
- 6:30-7:00 Mom tries to wake up, and maybe even goes for a walk
- 7:15 Wake kids
- 7:30 Breakfast for all
- 8:00 Chores for big kids, clean up little kids, Mom picks up toys from the floor
- 8:30 Bathe little kids
- 9:00 School begins – in which we try to rotate kids around. You know, one big sister plays with one little brother while Mom helps other big sister with Math, then other big sister plays with little brother while Mom helps her with Math or Grammar; then one little brother takes his morning nap, other little brother watches a video or cartoon, and both big sisters do their most demanding schoolwork. After this time, Mom will have preschool with one or both little brothers while big sisters read their Bibles, literature, and do their easier subjects, and Mom picks up toys from the floor.
- 12:00 Lunch and clean-up
- 1:00 Little boys take nap, girls have free time or catch up on leftover schoolwork
- 3:00 Boys are up by now and ready to play some more, girls practice piano, play on computer, Mom picks up toys from the floor
- 5:00-ish Sometime between now and 7, Daddy comes home and we have dinner together
- 7:00-ish Between now and 9 is an unorganized mix of playtime, outdoor time, errands, or other activities, depending on the day
- 8:30-ish Family prayer time and bedtime for all kids
- 9:00-ish Mom and Dad talk, pray, do computer stuff, watch news, or fall asleep
Notice I said “on a good day,” lest you think we are that well-run! A more regular day will look something like this:
- 3 year old wakes up before Mom, ready for food and fun
- Mom rushes out of bed to make sure he isn’t eating cookies or cutting paper
- Baby wakes up before Mom was ready
- Mom determines to take that walk, even if all the kids go with her
- Need to start breakfast and get girls up, but they aren’t as bright-eyed as their little brothers, so they need a couple reminders
- Breakfast is on the table, and at least one person didn’t want that
- Halfway through breakfast, Mom reminds girls they have dishes and chores, just in case they forgot
- An hour later, chores are mostly done, boys are mostly dressed, and Mom still wants to get that walk
- Mom says, “Time for school!” The boys cheer!
- Baby takes his nap, Mom reads to other boy, and girls start their lessons
- Baby wakes up after only 30 minutes, other brother is bored and hungry, girls are ready for a “break” (from what?)
- Kids ask to play outside “for just a few minutes” and Mom is okay with that
- Mom does laundry, picks up toys, checks email, makes phone calls, and changes boys’ clothes
- An hour later, kids come in ready for early lunch (!)
- Mom passes around apples or crackers and says “Back to school”
- Mom reads to boys, supervises girls, changes Baby, and picks up toys
- Mom finally makes lunch
- Nap time for boys is here!
- Girls catch up on schoolwork, Mom picks up toys, does more laundry, and whatever else hasn’t been done yet
- Mom considers a walk, but it’s August in Texas, so she changes her mind
- Boys wake up and everyone has free time
- Around dinnertime, Daddy comes home, we eat, girls clean the kitchen, and we have family time
- The family prays together and all the kids go to bed
- Some of the kids try to get up and then we put them back to bed
If you’d like to see a sample of photos from our day, click here.
Every day is different, but I try to keep the mood light so that little interruptions don’t ruin our day. The little kids will grow up and then we will ask, “Where did the time go?” So we take each day as it comes. School is part of our day, but living life is our main goal.
Nevertheless, I keep making very nice-looking schedules that hang on the fridge to remind us of where I’d like us to be. Someday…
[UPDATE: 10 YEARS LATER]
Those little boys are now 11 and 13. They read, write, compute, think, draw, design, and converse. It was sketchy in the beginning! Their big sisters are now graduated and grown. So far my oldest daughter has informed me of the “gap in movie culture knowledge” in her education. I’m okay with that. : )
Our schedules aren’t even printed anymore. We have two very structured days of school, two days of outside classes, and one or two days of relaxed basics. We survived the baby/toddler years and I’m enjoying all of my big kids so much!
While you’re here, visit my Knowledge Keepers Bookstore! In it you’ll find the books and the stories that have shaped this great country, the books that influenced our founders and our ancestors, the books that Americans have mostly ignored or never heard of, but the good books that we should all read and protect. Join me in saving Western Civilization, one book at a time!
Nicki Truesdell is a 2nd-generation homeschooler and mother to 5. She is a homemaker at heart, and loves books, freedom, history and quilts, and blogs about all of these at nickitruesdell.com. She believes that homeschooling can be relaxed and that history is fun, and both can be done with minimal cost or stress, no matter your family’s circumstances. Nicki is a member of the Texas Home Educators Board of Directors. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.