by Laura Malone
In my early years of homeschooling, I splurged and bought myself a subscription to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. It was a quarterly publication and I would eagerly count down the weeks until the new one would arrive in the mail. I wildly devoured it from cover to cover. Not having close friends that homeschooled at that time, I adopted those moms from the magazine articles as my mentors.
I took notes. I researched the books and resources they recommended. My favorite section was the one where a mom would outline what her typical homeschool day looked like. For me, this was like peeking behind the curtain to another world. It enabled the processes and systems of homeschooling that were completely foreign to me to materialize. And the greatest gem I discovered in those early years was that no two homeschools are alike. And that’s what makes all of this so magical and perfect. Not trying to fit into a box, but each family, doing life together, being who God created them to be.
When I saw families similar to ours, I explored their scheduling, system, curriculum or activity ideas that I could possibly incorporate into our day. So, that’s what I wanted to do for you today. I hope this peek into an average day in our homeschool will give you ideas on some things you could pull out and use to fit into your routine.
Our Family Dynamic
- Children’s Ages – 5, 8, 9, 13, 15
- Curriculum Choices – On the days that we work from a curriculum, this is what we use. Other days, we venture out and do our own thing. For example, most of this year’s elementary science has been done on our morning walks or play time in the afternoons. They’ve recently taken an interest in wild lizards – doing research on food, building them a home and attempting to breed them.
- Math U See;
- Tapestry of Grace (history, geography, literature, writing);
- Abeka (elementary/middle school science, grammar and health, elementary reading);
- Apologia (high school science, health);
- Bible (various);
- Hooked on Phonics (beginning reading);
- Handwriting (various);
- BJU Press (Spanish).
- Children’s Needs –
- Teens – They are completely independent workers except for their math lessons. I give them an assignment sheet on Monday and they decide what they do each day. I answer questions throughout the week as needed and check their work on Fridays.
- My 9 year old – He is mostly dependent with some independence in reading and writing. He has a good bond with my oldest, so she works with him on math, history and science most days, while I work with the younger ones.
- My two youngest – They are fully dependent learners, so I am with them for all subjects.
- I have two children with ADHD so we get outside before school and they take frequent breaks between lessons.
- Work – I work a very flexible part-time job 2-4 afternoons a week and some weekends. So, we have to make good use of our time on those mornings. I also work on this blog throughout the week, writing in the mornings and weekends.
- Extracurricular Activities – We have music lessons during the day once a week and soccer and baseball spread out on different afternoons. Any time I am hauling kids to an activity, I bring one of my boys to read aloud to me while I’m driving.
- Co-op Classes – This year my oldest is taking chemistry at a local co-op one day per week. We don’t get as much school done on this day because we are in and out of the house a couple of times.
- Church Activities – Before COVID, we had choir, Bible Drill and Youth Group on Wednesday and Sunday nights.
- Number of School Days – We plan a four-day school week with Friday being a project or field trip day.
- Set-Up – We have one bedroom allocated as our “School Room”. It holds most of our homeschool curriculum and supplies. Four of my kids have a desk in the school room. The fifth child has his desk in his bedroom and works best in there without interruptions. The others prefer to spread out all over the house. The School Room is really too small for all of us to work in at the same time and it gets pretty loud. When I’m working with the younger kids, we sit at the kitchen or dining room table, but we read books snuggled up on the couch, in my bed or on the trampoline outside. The teens work in their bedroom or in my comfy chairs in my bedroom.
- Subjects – We have no strict order for our subjects. They know what needs to get done each day and they get to choose the order.
Our Basic Routine
This is our general guide. We are very flexible and everything doesn’t get done every day. Some days we get pretty close to this and others might be flipped upside down. Our goals are to GROW in our relationship to God and each other, to explore our interests, to love learning and have fun!
- I wake up
- Drink my tea and write for about 20 minutes
- Get dressed, do hair and wash face
- Do stretches
- Quiet time – Bible and prayer
- Load laundry
- Make breakfast/Play worship music – Helps my mood for the day.
- Wake up kids
- Eat breakfast
- Outside time – Walk/ride bikes in the neighborhood or local park.
- Brain Connection Activities – See 6 Brain Boosters to Increase Intelligence in Your Child post for an explanation.
- Boys’ Instructional Time – math, history, science, writing, reading; (This varies from day to day.)
- Girls’ Independent Work – They choose what they do from their assignment sheet each day.
- Take oldest to co-op once a week while one younger child reads to me in the car.
- Group Time – character training, art study, timeline work, devotional
- Read Aloud Time (My FAVORITE time of the day!) – Sometimes my high schooler participates and other days she works on her own reading since she has a heavier school load.
- Girls’ Instructional Time – math with me
- Boys’ Independent Reading
- Playdate with friends OR Arts & Crafts Time
- Mommy Time or Exercise/Free Play Time/Tech Time
- Cook dinner
- Kids play or help with dinner
- Eat dinner
- Sports practices/games
- Get ready for bed
- Watch kids’ show on RightNow Media
- Younger kids asleep
- Big kids get ready for bed
- Big kids lights out
- Mommy/Daddy Chill Time
- Mommy/Daddy bedtime
That’s about it. What about you? Is there something here you’d like to incorporate into your day? Or maybe you have a great tip to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
And for more detailed information on scheduling your homeschool, check out my free ebook “Scheduling Your Homeschool”. It’s full of tips, schedule examples and includes printable assignment sheets and a chore chart.
You may also like these posts:
“Creating Homeschool Habits that Stick“
“7 Tips to Motivate the Lazy Learner”
“Facing Self-Doubt in Your Homeschool”.
Thanks for sharing! You’re doing a great job homeschooling your kids. What would you say is the biggest challenge to homeschool?
Hi, Helen! Thank you! I think the biggest challenge of homeschooling for me over the years has been breaking free from trying to bring school home (I used to be a public school teacher) and understanding/accepting/enjoying that homeschooling is so much more than checking off the daily subject list. My personality is to have a strict plan and schedule and achieve it at whatever cost, but that made for many days ending in tears and stressed relationships when my kids were younger. Now I know the joy and educational benefits of teaching concepts through what my children are interested in and using our daily lives as teaching moments. We have more fun, which enables them to enjoy the process of learning, hopefully creating lifelong learners. Sorry, long answer. 🙂
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Thank you! I think that is what is most special about homeschooling: making learning an individualized, personal, and fun experience. You definitely don’t get that in a classroom setting which is very much by the book. Learning doesn’t just happen by reading but by experiences and homeschooling serves as a great vehicle for that.
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Yes, exactly! ❤️
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Wow 😳 so scheduled. I’m home schooling next year and also have a daughter with ADHD who is six so we will just do as much as she can handle. I’m thinking park in the mornings to get rid of some energy. Then sit down work time.
Hi, Emma. Yes, I have to have a routine bc I’m homeschooling five kids. If you’re only teaching one or two, you will have a lot more freedom. However, your child with ADHD might do well with a written down routine so she knows what to expect. I know my child with ADHD does better when they know what’s coming next and can check off what they’ve done so they feel accomplishment.
Yes I’m not home schooling yet so I haven’t got a schedule yet when I home schooled my teen we had a list of subjects to do. I’m only going to be schooling one.
Ok. You’ll have more freedom in your schedule with just one. If you need any help on scheduling you can check out my free ebook “Scheduling Your Homeschool” – https://mailchi.mp/79b69d6c2075/scheduling-your-homeschool-ebook
Thanks I will take a look. I’d struggle with just two children you must be on the ball. I’d writ up the schedule on the whiteboard.