Real Life Homeschooling: A Peek Inside a Homeschool Family's Day

"So, what does your homeschooling day actually look like?" I've been asked this question many times- by interested friends, by prospective homeschool mamas, by new homeschool mamas, and even by nosy acquaintances who ask it with a sneer.

Before I answer the question- unless it's the nosy acquaintance, in which case I probably won't answer- I always offer a disclaimer to the person asking. This is what our homeschool looks like. It's likely not what any other homeschool looks like. It's not the "right way" to do homeschooling. But it's how things work for us.

Homeschool Day in the Life

At one time, I had a friend who was interested in homeschooling ask if she could come and watch what we did one morning. Knowing that this friend liked quiet and structure and didn't tolerate noisy chattering kids very well, I reluctantly agreed. During the morning, we sat at the table- all four kids and me. I read aloud while kids colored, crawled on the floor, and added their input whenever they thought of something, often interrupting my reading.

At the end of the morning, my friend was convinced that homeschooling wasn't for her. She could never put up with all the noise and movement when "school" was supposed to be happening. I tried to explain what I said above. I emphasized that, just because this is what worked for us, this wasn't what homeschooling was to everybody. There are some families that are very structured and that treat homeschooling time just like "real school."

The beauty of homeschooling is that we do what works- what works for ourselves as homeschool moms, what works for our kids, and what works for the family as a whole.

So what does our homeschooling day look like? I'm homeschooling a high school senior, as well as two middle schoolers right now. Although we have slight differences in our schedule each day, here's what a "typical" day looks like for us.

My High School Senior


I have one child who graduated last year and another who is planning to graduate in December. My son, the senior, is responsible for his own work. I create his lesson plans and oversee and record what he's doing. I help out if he runs into trouble. But his learning is mostly independent.

Why do I like this hands off approach? Ya'll real learning is all about learning how to learn. The fact is, we can never teach our kids everything. We can't possibly know everything. What we can teach our kids is how to learn what they need to learn. When we lay the groundwork for that early on, releasing kids to be more and more independent as they grow, we'll help to create lifetime learners.

My son chooses to do most of his work early in the week, all at once. He works, sometimes 30+ hours a week, and he arranges his schedule so that he doesn't work on Monday at all. That means he spends Sunday after church and all day Monday working on school. Then he doesn't have much left and can work at his job during the week without having to do school when he comes home.



My Schedule With Two Middle Schoolers


I still do some school with my middle schoolers. They are moving more and more into independent work, but, to be honest, I'm holding on to some of the work I do with them because they're the last of my homeschool students. And I love teaching them. 

Here's a look at a normal day for us.

8:30a


Get up and start our day. I hate mornings, ya'll. I don't do the early morning stuff.

9:30a


Bible with the girls

10a


 I teach. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I teach online classes with Classes by Beth Plus. I am truly loving this time. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I teach a live class at our local high school co-op.

The girls take my Wednesday class- Middle School Literature. On the other days, they either work on independent work or Kathryne (my graduate who starts college in the spring) works on history with them.

11/11:30a- 12:30p


When I finish teaching, I do "together" work with the girls. That includes history, science, art, music, read aloud (historical fiction), and vocabulary. I also introduce the grammar, math, and writing lessons, but they do the work for those independently. They also read literature and work on copywork independently.

Homeschool Day in the Life
Blondie loves to get in on the action when we do school.

12:30-1:15p


We eat lunch and have a short break. I usually work on blogging tasks while I eat.

1:15p-2:15p


I finish up any together work with the girls.

Homeschool Day in the Life
Why not read logic while laying on the bench?

2:15-4ish


I have a rest time. Two hours of rest may sound extravagant, but with fibromyalgia, I can't make it the rest of the day without a midday break.

During my rest time, the girls work on their independent work. If they have questions, they ask when I get up.

Homeschool Day in the Life
Homeschooling means you can build a fort to do your independent work in.

4-5p


The girls finish up any work, and I work on our school planning/grading/recording or work on my other classes.

5p-6p


During this time, I'm preparing supper and doing household chores.

6p


We try to eat supper together a couple of times each week. On two evenings, Ashlyne has volleyball, and on Wednesdays we eat at church. It's also not unusual for one of the older kids to have something going on in the evening. So we're lucky if we get two nights to eat together. But we take what we can get.

7p


After supper and cleanup we do various things. Sometimes I will play a board game with some of the kids. Sometimes Jason will take one or two somewhere- the grocery store, Lowes, Walmart.

8p Until


I do most of my work- blog and teaching- after I get ready for bed at night. It's the time of day when I don't really feel like being up and active. So I can sit and work. Kids float in and talk or watch a Netflix show with me on some nights. But I try to keep a few nights with no interruptions so that I can do work I really need to concentrate on.

Homeschool Day in the Life
I love it when the puppy helps me work.

So that's it, ya'll. It's a "typical" homeschool day. For our family. Your homeschool day might not look the same. Or it might be very similar. Homeschooling gives us the privilege to structure our days in the way that best suits our family. It's an awesome thing.

Homeschool Day in the Life

Want to know what other homeschool days look like? Check out the post at iHomeschool Network. You can also link up your Day in the Life posts if you're a blogger.



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2 comments :

  1. I do love the flexibility we have! And I often say that as many homeschooling families as there are I bet there are that many ways to homeschool.

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