I am in my eleventh year of homeschooling, and I must say, that in some ways, homeschooling gets more difficult each year. I am not trying to discourage anyone, I am just keeping it real. When I first began homeschooling with one first grader and two preschoolers, our “school day” took about 1.5 hours, tops. These days I do school with my five children from 8:00 AM-3:00 PM. Sometimes later. During that time, I rarely do anything else, just school. No laundry, no housecleaning, no cooking. Just school. It’s not for the faint-hearted.
However, I love my life, and I would not give up my role as a homeschooling mother for anything. I welcome the daily challenge. As Cara reminded us before, “Just because something is difficult, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing a good job”. I agree, and I also will add, just because your homeschooling takes all day long doesn’t mean that you are doing something wrong. If you have several children, homeschooling will take a good portion of your day.
Here is a typical day:
5:00 AM I wake up, drink coffee, and read my Bible.
6:00 AM I run, and some days I even shower if I have time. If I am doing a longer run, I will finish just in time to begin school with the children, so the shower has to wait. Yes, that means that I stay yukky all day, and my hair and make-up are not done. I am okay with that.
7:00-7:45 AM (whenever I am through running) I grab a protein bar, drink more coffee, and start the washer. I also put supper in the crock pot on some days. I supervise the children’s morning chores, clean the kitchen, and prepare the house to begin school.
6:45 AM my older three children arise, do their morning chores, eat a self-serve breakfast, read their Bibles. My younger two arise at no particular time, but if my 7 year old is not awake by the time I am done running, I will wake her up. The younger two have chores as well.
9:00 AM Bible lesson at the kitchen table. Everyone stops his schoolwork and meets at the table.
9:30 AM Older three back to independent work, I do math, Building Thinking Skills, and begin Language Arts with the younger two.
10:15 AM Snack break. I move clothes from the washer to dryer and start another load.
10:30 AM I finish up Language Arts with the younger two. The older three are still working alone. Usually towards the end of this time block, my 7th grader has finished all that he can do alone. He is allowed to go out to the barn and play until I am ready for him. Typically my K son is finished before my 2nd grade daughter, so he joins his older brother at the barn.
11:15 AM I work with my 7th grade son. I check all the work he has done alone and have him make his corrections. I teach him any new math concepts, and I do spelling and writing with him.
12:30 PM Lunch for everyone! I work on laundry again (washing and drying….still no time to fold or put away!)
1:00 PM I read my 7th grader’s Sonlight books to him. The younger two play, and the older two finish their schoolwork. When the older girls are done they usually sew, crochet, or run if we don’t have cross country practice that afternoon.
2:00 PM Home Ec with my two oldest girls. The younger three are all free.
3:00 PM I check the older girls’ schoolwork, tidy up our school areas, finish up the washing and drying. If we don’t have cross country practice, I will actually fold the clean clothes. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, we have to leave the house at 1:35, 3:15, and 3:25, respectively.
The rest of my day is a blur of cross country practice, errands, preparing supper, housecleaning, afternoon chores, phone calls, and email. Then supper, baths, and I try to get all of the children in bed by 10:00 PM.
During our school day, I keep my phone nearby with the timer set. That keeps us all on schedule. It may sound rigid, but when I just go with the flow, I don’t get nearly as much accomplished. The schedule is a great tool for me.
My older children have a laminated checklist of all of the subjects they must complete each day. I spend a fair amount of time each summer preparing their lesson plans for the year, so they can complete their work independently. They have printouts of charts, schedules, checklists, etc. to keep them on task.
My husband is usually off work one week day each week, and we do not have school on those days. I use those days for appointments, long runs, grocery shopping, and housecleaning. My house is never completely clean! I just do what I can when I have time, and try to enjoy my life with my family.
That’s my typical day! Yes, I am exhausted, but I am happy!
Roan is the homeschooling mother of five children aged 16, 14, 12, 7, and 5. She has been happily married to her husband for 20 years. Their entire family enjoys good books and running. You can read about their daily lives at Joyful Always.