Two Days in the Life of Our Homeschool (with an 8-year-old and nearly-11-year-old)
Updated: May 18, 2018
I wanted to share a snapshot of what our homeschool days are looking like right now. Because our days can vary pretty widely, I decided to share two consecutive days from our life, so you can see some of the ebb and flow that happens in a typical week. Currently, my daughter Alina is nearly 11-years-old, and my son Ian turned 8-years-old last week.
I follow the Leadership Education model, and that means that I don't require or coerce my kids to do schoolwork. Instead, I focus on inspiring my kids to want to learn, following their own interests, and giving them optional opportunities to engage in academic pursuits. So all of the academics mentioned below are things that my kids chose to do.
Day 1 ended up being what I consider a near-perfect homeschooling day. Things just seemed to click that day, with lots of time for working, schooling, playing, and cooking. Our "school" time was spread throughout the whole day and evening. Plenty of energy all around and good moods.
Day 2 was not quite as smooth. I didn't sleep very well the previous night, so I woke up later than usual and feeling a little meh. One child was having a bit of an emotional day, I kept having the urge to check my email and Facebook (as I often do on days when I'm overly tired), and we needed a bit of a boost to get back on-track. We recovered thanks to a rejuvenating outing, and the rest of the day went a bit smoother than the morning had.
I woke up and hopped on the computer for some work time: blogging, homeopathic case study and inquiries, etc. I used my under-desk elliptical to get in a little physical activity while working.
My husband arose around 6:10am and started his own morning routine to get ready to go to work.
I made my bed and started a 43-min power yoga video.
My husband left for work at 7:20am.
The kids woke up around 7:30am. They quietly came to where I was doing yoga, snuggled a bit with the dog, and then went back to their own room.
When I finished my yoga video, I found the kids already dressed for the day and playing nicely in their room. I gave them notice to meet me in the kitchen at 8am.
I washed up my face, pits, and parts, then got myself dressed.
I started a load of laundry.
The kids and I emptied the dishwasher together.
We all had crustless strawberry cheesecake for breakfast (as is our tradition on the day after a birthday).
I asked the kids if they wanted me to read aloud some Life of Fred math before we continued on with our morning routine; since they gave an enthusiastic, "Yes," I read aloud two chapters from the book and the kids worked out their answers to the problems on dry erase boards. (There is more info about how we use Life of Fred with multiple ages at the same time here.)
While the kids worked on their Life of Fred problems, I dealt with the chicken bone broth that had been slow-cooking overnight. I only needed to scoop out a couple jars of broth and add some fresh water to make more broth. We each had a cup of warm, salty, yummy broth.
We all did our morning chores and personal care.
Alina washed breakfast dishes, washed her hair, cleaned a toilet, and made her bed.
Ian vacuumed the living room carpet, gave the dog fresh water, cleaned a toilet, and watered our winter container vegetable garden.
I filled the bird feeders, cleaned a bathroom sink, changed over the laundry, and got my hair and makeup set for the day.
The kids and I had circle time together with candles, play silks, poetry, and movement.
My kids wanted read-aloud time, so they settled into the living room with their drawing and craft supplies. While they were working on their projects, I read aloud from a book of Chinese fables and The Chocolate Touch (the read-aloud chapter book for our monthly kids' book discussion group).
The kids had play time.
I did my portion of the day's laundry load and prepped for the night's dinner.
I secluded myself in the home office for homeopathic phone appointments and other work, using my under-desk elliptical to get in a little physical activity while working.
The kids went to deliver eggs to an elderly neighbor, then returned home for free play time while I worked.
Lunch time: It was a build-your-own-lunch kinda day.
Alina had an apple with almond butter, fermented pickles and crackers. Followed by granola with plain whole-milk yogurt.
Ian had canned baby clams drizzled with honey mustard and fermented pickles. With a side of bbq chips, and followed by granola with plain whole-milk yogurt.
I had a cheesy scrambled egg sandwich on sourdough bread, with chips and fermented pickles. Followed by granola with plain whole-milk yogurt.
We made a very quick stop at the grocery store for a couple items.
We went to the park near our house for some outside time. The kids rode scooters while the dog and I went for a walk.
I settled in to do some reading and studying at the picnic table while the kids had free reign of the park. (Can I just say how wonderful it is that, in the Leadership Education model, pursuing my own education is just as important as focusing on my kids' educations?!)
We returned home and had a quick snack of seaweed snacks and oranges.
We all went to quiet time. I did some reading and had a short nap.
The kids' quiet time consisted of folding and putting away their laundry, listening to audio books, and playing.
The kids did their chicken chores, cleaned up quiet time messes, and played with homemade parachutes in the back yard.
I prepared dinner at a leisurely pace while listening to this month's Mentoring in the Classics audio.
My husband arrived home from work around 6pm.
We all ate dinner together as a family. Since we are studying Ancient China, we ate sweet and sour pork with rice.
Since the kids tend to eat slower than the adults, while the kids finished eating my husband started washing the dinner dishes. (Our kitchen and dining table are in the same room, so my husband often washes the dishes while I stay at the table with the kids.) I grabbed the book I've been reading about Ancient China and shared some fascinating insights about Chinese silkworms, religion, and inventions with the family.
Free time for all. The kids played rambunctious games in the living room.
My husband and I went to the home office. He used the computer while we chatted about current events and caught up on the day.
I practiced piano on our piano keyboard.
Alina and my husband read their own books together in the master bedroom.
Ian chose to do a reading lesson, so we settled on the couch together.
I read-aloud a chapter of A Bear Called Paddington to Ian.
Alina joined me and Ian in the living room for read-aloud time.
I read the kids more Chinese Fables and The Beggar's Magic.
The kids got settled into their beds and I read them a chapter of The Chocolate Touch.
Lights out in the kids' room at 9:15pm.
My husband and I read our own books in bed until ready for sleep around 9:45pm.
I didn't sleep very well, so I awoke later than usual. I took a shower and got dressed.
I caught up on emails and Facebook while my hair dried.
My husband left for work at 7:20am.
I made my bed, did my hair and makeup, and started a load of laundry.
I heard the kids talking in their room, but got sucked back onto the computer for a little while.
I warmed up leftover oatmeal porridge for breakfast.
The kids and I emptied the dishwasher.
We ate breakfast together while listening to the next Ancient China chapter on The Story of the World audio book.
I dealt with the chicken bone broth that had been slow-cooking overnight. I only needed to scoop out a couple jars of broth and add some fresh water to make more broth. We each had a cup of warm, salty, yummy broth.
We snuggled on the couch and I read-aloud some Chinese Fables.
We all did our morning chores and personal care.
Ian vacuumed the living room, made his bed, got dressed, and took out the trash.
I washed breakfast dishes, changed over the laundry, and watered our container vegetable garden.
Alina gave the dog fresh water, got dressed, made her bed, and then had a tearful meltdown when I asked her if she was going to do her writing practice. She had recently set a goal to practice writing a few days each week as part of her morning routine. She was bumping up against the fact that she didn't want to practice writing, and was upset with herself. We had a heart-to-heart talk about how it is okay to consciously choose not to do something, without feeling guilty or upset about it. And how choosing not to meet a goal once doesn't mean the whole system is broken. She chose to skip the writing practice and instead read a book.
We all went for a short walk/ride in a nearby neighborhood. Alina has been especially interested to watch the progress of a few houses that are being built, so we spent some time looking at and discussing the progress that has been made.
The kids did their chicken chores, then spent a few minutes reading and playing.
I was back on the computer again, checking email and Facebook.
Ian and I stocked up on household goods at Target, while Alina chose to stay in the car and read Johnny Tremain.
We went to visit my mom and she took us all out to a yummy lunch. My mom and I had a book discussion of Johnny Tremain (for our mother-daughter book club). The kids participated and asked a few questions about the revolutionary war, but mostly just listened to our discussion.
We made a quick stop at the library before taking my mom home.
The kids and I were back at home. We folded and put away our laundry for the day and then headed to quiet time.
The kids played and listened to audio books.
I did a 25-min calm yoga practice, read a book, and took a short nap.
I had study time at the dining table, reading a speech by Calvin Coolidge and working on my commonplace book.
The kids played with Legos, rounded up escaped chickens, collected eggs, and put the trash can at the curb.
I warmed up leftover chicken and mushroom soup for dinner.
My husband returned home from work and we had a family dinner.
The kids and I went to a Watoto children's choir concert.