Homeschool: A Day in the Life

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There really is no typical day in our homeschool life.  Every day is truly a bit different, but here’s what today was like. Stop by next month, and you’ll find us in the full swing of fall activities:  Daisy Scouts, sports class, Wilderness Skills class, weekly park day, book club and more. But for an August day, this is typical. Kind of. Sort of. Well, here it is, take a peek at our day via Instagram.

If you’re new here, my kids are…
Firefly, an 8 year old boy
The Queen Bee, a 6 year old girl, and
Love Bug, a 3 1/2 year old boy.
This is our third year homeschooling.

6:00 a.m.  I got up to a quiet house, came downstairs with the dog, made coffee and sat down with my laptop. This is my very favorite way to wake up.

6:02 a.m.  My 3 year old woke up.  So much for Mommy’s quiet time. Oh, well. We snuggled while he watched t.v. and I drank my coffee. Then we had breakfast.

7:00 a.m. I prepared the learning materials we would need for the day: made photo copies, made math manipulatives for my preschooler and a reading sight word game for my 6 year old.
 7:30 a.m. I did dishes and laundry. Exciting but necessary.

8:oo a.m. My two big kids and husband woke up, got breakfast and started getting ready for the day, while I went to take a shower. The two big kids do a couple of chores in the morning. Here’s The Queen Bee folding some laundry.
 9:30 a.m. Firefly practiced the piano. He briefly ran from the room shrieking over a piece that was frustrating him, but returned and practiced it a few times.
 10:00 a.m. A delayed start for me, but I finally got back downstairs and helped Love Bug with a play dough and craft stick number line, which I found here. I then left him to play with the sticks and play dough on his own, while I went to work with The Queen Bee.
10:15 a.m. I read a book about Sacagewea to The Queen Bee that she picked out at the library. I made her some craft-stick-fancy-feather-sigh-word-pointers. Whenever she saw three specific words in the book, she tapped them with a feather. She then asked if we could make a canoe and some paper dolls to represent Sacagewea and her family, so we improvised on that.

She spent the next two hours coloring, cutting and pasting her dolls and canoe into a book that she made (and  later dictated the text to me). We chatted for a bit about what life was like for Native Americans 200 years ago. Love Bug wandered in and made one of the foam canoes, asked for a snack, took apart the canoe, then glued it together again.
 10:45 a.m.  Firefly moved on to the rest of his schoolwork. He finished the totem pole craft he’s been working on and learned all about Bison for Early American History.
 He watched a brief video. Then he completed a History Pocket activity about bison. Here he is sitting at the table with his sister, both of them working on a project WITHOUT FIGHTING. Did you hear that? Is it highly unusual. They are rarely in the same small work area.
 Then he moved over to the couch to do his on-line math program. I sat with him for the first few minutes, in case he needed help, but once I saw that he understood what the lesson was about, I moved on to the next kiddo.
 12:30 p.m.   The husband worked from home today and he went out and got us pho Vietnamese noodle soup for lunch. Yum! We all ate lunch together.
1:00 p.m. The Queen Bee finished her Sacagewea illustrations, then brought me the book to add text. She dictated text and I wrote. I learned how to spell Sacagewea. Sort of. Kind of.

This goes along perfectly with the Jot It Down curriculum we are using from Brave Writer this year, a program that emphasizes collaborative writing between parents and children. Even more thrilling is that she has come up with this “assignment” herself. My favorite part is when Sacagewea goes to visit the Egyptian pyramids with her family. The Queen Bee is creative and she improvises a lot. But she also put a lot of facts in that she learned from the book we read.

1:15 p.m. The kids watched t.v. for a bit while I made some phone calls.

1:30 p.m. The Queen Bee left with her 22-year-old cousin, Night Owl, who lives with us. They headed to the craft store and for a treat at Starbucks. This is very exciting for The Queen Bee.
 2:00 p.m. Our afternoon playdate got cancelled due to a friend’s pet emergency, so the boys, dog, and I headed to the creek. We released some toads that we found there a couple of weeks ago. We’d been observing them but had been having trouble finding worms for them to eat so Firefly decided he wanted to bring them back to their original home.
 We explored a new hiking trail.

Played in our favorite spot.
The Labrador retrieved stuff.
 Firefly swam.
 4:30 p.m. After two hours, we headed home, exhausted.

5:15 p.m. After baths for the boys, I fell asleep on the couch, to be awoken periodically by The Queen Bee showing me some glitter art she was doing in the new sketch book that her cousin bought her. Finally, I got up to find that the husband had picked up a pizza and everyone was eating, including Night Owl and her boyfriend.  The Labrador was passed out on the floor next to me.

It was a good day.

Not all days do we learn so much or do so many things. Some days we are outside more or inside more. Some days there are more frustrations over school work or more fighting amongst the kids, but this was a rather smooth and productive day. I’ll take it.

Had I written this post two years ago, it would’ve been very, very different. Something like: 9:00 a.m. we sat down to do math, 9:01 a.m. Love Bug had an explosive poopy diaper, 9:05 a.m. The Queen Bee, still refusing to get dressed, asked for her 3rd post-breakfast snack, 9:10 a.m. Firefly refused to do math and threw himself on the floor, 9:15 a.m. Love Bug dumped an entire bag of rice all over the pantry floor, 9:20 a.m. Mom turns on the t.v. for the kids and pours herself a stiff drink. I’m kidding, of course. I don’t let my kids watch t.v. in the morning.

My point is, homeschooling was very hard in the beginning with a young toddler, a preschooler and a 1st grader who I had yet to figure out in terms of learning style. It was pretty chaotic around here and then the toddler gave up naps before the age of two. But then it got easier. We still have struggles, of course. But it feels less like a circus. That’s my message of hope for you today. Toddlers sometimes give up naps. No, wait, that’s not it. Homeschooling gets easier. That’s it.

You can find me posting snippets from most of our days over on Instagram and Twitter.

If you’d like to know more about our homeschooling life, please follow Creekside Learning on Facebook.

You can read more Day in the Life posts from other homeschoolers here.