I love putting these together each year, first to help myself record these details for later enjoyment but secondly to allow others a peek inside our homeschool lifestyle – one I wouldn’t trade for the world.
It’s February and so our days look a lot different than say, August, when the kids are outside the majority of the day. We’re completing our third year of homeschooling and this has been the BEST year so far. We found our groove, people! And many of you can relate, I’m sure, to how freeing and relieving that feeling is.
To start, each night I write in my 2nd-grade son’s journal what he needs to complete the next day and set up a few independent activities for my 3-year-old daughter to work on. Both make my mornings go much smoother than if I do not take 20 minutes to do this.
Most days of the week look like this (unless we have additional outside activities or travel):
6:30am – The kids wake up and crawl in bed with us…
7:30am – We’re all out of bed and making breakfast together (oatmeal, eggs and fruit every morning). We keep it simple so there is never any groaning or negotiation happening before I’ve had my coffee. My husband heads out the door either to a nearby office or to his home office in a separate building next to our home.
8:00am – By this time we’re holding a miniature “morning time” around the table complete with our daily devotional, Bible verse memorization and depending on the day some poetry, a hymn and/or fables and fairy-tale read-alouds.
8:30am – We clean up breakfast together then sit down at a small art table in our living room where I usually have an independent art project set up for my son (or both kids) to enjoy while I read aloud and/or dive into daily picture study as well as history or current event discussions. My son will otherwise work for about 30 minutes on his copy work or math at this time. I read aloud whatever I have scheduled for the day (the beginning of the week we focus on an artist and history and the second half of the week we focus on music and science).
And if we have time, I like to read aloud whichever chapter book they both enjoy. Our last two books, due to Black History Month and the Olympics were Anna Hibiscus and The Magic Tree House – Hour of the Olympics.
9:30 – By this time it’s time for chores. Once those are done it’s time to get some wiggles out. (In warmer months we’ll take a walk at this time). But I’ve noticed our rhythm incorporating a lot of movement during this time to process what they’ve listened to and worked on whether it’s through running around, dancing or playing make-believe.
10:00 – It’s time for a little snack and picture books OR a game we can all play. We snuggle up and read or play until they struggle to stay still. Check out our pile of Chinese New Year picture book read alouds.
10:30 – I get to work out (!!) I ride our Peleton bike and then shower while the kids play indoors or outdoors or focus on their independent projects. Today, my son made his little sister “coupons” she could earn after completing certain physical challenges. She proceeded to complete each and every challenge he devised. Their creativity never ceases to amaze me.
11:30 – I put on music by this time (this term is Bach) and let them continue to work on things they’d like to work on… for the past few months my son has focused on creating a multitude of his own books and businesses. Not something I’d like to interrupt in the least. My daughter will oftentimes join me in the kitchen to prepare lunch.
12:00pm – We sit down for a candle-lit lunch or lunch outside if it’s sunny.
1:00pm – CHILL time. My daughter still often needs a nap or time alone in a dim room with her thoughts. My son and I will either focus on something I have on his list for us to do together, play games OR listen to audiobooks or read (he’s currently listening to Percy Jackson). On Tuesdays, he has a tutor who comes over to talk math, Latin and philosophy.
2:30 – The neighborhood boys are out of school and knock on our door. Our son takes off and generally plays outside the remainder of the afternoon. My daughter and I get one-on one time to have tea and talk, bake, play or read together. She’ll then make her way outside to immerse herself in the older boys’s play.
One or two days a week we have hikes, nature gatherings or adventures planned (and come spring, my son’s drumming lessons down the road) and so, we head off and do those before dinner. When that’s not the case then the afternoon is for personal pursuits. I catch up on work (I run a non-profit called Broken to Brave), read or write.
5:30 – Dinner (we share our days with each other over a homemade meal most nights of the week thanks to local, organic ingredients and recipes conveniently delivered to our home every Thursday). And we enjoy a weekly sushi-night-out which we really look forward to.
6:00 – After dinner is cleaned up on Tuesdays and Thursdays, our son heads to Taekwondo to continue training for Nationals this coming summer. Otherwise, we turn down the lights, the kids take their shower/bath and wind down for the day.
7:30 – Our daughter is usually in bed by now and our son is also in bed reading or listening to his audiobook and then it’s lights out around 8:00/8:30pm.
After speaking with a mom of eight homeschooled (and now grown, successful children) and describing our day, I felt relieved when she told me an hour to two at the most per day for “school” and play/personal projects for the rest of the day at this age is the BEST thing we can do for our kids. And so we foster a ton of independence and down time (especially after they can read). And after cutting out screens during the week, we haven’t heard anyone say “I’m bored!”
We also like to keep things simple and minimal in our home and thus, lighten my daily chore load in order to do the things I love to do more often. You can read more about our minimal journey and, if you have a warm cup of tea and I’ve peaked your interest, please hop over and read through my Minimal Homeschool Guide.
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