This is our fourth year documenting our Homeschool Day in the Life. For anyone interested in specific books or curriculum we use, please feel free to ask in the comments. We mainly use Charlotte Mason as our guide with a twist of Montessori materials.
We spend roughly four days at home doing our full “schedule” but our kids spend Wednesdays at Trackers Earth where they learn everything from fishing to plant identification and foraging to building shelters and tracking (or hunting and cleaning) wild animals.
Friday afternoons are also reserved for either hiking (we live in Oregon where there are more trails than I can count) or at Nature Day with our tribe of homeschool friends where we explore the outdoors and the mamas get a chance to connect. *I also just started Hikeschool for local PNW families.
Keep in mind, no day is exactly alike, which is why homeschooling rocks, in our humble opinion. There are days they’re interested in something specific so we take time to research and explore their ideas and curiosities. Each child is encouraged to pursue his or her unique passions during free time. Our son tends to choose mind-bending games, reading and writing books. Our daughter will spend hours drawing, painting or concocting some natural creation out of leaves, berries and flowers.
Here are what Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday (mornings) (roughly) look like.
6:30am: Wake up –– (Kids read their Bible and/or play quietly, mama takes a morning walk, dad works out).
7:30am – 8:30am: Breakfast + Devotional – then morning chores.
9:00: Morning Circle: I get my coffee and we all sit down to read and discuss from our weekly rotation including Bible reading, Shakespeare, Poetry, Artist Study (currently Botticelli), Hymns, Scientific topics and we work on our weekly memorization (Bible verses and poems). We always have a fun read-aloud to finish up this time together. During Morning Circle the kids either draw in their nature journals using nature guides (this year journal entries are based off of one alphabet letter each week – it’s letter “O” this week – so Ostrich, Owl, Oyster Catcher..etc.). Either this or they do another creative/handiwork craft, coloring or puzzle.
10:00 – Break – We use this time to snack and read from picture books, play games together (here’s a post about how we incorporate Gameschooling). Or I’ll use this time to throw food into the crock pot and work in the kitchen. Many days we’ll use this time to bring in our two Mini Rex bunnies from outside so they can run around and cuddle with the kids.
10:30 – Learning Stuff – I usually hunker down for a little while with my 8-year-old for math, language arts/copywork, narration and geography. Currently, he draws/memorizes nations in Europe. He usually narrates from Aesop’s fables and we rotate through different math curriculum. A tutor swings by for an hour or two on Tuesdays to explore math ideas as math is one of his passions. Our daughter will either do her own thing during this “school” time, or will spend it drawing or playing with the bunnies. We also have Montessori materials I rotate each week on living room shelves for her to explore, when she wants to “do school.” Otherwise, she plays or helps me in the kitchen.
11:00am -12:00pm Art/Music + Free Time– By this time the kids are ready for time outside, riding bikes or we’ll jump on the computer for either a short science, music (studying the great musicians) or an art lesson. I’ve only recently begun to include more screen time because I’ve never felt it necessary. But short lessons are welcome addition during the winter. We rarely have a need for screens in the warmer months. (My views are that whatever our kids need to learn on a computer can happen in a very short amount of time in the near future, when their brains are ready – otherwise, this is how I feel about it.)
12:00pm: Lunch + History – I used to try and fit history into our Morning Circle but found it much more enjoyable to read and discuss over lunch. We’re currently meandering through early American History and it’s as much of a joy for me as it is for them.
1:00pm: Independent Reading – Both kids read for at least an hour. (Our four-year-old is not reading yet but will sit in her room and look through books. This habit of staying in her room and “reading” just like her big brother took a few months to solidify but it’s well worth the wait.) Our son has multiple books going at one time, some of the books I assign but to encourage the joy of reading more than anything, I allow him to read his parent-approved novels and comics (Harry Potter & Tintin are this year’s favorites).
2:30pm – 5:00pm: Free Time – Another homeschooling family moved into our cul-de-sac this year and it’s been such a blessing to our kids. They ride their bikes together for hours on end most afternoons, rain or shine while I read or write and then prep dinner.
5:30 – Dinner: We’re a homemade meal kind of family. My husband has followed the Keto diet for about a year now, so it’s made dinner prep super easy to plan and prep for. Thursday night is usually sushi night out.
6:00: Family Time – My husband currently works out of his home office so we’re fortunate enough to have him around during the day for meals, running errands or simply hanging out. Therefore, our evenings often mesh into this routine considering he hasn’t just come home from work. However, there are times we play family games, do our own thing or listen to audiobooks (my son and I are currently listening to Lord of the Rings together).
A note on Extra-curricular Activities: I’m a huge believer in the less amount of scheduled, organized youth activities, the better. (Let kids be kids, I say!) However, I also believe in the multiple benefits sports offers our children and my husband and I both played collegiate sports. (Several studies confirm the benefits of sports such as featured in this article).
Our son showed interest in Taekwondo at an early age and therefore, is already a Black Belt and heads to classes in the evenings when he wants to. In the winter he plays competitive basketball on a team with public school kids. And he’s itching to try baseball this coming spring.
Our daughter is showing interest in gymnastics but I’m putting it off as long as possible because I know, at the age of four, playing outside, hiking and reading with mom and simply being a little girl are the most important things for her to be doing.
A final note on Musical Instruments: We’re in a music slump right now. We’re simply not a musically-inclined family. However, our son has taken drumming lessons every spring since he was age five and we don’t plan on stopping. And we’re waiting until our daughter shows an interest in playing an instrument.
Again, I’m happy to share resources. It’s only taken us 4 years to find what we truly enjoy using together.