Our day tends to look a bit different than most families. We are all (kids included) night owls and prefer to sleep in come morning rather than getting up at the crack of dawn. Since we’re often out later in the evenings, having flexibility when it comes to bedtime is crucial and still be able to have a relaxed, easy start to our day.
Since I am self-employed, I have the ability to set my own schedule and go to the Studio on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the week and work from home the rest of the week. There are some days when the kids need “mommy” more and my productivity goes way down, but I’m usually able to make up the workload during nap time or by staying up a little later.
With the school year just starting, we’re still getting a feel for our daily routine and some of this is more idealistic than reality. However, slowly but surely we’re making adjustments and having a smoother daily experience.
Our Daily Homeschooling Schedule
8:00am – I try to wake up between 7:30 and 8:30, usually snoozing once before finally getting up. I like being able to have an hour or so before the kids wake up to do my Piyo workout, devotions, and return emails.
9:00am – Caleb usually wakes up first, either crawling into bed with us if he woke up early, or coming out with his sleeping bag wrapped around his shoulders to greet me at my desk or sitting on the couch with the laptop. I then get Samantha up between 9:00 and 9:30.
9:30am – The kids eat breakfast while I either do my workout or clean up in the kitchen and pick up the living room. I like to start the day with a clean house and really enjoy my morning ritual of opening the curtains and letting the sunlight pour in. Oh, and Caleb feeds the dog his breakfast.
9:45am – We gather on the couch and read a Bible story together.
10:00am – With the chores out of the way and my inbox cleared, we get started on schoolwork for the day. Caleb really enjoys Math and we start with that first. It should only take 30 minutes but some days he takes a full hour to complete his work. Even though Sammy is only two years old, we have her sort counting bears or work with shapes while Caleb finishes. If he gets done early, then he plays Legos or Cars until time for the next subject.
11:00am – Time to work on Reading! Caleb knows all of his letters and most of his sounds, so we continue to work on Phonics and are now introducing sight words. We have several computer apps that we use as well as an audio program that was passed down from Micah’s childhood. Since hands-on is best, I also have Caleb arrange the letters of the alphabet, play alphabet matching and memory games, and his all-time favorite, Boggle! We have two versions of the game and Caleb plays the harder, timed version while Sam plays the simple matching version.
11:45am – My goal this school year is to have dedicated Story time here at home in addition to our time at the library. We’ll read three books together and then start beginning journaling by having Caleb retell the story summary and draw pictures, write some words from the book, preparing him for the many years of journaling that lie ahead.
12:00pm – For Handwriting, Caleb writes letters that we mail to family members, practices writing numbers and words, and writes his name. This year we’ll be adding in his address, telephone number, the names of family members, and the days of the week, months of the year, time of day, seasons, etc.
12:30pm – We break for lunch and send the kids outside to play for a little while if it’s nice or encourage play in their room so I can have a little break while I eat my lunch and catch up on social media.
1:30pm – This year we’ll be introducing Science basics through reading books and doing easy science experiments, practicing with the junior microscope, and doing beginner journaling. Mainly we’ll be learning about the world around us, including the seasons, weather, how plants grow, animal behavior, solar systems, and all the things that kids naturally find interesting. We won’t be going in depth into science until 2nd or 3rd grade (at which time, Micah has claimed the subject), but it’s importance to establish the foundation while they’re young.
2:00pm – Like with science, we won’t be going in depth into History until the higher grades (and once again, Micah is excited to teach the subject), but we’ll be reading books, discussing events and peoples, and journaling what we learn. We’ll be starting first with the major events in American history, typical things like studying the Pilgrims come November. There’s a great set of videos by Nest Entertainment on historical biographies that I grew up watching and I just discovered them on DVD- they will be making an appearance before the end of the school year!
2:30pm – Blessedly, Samantha still naps for 2-3 hours in the afternoon and it’s when the majority of my workload is completed. Caleb is released from schoolwork for the day and I sit down at the computer to work on sessions, design birth announcements, and return more emails and phone calls. Most of the time Caleb plays with his Legos, watches a “quiet movie”, or plays outside with our awesome friends from next door.
5:30pm – It’s time for Samantha to wake up and join Caleb with whatever he is doing. I finish up my work for the afternoon, pick up the house before the evening starts, and finalize whatever I’m making for supper.
6:30pm – We eat dinner, either in the dining room or while watching a movie or show together. After dinner we may go hiking, fishing, or hang out with friends. If at home, everyone does what they want. Sam and Caleb usually play outside with friends, Micah researches some new fishing technique while on his second pot of coffee, and I put in my third load of laundry and then start editing personal pictures while watching a show. Yes, I like to multitask.
9:00pm – If we went out for the evening, then we’re usually just coming home and give the kids quick baths in preparation for bedtime. They get to stay up for just a few more minutes while I take care of any loud chores, such as laundry or vacuuming.
9:30pm – The kids get put to bed with a story, kiss, and prayers. Micah and I settle on the couch with yet another pot of coffee and talk, play a game, or catch up on Dr. Who.
12:00am – I get really productive right before bed and head to my desk to edit sessions for a while. Micah stays up working on projects in the garage or prepping things for an early morning fishing trip.
12:45am (or sometimes 2:00am) – We realize what time it is, call ourselves crazy, and finally head to bed.
So there you have it, our daily homeschooling schedule. Now, if it’s a Tuesday or Thursday that I’m in the Studio, then I’m usually gone from 9:30-3:00 and tag team with Micah or flip flop our day and do school in the evening. If it’s a Tuesday that I don’t have to go into the Studio, then we’ll attend story time at the library in lieu of reading and phonics for the day. And of course, as good homeschoolers, every so often we play hooky and go on adventures for the day. That is really what I love most about homeschooling: the ability to infuse learning into every aspect of our day to day life.
We’re blessed that Alaska is very homeschool-friendly and doesn’t have a slew of regulations regarding reporting or even daily hours requirements. Because of that freedom, I know that I have to be diligent that we do get everything accomplished and hold myself personally accountable as Caleb’s teacher. Some days are longer than while other days are more productive, but it all equals out in the end. The big thing is that I want Caleb to enjoy school as much as possible during the formative years, before the experiencing the drudgery of algebra and the joys of essays (can you tell which subject I excelled at in school?)
Our schedule will probably change as the school year continues but for now it works for us, building off of our current daily routine and remaining flexible enough to adapt no matter what situations or adventures arise. Either way, I’m looking forward to our first official year as a homeschooling family!
What does your school day look like?