Dear fellow homeschooling moms,
I hope you are off to or are about to be off to a great start to a new year of homeschooling! We are doing a LOT of review this week, plus reading history just for fun. Next week, the rubber really hits the road!
Okay, so several weeks ago I posted a typical home school day in our home in 2005…except it was just a DREAM day. I promised to share what a REAL home school day looked like for a busy family of seven children, ages 7-17. Here it is—enjoy!
- 7:00AM – My oldest daughter, Bethany is up, having dressed, made her bed, finished her devotions and has probably started her schoolwork. Megan is probably up having her devotions, but isn’t dressed yet. The other kids are probably still sleeping or at least thinking about getting up. I’m awake, quietly reading Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening or my Bible, waiting for Chris to wake up shortly.
- 7:30AM – Everyone is most likely up by now, moving at their different paces through their morning routine. Jesse and John could possibly be wrestling or playing a game instead of getting dressed or doing devotions, but I holler up, “Time for your Bible reading and getting dressed…breakfast will be ready in 30 minutes!”
- 8:30AM – After a breakfast of cereal, English muffins or scrambled eggs, morning chores are being waded through like the thick sludge on the bottom of our lake (it’s not always like this, but is the reality some days—“I’m tired, mom.” “Do I have to do this chore again? Can’t someone else do it for a change?” “I just swept the floor yesterday; do I have to sweep it again today?” Amazing, huh?) In response, I have put praise and worship music on the CD player, and am reminding myself that God’s grace is sufficient for today! A genuine highlight of my day is gathering my children around to read God’s Word, pray and sing a hymn together. Though the time may not be as long as I’d like, the heartfelt prayers and genuine worship of my children are a sensory reality that God is at work in our hearts, to the praise of His glory!
- 9:15AM – With just as much energy as we did our chores (remember the sludge in our lake?), we start our school day. Actually, most days my kids are pretty excited about certain subjects. More than anything, they enjoy the time we spend together, whether it’s talking about literature or science, working on our journals, making a timeline, or playing geography games on the computer. The kids don’t get distracted or grow weary too often, not so much because we all know the benefit of studying and working hard, but because of the grace of God! Thank You, Lord!
- NOON – or 12:15, or 12:30 (sometime before 1pm!) – It’s lunchtime, and we do generally eat a healthy meal (I have always strived to have whole grains and fruit for breakfast, a veggie and fruit with lunch, and two veggies for dinner). Not everyone chips in but one or two kids usually do all the prep work. This is for both breakfast and lunch. I usually make dinners. Sometimes we do sit around and look at art books or read poetry out loud; other times we play word games, or some of our own family favorites like, “I’m thinking of a person…” (Picking someone from history and seeing how quickly another can guess who it is).
- 1:30PM – In the afternoon comes independent study time. This could take anywhere from 1-3 hours, depending on how motivated the child is (and what time they got up in the morning)! My older kids often would get up really early, have their devotions then get their independent schoolwork out of the way before breakfast. When there’s afternoon time left over, the kids will engage in one of their hobbies—including piano, scrapbooking, Legos or games, baking, gardening, web design, blogging, artwork, and reading or writing letters—the goal is personal learning and development, with the focus being of delight-directed study. Delight directed study sometimes includes mom – while the kids are having their independent learning time, I am often grading schoolwork, going over lesson plans for the next day, preparing a meal/shopping list for the next two weeks, or other paperwork that needs to be done. Occasionally, I find a few free minutes to write in my art journal, work on a sketch, or write an email or letter to a friend or relative.
- 4:00PM – Late afternoon brings the opportunity for physical exercise—playing basketball with a Christian school, riding bikes in the neighborhood, or playing a game in the yard; we really do love to be together for the most part, and the kids spend a lot of time playing well together. Oh, the memories of the creative plays and skits they came up with over the years! Bethany, Megan and Jesse seemed to be the creator, director and implementer, while the four younger kids jumped in enthusiastically to play their parts. We have lots of videos and photos chronicling these happy memories!
- 5:30PM – Sometimes the main course is in the crock-pot; often, dinner is simple, yet delicious and nutritious, so it usually is a snap. Since Chris is working at home, we really do use the time around the dinner table to talk about current events and theology, ending with Dad teaching a lesson from Scripture and all of us singing a worship song and praying together. We miss those days, when Chris would lead us spiritually, but are thankful for the foundation he laid for all of us as a godly husband and father!
- 7:00PM – After evening cleanup, we might play a game together or, on Friday night, have a movie night with popcorn or ice cream.
- 9:00PM – Bedtime is another favorite time of our day, with one of us reading out loud to the children a chapter from a good book. While we didn’t read Jane Austen or Charles Dickens (most of the kids were too young to enjoy those), we did read books like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Lord of the Rings, Little Britches, or Anne of Green Gables.
- 10:00PM – Prayers, kisses & hugs, and “I love you’s” end our day with the kids. And believe it or not, there usually is still time left for a little romance between me and my husband…that is, if we aren’t both totally exhausted. 🙂
You will have your own unique homeschooling days…enjoy the journey!
There’s no place like home,