Annie's homeschool day in the life (with a 6-, 11-, and 13-year-old)
I've followed Jamie C. Martin at simplehomeschool.net for a few years now. I'm not a big blog reader, and to be honest writing is on the list of the last things you might ever find me doing. But God has other plans, and I'm journeying along on this business of being a homeschool coach. I've identified with Jamie as an introverted mom, and have found support through some of her suggestions on how to self-care in the midst of having people around me all.the.time. Her recent post https://simplehomeschool.net/yourhomeschoolday/ about sharing your personal "day in the life of" inspired this post.
I've always been a morning person, but not as early as my husband who frequently sets a 5am alarm. I set an alarm for 6:45am, which usually gets me up by 7am. Some days my husband and I have some time to chat in the morning, while other days we are just off and running. He gets up for exercise or quiet, devotional time in the morning. I have found that I prefer devotional time during breakfast by myself at the table. This resulted because I realized that when the kids are eating, they aren't interrupting me.
Kids are expected to be in the kitchen for breakfast by 8am....largely due to the 13-year-old needing specific times to help him move through the day. We begin our school day at 8:30am with a morning basket routine. We watch CNN10, and currently we follow this with something from English from the Roots Up and reading a portion of From Adam to Us for history. This helps us start our day together and have some time to connect before heading off to individual tasks.
The 13-year-old is working on studying US History 1 as well as prepping for a CLEP test on the subject. Then he does some VideoText algebra. We all work at the dining room table to stay on task and so that I'm available to help when needed.
The 11-year-old requires some side-by-side support for math, so I sit with my cup of coffee to lend some moral support as needed. He is also working through The Critical Thinking Co.'s Building Thinking Skills Big Workbook, which includes some reading, writing, math, and science. It's been a year where we have stepped back from a few areas in order to work on confidence and problem solving, but we are seeing great progress.
The 6-year-old spends some time on math, some time reading aloud to me, doing some copy work, and working through a short bit of science about the animal kingdom (even though he already seems to know it all from watching Wild Kratts). He is done with school first so he does puzzles, plays toys, works a fun activity book, or recruits someone to play a game with him.
With the exception of the oldest, schoolwork is finished by lunchtime. The afternoons are dedicated to other things. One day a week, the oldest has study group for US History CLEP, which is much-needed time with other teens. Kids earn 20 minutes of screen time for getting their work done, which gives me a bit of uninterrupted time to catch up on life things after lunch. We then often play board games or card games, spend time with friends, go for a hike, or take a trip to the library. When the neighborhood kids are available to play, which is usually by 3:30pm, they gather up for a game of football, tag, or some sort of imaginative game that involves a lot of running around the yard....Oh, did I mention the kids are all boys?
Also, you may have noticed a lack of science and language arts in the 13-year-old's curriculum. He is a bright and unique kid with some intense interests. He spends hours a day reading and several more hours constructing. He has an engineer mind and spends a lot of time on instructables.com creating amazing machines out of K'nex and writing some of his own instructional pages for others to follow. It's been a way to allow him to learn through play and to encourage him to write, even though it doesn't come easy for him.
My husband works from home at least half the time, but his schedule is also varied in that he sometimes works evenings and weekends. In the evenings our family can usually be found playing games or watching a show together. On Thursdays, however, it's my night off. I get the evening to do whatever I want. On Thursday evenings, I am not in charge, and I get an opportunity to do whatever I want that will refuel me and give me some brain space. Sometimes I get out of the house, sometimes I hide out and watch a movie or read a book, but point is that I get to choose and I am not in charge of anyone else. It keeps me going for the days ahead.