Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our School Day

Here is an example of what a typical school day looks like in our home. We have a senior in high school, a fifth grader, and a kindergartner.

The little boys, Chris, and I wake up between 6:30 am and 7:30 am. We get dressed, eat breakfast, clean up the kitchen, click around on the computer, and watch a show on Netflix. I wake Holden up at 8:00 am. After Holden washes his face, he comes down to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. He chats for a few minutes before starting his school work in the schoolroom. Chris and Thomas go down to the basement for a 30 to 40 minute workout that includes cardio and weight training.

Ralph and I start his workbooks at the kitchen table. Chris and Thomas finish their workout. Thomas grabs his math books and takes his seat at the kitchen table. Chris gets ready for work and leaves for the day. We will not see him again until later in the evening. Holden grabs the books he needs and goes down to the basement. He does the majority of his school in the basement where he has a desk and computer. He comes upstairs if he has any questions for me, but he works independently. Ralph finishes his work, and he goes upstairs to play with his toys.

Thomas spends the next hour and half completing some of his school work at the kitchen table. I stay close so that I can guide him and answer any questions that he has. School has been a struggle with Thomas since the beginning. He spent the first day of kindergarten crying under the dining room table. If I do not stay close to Thomas, I know that he will not stay focused, and his schoolwork will not get done. I spend my time doing laundry, general cleaning, and sitting next to him with my knitting in my hands.  Ralph is in and out of the kitchen talking and coloring or putting a puzzle together. Around 10:30, the younger boys are ready for a snack. They eat a banana and a handful of nuts or a cheese stick. Holden finally comes up from the basement for breakfast. He eats a bagel every morning. Holden makes his way back down to the basement.

After eating his snack, Ralph goes outside to the sandbox, and I watch him from the window. That is a new luxury. Last fall he could not go outside alone because he would not stay in the yard. Now he does stay, and it has made the day so much easier. Thomas continues his school work, and I continue being available to him. We break for lunch around 12:30 pm. Our lunch break is about 30 minutes. Thomas and I spend an hour after lunch reading aloud and discussing topics from his school books. Usually we finish with school around 2:00 pm, but some days we finish a little early and some days we finish later.

As for school planning, I spend a lot of time at the end of the summer reading through the curriculum and planning our school year. I do not plan a day by day schedule. I break the year in half and set goals for each. Holden has to meet his goals because he is in high school. Thomas meets most of his goals, but if he is not understanding something we do not forward in that subject until he does. If it takes several extra days, I try not to worry about it. We make up for the time lost in the summer if we can not fit it into the 180 days of school that the state requires. Ralph is ahead of my schedule for him. Seriously, he is a joy to teach!

And about time away from the house. I leave the house early one morning a week to grocery shop. I schedule doctor appointments early in the morning, too. We meet with our homeschool support group once a month. I wish it were more often, but we are a small group and some of us live an hour from each other, so it is not easy to make the time to meet.

Here is a glimpse into our homeschool day. Most days it runs smooth, but we have bad days, too. Most of the bad days we are able to take a short break, before coming back to the table to finish our school work. But on the really awful days, I announce an early dismissal, and we take the rest of the afternoon to relax, reflect, and reconnect.

Linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year.


  1. Thanks for linking up! Yeah, the bad days. I'm more of a "never give up, never surrender" type myself, but I've often wondered if we wouldn't all be better off just going for a nature walk on those days . . .

    1. Yes, nature walks are a great way to relax after a rough day.

  2. Erica, I give you so much credit, keeping three boys at very different levels on track. We only homeschooled our youngest son for 5 years, from 4th to 8th grade, and it was a lot of work. I applaud anyone who homeschools multiple children. However, with the way education is going these days in this country, I think if my boys were still young, I would definitely give it a go!

    God bless you! You, and other homeschooling moms like you, are my hero!

    1. Thanks, Laura! You are so sweet!
      Homeschooling is not for everyone, but I know it is what God wants me to do. I am thankful that the internet has made it easy for homeschooling moms to connect and swap stories. :)


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