A look at our typical homeschool days. 🙂
I don’t even know how to start this post.
The first words I typed were “Oh dread.” (I don’t even say “Oh dread,” but somehow I typed it.)
Then I tried “It’s complicated.” and “There’s a reason I haven’t written this post before.”
But the people have spoken. And over the last year (or four) I have had a lot of requests for a post on “a typical day” in our life as a home school family. The only problem is…
We don’t have one. (I mean, a typical one.)
So, fasten your seatbelts. This isn’t your pretty picture of a bunch of kids gathered around a big table with their heads in books…A day starting promptly at 8:00 and ending sweetly at 3:00. Oh believe you me, I dream of that scene. All of those photos on the cover of home school catalogs? Love them. And there were a couple years…back when the older boys were all elementary age (and hadn’t gotten into surfing,) we had a little bit of that. It definitely fit my personality.
But now we have surfer boys, whose schedules follow the seasons and the swells. And Dave’s schedule? Two weeks on, and two weeks off (with some night shifts in the off weeks,) makes for an inconsistency of its own. Further, there are shifts between when the waves are on the north shore (usually October until April) or the South shore (the rest of the year.) Does any of this fit my personality? Let’s just say I’m being ‘stretched’ in all kinds of ways, thankyouverymuch.
With all of that said…
Let’s jump into a typical home school day in our home:
(I suggest you start with last year’s post about Abeka, the curriculum that we have been using for about three years now. Though there are a lot of great curriculums available, Abeka has proven to be a really great choice for our family!)
5:15: I’m up with coffee and my Bible. I try to squeeze in some social media/writing time when I can…(I’m not completely consistent on my wakeup time. Depending on how late I had stayed up, writing deadlines etc., I might sleep in closer to 6:00.)
6:00 Dave gets the boys up, and two or three of them will hop in the car to find some waves. They eat breakfast on the fly, and if the drive is far, will sometimes sleep a bit more, or do devotions. If Dave is off work, he will stay with them, video them, and watch them surf. If he’s working, he’ll drop them, then head to work and call me to tell me when and where to pick them up.
7ish…Levi is up. If one of the boys stayed home, I might get to take off for a 30 minute run or workout on the elliptical machine. Brothers will give him breakfast. If no one is home I hang out with Levi, do breakfast, and read/etc. Whoever is home does morning chores which might be dish duty, taking out trash, or a living room vacuum/cleanup.
9:00 Levi goes to a little Montessori school three days a week. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9:00-noon.) Last year it was preschool, but Teacher Nancy, (bless her heart,) has offered to do Kindergarten work with Levi this year. If it is not a “Teacher Nancy” day, Levi is home and we start his Abeka videos and book work. (no idea how that will work out, this is brand new this year for Levi!)
9:30 The other boys roll in. (or if Dave is at work, I go pick them up.) They are in board shorts/wet suits and they are starving. But they are also very refreshed and happy from their surf session. They all shower while I make egg burritos or heat up some hot cereal. *Sometimes* they do quick chores.
10:00 Boys eat while trying to read a quick devotional…I start hounding: Hurry up! School is waiting.
10:30 Each boy is in a separate room, Abeka videos are on. Let’s break this one down by individual kid/personality:
JOSIAH: Josiah does school in his room, with soft jazz music playing in the background. He has hot coffee on his desk while he watches Geometry teacher give a lecture on the computer. He has binder open, taking notes, fully engaged. His door is open and I peek in as I make rounds throughout the house…
JONAH: Jonah does school in our back room (rec. room.) He has a big desk and is semi-organized. He has become super focused though, and listens intently to his lecture on video.
LUKE: Luke takes about fifteen minutes to build a special fort for the kitty to sit with him, make hot cocoa, and set up a display of his favorite rocks and crystals across his desk. The dog (who is an outside only dog,) can be found sleeping under Luke’s feet, and the cat is in the prepared fort, and Luke finally starts school by….
10:45 Luke watching first lecture of the day.
12:00 IF Levi went to Teacher Nancy’s, I pick him up.
12:30 Everyone has done at least a two classes. They’re hungry again. We heat up leftovers, make smoothies, and take a lunch break. Josiah and Jonah both bring food to their computer to eat while they continue to do school. Luke prefers a leisurely lunch. When he’s done, he begs for a popsicle for “dessert,” and then since he has to eat the popsicle outside, he naturally ends up chasing a wild chicken down the yard with a sling shot. Mom yells at him and eventually he gets back to work.
1:00: Josiah and Jonah watching videos and doing work. Levi (hopefully) watching his videos and doing seat work. Mom keeps an eye on all of them, but stays near Levi during this time.
1:30 I make the rounds on each kid. Check to see how their progress is. I look inside each of my teacher guides to ask “Did you do Quiz 27?” or “Have you written the thesis statement?” “Do you need help choosing a science project topic?” Sometimes they need a bit of help on something, or I need to give an oral quiz. They watch lectures on video, and most of their work is simply put into a turn in tray which I get to when I can. Sometimes daily and sometimes weekly. (and sometimes…well, I shoot for weekly.)
2:00 Trying to keep Levi busy. Puzzles. School. (he has no interest in cartoons, but loves video games on devices, so that is always a battle/challenge for me to decide if/how much, etc.)
Boys plugging away at school. Fifteen minute breaks are granted at which time boys skate outside in our skate bowl, play some music, or catch up on chores. Luke taking fourth bathroom break and fifth water break of the day. When I get on his case he shows me that he just aced his math test, so how can I argue? Plus, that smile.
3:00 If Dave is at work, he is now calling to say he will be home by four, and wants to take the boys surfing. There is some tension. I am frustrated that they are really just getting in rhythm with school. “But surf is epic right now. Can they finish school tonight?” Ugh. We compromise with “You can take them if you take Levi too.” (I’m no dummy!)
I start hounding boys to watch another video, get your work done because Dad is coming and you still have two more lectures to go…
3:30 Make snacks, smoothies, anything to put in their bellies.
4:00 Dave pulls in. I might remind Josiah or Jonah that they still need to write the outline for their essay. It is 50/50 if they go surf anyways, or decide to stay home to get work done. The older two are super diligent so I trust their judgement and they know the deadline so it will get done. Luke negotiates deadlines, but honestly–does really good work. We’ll see how many more years he can get by like that, but for now, it’s working.
4:15 Guys are gone surfing. I do laundry, pick up the pieces. Correct things in turn in tray. Hop on computer. Prepare dinner. Breathe.
6:45 Guys are back home. Shower.
7:00ish Dinner. Family eats together. Talk about the day, the surf, and etc. Kids do clean up chores, etc.
7:45 Reminders that school is not done. “But Mom…Dad filmed us…Can we just watch a few minutes of our video?…” and etc.
8:00 Mom reminding again.
8:15 School work is actually being done. For anyone who actually finished the day, there are other activities: Photos are being edited for mom’s blog. Jonah and Dad jam on the guitars. Levi runs in circles. Josiah works on web design or writing or video editing…Lots of activity.
9:00 Start trying to get kids in bed. Tell them they have reading to do, and poetry and Bible verses to memorize for school.
9:30 Still trying to get kids into bed. (Breathing…)
9:45 Some boys are in bed reading (go ahead and guess who,) and
Luke some others take fifteen more minutes to get into bed and read for five minutes before falling fast asleep.
10:00 I hop on computer, schedule some Facebook posts and check email…Fall into bed and read for maybe ten minutes before lights out.
And, my friends, that is probably as typical of a day as I could give you!
(I hope you’re not sorely disappointed.) Trust me when I say that some people have really nice, neat home school days! Just not us, right now anyways.
Also, keep in mind that I am focusing this post on our “homeschool schedule.” I’m not even trying to cover when/how I do my blogging or writing work, Dave’s work both as a doctor and a farmer, etc. I just can’t cover it all in one post! 😉
A couple additional notes:
–Two to three nights a week kids have youth group. This either follows or replaces an evening surf, and also puts them to bed a little later than we like…
–Also when surf isn’t great, boys spend more time doing school (often covering a day and a half or even two days of school to make up for lost time.) They also take more breaks then to skate our bowl, do individual projects, do more chores. (and mom is happy!)
–Two surf sessions a day is “typical” but not an everyday thing. This might happen two-three times a week. There are occasional days where no one surfs at all.
–One Friday a month we do a food-distribution with the Hawaii Food Bank which cuts our day in half, and it seems like at least twice a month we are interrupted with dentist appointments, or other random things.
–ALSO NOTE: We start school at the beginning of August. In this post I shared what a typical day has looked like in the past, but I will add that this year I am writing up some more strict schedules for things like bedtime. I’ll let ya know how that goes. I’m really hoping to have everyone IN BED by 8:30 to read, and lights out by 9:00 this year. Also looking to start the day consistent early (and refreshed..) Hey, a woman can dream!
Feel free to ask questions, share some of your day, or anything else below!
**AND as always, if you have found this inspiring, or even just amusing, please use social media share buttons to pass it on to friends! Mahalo!
Sending much love and Aloha!
GIVEAWAY WINNER! Thank you all for the FUN Summer Lovin’ comments! Jill (Mom of three boys and a girl!) was randomly chosen, and I have already sent her an email. I give two days to hear back, and if I haven’t heard I will draw another name. Thank you again to 808Dude for offering the fun giveaway!