The alarm clock sings softly that it’s time to get up. The children wake up cheerfully with a smile on their face. They get dressed, make their beds, and pick up any stray items off of the floor. Wonderful Mom has already made a hot breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausage links.The family gets their breakfast and helps by cleaning up after themselves.
They eagerly go to their school station and they don’t waste time by catching up on their emails, or text messages from their friends.
The cell phones never ring, and there certainly is never a computer notification that would interrupt their precious train of thought.
Math class brings no challenges, as problems are written out on scrap paper, legibly, and in order. No way is there a wrong answer, because simple addition and subtraction are performed with perfection, and columns of numbers are always in line.
Science experiments and lab forms are completed thoroughly with clearly expressed hypothesis, procedures, and summary. You will not find that labs have been “forgotten”, and when a lab is completed, all materials are cleaned, dried, and put away where they belong.
Of course, all written assignments are done with the utmost of care and meticulous handwriting. Upon seeing this legible neatness, Mom smiles brightly.
When a subject is completed for the day, the child brings the assignment to Mom for checking with a look of joyful anticipation for an excellent grade.
Dear daughter has already edited and proofread her paper before turning it in, and the paper is in pristine condition. A 100%, A++ is awarded and there is no need for review, do-overs, or more study needed. Mom’s endless supply of stickers and well-done stampers highlight the top edge of every excellent assignment.
Dutiful daughter takes that coveted paperwork to her school station once again, and places it neatly in the appropriate school binder, double checking to make sure the date and grade are clearly visible for the homeschool evaluator, who will come in the spring.
When all subjects are completed for the day, Daughter knows that the school books should be put neatly away, pencils get sharpened for the next day, any trash is thrown away, and of course, there are no crumbs to clean off of the computer keyboard and around the desk because diligent daughter never wastes time eating snacks while doing school work.
The daily chore lists are completed with utmost care, and there is never a need to do the chore over. The house is kept in “sterile” condition, with not a germ or bacteria growing, except in the designated areas for beakers and science lab equipment.
The pets are a wonderful addition in the family, and “accidents” inside the home do not occur because of the children’s methodical, loving care.
Muddy boots, wet socks, wet gloves and coats are never taken off and left in front of a doorway. Everyone lives by the motto: “A place for everything, and everything is in its place.”
Dear daughters never need told to bring laundry to the washing machine, and then they never need reminding to start the washer. They know that when the load is completed, the clothes need to be put in the dryer, and then they are so wonderful in actually starting the dryer. Clean, dry laundry is so tenderly cared for, while the folding and putting away procedures are performed. Never, ever is there clean folded clothes found in the dirty laundry hamper, nor do the children leave their drawers hanging wide open.
At the dinnertime hour, darling daughters eagerly greet Dad with a cheery hello, and insist on hearing about his day. Dinner preparation is a family affair, with everyone working together as a wonderful team. Smiles and quiet conversation are welcomed, while we cut the homemade bread, place the jam on the linen covered table, mash the potatoes, and stir the gravy. The smell of roast beef brings comments of anticipation, and dessert has been lovingly prepared from scratch.
Family time around the dinner table is never rushed. Each family member shares about his/her day and willingly recounts about a good thing that occurred.
After dinner, there is never excuses made that, “I need to go to the bathroom”. Everyone is so cheerful and productive when it is time to clean off the table, put away left overs, and load the dishwasher, that supper time clean up is done with record speed.
Bedtime comes with a quiet home environment. There is absolutely no loud tv or computer games being played. The last of the laundry is put away, the dishes are done, the trash is collected and taken out, the pets are all well taken care of, and every one is happy and content.
Sleep comes easy for everyone in the house, and there is no interruptions from loud traffic, emergency notifications on the cell phone, no text messages or emails, and no social media news feeds that must be checked one last time.
Everyone awakens the next morning feeling refreshed and rejuvenated for another wonderful homeschooling day ahead.
If you’ve read this far, I’m sure you know that this certainly isn’t what our day is really like. You might as well just take all that you just read, and throw it away. Our home is never close to being in sterile condition, and to be honest, papers and books are found floating around the school room, days and even weeks after they were completed .
But would I change any of it? Not on your life.
So What is our Homeschool Day Really Like?
We’ve been homeschooling since 2005, and there hasn’t been a year that has been the same as another.
The reason is because the children get older, I get older, more children are born, family commitments change, and extra-curricular activities are entered into.
Currently, I only have two being homeschooled right now, as my son has already graduated.
Erika is a senior. Abby is in the 9th grade.
Both girls read and comprehend their assignments well, and they both know what they need to do.
Erika gets up at 5 am. (on her own, I never told her to do this.) She is doing pre-calculus, grammar, chemistry, Bible, and studying for entrance exams for vet tech school.
She gets finished her schoolwork around 10am, and then she heads outside to take care of our farm animals. After everyone outside has had their breakfast, she spends time running a few miles, and practicing her basketball.
After lunch she helps with chores, and has free time. If she does not have basketball practice or a game with the team, then she works helping neighbors and/or a nearby farmer.
Erika spends more time on chemistry with her aunt. (who teaches chemistry in a local private school) They get together about once a week, during an evening when nothing else is going on.
Erika has her drivers license so she is able to take herself where she needs to be.
Along with school, part-time working, and basketball, Erika is involved with church ministries. She plays the violin for the congregational singing and also for special music. She is very active on the teen puppet team and in the teen choir. She helps clean the church and attends faithfully to all the services.
The two of us usually sit down about once a week and go over her school work. Her Pre-Calculus gets graded by the math software, so I don’t need to check that. My sister-in-law takes care of checking chemistry, so I don’t need to do that either. I just check the grammar, Bible, and make sure she is studying for her entrance exams.
Since Abby is in ninth grade, she has more school subjects to do. She usually gets up at 8 am, and takes care of our three dogs, one cat, and one bird.
Then she sits down at her computer and begins her work. She reads her physical science book and does any labs that need doing. She is doing American history, Bible, Algebra I, grammar, American literature, and meaningful composition for her high school writing.
Abby’s math is already checked by the software, so I usually make myself available for any problems or questions that she may have in the other subjects. She checks her own grammar with the answer key, but the other subjects I have to check. We usually do that after lunch and chore time.
If she still has school work to do after lunch and chores, then that’s when she’ll finish school for the day. Otherwise, she has free time.
Abby is on a basketball team also, but it is not as in depth as Erika’s practice and game schedule.
Abby and I spend time through the week playing educational games and doing crafty things. She’s more of an indoor person, so our interests are similar.
Abby helps me with supper and both girls help with dinner time clean up.
Abby is also very involved in church ministries. She is on the teen puppet team, teen choir, and helps out as necessary with cleaning and any other jobs that need done.
My Homeschooling Day When the Kids Were Young
When all three of my kids were young and they still needed me to sit beside them to do a lot of their work with them, I found it easiest to do as many subjects as we could together.
For us that was Bible, history, science, literature, and sometimes writing.
After we finished our “together” subjects, I would rotate around the table, working with each one individually on their troubling subjects.
I had to teach the kids that when I was working with one of them individually, that the rest of them had to do their own independent work. They could do some review math problems, copy spelling words, vocabulary, grammar, art, instrument practice, and I always had a chore list for them.
The hardest part was when I felt pulled in more than one direction. There were times, when I just said, “No more school today. We’re done.”
It gave me my much needed time to myself to get other things off of my mind, whether it was something for church, or something I had to learn in order to teach it better, etc.
Every Friday afternoon was my time to prepare for the coming school week. This was the time that I copied papers, ordered library books, and figured out assignments for each child.
My husband was willing to work with me as I prepared for the coming week, so he would bring home supper every Friday.
My Advice For Your Own Homeschooling Day
As I said, every year has been different. A schedule in someone else’s home cannot be the same as yours, and no one schedule is better than any other.
If something doesn’t work for you on one day, try it again, or change it somehow. There’s no set rules to homeschool scheduling, and that’s the fun part.
You can relax. Try to enjoy every minute of it. The time goes by so fast.
Enjoy the one- on-one time with each of your kids as you teach them to read.
You get to be present when that “A-ha” moment occurs.
And don’t forget about all the memories that you’re making while doing your science experiments, playing educational games, and reading good books together.