A Homeschool Day In The Life

Linking up with Simple Homeschool for their Day in the Homeschool Life series. I’m not vain enough to think that anyone wants to see the minutiae of my day, I do these posts for myself, as a reminder of all that I do in the course of the day that looks like nothing yet leaves time for nothing else.

7 AM, the earliest I manage to awake these days. I miss my morning time mightily, but try to appreciate these warm sleepy mornings snuggling with a baby knowing they’ll pass so quickly. I attempt unsuccessfully to disengage so I can take a quick shower but it isn’t happening, so I decide to balance a laptop on my knees while rocking and nursing V. I take this time to finish up an article I’m writing for a Fiverr client. Ironically, it’s on breastfeeding.

Hubby brings me a cup of coffee. It’s a small cup, and cut with boiling water so I don’t get too much caffeine. This is our morning ritual.

7:42 – The boys are up and headed to the kitchen to start pancakes. I usually cook breakfast but they decided they wanted pancakes this morning and got an early start.

Still writing, trying to get the word count up to 1200. The 2.5 year old is up now, to my chagrin. It’s a bit too early and she’s grumpy.Thankfully she decides to shadow her daddy all around the house. She calls him Zeke. It’s complicated.

7:54 Ah. 1274 words. I like to over deliver. Apparently this client is happy because she’s ordered many articles from me. I put the laptop aside and get dressed and change the baby. Her diaper is cold and stiff from being hung outside overnight. She doesn’t seem to mind. My deodorant is missing from the bathroom. I recover from the temporary mind blow that is “I have kids old enough to steal my deodorant.” Retrieving it from the girl’s room, I notice they’re cleaning up, which pleases me, because it’s Friday which is room deep cleaning day.

Make the bed – sort of, one-handed, with a baby on my hip. Mascara, concealer under my eyes. Lip balm.

Check on breakfast progress in the kitchen. Ruby is asking for yogurt and pie. She gets neither, since I don’t let her eat inbetween meals or she will create all kinds of drama at the table. She decides to lie facedown on the floor in protest. She has temporarily misplaced her father which produces screams of anguish. “He can’t find meeeee!”

Briefly fantasize about hiring a French au pair to whip her into shape. She finds her daddy and all is right with the world again. (How dare he venture into the shop to get ready for work!?) Her next request is to jump on the cham-po-ween.

Hubby asks me if there’s anything new on his to-do list. (His idea, not mine, and no, you can’t have him.)

Manchild Caleb, 14, walks my stepdaughter Zoe to the bus stop. (She is in public school. My husband didn’t have the best impression of homeschooling until he married me. Her educational future is currently under renegotiation.)

When manchild arrives back, I decide there isn’t enough food left for a Growing Boy so I fry him two more eggs. I have noticed that there is a direct correlation between how many pieces of bacon I eat and my emotional resilience. I decide today is a 3 piece of bacon day. Someone oughta do a study. Oh, wait.

I hug and kiss hubby out the door. Pause here. Niiiiiice.

….and wipe the kitchen counters, start dishes soaking for Julien. I can’t think with a dirty kitchen.

I issue various and sundry warnings and admonitions at the breakfast table. “We don’t throw food Ruby we say “no thank you”. “Please put your bottom lip back into your head Ilana.” “No namecalling.” “Ask nicely please.”

9 AM: Everyone’s dressed. Bible reading. We used to do several chapters, but now we just do one or two, so we have more time to discuss it. Psalms 52 and 53. I nurse the baby and then she plays on the floor next to me and Ruby.

Girls run off to finish cleaning their room. Ruby seems settled now after nursing a bit. (Yes, I’m tandem nursing.) I snuggle two warm bodies into my lap and we read a story.

Oldest begins his work, which he does independently, only coming to me to report what he’s covered that day. He and his brother use Khan Academy for math. Caleb is studying trigonometry.

The girls ask me to inspect their room, and when it passes muster they start math. I help Sadie with bar graphs. Ruby pushes her huge overstuffed, one-eyed bear around the room in a stroller, then requests my assistance potty training “Hitchie”.

Julien The Procrastinator decides to create drama with his sister by a) jumping in the coveted chair next to her and b) attempting to gas her out by farting repeatedly.

I send him outside with Ruby to jump on the cham-po-ween. It takes them nearly 10 minutes to get her jacket on and Hitchie all ready.

Quick homeschooler joke by Caleb: Why doesn’t Dave Ramsey do trigonometry? … because he doesn’t cosine. ;-)

Baby, tucked into the sling, is nursed and patted to sleep for her morning nap.

I go back and forth between the girls helping them with math. They’re both being a bit needy this morning. They don’t usually require this much assistance. I give them a pep talk about Hard Things Are Good For You and tell them that the phrases “This is too haaaaaard” and “I caaaaan‘t” aren’t allowed in my home and that challenges are things to be overcome and that things you have to learn become easy once you learn them.

I feel like Jo in Little Women when she exclaimed, “I hate affected, niminy-piminy chits!” (I refuse to raise niminy-piminy chits.)

I get an email from Caleb, he’s shared his writing assignment with me via Google docs. I read it. In an attempt to discourage his brother’s procrastination, he then proceeds to tell Julien that I’m writing about his silly antics on my blog. Caleb has apparently sneaked a peek. I pick up the laptop and run, Julien gives chase, and the baby stares up at us with saucer eyes.

Caleb practices his guitar – a new song he’s learning by The Traveling Wilburys.

I create a child account for Sadie at Khan Academy as she wants in on the fun. (I generally eschew the use of computers for schoolwork but Khan Academy is my one exception!) She and Ilana finish up their math using KA.

I pull Ruby into my lap and we rock in the rocking chair while she eats an apple. I sing a song to her that I’m trying to help her memorize. It’s called “Pray Anytime”. After we sing it a few times I let her watch the video on my phone.

I start boiling chicken thighs for tonight’s Tortilla Soup.

11:00 – We take a break for chores and to start lunch. The boys reboot the dishwasher and washing machine. I make carottes rapees. (That’s fancy talk for grated carrot salad.) Caleb makes tuna sandwiches.

We sit down to eat, which elicits a grand mal tantrum from Ruby. It takes several minutes for her to settle down after the horrible injustice of being buckled into her high chair.  I know some of you may think it’s cruel to expect a 2 year old to sit and eat her food quietly, but when a toddler makes mealtime stressful for the other 8 members of the family, SHE must change. I instantly regret letting her sneak that apple earlier, because now she won’t eat, which means that 20 minutes after lunch is done, she’ll start asking for snacks. After sternly charging (using impromptu sign language) the other kids to ignore her, doing my best to remain emotionally cool (and after relocating her high chair outside, her still in it) she decides it’s no longer worth it to scream and agrees to eat a little cheese, after I insist she ask nicely. She also has to take “just one bite” of carrot salad and tuna.

11:40 – Every meal is stressful right now because of Ruby’s antics, and the baby also insists on being nursed as soon as she smells food, which means I generally gobble down my food with one hand and an accompanying backache. You would think that I would figure out, after 5 months, to nurse her before I sit down to eat, but I never do. Lunch is over, but I hardly feel satisfied.

Caleb sends me a new writing assignment to check. I read over it and make a suggestion.

I send Ilana outside to watch over Ruby. Jumping on the cham-po-ween is always a winner.

Language with Sadie. I nurse the baby while doing a lesson on nouns. I’m thankful for the chance to sit down, because that niggling pain in my midback has turned into a full on scream that makes it hard to breathe.

12:20Writing: Dictation with Ilana and Julien. It’s gorgeous out so we head to the deck and take Ruby so she can ride on her tricycle. It takes a long time. This is our first year doing dictation so it’s a new skill for these two.

12:35 – I take a quick break to nurse the baby again and rest. I chat with Julien and Ruby begins tickling my feet and tells me “Mommy you snell wike poop“. Julien, too, apparently “snells wike poop” so I’m not offended.

I fend off requests. “Mom can I get on the computer? Mom can I watch a movie? Mom can I watch a video? Mom can we go somewhere? Mom can I have a cell phone?”

No.No.No.No. Hail naw.

(And actually, I do end up buying a Tracfone, just for emergencies. We don’t have a land line and I sometimes feel nervous about that. Hubs and I don’t believe that kids and cell phones mix.)

I turn away excessive demands for my help. “Mom what’s 6X8?” “Mom how do I spell Willy Wonka?” “Mom do I capitalize ‘fortitude’?”

It’s your job to figure that out kiddo.

1:11 – Caleb is finished with his work so he goes downstairs to play Wii. The other kids play on the gymnastics equipment for a bit while I do writing with Sadie. I read a passage from The Saturdays, have her summarize it, then she does copywork.

Meanwhile, I burn the chicken. Or maybe it’s the beans. I dunno, what’s that smell? The baby has fallen asleep in my lap and I don’t want to get out of the recliner.

1:35History with Ilana and Julien. We read about the Inca. They answer my questions about the passage we read and I send them off with a brief reading assignment.

Caleb comes up from the basement and prepares a pot of tea for le goûter. I snuggle with Ruby while she eats a coconut macaroon. (Snacking is fine at snacktime, just not every 20 minutes all day long!) I ask her if I still smell like poop. She says no. I’ve come up in the world.

The mail truck passes by and several children run outside screaming. First Caleb brings me a cup of tea, then Julien (see a pattern? I do have these men of mine trained!) I drink two cups, hoping it gives me the energy to get through the second half of my day.

I decide to skip language with Julien and Ilana today since we did a very long lesson yesterday. That means we’re done with school for the day.

Ruby insists on having her “diaper changed” (she’s been potty trained for months) and climbs up on the changing table, naked. I play along, just this once.

2:33 - We do a quick tidy of the living/dining room. Apparently the tea did the trick because I feel like taking the kids to the thrift store. At red lights, Caleb rubs the sore spot in my back.

Miraculously I find something I’ve been wanting for weeks: a pair of skinny jeans! This brings my pants-that-fit total up to a whopping TWO pairs (my husband says my wardrobe is a little too minimalist.). I also picked up an antique French glass jar, identical to the one that used to hold my kitchen utensils but that sadly broke last week. Score!

I’ll get to the exercises in this book, I promise….

4:22 – We’re back home. I strap a screaming baby into the Baby Hawk and start dinner.  She falls asleep, thankfully, and Ruby plays with her big sisters for a few minutes. They have a bag of naked Barbies from the thrift store. Julien unloads the dishwasher, for the second time today (it won’t be the last).

4:44 – Hubby is home, Ruby spots him while she’s outside with Ilana. He takes over Ruby duty. At around 5 he and I step out for a walk. He normally lets Ruby walk, but this time he puts her in a backpack, and I have Victoria in the Baby Hawk. This is our time to discuss our day and generally chit chat. Ruby falls asleep, which is bad news, since she will now be very difficult to get to bed tonight. Eating and sleeping are issues with this girl at the moment! It’s not all bad. She has moments of pure sweetness, not to mention comic relief.

After our walk, with two sleepy babies, we sit and read for a bit. I look at the blogs in my Google reader, him The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.

Dinner. The baby is old enough to sit in a high chair, so Caleb buckles her in. (I remember to nurse her before dinner this time!!) She throws toys and hubby repeatedly retrieves them. I put a piece of avocado on her tray, just to see what happens. She smashes it repeatedly with her hands. Fun stuff! I’ll start offering her food in a couple of weeks.

6:22 – Dinner is done, hubby reads a Bible text. We discuss it. I lie on the sofa and work on this post. Hubby brings me a glass of wine.


The kids do their evening chores, and hubby helps me finish tidying up the table and the kitchen.

Ruby awakes, grumpy. He rocks her while Caleb starts a batch of brownies and Ilana works on cream cheese frosting. Julien is on his iPod, which has been calling to him all day.

7:30 – Family read aloud. Right now it’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

Writing a “day in the life” posts is a bit like writing a birth story. It’s not really possible to include every detail. There were many times I drank a glass of water, changed a diaper, helped defuse a sibling argument, reminded a child to get busy already, removed the baby from under the sofa from where she gets stuck after crawling backwards across the living room. I spoke calmly to a toddler while she created Richter scale fits. I picked up endless empty glasses from various areas around the house. Located lost shoes and socks.

I herded cats and created spaghetti bookends.

- The list of tools we use for our homeschool curriculum is here.



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2 Responses to A Homeschool Day In The Life

  1. I love this. I need to finish unpacking and organizing so I can record a day. I don’t think “unpacked a box, put the empty box in recycling, organized books, unpacked another box” is fun reading. LOL

  2. Candi says:

    I love reading about your days! Wish you would post them more :) FYI – taking Haylei to that dentist tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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