Friday, February 7, 2014

A Day In Our Homeschool

Yesterday my friend Tracey at Just Another Mommy Blog posted about her day as a homeschool mom and I thought that it was genius!  You can read it by clicking here.  I've had the pleasure of knowing Tracey my entire homeschooling run.  She was very influential in my decision to homeschool my oldest son, who happens to be the same age as her oldest.  I won't go into a lot of sappy stuff here about her, you should just take a few moments to read her blog.  I will say this, it was so nice to know that when I was considering pulling my oldest from public school to homeschool him that I was not the only homeschooling mom in the suburbs of Chicago.  It calmed me.
I, also, enjoy the blog Simple Homeschool and know full well that due to my secular practices as a homeschooler I will likely not be invited to share what a typical homeschooling day for us is like, and that is okay.  So, I'm going to piggy back on Tracey's post and share with you what our homeschooling day was like yesterday, on Thursday, February 6th.  I note this specifically only because NOT EVERY DAY IS THE SAME - never.  It's taken me a while to get okay with that, because I thrive on routine and schedules.
Hold on to your seats - here we go!  This is the day in the life of a homeschooling family with a hobbled and housebound mom due to a knee injury, a 9 year old who is wound like the energizer bunny (due in large part to his hobbled and housebound mom and his swim season ending 2 weeks ago) and an 11 month old who is vocal and mobile, in addition to a 14 year old and husband.
5:36am - Will (my 11 month old) is crying.  I wake up to nurse him.
5:48am - Back into my own bed and my pillow and blanket feel ridiculously perfect and I try to relish that for the remaining 12 minutes that I get to sleep.
6:00am - My alarm goes off.  Time to get up and get going.
6:05am - I'm downstairs in the kitchen and starting breakfast for Cody, who is my 14 year old and is a freshman attending public high school.  He was homeschooled from 6th-8th grade.  Let me pause here a moment to explain "why" I am making my 14 year old son breakfast.  He believes that a Nutrigrain bar is a sufficient breakfast.  I, on the other hand, do not agree with this thought process.  More so now, since he has been diagnosed with ADD and is taking medication to help him cope (we use many coping mechanisms including proper diet, exercise, structure and schedules, as well as sleep to assist him with handling life).
6:35am - I start my coffee and let the dog outside.  I also start to open all the shades and blinds in the house. Dave wakes up to get ready for work.
6:50am - I review with Cody what we will be doing this evening so that he is "in the know".  Goodbye's to Dave as he leaves for work for the day.*I get distracted by the sunrise as I go to let the dog inside*
7:03am - Cody leaves for the bus and I start to make my breakfast. I sit down and eat my breakfast and check my email on my phone, quickly.
7:25am - I have a half hour to myself where I do some daily readings and journaling
8:10am - Wake up Chris (my 9 year old) and Will.  I make in my bed and empty the vaporizer (*phew, phew*), in the process realize that there is a large sediment build up and that I'll need to soak the vaporizing mechanism in vinegar to break it down.  Chris makes in his bed and gets dressed.  He brings down the hamper from upstairs for me while I carry Will down.
8:30am - Chris eats his breakfast (I make this as well) and we discuss his math progress for the week so far and talk about his falling asleep at night (we started including exercise into his daily routine, multiple times a day, as a way to help him fall asleep more easily at night) while I am feeding Will.  Between spoonfuls of food I start the laundry and put the vaporizer in vinegar to soak.
8:58am - Chris starts his morning routine which consists of brushing his teeth, combing his hair and cleaning up the bathroom of whatever mess he made in the process. I am still feeding Will at this point.
9:15am - Chris starts reading a chapter book independently for 45 minutes.  I finish feeding Will, which today, I think wrestling a wet cat may be seen as an easier feat, and do the breakfast dishes.  *I get distracted looking for a notebook to write all of this in*

9:25am - Sit down to start to write all of this out *I get distracted taking photos*
9:45am - Bring Chris his first of two 18oz. water bottles for the day (helps with eliminating toxins, helps facilitate bowel movements and helps sleep come more easily as night).  I get Will cleaned up and changed.
10:00am - I set up an obstacle course for Will.
 He doesn't want his toys, he wants the dogs bone.
Chris will run off some energy by doing some exercise for 20 minutes (skipping laps around the 1st floor of the house, cherry pickers around the first floor of the house and punching from chest height using cans of fruit for weights as he walks laps around the first floor of the house), we will do 2 more 20 minute exercise breaks during the day.  At this point he finish his 1st 18 oz. of water.
10:25am - We start Grammar and Language Arts.  We do grammar together out loud and then he works in his workbook.

10:58am -Will goes down for a nap and I become a functional member of society by getting dressed and ready for the day.  I do my first set of physical therapy exercises for the day.
11:17am - Math time.  I check his language arts work on prepositions and note work to improve capitalization on proper nouns in his free write response using prepositions properly.  While Chris does math (which is done on-line using a system called Aleks) I free write (aka brain drain) for 15 minutes and check emails trying really hard NOT to get sucked into facebook.  I make a mental note to re-check emails regarding driver's ed (HELP), homeschool water-park tickets, homeschool co-op instructions for valentines and volunteer possibilities after lunch and during my self-designated computer time. When free write is done I fold laundry and think about lunch possibilities, hoping that the left over BLT fixings from last night are still in the fridge (mmmm....bacon).
11:57am - Chris finishes math and is requesting another 18 oz. of water and to do more exercised before lunch - SURE!
12:10pm - Chris makes his own lunch.  I find bacon, so I'm pretty happy.  We talk about how to make scrambled eggs and discuss the possibility of Chris making his own for breakfast tomorrow.  We also talk about our plans for this evening and the time frame of how things will break down so that we can get out of the house on time and not rushed in doing so, and how to properly cut a carrot to get the most out of it.  When I finish my bacony goodness,  I start the sink for lunch the lunch dishes (which Chris will do as part of his daily chores) and I put on The Flobots to listen to while we both finish off some chores around the house before going into our afternoon routine.
Laminated chore lists.  Cross off completed chore with a dry erase marker.  Lists can be reused.

1:00pm - Chris finish his afternoon chores and is enjoying his 1/2 hour of video game time.
1:30pm - We work on listening skills and copy work.  I read aloud an article from The Old Farmer's Almanac (this one happens to be on comets) and when I am done reading Chris works on copying a paragraph.  In this way he gets writing practice in on a topic he enjoys and he can also work on proper capitalization and punctuation.
2:00pm - Free reading time.  Chris chooses a Pokemon book to read at this time.  I organize a pile of homeschooling stuff that I've been putting off for two days.
2:30pm - I send Chris and our dog, Slayer, outside to play int he snow for a while.  I have to bribe Chris with hot coco, but I get him outside.

3:09pm - Cody is home from school.  He goes over his checklist of what he needs to do (empty backpack, go over planner with me, discuss homework and how we are going to break it down in a time efficient manner and long term and short term projects that are due).  He eats something and then will start his homework.
3:20pm - Will finally wakes up from his nap.  He smells like a zoo.  It's time for his lunch at this point.
3:50pm - Chris and Slayer are in from their snow play outside.  Chris takes off his frozen layers and takes care to place everything flat so that it can dry.  He then sips on the hot coco I orignally bribed him with.  Cody gets to benefit from this as well, as he can have Slayer's take.  (By the way, I make hot coco by heating up chocolate soy milk and then adding two different types of hot coco packet mixes.  In this case I used dark chocolate and carmel chocolate.)
4:15pm - I start dinner.  This is not typical, but we have a function to attend tonight that requires an early dinner for us all.
4:45pm - We eat a feast that consists of Hebrew National Hot Dogs and homemade mac-n-cheese made with colby jack cheese and mild cheddar.  I have some homemade coleslaw as well.
5:00pm - Dave is home and informs me that the event we are attending starts at 7pm, not 6pm.  This actually works to our benefit as now the boys can take their showers before we have to leave and Cody can clean the shower too (one of his chores) while I do the dinner dishes (not one of my chores, but in an effort to save time I will do them so that the boys can get their showers in before we have to leave.)  I do my second set of physical therapy exercises for the day.
5:20pm - Dave is done eating and ready to go.  Chris is also done with his shower, dressed and ready to go.
5:40pm - Cody is done taking a shower and cleaning the shower, is dressed and ready to go.  I nurse Will and then wrestle him into a snow suit to get him ready to leave.
5:55pm - We are all in the car and ready to leave - ON TIME :-)
6:35pm - We arrive at Dave's work and set the boys up in his office.  Cody and Chris will be keeping an eye on and playing with Will while we are down the hall at an informational session about REBT.
7:00-8:40pm - REBT Session.  REBT stands for Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.  The very basic gist is we are going to understand why we have certain emotions and act the way we do.  In by understanding it in ourselves, as individuals, we can assist our sons/daughters set and accomplish their goals in life by making better and healthy choices.  In addition to healthfully coping with the adversities of life.  *Side Note - IT WAS AWESOME!!*
9:00pm - We are all packed up and layered up and leaving Dave's work to head home.
9:30pm - We arrive home and the boys get changed for bed (score! on those early showers) and Chris does his final exercise session of the day (mostly stretches and planks).  Slayer has gotten into the kitchen garbage, she has ever so daintily picked out the empty hot dog wrappers and they are now on the floor.  She is self punishing herself in her cage. I feed Will his last solid meal of the day and get him ready for bed.  Cody has already gone to bed.
9:47pm - Will and I head upstairs where I nurse him to sleep and put him in his crib for the night.  I say a silent prayer that he does not wake up during the night, I'm tired and need sleep.
10:00pm - Chris goes to bed.  I get changed for bed.  Cody, Chris, Will and I are all done for the day.  Dave is still up, and will be up for some time getting his own time to self in before he finally goes to bed.

So, there you have it.  That's what our day was like on Thursday, February 6th.  Today looks way different and Monday will as well.  What I've come to realize is that not every day is the same, and that is okay.  We just roll with it.
This is my homeschool closet.  Everything and anything that we need for learning and doing is found in here.  

It also doubles as my canning closet :-)


  1. You are so organized. Seriously. I love your laminated charts and such. You had better get that leg better soon so we can see you guys! (and not just so I can hug on Will)


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