A Day in the Life of Our Relaxed Classical Homeschool
When we decided that we were going to homeschool our girls, I was so excited! I kept thinking about our homeschool schedule and what it would look like and let me tell you……it was awesome!
The girls had their workbooks and loved them. We did fun projects all the time. The house was clean and the girls never complained about doing their work. I mean…who wouldn’t want to homeschool?! It’s so fun!
After the first time my then kindergartner threw a total screaming fit and ran away from the homeschool area (read: the bar in our kitchen), I knew a typical homeschool day might not look quite like I had envisioned it.
And that got me thinking…how many other homeschool moms have grand visions of what homeschooling will be like and then are totally disappointed when it doesn’t actually work out like that? Is it like Facebook where everyone thinks that everyone else’s life is always that perfect and fun?!
Is it like Facebook where everyone thinks that everyone else’s life is always that perfect and fun?!
Gosh, I hope that isn’t the case! Are you worried that your homeschooling schedule isn’t living up to what everyone else is doing and you’re depriving your children of a great experience? Well, that’s why I’m going to share what a typical homeschool day looks like in our family! This should be fun.
For reference, we are currently homeschooling 1st/2nd grade, kindergarten, and then there’s a toddler running around.
No Worms for These Birds
We do not set alarms in our house unless we have to be somewhere specific early in the morning. Well, my husband does because he works outside the home, but the girls and I do not.
Waking up naturally is one of the reasons we decided to homeschool in the first place. When I worked as a teacher, I had to be at work by 7:50. And It was a 25-minute drive and I had to drop our daughter (only had one then) off at daycare before that.
Every morning was awful. I had to scoop her out of bed. She hated that. I had to put her in the car. Hated that, too. She was tired and grumpy when I picked her up. Her daycare provider was amazing…she was just tired from getting up early every morning and being rushed into her day.
So, we don’t set alarms. Sometimes the girls get up at 7:30 and sometimes it’s 9:30. I just heard some footsteps coming and it is 7:15, but I’m pretty sure it’s my oldest and she’s excited about VBS this morning.
We generally do a little lap snuggling when they first wake up. I’m usually at my computer working because I’ve found the most productive time to work is before the kids wake up (ground breaking, I know!)
Then, sometimes it’s breakfast and sometimes it’s play. I unload the dishwasher and might lay out a couple of worksheets at the girls’ seats (2nd grade and K) in hopes that they’re like “oooo, a worksheet, let me do it right now!” Sometimes they actually are like that, so I keep doing it.
When they get hungry I make breakfast and they generally do something at the bar while they wait. It might be reading a book for my oldest, playing (which always counts at this age) for my kindergartner, or coloring.
Our math is not what I would consider classical education. We use Horizons Math from Alpha Omega and I really like it. It’s just a workbook, but it’s a gentle progression, easy to skip some exercises if we don’t need any more of a certain topic, and it’s bright and colorful, which the girls love. It also has short lessons with a lot of variety every day.
Couch Time? Maybe
So, after breakfast, our typical homeschool day includes either playing more(while I do some housework), going to run errands, or reading on the couch. We might read from the Usborne Book of World History or the Usborne Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Natural World. Both are suggested in The Well-Trained Mind and both are excellent books to guide your elementary study of history and life science. We do follow the history and science schedule recommendations in The Well-Trained Mind and it’s working really well for us. You can read more about those recommendations here.
If we go run errands like the grocery store or something, then I will have my Kindergartner help get stuff from the shelves and my 2nd grader cross items off the list. This gives her great practice reading sloppy handwriting (yay for real-world skills!). I mostly try to keep the toddler in the cart seat, but don’t they just always want to “be big, too” and get out?! Then, she tries to help me push the cart and gets mad at me when I help her steer. Cue yelling in the grocery aisle (her, not me).
So, so far we’ve gotten some math and maybe history or science and some reading time.
All the Things
Since the girls are still so young, we are very flexible with our schedule each day. We do also study language arts, music (recorder), science experiments, and art. Lots and lots of art. We do a lot of crafts, but I’ve also started teaching actually art techniques to the girls and they really like that. Here are some of the resources we use and love.
I generally wrap up any notion of homeschooling after lunch. The girls might finish a worksheet from the morning or do a craft or (occasionally) a science experiment, but generally the afternoons are just playing and downtime.
The littlest is still napping sometimes, so I will sometimes let the girls watch a show from our homeschool profile on Netflix while I put her down for a nap. It’s usually some kind of nature documentary. Or they go play outside.
Then, we might play a game while J naps. Or maybe they watch TV the whole time and scroll on my phone. I mean, it just depends on the day, people!
The girls do like to help me get dinner ready, so we’ve been doing that lately in the afternoons. Then, when Daddy comes home it’s family time.
Who Moved My Perfect Homeschool Day?
Our typical homeschool schedule isn’t quite how I imagined it, but it works for us.
For each year, I pick out two or three big things I want each girl to focus on. Then, the rest of the stuff just kind of falls where it may.
For example, I want my kindergartner to know her numbers to 100, all the letter sounds, a few addition facts, and maybe a few sight words. So, if she doesn’t learn the water cycle, I’m OK with that. We’ll pick it up later.
My second grader, I want her to memorize all her addition and subtraction facts to 20 and improve her spelling. She picks things up quickly (except her math facts and spelling), so I’m not overly concerned about the rest. She’s naturally above the pack in most things, so she’ll get everything she needs with no issue.
My almost three-year-old, I’d like to her to know left and right, count to ten, and learn some of her letters (maybe). Really, if she just counts to ten, that’s fine, too.
There’s Still Time
I’ve learned that our typical homeschooling schedule for first grade and kindergarten are not going to look like the grand designs that I had in my head. And that’s OK.
As the girls get older, we will incorporate more subjects and do more in-depth studies. but, for now, their stamina just isn’t there. So, we play a lot.
If you have young children and you are worried that you’re not doing enough in your homeschool schedule, don’t worry. You’re doing great. You can always fill in the gaps next year.
Please share this post, so other moms can realize that they are doing enough, too!