Saturday, 13 January 2018

A Typical Day?

This year I am taking part in the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair, which is hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds.

This is the second week, and the topic is Our Method of Homeschooling.

I'm often asked what a "typical day" is like for us. The truth is, that though there is a clear pattern to our days, and certainly a high level of consistency, there is still quite a bit of variation day to day and week to week.

Nonetheless, this is the broad pattern that we follow (for now!). All timings are aspirational, and therefore approximate:

6:40 a.m. Our alarm goes off. Usually one of us will go for a run and the other will deal with children and make breakfast. We both aim to read our Bibles before breakfast - but will make time later in the morning if we don't get enough peace and quiet for this first thing.

7 a.m. The children get up. They all have a chore to do, and their Bibles to read, and to be up and dressed and so on by breakfast.

8:15 a.m. Breakfast time, followed by family devotions, led by Michael.We have learned from experience that cooking breakfast helps the children get through the morning better, so we often have eggs or pancakes or porridge to sustain us.

8:45 a.m. Reading aloud. I aim for one Christian book, one fact book (art, history, science etc.) and one fiction book. At the moment, we are reading a simple encyclopedia called How Things Work, a book on church history, Hearts and Hands by Brandon and Mindy Withrow, and the fourth book in the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson: The Warden and the Wolf King

9:15 a.m. Book Work Begins. The day's work is written in my diary, so they can all check what they have to do.
The Diary of the Day's Work

Everyone starts with a set of 20 mental maths questions, then they begin their core work for the day. They all begin with maths and English, usually starting with maths. My 12 year old is allowed to choose the order he does his work, and at the moment prefers to start off with Writing with Skill. My 8 year old has caught up with his 10 year old brother in maths, so they are sharing a text book and have to take turns doing maths first!

Some of my 12 Year Old's Books

This section is a mix of subjects where a child will need my attention for the whole lesson, and those which they can complete on their own once I start them off. I am usually trying to make sure that everyone can keep moving without having to wait for my attention for too long - so it can be quite intense for me at this stage of the day!

10:30 a.m. Break time. Time to pause for 20 minutes before a small snack and continuing...

11 a.m Back to Book Work. We'll spend most of the morning on our book work. By this time, the boys will have moved on to stuff like Latin or Greek, and I might have a bit more time to do some spelling work with my 6 year old. If we've had a slow start, or an unproductive first half of the morning, we'll just try to catch up a bit so that there isn't too much left of these core subjects for the afternoon.

12 noon Time for a (reasonable length) walk, usually. Sometimes we go to the park, sometimes we'll have a quick walk and some extra playing time, and once a week we usually meet another family for running in the park (for those who want to), followed by a picnic lunch.

A Walk in the Woods

1 p.m. Lunch time.

1:30 p.m.  Set reading. No talking, just reading for half an hour. I read too if I get the chance.

2 p.m. Piano practice and coding or touch typing for my older two. Anything left from the morning for my younger two, or a chance for an extra Bible lesson for the two of them while the older two are occupied.

3 p.m. and on... This slot in the day is the most fluid. Sometimes we're done, and everyone goes to play. The older two will probably have something left to do. Often we will do history or science or art in this slot, or cooking or seeing friends or other extras.

Time for Art

4 p.m. and on... Sometimes there's still a bit to do, but usually most children are done by this stage. They're allowed a small amount of computer time (10 minutes each, but they are allowed to do this in pairs so it's 20 minutes in practice), and half an hour of TV at some point before or after tea depending on how long it takes them to tidy up and so on.

6 p.m. Evening meal.

7 p.m. All the children get ready for bed around this time. My 6 year old has her Bible read to her, and sometimes an extra story before she has lights out soon after 7. My 8 year old and 10 year old read their Bibles themselves, then are allowed to read to 7:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. respectively (my 10 year old needs more sleep than his siblings!).

My 12 year old doesn't go to bed til 9 p.m. He sometimes does half an hour of work in the evening. He knows he has this time available, so might choose to save something for this slot, or use it to get ahead a bit.

That's the basic structure, but there are often changes that need to be made. We have our home education group fortnightly, which takes a big chunk of time on a Friday. Towards the end of term, if everyone is tired I let them sleep in a bit. Some days we need more time outside, other days everything gets a bit fraught and we spend more time with our books. There are trips out and other planned interruptions, as well as unexpected disruptions.

The basic structure helps to keep us in order even when it all goes a bit pear shaped, which is really positive.

I need to remember that a day that doesn't go exactly as I planned isn't necessarily a disaster!

What do my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about their Homeschool Method? Go visit them to find out!

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 15th.
How Our Academic Co-op Completes Our Eclectic Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
A Method to Our Madness by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Finding Our Homeschool Method by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
How We Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Give Us.... by Annette @ A Net in Time
A day in our Home by Sarah@DeliveringGrace
Lit-Based Education: How We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter
Overhauling Our Homeschool - Adjusting our "How" to fit our "Why" by Sabrina Scheerer @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ
A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler: Expectation Vs. Reality by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
How Charlotte Mason Transformed Our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Captain's Log, Supplemental - Our Homeschool Days by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
How we get it done. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
How to Organize Daily Curriculum with the School Cart by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Learning For LIfe by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Eclectic Homeschooling: When It All Comes Together by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
A Typical Day? by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
This is the Way We Do Our School, So Early in the Morning by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
A Little of This and a Little of That: Eclectic Homeschooling by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
Still Classically Educating After All These Years by True North Homeschool Academy
So what exactly is Life Led Homeschooling? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
The way we learn ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Our Homeschool Routine by Joelle @Homeschooling For His Glory
Homeschool Methods – 8 Tips for the Journey by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset


  1. it does doesn't it? help to have some order to the day when things go awry.

  2. Thanks for sharing about your schedule. It is an encouragement to read of what is working for others - food for thought. - Lori