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I get asked this a lot: how do you have time to homeschool, raise your kids, work, sleep, have a life, and not go insane?
I’m not entirely sure I’ve figured out the sanity part, but I do think that most days I have a good rhythm going. I work about 10–15 hours a week from home. I’ve said it before, but if I didn’t create a schedule, I would feel a lot less equipped to handle the chaos that comes my way every day.
I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about what it looks like in our home on a typical school day. So I took record on a Monday in August, the second week of our homeschool year. By then we had settled into our new routine for the season, but the excitement of new beginnings had worn off.
I’ll note that this was a pretty good day for us. No one was sick and there were no major disruptions to our routine. This is not always the case. However, I think having a good baseline like this day makes it a lot easier on the days when we get off track. At least we have a target to shoot for.
Are you ready to see inside my day (and my mind?).
A Day in the Life of a Homeschooling, Work-At-Home Mom
6:00 a.m.: My alarm goes off. Perhaps my three-year-old, Grace, heard it because she comes toddling into our room and climbs into bed with me. I decide there is no reason to rush through snuggling. She falls back to sleep in my arms, and I gently return her to her own bed before I get up and get dressed.
6:25: I go down to the basement and do a painful HIIT workout, courtesy of Kelli and Daniel from Fitness Blender. I mute the sound on the workout and listen to the Brilliant Business Moms Podcast. Today I’m listening to an interview of a mom who sells cute “baby turbans” and I can’t resist the urge to see what they look like once I’m done with my sweat-fest.
6:55: HELLO COFFEE.
I sit down and enjoy finishing up You’re Already Amazing by Holley Girth. I need to finish it before I meet with my book club tomorrow night. Words for the day: “What we’ve been talking about isn’t making our lives perfect. Instead it’s about learning to turn to Jesus when our hearts feel restless, to have the courage to be who he made us here and now no matter what, to cross the finish line into everything he has for us in eternity with a smile on our faces, knowing we ran well every step of the way” (p. 179).
7:15: I start a pot of steel-cut oats because I didn’t eat so great over the weekend and it sounds healthy. I’m grateful it’s still quiet in the house.
7:20: Oh, hello again Grace. I pick her up and we go back to the bedroom and do a little morning prayer with my husband.
7:30: I get Grace some cereal and yogurt and sit down at my laptop, rifling through emails, social media and news. My oatmeal is ready; I add yogurt, raspberries and pecans.
7:50: Those sleepy boys, James (age seven) and Jonathan (age five), are finally awake. They say goodbye to their dad as he heads out the door. I make them toast with peanut butter on it along with orange juice. They watch a few minutes of JellyTelly while I finish reading the news and eating lukewarm oats.
8:15: I suppose I need a shower. We all get ready for our day, although I realize that the kids have been goofing off while I was rinsing off. I look them in the eyes and remind them they need to stay on task and be obedient. They do their morning chores, which include making their beds, feeding the fish and unloading the dishwasher.
9:00: We start off our homeschool day on time! Small victory. We say a prayer and the boys work on memory scriptures; we take a quick look at our calendar. Next we do reading: the boys each pick a book to read aloud while the others listen.
Some people ask me how I manage to teach different kids different things. We try to stick together when we can (like listening to each other read); otherwise I just alternate between assisting them. Both of them can do a little bit of independent work, and if they are finished, they can find something to do (Legos are popular) while they wait. It works well because it breaks up the workday a little bit. As they learn to do more independently, they will have less down time. For now, Grace seems very content to listen to the books when she can or play with her toys. Occasionally I’ll give her a coloring worksheet or have her do ABCmouse.com for a few minutes.
We have some watermelon as a snack and alternate working on math. Then we do a little bit of Latin and we’re done for the morning! Soon we’ll have more work to do in other subjects once our spelling curriculum arrives (Mommy ordered it late, cough cough), and when our Classical Conversations group starts up this week.
10:30: The kids play while I prep our lessons for tomorrow. Then everyone cleans up.
11:00: We go outside and I decide I should attempt pulling some weeds for the first time in…a while. The kids ride their bikes around our cul-de-sac. I realize too late that the mosquitos are devouring me while I kneel in the grass. After awhile we are all red-hot and sweaty, and after a short stint in the shade we decide to give up on the whole endeavor. During some of the downtime sitting in the shade, I’ve managed to catch up on a few emails and social media.
11:45: I “make” lunch, which to the kids’ delight is leftover pizza (plus steamed veggies, so I feel like a better mom). I make myself a ham sandwich with a side of watermelon and carrot sticks. In between bites and bits of conversation I read through Building a Framework by Abby Lawson (highly recommended for bloggers who need a plan!).
12:35 p.m.: I pull out the vacuum and do the upstairs carpets. I’m sticking to my no-fail cleaning schedule this week.
12:50: I play dolls with Grace and the boys join in. We spend considerable time debating what the dolls’ names are.
1:10: It’s time to resume our schoolwork. I like to remind the boys that I doubt that kids in a school building get a 2 ½-hour lunch break. I help the boys with their piano practice and then sit down for a few minutes of English grammar with James. Then we all cuddle on the couch as I read aloud from Beverly Cleary’s Socks.
2:10: The boys have “quiet time,” while I read a story to Grace and then put her down for a nap. I don’t care what they do during this time as long as they don’t bother me. They are allotted an hour of screen time collectively starting at 2:30, which usually includes Minecraft for the Wii U and perhaps some ABCmouse.com.
This is my work time! Today I’m doing a mix of copywriting for a client and some blog work (seemed like a good time to work on this post!).
4:20: “Quiet time” has evolved into wrestlemania, and Grace is awake. I need to start prepping dinner, so I throw some rice in the cooker and chop up veggies.
4:50: We all head to James’ soccer practice. Hypothetically I could try to read, but Grace wants to me to push her on the swings and take selfies together. Priorities.
6:15: We’re home from soccer and I rush to make dinner. It’s family night, which means we need to hurry up and eat so we’ll have time to watch a movie! I throw together a new concoction, trying to imitate Chipotle burrito bowls.
6:50: Everyone sits down to eat. Fortunately the concoction turned out AWESOME, so that’s going on the “make again” list.
7:05: The kids FaceTime with their 19-month-old cousin while we try to hurry our cleanup efforts. I throw some chocolate chip cookie dough in the oven and my husband makes the best popcorn ever.
7:45: Movie time! Yikes, pretty late to start, but the kids and I are all in our pajamas so we can scurry to bed afterwards. Tonight’s feature is Rookie of the Year, because apparently we needed a 90s movie fix.
9:30: Weeeellll, it’s only a half hour past the kids’ bedtime (hopefully they’ll sleep in tomorrow?). We say prayers as a family before the lights go out. Marc and I spend time together catching up on the day.
10:30 Sweeeeeet sleep.
What a day! It’s a full life, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
So how does your day look like in comparison? I’m curious to know! If you want to catch some more of our everyday moments, I’d love to see you on Instagram!
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