To write an article detailing what I do during a typical day is a difficult task. In some ways, it is much more difficult than actually stepping through my typical day.
When we talk about homeschooling, the idea is that we not only want to know what mom is doing but also what each of the kids are doing at any given moment.
That’s why it gets complicated to write it all out. And when I do write it all out I can see immediately that it looks much more complicated than it is.
So let me just step back and focus on myself for a moment. You will see how the kids are woven into my life, but you won’t see everything they are doing because they are all so capable of doing so many things without me. They don’t need me to hold their hand through every subject anymore. (Yay!)
A Typical Tuesday for this Homeschool Mom
7:30 I get out of my room…my alarm goes off at 7:00 and at some point, I get up and get myself ready for the day.
I make sure all the kids are up and if my sweet culinary artist has not already brewed the coffee then I do.
Then I sit and drink the coffee. I may also pet the dogs if I am not feeling too grouchy. I don’t wake up easy. A kid may crawl onto me during this time…yes they are big and hardly fit on my lap but some of them still try and I will let them until my bones ache, then I ask for my space back. I know I will miss being crushed when the last one stops doing this. Right now I still have four who randomly take turns being the crusher. (Which means the only abstainers are the 14 and 16-year-old boys.)
8:00 I pull out a book and read aloud to everyone. We just finished the Hobbit, so of course, we are on to Lord of the Rings Trilogy next. Yes, I still read aloud to my 16-year-old if it can be shoved into the schedule in any possible way. I will drop other ambitions in order to make the space.
8:30 I have to stop reading. Time to drive the 16-year-old over to college.
9:00 I am home and have a cleverly placed blank spot next to my name on the schedule. I can have some breakfast if I am hungry. Or read. Or write. Or force myself to take some sort of pic to post on Instagram. I am horrible at using social media, but us bloggers are required to use it if we want anyone to find our website.
On a very tired day I may just pour another cup of coffee.
9:30 I teach spelling to my 8th grader, this includes some writing/composition time…I just call it all spelling right now, it’s easier that way. The fifth-grader is doing math next to me and I will help if needed.
10:00 I teach spelling with my 6th grader. Now the fourth-grader is doing math next to me.
10:30 I teach spelling with my 5th grader. This takes all my attention, this kid and spelling don’t get along. But he loves putting practice words into a poem or silly sentence and he learns them much faster after he has used them in his own composition.
11:00 I drive over to pick up the 11th grader from college.
11:30 I get home between now and noon…nothing scheduled…I like to leave little gaps to breathe in my schedule.
12:00 I eat lunch…this is our big dinner of the day, this is prepared by 3 kids, on a rotating schedule. Of course, I couldn’t cook dinner when I was out chauffering.
My job as mom is to make sure everything gets done, not to do it all myself.
12:30 I help/teach French to four of the kids (the other two, who are not studying French, clean up lunch).
Tuesday is our long French day, we take an hour to watch a video and chant the new vocabulary for the week.
1:30 I teach spelling to my 4th grader.
2:00 Am I done? My schedule is blank here.
2:30 I might sit in while my 9th and 11th grader work through some high school writing assignments. Or I may just ignore them.
3:00 I may have those high schoolers read me what they wrote…this will undoubtedly make me laugh.
Laughing every day is a daily goal of mine. Check.
(I only have them read me assignments once or twice a week.)
Wait, What? How Can My Life Possibly Be So Easy?
Because I planned it that way. But remember, kids do tend to interrupt and need help with various projects so it isn’t quite as peaceful as it looks on paper.
Of course, my day isn’t done yet, this is just my afternoon refuel and respite time before I start my evening chauffeuring. Dinner is leftovers and casual…I try to eat something in the late afternoon because once I leave the house I will probably not be back until 9:30 p.m.
On a Tuesday I take three kids to Musical Theatre practice at 4:30, I bring my laptop and jazz shoes. I stay at the studio and write until 7:00, then I go to my adult jazz class for exercise and fun.
(My husband picks up the youngest 2, who are now done with classes and brings in the oldest 3, who start at 6:30)
At 8:00 I am done with dance, and probably just ‘done’ with the day. I sit and chat with other moms who are waiting or read something on my phone while I wait. (It could be a book, articles, or social media, depending on my mood.) Oh, and my middle child (yes, we have a middle even though there is a perfectly even number) is done with class and waits with me. She may have a lot of things to tell me, so I may just listen to her for most of the hour.
9:00 I drive the four oldest kids home.
I might need a snack. I will sit and watch something with my husband. We did see each other at the performing arts studio for 30 minutes during the crossover of kid drop-offs and picks ups.
We ignore the kids. The little two are in bed and the rest are famished from singing and dancing, they will eat what they need to and then head to bed.
Tomorrow won’t be that much different from today.
My schedule might look simple. Or it might look exhausting. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that I make it what it needs to be so that I don’t burn out. It is important for a homeschool mom to love the life she has designed.
What About All The Other Subjects?
You may be wondering how I get away with so little direct teaching instruction. Well, I have taught my kids how to learn and they are older now. They don’t need me for every subject. I pick resources and curriculum that they can work through themselves and I am here if they get stuck or have a question or just want to talk about something interesting they have learned.
Not every day is the same, for example, I do join the oldest three for lessons in Economics, but we only do that twice a week.
What About Chores?
Oh, yeah, I forgot, I do sneak in a load of laundry on Tuesdays. That is my laundry day. Everyone else has their own laundry day when they take care of their own laundry.
My other main chore is driving them all over town.
Everything else is delegated.
You know what? My kids don’t mind doing the housework so mom has time to drive them around and read-aloud to them, and have gaps in her schedule to stop for conversation and connection.
Of course, if you have littles, your day will look very different.
It almost feels like I am cheating to stop here. How can this be a day in the life homeschool post when I didn’t tell you all the things the kids were busy doing all day?
But I think it is important that I stop right here.
Because sometimes as moms we forget to step back and take an objective look at all were are attempting to do. Yet we set the tone. If we are overworked, burnt-out, and grumpy, our kids will be too.
When we look at our own schedules we tend to fill in every little blank space. We think it is okay to do that. But it isn’t. Blank spaces make schedules maintainable. A schedule crammed to the brim will fall apart quickly.
This is my schedule on Tuesdays for two reasons. One, it is all I can do, if I try to do more I will burn out. I need those empty spaces to breathe. Two, it gives all of my children everything they need to grow and flourish. What else matters?
I am joining other moms on the Timberdoodle blog team to share what their days are like. Check it out.