Here’s a snapshot of our family as of today, to give context – no-one’s family life is every going to look the same and one of the thing that shapes our family life is the people in it. Our family consists of: Peter – who flies out and about the countryside being a vet on cattle stations (I won’t be including his day as he is gone sunup till sundown). Myself: woman who loves God, wife, mother, homeschooler along with many other roles. Joshua, 21yo: student, works with garden maintenance and tutoring, volunteers with Scripture in Schools and Youth (boys) Bible Study and does Taekwondo. Jessica, 19yo: student studying Business admin externally, works with tutoring a homeschool family, part time office assistance and volunteers with Youth (girls) Bible Study, plays piano, runs and enjoys crafts. Naomi, 17yo: homeschool student, passionate about art and drama, works as an ironing lady, volunteers when she can where she can, plays soccer, runs and makes people laugh. Daniel, 15yo: homeschool student, writes stories, reads, enjoys working with wood, works at maintaining our large yard, does Taekwondo. This of course, is only a snapshot of what our kids do with their days.
We have our day broken into key blocks of time – the sequence of these blocks have been consistent from the time I had little kids (before homeschooling even) though what we do in these blocks and have varied.
- Early Morning – personal responsibilities
- Focus time – study, work
- Afternoon – discretionary time, to be used productively
- Evening – family time, relaxation time
We start our day at 6.00am though often I am awake around 4.30-5.00ish. I enjoy these few hours of quiet, mostly to myself. This is when I think, read, pray, write, and sometimes create.
Since our kids were around 15yo I try and step back from requiring a bedtime and waking up time, and instead give them the responsibility to get enough sleep in order to meet their responsibilities. Sometimes we work together on a time that best suits their needs, other times they are completely responsible themselves. When our kids were young they were all awake by 6.00 and in bed by a set time.
6.00-8.30am – this is our early morning block and the focus is our personal responsibilities: get dressed, tidy bedroom, breakfast, exercise, chores, and personal Bible reading time (devotions).
On this day (Wednesday) Daniel woke up around 5.30 and asked if he could was a DVD till 6.00 – but then we both got wrapped up in the story and it went till 7.00. Jessica woke at 6.30ish and went for a run. Josh also woke around that time – he keeps to himself in the morning. When Jess got back she told us that a wallaby we thought had possibly drowned in our dam last week was now bloated and floating. Not nice considering this is our house water (not drinking – and it does go through several filters!) So we asked Josh to remove it for us. He came back stinking and we had a little conversation about the unclean laws of the Old Testament. A bit later on I caught up with Josh about some of the discussions he is involved with online, and with Jess too about this and that. One reason I set aside this much time for our morning routine is that it allows room for relational conversations though we have to be careful not to chat our mornings away. Nomi woke at 7.00 and started her day promptly.
8.30 – 2.30 is our Focus time and at the moment we are in a season where study is our main focus. This part of the day varies for myself, Josh and Jess but for Naomi and Daniel it is all about study.
This day (Wednesday) Jess went to work, Josh studied, and I worked in my office after I made sure Naomi and Daniel were on track with their studies. I came and check in with them every hour or so to see how they were going. We are currently going through a re-evaluation time where we are checking our habits, and the amount of study the kids are doing – is it too much or not enough?
Naomi starts her focus time with writing up a to-do list (she uses an app called any.do), Daniel uses a paper list I have typed for him. During Naomi’s piano practice she got dizzy so took a book to bed and lay down for a bit – this certainly puts her ‘behind’ her plan, but she did take one of her subject books so used her down time well. The dizziness ended up leaving so she could get on with her day.
I had a talk with Naomi about getting through her Math-U-See. She has been working on every page going for 30minutes each day. I have previously worked out a ‘if / then’ chart for Daniel’s math based on getting a 80% or great mark and moving on so I shared that with Nomi. Hopefully that will encourage her in her Math as she gets bogged down a little. Daniel questioned whether he was really learning his geography so we had a spot review and he saw that he knew what he had been learning, so that was an encouragement.
Just before lunch Joshua left as he had a Scripture in Schools class and then a tutor class later in the afternoon. Naomi cooked Daniel and myself lunch and then kept on with her studies, as did Daniel. After their studies finished (around 2 – 2.30) they both drew for the afternoon.
Their study/subject list looks like this:
Daniel: Bible study, Math, Writing, Science, Geography, Guitar, Spanish, Reading
Naomi: Bible study, Math, Writing, Digital Art, Shakespeare, Piano, Italian, Reading
Afternoon/Evening: During the afternoon I had a conversation with Daniel about different ways he could learn to draw – leaving him with some choices. I also caught up with Nomi about ways to tweak her routine to fit both with her body clock and family life.
Jess came home around 1.00pm and I headed into town. I catch up with a prayer partner once a week, and then caught up with a lady from church. I raced home, to pick up Naomi and take to her piano lesson. Jess usually has a piano lesson as well so she does the driving, but today she had an online lecture that she needed to be home for. I took a little bit of school prep to do while waiting for her. We are good friends with the piano teacher, and since I hadn’t seen her for a while we stayed for a bit of a chat before ducking into the grocery shop for a few supplies.
When we arrived home Jess had dinner almost cooked, which was a lovely surprise. Joshua had taken Daniel into Taekwondo, but didn’t stay himself as he is in an exam week. Which meant after dinner I drove into town again to pick Daniel up. Wednesday nights it is usually just Jess and myself home (the boys have Taekwondo and Nomi has soccer after piano lessons) so we have what I call a ‘working’ dinner – Jess and I take this opportunity to either work at our desks or scrapbook together. Tonight Jess worked, Naomi drew and I watched TV (till I had to pick up Daniel).
7.30-9.00ish… is a time where everyone tends to disperse and do what they have to do: get ready for bed, prepare for tomorrow, relax.
This has been a long post – and if you have got this far, I hope you have not only seen a glimpse into our day, but maybe gleaned something that could be helpful for you and your family in your days as well. I think the one thing that is consistent in our homeschooling highschool is the conversations we have throughout the day – it may be conversations about what they are learning, how they are learning, or conversations about topics that come up or goals that the kids have in other areas of their life. It seems like we are always talking!
Another thing that is obvious after consciously thinking about our day is that we learn all around the house!
Linking up with ihomeschool Network’s Not-back-to-school-blog-hop: A day in the Life