And that’s how far in we are: ten years.
It’s an interesting thing because I’m exactly at the midway point. Ten years down, ten to go.
Maybe I’ll think of this as a scrapbook. I want to remember what is was like. We always think we’ll remember, but we always end up forgetting.
I would probably be terrible at changing diapers since I haven’t done it in seven years.
Anyhow, here’s my school average day. Or at least, this seems to be my school average day … on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. Thursdays are co-op days and Wednesdays are my son’s Greek class, which also switches things up.
Please keep in mind that I have four kids that can all go the bathroom by themselves. This matters.
6:00 am Wake Up
My FitBit Flex wakes me up. This is because I hate alarm clocks. They make my heart race and I don’t like waking up in panic attack mode. I do normal morning things like wash my face, put on my contacts, and take my thyroid medicine. No one else is usually up and I head to the office by…
6:15 am Scholé Time and Possibly Work
I pray and read my Bible and a few pages of Augustine. I read with my commonplace by my side, but I may or may not make an entry. I don’t have a set amount of time for this activity. I usually read at least two Bible chapters, but sometimes I read more.
When I’m done, if there is time, I start working on Blog Things. This morning, for example, I spent some time editing a Scholé Sisters episode. Other times, I have emails to reply to. I do what needs to be done. I try not to get online much during school hours, so it’s good to check in before we start lessons.
7:15 ish Breakfast
Husbands have different ways of supporting the homeschool. The main thing mine does is make breakfast. Before he started doing this, I was getting up at 5:30 am! The extra half hour of sleep has been wonderful and I’m really thankful to him for it.
Husbands make very simple breakfasts. This means breakfast doesn’t take long to eat, which is fine with me because we roll right in to…
7:30 am Circle Time
Circle Time lasts an hour, but my high schooler usually departs before then because he has much to do, and sometimes online classes to attend.
Circle Time includes memory work, solfa singing lessons, grammar, science (geology right now), geography, Church history, picture study, composer study, and more. Obviously, we don’t do all of this every day. I have a schedule, but we’re still perfecting it.
8:30 am Math with A-Age-Twelve
This is a day in my life, remember? So I’m telling you what I’m doing, not what every single person is doing. Who knows what the high schooler is doing? He’s a responsible kid, so I don’t bother him. He knows where I am if he needs me.
O-Age-Nine and Q-Age-Ten are usually doing chores during this time.
For half an hour, my life revolves around math with my daughter.
Well, that and coffee. I love a hot cup of coffee in the morning, and I try to brew one while Daughter A. is working a problem.
9:00 am Year Three Work with O-Age-Nine
When he’s done with his chores, he’s supposed to gather his school supplies and books for our first session together. We head outside to our patio table and start lessons. I do almost all of his lessons outside because (1) I enjoy the sunshine and (2) this way my reading aloud doesn’t bother others in the house.
We do not have a school room.
This session lasts about half an hour, sometimes 45 minutes. I read aloud to him from an AmblesideOnline Year Three book, he narrates, and then usually we read a poem. I end by sending him off to do copywork.
9:45 am Check in with People
Usually by this time, I have gotten dressed. Because I work all the way up until breakfast, I don’t change before that. Sometimes I manage it before my work with Son O, but definitely by now. It’s funny; everyone else is always dressed. The only one doing school in pajamas around here is me. I don’t really love that, but it seems to be the most efficient thing for now.
As I was saying, this is check in time. Usually there are narrations to hear (or read). There are questions to field. Q-Age-Ten is pretty independent in math, so I often check her work at this point.
10:15 am Latin with Q-Age-Ten, Start O-Age-Nine on Math
This half-hour block is mostly devoted to Latin study. She doesn’t always need me, but I’ve blocked it out to be available. Before we begin, though, I start O-Age-Nine on his math. He tends to only need a few brief instructions to get him going. He is my math child.
If Daughter Q. doesn’t need me, and no one else does, either, I try to take a couple laps around the back yard and maybe check Voxer or social media. I start a load of laundry.
11:00 am Year Five Work with Q-Age-Ten OR Year Ten Work with E-Age-Fifteen
Daughter Q. is so entirely independent that I fear she will get lost in the shuffle if I’m not careful. I’m available to her during this time, but usually she doesn’t need me and my high schooler does. We walk a few more laps outside while he narrates. I’m within earshot of Daughter Q. in case she needs something.
Yesterday the sprinklers almost got us!
11:30 am Finish Up Year Three Work with O-Age-Nine
He’s reading a few books himself this year, so we don’t always do this, but many days I read aloud to him during this time. He narrates. I check his list to see what else (like a nature journal entry) he might need to do.
We finish by discussing why he cannot do something he really, really wants to do. I don’t know how he manages to think of a new thing to ask for every day, but he’s been consistent so far.
12:00 pm Finish Up Year Seven, Check in on High School
I spend a little more time with A-Age-Twelve, listening to final narrations or helping in some other way. After that, I alternate chores, lunch prep, and helping my high schooler with stuff.
1:15ish Lunch and Reading Aloud
Eating and reading aloud go hand in hand at our house. Right now we’re reading North! Or Be Eaten.
Other Things to Mention
- This year is going smoothly so far … so much so that I’ve asked myself what I’m forgetting! Everyone is finishing their lessons at a reasonable time, which has been so nice. You and I both know it’s so easy for the time to get away from us.
- I honestly cannot believe how much easier lessons are now that my children can mostly read everything for themselves. This allows me to spend so much more time in other areas that need it, like math and Latin … without feeling like I’m dying. Last year, I still had that dying feeling a lot. The year before that was the year I read everything aloud to three of my children. I’m glad I persevered, but I’m also glad that year is in the past.
- Putting chores into the school day was the best decision I ever made. I cannot work with every child at once. Chores need to be done. Why not have chores be something they can do while I’m working with someone else? We tried it; it works wonderfully.
- Everyone has to take a midmorning snack sometime after 10:00 am. I used to schedule it to be done together, but this year it works better to do it individually. They each come to a natural stopping place and then find something to eat. We started doing snacks years ago; Daughter Q. still collapses with exhaustion if she doesn’t eat midmorning; it’s imperative for our day that she do this.
- A magic question to ask is, “Is this worth interrupting a narration for?” So many times, someone walks up to talk without even realizing they are interrupting, so it pays to ask the question. Usually, the answer is no. School days are shorter when everyone waits their turn.
- The first three weeks or so of school are for perfecting the schedule. If it doesn’t work, keep trying. Don’t be discouraged. Keep track of how long things are taking and who is behind or ahead as knowledge of these types of details make it easier to decide how to adjust.
- Afternoons are mostly free, save for karate a couple days a week, and piano practice. One of my biggest priorities is for my children to have lots of uninterrupted time to play, read, and pursue their own interests.
- Are all of my children really working until 1:15 pm? NO. These slots — Y3, Y5, etc. — are set aside times where I can work with them if they need it. They don’t always need it. If they are done and there is still time left, that time becomes free time for their projects. Yesterday, everyone except the high schooler was done by noon — the Year 3 student quite a bit earlier than that.
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