Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Day in our Homeschool Life

6:50 am - The radio clicks on and I lie in bed, struggling to keep my eyes open. Surely it isn't time to get up already.

7:10 am - I  listen to the news then finally drag myself out of bed, empty the dishwasher, eat breakfast, quickly check emails and then go and start the exercises the physio has given me to try and keep my vestibular system from malfunctioning too badly. Only Dh is up yet and he isn't feeling anymore awake that I am!

8:00 am - Mr 19 is out of bed. I ask if he has a 9 o'clock class and he flicks me  a knowing grin. There is no way he would be out of bed this early if he didn't! We hardly saw each other yesterday since he was still in bed when I left the house and was gone by the time I returned . He didn't get in until after midnight by which time I was asleep.  So we chatted about the latest happenings at work, how the board game evening he attended  went, and he vented about his least favourite university course (the lecturer's teaching style does not mesh well with his preferred learning style). Miss 16 is also up and is busy grilling herself some stonefruit for breakfast.

8:30 am - Miss 22 is out of the shower so I say a quick good morning and then claim the shower for myself. Once I emerge I soak some laundry, chat with Miss 16 as she tells me about our cat's behaviour and how it ties in with the concept of single stimulus learning which she read about in her animal behaviour course yesterday. I also chat with Miss 22 about her plans - turns out she has two health psychology labs to teach today. She only started this teaching assistant job last week and I'm still learning her schedule.Then I get very domesticated and even do some ironing.

Miss 16 has just started using her whiteboard to keep track of her week's work. She likes the visual reminder.

9 am - I settle down to read today's entry from The Harvard Classics in a Year which both Miss 16 and I are reading. As I'm finishing up Miss 16 appears from her room to tell me she's finished with her vocabulary and wonders if I'm free to do grammar with her. We do this orally and it only takes 5 minutes or so. (Confession - I planned to do this with her a few years ago but forgot so we are whizzing through it now as a quick review.) Today is a review of phrases using sentences from Tolkien. She then moves on to statistics and I stay close by since she likes me to check her answers as she goes, rather than risk misunderstanding something and getting the entire problem set wrong.Today she understands the concept perfectly but we experience a few technical issues since we don't have the spreadsheet package the course provides instructions for. Still, she tinkers around and makes good progress.

Statistics. Not a favourite but it will be useful for her at university and beyond since she's planning a career in zoology/ornithology.

10 am. I head off to clean the bathroom and laundry while she settles down to read Huckleberry Finn, her current choice for literature. Fitting housework into the day is much easier than it was when I was homeschooling four younger kids.

11 am - Miss 16 takes a break from Huck Finn to bake some banana muffins. She's at the gym four days a week from 3:30 or 4:30 until 9 pm so needs a snack while there. We always struggle with ideas (I joke the reason we homeschool is because I could never come up with packed lunch she'd need for school!) so I'm glad she has a plan - for this week at least. I settle down to type up a letter of support for an acquaintance whose ex-husband is challenging her right to homeschool. They go to court next week and she needs letters testifying to her competency that she can show the court.

12 noon - A changing of the guard as Mr 19 returns home from university, just as Miss 22 is leaving to head there. Miss 16 makes lunch - soup along with cheese on toast since it is unseasonably chilly today - and then the two of us watch a video about birding in China.

Miss 16 is a keen birder. Watching a video isn't as good as being in the field but since we aren't likely to get to China any time soon it was a pretty good substitute.

1:30 pm - Video over, Miss 16 returns to Huck Finn and I start preparing and par cooking  beetroot risotto for tonight's dinner. Mr 19 and Dh head to university. Dh has been working at home this morning. Once she's finished the novel Miss 16 resumes work on an essay about the movie Emma which she started yesterday. Once I'm finished with the risotto I handwash a load of dishes .

History reading

2:30 pm  - Miss 16 has finished her essay and has moved on to reading this week's chapter from her history book. I hop on the exercycle while listening to a podcast. I'd rather walk but the rain puts me off.

3 pm - We watch a quick crash course video on Huck Finn and then she goes off to write a summary of the history chapter.

This Crash Course video was a good, quick once over of some of the themes and issues in Huckleberry Finn.

3:30 pm - Miss 16 starts getting ready for the gym . I read.

4pm - Time to head to the gym. She drives there and reminds me to stop at the supermarket on the way back since we are out of bread and milk. We're always out of bread and milk! In three months time, assuming she passes the test, she'll be able to drive without supervision. My life will feel strange without several trips to the gym each week. It's been a staple of my life for at least six years now.

4:30 pm  - I'm back home and ,while I'm sure there are plenty of things I should be doing, I opt to sit down and finish my book, Laurie Frankel's This is How it Always Is. It's definitely thought provoking.

5:30pm - Miss 22 arrives home and after checking how her two labs went I let her know I'll be able to pass the book on to her in  a mere 28 pages. She's been keen to read it once I finish.

6:00pm -  Miss 22 and I eat dinner, Mr 19 arrives home and finds some leftovers in the fridge. He isn't a fan of risotto. I check emails and catch up with the day's news,

7:45pm - I decide to squeeze some yoga in now. I like the videos from Yoga with Adriene.

8:45 pm - I head back to the gym to collect Miss 16, after first having a quick chat to Dh who arrived home while I was practising yoga. I grab a book - Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk -  so I can read if she is late out.

9:20 pm - We arrive home. Miss 16 drove and we chatted about the class she taught, how her training went and other trampoline related matters. She grabs her dinner, watches something with Dh, checks in with social media and takes a shower before bed. She'll probably read in bed before trying to sleep. I'm glad we homeschool so she doesn't have to get up at 6 or 6:30 am for school tomorrow.  I take my book and head straight to bed where I'll read for half an hour or so before lights out. I also remember to flick a text to Mr 24 checking some details about when he and his girlfriend and coming to lunch and any dietary restrictions she has. I'd hate to cook something she can't eat!

All in all a pretty good day. A  fair amount of academic work got done but  there was lots of home as well as school and we still had plenty of margin in our day - just as I like it.

It's interesting to see how my days have changed over the years. Here's one from 2016 , one from 2015, one from 2014,  another from earlier in  2014, and lastly one from 2013, my first year blogging.

Linking to A Homeschool Day in the Life


  1. Oh I love a day in the life posts! Would love to write one again too, but not sure I have time or energy just now. We'll see!

    I am reading that same novel (This is How it Always Is -- my hometown, so bizarre to read a book set here).

  2. Excellent day! Thanks so much for sharing. I can relate a bit as I homeschool a 14-year old and have two young adults currently living at home (one attends the local university, the other is on break).

  3. I'm on the cusp of having young adults in and out of home, so I enjoy peeking into my future via posts like this. Thanks for sharing!