A Day in the Life of Samantha, Homeschool Mama of Three
Hi there, I’m Sam! I was born and raised in Texas, but as of this year, Oregon is my new home. We are an apartment living family of six right now, with kids ages 9, 7, 4, and 1. We’ve been homeschooling since the beginning and I am having a blast learning right alongside my children. I’m a spontaneous, go with the flow kind of gal, and that definitely translates into our homeschool life. You’ll find us most often gathered around the table drawing and reading, or out exploring the magical woods of the PNW. I’m looking forward to hanging out with y’all as I give you a glimpse into our day.
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Good morning from the West Coast!
We are just barely getting up over here. Half of my family takes a while to wake up and reach functioning capabilities, while the other half is usually good to go right away.
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This is probably going to be a 2 lattes kind of day, as my youngest woke up several times in the night. Anyone resonate? I do. I’m nursing her as I type, and trying to come up with a game plan of how I’ll distract her when I try to get up and make some coffee. The girl could nurse all morning if I let her.
We do a very low key breakfast most mornings with yogurt and toast. Then once we kiss daddy goodbye, I gather the kids around the table and we dive into Bible. Right now we are in the middle of the book of John. Previously we’ve mostly read from some quality children’s Bibles, but now we are working through a readers Bible that gives us the full text in an easily understood and readable format. The kids are loving it.
What about you? What is one of the first things you dive into in the mornings?
R E A D A L O U D S
They are a huge part of our homeschool and something that is built into our daily rhythm. The power of story draws us closer together as a family, it ignites the imagination, it teaches us character and life lessons, and is just one of life’s simple joys.
These are some of the books we’ve read aloud this year and have really enjoyed. Today we finished Pinocchio. Everyone declared it their new favorite. The story of a wooden puppet making one foolish, selfish decision after the next, but finding redemption at the end, reminding us that none of us are ever too far gone to turn things around. It was a sheer delight!
I had my kids draw a picture of their favorite scene as I finished reading and they all struggled to choose just one. My oldest drew the second picture displaying multiple scenes. Now, we will see if our library has the movie, as none of my kids have ever seen it. But inevitably they will declare it doesn’t come close to the book. Because let’s be honest, movies never do.
What has been one of your favorite read alouds? How has reading aloud shaped your family or your homeschool?
C O D I N G + M A T H
My two boys, especially my oldest, have taken a huge interest in coding and animation. So, I do what I can to help them learn and grow in that area. Since I’m pretty clueless about that stuff, we’ve found great FREE resources online. About a year or two ago, we started with code.org. They have fun little games that guide you through the basics of coding. Then you slowly move up to more complex things. Eventually my oldest was ready for something more. So now he uses scratch.mit.edu on Wednesdays and Thursdays. He can use guided tutorials to create games and mazes or he can create and design his own games and animations. Our libraries carry some wonderful coding books as well. So he loves to check those out to work on more tutorials and ideas. He’s well on his way to his dream of being an animator for Pixar!
For math we started with Singapore, but are now primarily using ctcmath.com with a side of Singapore. The lessons are super straightforward. We tested some other online programs before deciding, but in the end, everyone preferred the simplicity of CTCmath. My oldest has struggled a good deal with math, which led me to look into other options. Within a month or two of our switch, he had improved so much! And now that he gets his main math lesson from the computer (something I never thought I’d do), there’s less friction and no more tears.
Confessions of a type B homeschool mama…
I rarely have a plan. (Please don’t hurt me type A’s. ?) And we don’t exactly follow a curriculum.
Sometimes an idea pops into my head or an interest sparks in one of my kids, and we just dive in head first. Our next course of study often comes together when I’m at the library flipping through books.
Our mushroom study happened that way and we are enjoying taking our time becoming familiar with this mysterious fungi. We like to use the blank books from Target’s dollar section to make themed books. So the kids have been working on theirs which they titled, Mushroom Mania and Mushroom Madness. And they loved the whimsical style of the book on the top right so much, that they chose to do their books in that style as well.
This go with the flow approach isn’t for everyone. But one thing I’ve learned is that the more acquainted you are with your own personality, the easier it will be to find your rhythm in this whole homeschooling gig. I used to ignore my personality and tried to fit in what I thought was the box that I *had* to fit in. But I quickly realized that only leads to burnout and frustration (for me and my kids). So, I finally embraced my spontaneous side and our home and school have been happier for it. That’s not to say I don’t recognize my weaknesses and areas I need to grow in. It’s simply busting out of the box, embracing your strengths, and making your homeschool your own.
Learning with Games
Another big part of our homeschool is games. Whether it’s making up our own or pulling one of these out, when learning is fun, it sticks all the more. The kids will often even request one of our “learning games” for family game night. These are a few we have right now, but you should just see my Amazon wishlist.
Do you use games in your family learning? What are some of your favorites?
Thank you so much for following along!
It has been a pleasure sharing a day in the life with you all! The homeschool community is something so special. We cheer each other on, share ideas, and inspire one another in this journey.
To the experienced homeschool mama, keep at it. You know this gig comes with plenty of hard days, but you also know that this is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do in your life. Those children are a gift to you, and you dear mama, are a gift to them.
To the mama considering homeschooling or just starting off, you can do it. Don’t dwell on how ill prepared you feel, how scared you are, or how to answer your neighbor when they ask about socialization. Instead, remind yourself who knows your children best and who will always have their best interest at heart. Because one day you’ll look back at the start of this whole thing and you’ll see just how much you’ve all grown. And I think you’ll say, that it was all worth it.
Thank you so much to Samantha for sharing their family’s day with us!