A homeschool day in the life looks different almost every day, right? Over on our Instagram page, we love to give you a peek into lots of homeschool days regardless of how they change day to day.
Today, we’re going to give you a peek into the homeschool day in the life of Alicia, homeschooling mom to four kids and founder of Learning Well Community.
We can all learn and be inspired by one another, regardless of our homeschool approach. It’s not about looking good for social media, it’s about the connection going on inside our homeschool walls and sharing with others what works for us.
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We might all homeschool a little differently, but we can always look for ideas from each other that inspire, encourage and equip us in our own homeschool days. So each week we create blog posts for you to access later of each of those “days in the life”. We hope you keep coming back for more inspiration. Keep going, mama! These days at home are so worth it!
Alicia @overatalicias the founder of Learning Well and Learning Well Journal. She started doing DITL features years ago because there is so much value in getting a peek behind the curtain of a homeschool mama’s day. It lends insight and solidarity, encouragement and inspiration where isolation can sometimes make us feel like we’re the only one who struggles with certain things.
Alicia has been homeschooling her four kids for 14 years. Currently, their oldest has graduated their homeschool and she is homeschooling her 11th, 9th, and 4th grader.
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How We Start Our Days
Hey friends! I’m Alicia @overatalicias and I’m excited to show you what our summer day in the life looks like. Homeschool is technically out for the season, but a homeschool mom is never really off duty from teaching and training is she?
We’ve been homeschooling for 14 years and I’ve always loved the summer break for the extra time it provides to catch our breath after a long school year, tie it all up, and take some time to plan for the year.
We don’t have a specific homeschool style exactly, but I adore the teachings of Charlotte Mason and unit studies and hands-on projects. I have a few simple goals that I focus on each year: to disciple my children well, read great literature, and teach them to think critically. Everything I plan for our homeschool will revolve around those goals–or at least this is my aim.
We start our days with breakfast and Bible, usually reading through a book together plus the Proverb of the day. We take a few minutes to discuss and then I will ask a few questions from the Westminster Catechism. (We use Truth and Grace from Founders Ministries.)
My mornings usually look like this: A workout at the gym. I lift 6x/week and then try to get a walk in at some point later in the day. Before I leave for the gym, I set out a mini breakfast buffet for the early risers and then when I get home, I wake the sleeping kids and we sit down and do Bible together. Then I’ll start a load of laundry and get myself ready for the day. This routine carries on through the summer as well.
Our summer days are wide open. We have nearly nothing on the calendar. This is on purpose. We’ve had seasons of extreme busyness and it has burnt me out so much. When I am unable to properly care for my home, keep up on laundry, cook healthy meals, and take care of myself well–this is when I know we’ve scheduled too much.
SO this summer, I guarded our calendar and said no to many things. I want to leave space for spontaneous trips to the lake, crafting, and just being bored. I have found my kids to be the most creative and content when I haven’t overfilled their days and packed every week to the gills.
I try to have good resources on hand so they can grab things to do. Here are some of the things I keep at the ready for my kids to discover when they’re “bored”
– really good books of all kinds
– activity books
– Sudoku and crossword books
– scrapbooking materials
– blank books
– kits like KiwiCo, Annie’s Kit Club
– sewing machine and fabric
– paints and brushes
– jewelry making kit
Tying Up the Previous School Year
Summer is my time to tie up our school year and get planning on the next. With high schoolers, this is a tiny bit more involved, but I firmly believe that anyone can homeschool their kids all the way through graduation, so don’t let that deter you. There are a few things I do at the end of the school year to help things go smoother with my high schoolers.
* Transcripts: I have the high schooler’s transcripts saved on my computer. At the end of each school year I fill in the courses they finished and the grade they earned. It takes about 10 minutes and then whenever they might need an updated transcript, it is ready to print and go.
* Class Descriptions: This is a document I create just in case. We likely won’t need it but I like to have it for my records. It’s just a Word doc with a list of courses my high schooler just completed with a description of everything we studied, the books he read, and any additional projects or field trips they did alongside the course.
* School Year Recap: From the beginning of our homeschooling, I create this recap sheet just for my own records. It’s just a list of books, topics, field trips, and any other details I want to remember from our year.
* File: I am not a saver, but I do save a few things and file them away. The best art projects, writing projects, and hands-on projects. The projects usually are “file” on a shelf.
Teaching Everyday Skills
Our jobs as homeschool moms stretch well beyond academics. Of course I want my kids to be able to work an algebraic equation or fire off history facts. But they also need to be functioning adults, which is really more my focus in our homeschool. They each have chores, some of my kids have jobs and they’re helping me with projects all the time.
When they leave home, I want them to be able to manage their money, cook healthy meals, take care of their things well, do laundry and be confident in those everyday skills that we sometimes forget about while focusing so hard on if we’re choosing the right curriculum or not. Tonight these two are cooking dinner because I got busy. Their learning, joking together, AND serving the family. Winner all around.
End of the Year Art Show
At the end of (mostly) every homeschool year, we host an art show to show off what we’ve learned that year. This year the kids just displayed their reports and shared them with Dad and my oldest son. They read their reports, answered questions, and got to show off a little bit. I packed it all away today but not before we got to relish in our hard work for the year.
Connecting With Your Big Kids
Because it’s summer and because I have big kids, (20, 16, 14 and little Vera is 9, so she’s still small to me), our days look much different than when they were all small. But even still, I want our family unit to connect despite the job schedules and friends and activities.
• We eat meals together. Not always all six of us but whoever is home at mealtime is sitting down together.
• As parents, we give up sleep for conversation. Big kids have big questions. And usually that happens at night.
• This is a bittersweet time. They need us but they’re getting very adult-ish. It’s hard to find your footing as a parent sometimes. I’m just storing up all these moments with them in my heart. Because I know soon enough my house will feel bigger and bigger as my kids move on. And I will miss the bustling house. Treasure every season, friends. They’re all hard. They’re all really really good too.
Thanks for following along today 💕 find me on my personal feed @overatalicias.
If you want to see more Day in the Life photos and videos, be sure to check out our Instagram profile. There are highlights of each takeover at the top.