Homeschooling Day in the Life: Alicia, Veteran Homeschooling Mom to Four and Founder of Learning Well Community

Day in the Life Alicia

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, veteran 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.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!

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Meet Alicia

Meet Alicia

Alicia @overatalicias, is the founder of Learning Well. She’s a homeschooling mom to four kiddos and has been married to Jarrod for 20 years. Alicia’s oldest graduated homeschool in 2020 and she’s been blogging about their journey for about 13 years.

In 2016, Alicia launched Learning Well Community and IG account with the purpose of highlighting homeschool moms from around the US and beyond for weekly day in the life takeovers in order to glean inspiration, wisdom, and encouragement.

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In 2021, Alicia launched Learning Well Journal, an extension of her online encouragement but in print form. The quarterly magazine focuses on faith, family, home, and homeschool and helps moms love their life at home serving their families well.

Alicia’s approach to homeschooling has always revolved around God’s word, rich literature, unit studies, and piecing curriculum together to fit her family’s needs.

If I Knew Then, What I Know Now

Day in the Life alicia

Twenty-three years ago, if Alicia Warren could’ve had a peek into the future at Alicia Hutchinson, she would have never believed her eyes. She would’ve never believed her future self would be a homeschooling mom to four driving a mini van and she also would never have guessed how happy and content she’d be with that life.

It’s actually one of the coolest things about life isn’t it–that we make plans, God laughs, and we’re so much happier than we could’ve ever planned for ourselves? I’m so thankful my plans didn’t turn out. God is so good to not give us what we want, but what we need.

We just wrapped our 15th year of homeschooling. I’m excited to show you what a DITL of a homeschool family with teens (and a 10yo) looks like these days. It used to look a little different–much more regimented and routine (more on that later today). Today our schedule is looser, but the foundation for our learning style is the same– God-centered, family-centered, rich literature, unit studies, and flexible.

Summer Learning

Summer Learning Alicia

Summer has just begun in our house, but there are always signs of learning over here, no matter the time of year. My kids are 21, 17, 15, and 10. My teens have their daily Bible reading–just a proverb or Psalms each day, they’re still finishing their history text, they’re both studying for a CLEP test this summer, and we’re working through Everyone’s a Theologian too. (see stories for a link to all our curriculum this year)

This summer with my 10 year old, we’re working on solidifying those math facts– solidarity to those who still need to count fingers on those 8’s facts. We feel you!

So yes, it’s summer break, but there is definitely a little summer schooling going on in our house. This needs to be done first thing so that a) it does get done! and b) we can enjoy the rest of the day! No one wants to be sitting in front of the computer when our time in the sunshine is so limited here in the Midwest!

Summer school line-up looks a little like this:

  • Daily Bible Reading (this is more of a daily discipline, not really “school”)
  • CLEP test studying
  • High School History text
  • Driver’s Ed
  • ACT test prep
  • Everyone’s A Theologian (as a family)
  • Math fact practice
  • Individual reading
  • Read Aloud

Our Daily Rhythm

Our typical day looks like: a short quiet time for me + the gym, morning meeting for everyone around 9:30, individual subjects while I work one-on-one with Vera (10), afternoon quiet/ teens jobs, evening time: dinner/walk/read aloud as a family.

I’ll be honest, I found things much easier to manage when my kids were all smaller. Even though it was more taxing physically, parenting teens and trying to keep some sameness and routine while having deep conversations and teaching deep topics is a whole other kind of taxing. It’s fine. As with the days of sleepless nights with babies, I know this season will pass as well. However, it’s taken a long time for me to accept a life that has less of a routine. Sleeping later in the morning, running to and fro to jobs, friends, and activities, the late night conversations that you know are too important to end–it’s all been a big learning curve for me.

A few things I’ve learned with teens and routines:

  • Some things are sacred–like dinner time–and should be held in high regard. I make sure we aren’t too busy to eat as a family
  • Morning Meeting, no matter the age, can be done all together. The older kids will balk. But it’s worth it to continue to start your day together. They can do individual subjects later, but to start the day together with Bibles open is the way to go.
  • There is a lot going on in a teen’s mind and body. They need sleep. They need to talk. They need you more than ever. Expect less sleep. But also help them to be healthy– good boundaries, good habits.

An Afternoon Break

Afternoon Break

No matter the age, we all need a little breather in the afternoon. Many days, after school is done and lunch is put away, we all head to a quiet corner to study, read, check emails, or just rest. A homeschooling family spends a LOT of time together. This is a good thing! But even a good thing needs a break.

Today while everyone is being quiet, I’m folding laundry and writing.

My kids are studying for the ACT, reading The Scarlet Letter, and reading a book from her summer reading pile. After this, my girls will practice piano–their recital is tonight!

Juggling All the Things

Juggling Alicia

I get asked a LOT how to handle all the homemaking, homeschooling, and everything else that needs to be done in a day. First, as American moms, I think we try to juggle way too much. When our kids are involved in three sports at a time, and we’ve said yes to 23 extra curricular activities, everyone is burnt out! Remembering that busyness is not a virtue. It is okay to make it a goal that our weekly schedule will allow for two full days that our car doesn’t leave the garage. This instantly creates more time.

Next, developing simple routines is key. Start school at the same time each day, simplify the meal plan and plan a whole month of meals at a time. You could run all errands at once–maybe Saturday mornings–and get groceries for the whole week. Maybe have a light day of school on Fridays and clean that day with the kids’ help.

Paring down the schedule to only things that are really necessary for our families, and developing simple routines will help a lot with the constant juggle!

Our Day Comes to an End

End of Day

We’ve finished dinner, our recital, and showers. It’s time to cozy up for bed…but not before a good book. I am so incredibly thankful for my kids. My young adult son is a delight–he texts me the sweetest (and funniest) messages, and he helped me find my purpose in life. He truly makes me proud every day. My teens are amazing, and so funny! They are confident in who they are, and such a joy to teach and learn with every day. And my youngest, little Vera. God knew I needed a little Vera. She is my bookend, my little one that I get to relive all the fun books and projects with one more time in our homeschool. I can easily get caught up in the heavier lifting of our homeschool–the college courses and heady subjects–and it makes me really miss those younger years. But then God reminds me to take every day a little slower and be thankful for my sweet girl who I get to do all those fun things with again.

So tonight, just her and I, are reading some of the last chapters of Little Britches by Ralph Moody. This summer, we’re planning to read Caddie Woodlawn and taking a day trip to go see her house! Then we want to read The Penderwicks too–a book I read with my older kids, but she was too little to remember.

For next year, she and I are heading back to the Ancients in history. I’m pulling out some of the most fun things I did with my oldest to do again with her. It’s such a gift!

So whether your kids are older or still very young…whether you’ve been homeschooling for 20 years or 2…the advice I’ll leave you with is this:

This life is a gift. Every day does not feel amazing, but we can still be thankful for it. In the midst of struggles to read, hard conversations with teens, issues with friends, fractures in our marriages…it is still a gift. God entrusted *you* with your kids–not another woman, not the state, no one else but you. You are the very best person for this job of raising your precious children. Be thankful. This is such a good life.

Day in the life Alicia

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.

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