If you’ve ever wondered what Alicia’s day in the life looked like, look no further. I’m going to show you today. You might already know that we do a weekly day in the life feature on our Instagram feed and a couple of weeks ago, it was my turn to share.
Our house is crazy and we have lots of layers…preschool, 4th, 6th, and 10th grades We’ve been homeschooling for 10 years. I’m going to share our busy, noisy day…minus the noise, because, pictures are awesome that way.
Alicia’s Day in the Life: Not Morning People
I’m not a morning person. I want to be, but it’s a struggle. Even after a good night’s sleep, I’m still prying my eyes open with toothpicks till about 10am. Lucky for me, my kids aren’t morning folks either—it’s 8:30 and they’re still out. The girls will be downstairs soon and I’ll wake the boys soon too.
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I don’t crave my morning alone time like I did when the kids were tiny, but I still love this time alone just to have a few minutes look over my list for the day (I make it the night before), and have my first cuppa jo in peace. Today I did a yoga practice too which was extra nice. This is the time where I do a few quick little work items too—write a post outline, send a few emails, post something to fb.
We’re not morning people. We’re more middle-of-the-day people. Mornings here are slow. I used to feel guilty about this. But I’ve learned to embrace it and enjoy it.
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If you struggle with mornings, I wrote a post with 100+ ways to have a good homeschool morning.
Someone recently told me, “Vera has to start Kindergarten next fall.” Why this person was so adamant, I’m not sure but it made me really think about Kinders because up until about a month ago, Vera had ZERO interest in learning anything. She was learning on her own of course, but to ask her to sit with me even for a few minutes and work on letter sounds or numbers?
Not gonna happen.
I kept trying here and there and handing her play dough or some scrap paper to cut up while I worked with the bigger kids when she balked.
All of a sudden, she wants to learn it all! She still has a rather short attention span, but while we work together, she’s 100% in it. We use Hooked on Phonics pre-K right now, the curriculum I used to teach my other kids to read.
I work with her first thing so she gets filled up right away in her day.
If there’s one thing my kids have taught me through homeschooling, it’s that it all works in its own time. My self-imposed deadlines just cause stress.
Technically Vera is almost kindergarten age. I don’t purchase a K curriculum or make a lot of lesson plans for this age either. I gather lots of fun supplies to have on hand and use them as inspiration leads. This approach has been most successful for us at this age: low expectations, zero comparisons, loads of reading and hands-on activities, oh…and plenty of educational TV. Not embarrassed of that. (But I slightly embarrassed of my weird claw finger…what is up with that?)
Table Work in Our Homeschool
While I work with Vera, the big kids start with math. I’ve almost completed outsourced this. Noah (10th gr) uses Khan Academy geometry online while Jack (6th) and Sophia (4th) listen to Nicole the Math Lady explain their Saxon lesson via video course while I’m nearby to help with any math anxiety attacks. These online tools have helped immensely this year!
Click here if you want to know more about Nicole the Math Lady. (Spoiler alert: I love her!)
Homeschooling Teens: Why Academics Aren’t the Most Important
Teenagers. I’m no expert on parenting teens and my poor Noah knows he’s my Guinea pig baby and is currently teaching me everything I need to know about parenting.
For high school, Noah is currently working on six-ish credits this year. I’m not a stickler about counting hours and keeping perfect records. #hateme We just do school like we always have. He does a couple of classes with a co-op, one via internet and the rest with me or on his own.
One of the things I love most about homeschooling is learning all together! At the same table, sharing conversations, helping each other. I love that. High schoolers definitely want to pull away a bit and establish their own identity. I love that and I totally get it. But I still make sure we gather ‘round the table for something at least once a day.
In a world of CLEP, PSEO, ACT, SAT, LMNOP…I have a hard time with it all really. There’s so much clout put in all these numbers. But I refuse to put my kids’ worth in scores and applications. The parent peer pressure can be reeeal…”What college courses is YOUR son taking?”
I don’t know. And I honestly don’t care. But if my son is happy, kind, and loves his life, I’m good with the rest.
Homeschooling and Finding Your People
We didn’t get a ton of “school” done because we hosted baking club today. I didn’t think to get a photo till after a couple friends had left, but you get the idea.
Three years ago when we moved to Minnesota, I missed my NC friends so badly. We quickly joined a homeschool group. Even though we didn’t know anyone, we went every week to chess class and gym and I’d read my book and engaged with the other mamas when it felt right. I was particularly drawn to this group of three ladies. They were fun and funny and I needed some mama friends. So, I made the ask…”Would your girls like to start a book club with Sophia?”
That was almost three years ago. Our book club has morphed into a baking club too and these ladies have become some of my closest friends.
It doesn’t always work that way. I got lucky. Sometimes it takes 2, 3, 4, or more times to find your people. But you can’t wait for it to come to you. ”Friends Wanted” posters probably isn’t the best approach. But watch, observe, your people are out there. Find your tribe. They’re waiting for you to be brave too.
PS: Vera’s so jazzed to be part of the club today.
I know this is a sensitive topic for many of us. Being a hs mama can be LONELY! If you’re finding yourself in a season like this, I have more words for you.
Reading Aloud in our Homeschool
At night, we read. This could have something to do with our late-morning tendencies but I’m not willing to give it up.
Sadly, Noah lost interest in reading about 1.5 years ago. He has a solid foundation of great literature and so many hours logged reading that I have no doubt he’ll come back to it again. For now, I’m choosing fun grown-up books I can read just with the boys. Jack loves everything so he’s fine. Noah doesn’t love our read aloud time but he appeases me and we almost always end up talking about things or laughing about something else…usually my attempts at the French in our current read. It’s a sweet time and I’m glad I’m “making” them do this with me.
Alicia’s Day in the Life: Sweet Nighttime
Bedtime, folks. It’s late. Again. I crave the quiet at the end of the day and always milk it a little too long.
At the end of the day I always (meaning 75% of the time) do a few things: make the coffee so it’s ready for tomorrow (I lie, Jarrod does this), fill in kids’ assignment notebooks—they love knowing the plan, and jot down list for myself for the following day. I think this helps me sleep better. I wake up knowing what to do. Every single thing is listed. Even “coffee and journal,” even if I only actually journal once a week. Crossing things off makes me feel good. It’s like my own personal chore chart, preschool style.
And tomorrow we’ll do it all again. Same dance, different day.
It’s been an honor sharing our day with you. You’re the best people on the internet and I’m so flattered you took the time to follow along.
I didn’t show you everything though. I didn’t show the part of my day where water was spilled on the computer, I yelled, made someone cry. And I didn’t share the part where I texted Jarrod to tell him I was so mentally exhausted from all the demands I was sure I was melting into a puddle of goo. I left out the part at baking club where I let maple syrup boil over and harden into a sedimentary rock on my stove. Or the fact that I fed my children scrambled eggs for breakfast AND dinner.
Thing is, there’s no way to share it all. Our days at home are so full of everything and nothing all at once, it’s impossible. But I have a feeling you already knew about the crying and plate tech-tonics on the cooktop, because I bet your house was a little like that today too. We’re not different, you and I. We’re a whole lot the same. And that’s why I created these weekly takeovers. Because sometimes we just need proof—there’s somebody out there just like us.
Alicia’s Day in the Life, a week later, video style 🙂
About a week after posting this day in the life takeover, we had a whole Learning Well Community takeover in IG stories. I compiled all the video to show you what that looked like. There’s a bit more “behind the scenes” in the video. All the links mentioned in the video are listed below.
- The Notorious Benedict Arnold
- Nicole the Math Lady Review
- Our List of Great Shows and TV
- Vera’s Sibling Preschool
- How we do History Unit Studies
- The Men Who Built American: Frontiersmen
- How I Created my Planner Video
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE:
- Kara’s Day in the Life
- Shannon’s Day in the Life
- The Hardest Parts of Homeschool (that no one likes to talk about)
- Lazy Girl’s Guide to Getting Up Early
- Learning Well Community’s Homeschool Curriculum Directory