Homeschooling Day in the Life: Celeste, Homeschooling Mom of Three in the Pacific Northwest
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 Celeste, homeschooling mom to three children, living in the Pacific Northwest!
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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Celeste @tansies.and.toadstools is a homeschooling mom of three, living in the Pacific Northwest, and has been married to her husband for nine years.
She loves hiking, reading, writing and handicrafts, and enjoys a good coffee all day long (hello Seattlites!)
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Celeste describes their homeschool as eclectic, interest-led, and adventure-based.
Good morning Learning Well community!
Wake up call for me is anywhere between 6-7 usually. I don’t usually set any alarms, it’s just my habitual, internal clock and because I have littles (one who doesn’t sleep through the night still) I take as much as I can get, and do a little happy dance if I can manage to wake up before them all.
First things first:
Coffee, go through the planner and make a list of things we want to cover for the day. (School, home, errands and activities)
Then I grab a book, Bible, or if I’m honest, my phone, and wait for pattering feet or the sweetest holler for “Mommy?” you’ve ever heard.
Sometimes these mornings are smooth and seamless. Other times I wake to crying, soggy diapers, bad moods and don’t really get any quiet time. It’s okay, you just keep going, do the next thing, and we still look forward to coming together at the table for breakfast.
That’s a given. Anyone relate?
Lesson time looks different for us every day, but we try to hit all the same basics for some routine and consistency. We use an actual curriculum with workbook pages for things like math, handwriting practice, and phonics/spelling. I’d be lying though if I said there wasn’t push back in that area. This is why we hold loosely to the curriculum, toss out the recommended schedule , and use it in a way that works for us!
Kind of a rule of thumb lately has been: a math lesson, read and be read to, and write something nice. All other subjects we group together. History will often times be combined with an art project. Science is done with our nature study, or chasing after some rabbit trail. And this consumes the majority of our “school time”.
My four year old has some Pre-K activities and workbooks that he sometimes works on during lessons. Sometimes he will practice writing, sit through a read aloud, or just play with his little sister. Little sister is busy, curious, and a no-limit soldier, so it’s been interesting trying to balance this circus lately. It’s a season–low expectations, and tons of prayer.
Bible is also foundational for our family, but we don’t start with any formal reading in the morning, as that looks different everyday. (See previous post ) We are involved in our local AWANA club, so we work on verse memorization daily, and my oldest comes to Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) with me so there is daily study we work into our lesson time, which we either start or end with. It’s been a blessing to have these programs, and helps keep us in the Word daily!
After we’ve gotten some structured learning time down, ie: something tangible and written that I can show my husband, the kids all take a break and play. I prefer them to play outside if it’s nice, but what they must know is that this is “mommy’s time” to shower and get a couple house keeping tasks done before we go anywhere. This way it isn’t so overwhelming to deal with in the evening.
This is one thing I haven’t mastered, or even semi-figured out. Having a homeschool style that is outdoor and interest-led means constantly trying to balance structured lessons with unstructured wonder-seeking, while being home enough to keep it standing.
I have to admit, hospitality is not really my gift. If you showed up unannounced, my house probably wouldn’t look anything like my Instagram photos but you will find sure signs of creative play and undisciplined habits.
We are working on implementing the kids keeping their rooms clean, they feed the animals, and they put their laundry away. I know this area of life will improve with time, as they grow and their capacity expands, but for now baby steps and small victories are my reality.
One of the best tips I’ve gotten so far is to save all your appointments, errands, and outings for the afternoon to allow for smoother mornings and less rushing. I’ve found when I don’t do that and we have to leave immediately, our school day takes a back seat and likely just gets dropped.
What are you still fine tuning in your rhythms and routines?
While the babe naps, it’s time for ALL the handicrafts, painting, clay-molding, and creative arts!
We love to be a part of our nature group’s Handicraft Fair which happens twice a year (spring and fall).
Currently, we are working on peg people with acorn caps, and making pendant necklaces from the obsidian rocks we collected on our summer vacation.
In the past we’ve done:
Salt dough ornaments
“Stained glass” jar vases
Herbal infused bath salts
And so many others!
It’s been so fun and rewarding making and selling our work and it teaches that spending a little extra time for quality work is invaluable and so very appreciated.
Spending Time Outside
My favorite and most crucial part of our homeschooling lifestyle is the time we spend outside. After reading Adventuring Together, by Greta Eskridge and There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather, by Linda Akeson McGurk, I was forever changed and making outdoor time became a priority.
There just isn’t a more natural and organic environment that breeds learning better than feeling the wilderness around us. It’s the kind of things you experience and can’t just be taught. Spending time outdoors isn’t just good for our brains, but also our heart, health, well-being, and mood!
And while I agree, there is no better place to learn about our Savior than the pages of the Bible, just a glance at the sunrise or noticing the intricacy of a spider’s web reveal the majesty and design of our Creator. I hope I never get over it.
We aim to get outside at least for a walk or the park every day, but a hike a week is the goal here. Living here in the PNW region, it would be a travesty to not explore all these mountains, evergreens, lakes, the coast, and the plains. We seriously have it all! If you’re considering moving here though, you’re going to need a good vitamin D supplement and some serious rain gear. Because of our lack of sun exposure, Washington State has the highest rate of depression and ironically, one of the highest rates of skin cancer.
That’s A Wrap!
That’s a wrap! We just got back from AWANA. That means baths, a quick bedtime snack and maybe a book. Then it’s off to bed so Mama can have some time with Daddy, or since he’s gone, Jesus.
Thanks for being here. If not for this community, I don’t think I’d have chosen to homeschool. You all are so inspiring!
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO CELESTE FOR SHARING YOUR FAMILY’S DAY WITH US!
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.