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 Chantel, former teacher, turned homeschooling mom on the Canadian prairie.
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!
Chantel @intentionalhomeschooling is a former teacher turned homeschooler. She lives with her family on the Canadian prairies where they enjoy cozying up with a lot of good books and warm blankets.
Chantel loves books and even has a YouTube channel (Chantel Reads All Day) and an IG account @chantelreadsallday where she talks about books she has been reading. She describes their homeschool as an eclectic mix of interest-led learning, unschooling and a dash of Charlotte Mason.
Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life
The start of our day has really changed (multiple times) in the last nine months! My older kids (11 & 8) have started sleeping like teenagers and it’s often just been me and the little ones in the morning. Then last week our youngest foster child was reunified so it’s just me and the 3 year old these mornings.
I like to use this time to charge my battery for the day. Spending time reading the Bible (I’m currently reading through the Gospels and then plan on reading through chronologically starting in December) and drinking a cup of cocoa is how I like to start. I also have a line a day that I update each morning where I write something that happened the day before and I can look back to see what happened on that day years previous. And I usually try to squeeze in a chapter of my current non-fiction book.
This is also a time when I get some online work done. I have a couple different websites and YouTube channels so this is when I can create content, do some editing, reply to comments, etc.
Some mornings also see me driving for an hour as I bring the little guy to family visits. He’s currently visiting pretty much every other day so I drive for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon to pick him up.
I usually let the big kids sleep as long as they want, though if it’s 10:00 and I still haven’t seen them I will go down and make sure they are still alive and ready to get going with the day.
Recently we’ve been in a season of what I call “minimalist homeschooling”. This is where we are doing things in a way that makes life easy for me. For us this is because we have been in a season of both our foster littles having lots of visits and transitioning home. For many others this season happens when adding a new baby to the home or some unforeseen circumstances occur.
How minimalist homeschooling has been looking in our home:
Weekly List – I’ve been making each of my kids a weekly list on Mondays and for the most part they get to choose when they do things. This eliminates the constant asking what they need to do next and has helped them learn how to space their work out throughout the week (there have been a few hard lessons where a LOT of work was left for Friday but it’s been a learning process).
More Independent Work – As my kids are getting older I’m also just giving them more work to do independently on their own. I do miss some of our together time and I do hope to pick it up when we are in a bit of a different season of life.
Khan Academy – This is our first year doing any kind of math program or curriculum (*gasp* I know) and we are using Khan Academy. It’s completely free and has video lessons and then goes into practices and quizzes. While neither of my kids love math this has been working very well.
Poetry Tea Time
No matter what season of life we are in I always try to have a weekly poetry tea time. Though for us, there’s hardly ever tea, we lean more towards hot cocoa with the odd tea. Today it’s chocolate milk because we’re flexible. I do usually try to make something special for this time. Today it’s a mix of gluten free chocolate chip cookies.
Usually I start by reading a variety of poems. The deal is that no one is allowed to start in on the dessert until the first poem has been started. For some reason the kids love this.
We have a fairly large collection of poetry books that has been grown over time. This is in large part thanks to thrift stores. I actually shared a YouTube video awhile ago sharing some of our favorite homeschooling thrifted finds as well as tips for thrifting homeschool stuff.
After I’ve read some poems usually I get a chance to snack while the kids read. I always make them read a poem or two (or more if they want!). They tend to lean towards funny poets like Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky. Every now and then I’ll tell them at least one poem they read can’t be a funny one, just for some variety.
They have favorite poems tagged in our books and some times a kid will read the same poem for a few weeks in a row. I’m fine with that, because repetition is good. I hope they grow to like poetry, both the silly ones and the serious.
We kick the afternoons off with quiet time for everyone. This gives me some time to do some reading or work that I need to do. Sometimes the kids have a bit more school work they need to finish, but usually they are just doing some quiet activity alone for awhile.
We are a house of mostly introverts so this is a good recharge time for all of us. This is when the creativity of my kids really shines.
Nine out of ten times you will find them listening to their audiobooks and playing with Lego during this time.
That being said, we are very fortunate to have friends who homeschool and live near us so it’s also common for my kids to be off playing with friends all afternoon!
Every evening looks different here. Today my kids had to do their weekly paper delivery. We usually all go along for a family walk and today was our first real snowfall!
Some evenings see us gaming together as a family. We like both nerdy board games or Stardew Valley.
The older kids have been going to bed later this year. The eight year old goes to bed around 10:30 and the 11 year old, who knows? 😂 She goes to bed after me. She spends most of her evening reading and writing. She’s working on a novel she wants to get done by the end of the year.
Okay, thanks for having me today, it was fun sharing our day! You can find more of my homeschool stuff over at @intentionalhomeschooling. If you like to read I share a lot of what I’m reading over at @chantelreadsallday.
Thank you so much to Chantel 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.