Homeschooling Day in the Life: Danielle, veteran homeschooling mom to two children
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 Danielle, veteran homeschooling mom to two children.
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!
Danielle @yourfavoritehousewife is a mama of two—one adult daughter, a homeschool grad 💪, and one son, finishing his final year of home education!
Danielle began homeschooling, apprehensively, in elementary school due to public school difficulties, and their family never looked back. Educating at home is something this family never dreamed of doing, but once started, couldn’t fathom any other way to do life.
Danielle describes their style of education as eclectic, leaning heavily on good books read together and real life, with lots of art and creative projects in the mix.
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Good Morning! Danielle @yourfavoritehousewife here to spend our homeschooling day with you.
Most of my day probably looks quite different than yours if you’re schooling multiples or little ones. Hopefully what I share can be a Light-At-The-End-Of-The-Tunnel of sorts for some of you that currently find yourselves in the thick of it.
We like to start our days slow. Dealing with chronic health issues has taught me to be gentle with my body and to rest when I can. If I need to sleep in, I have the freedom to do that, and I’m thankful.
I’m also a firm believer in letting teens sleep. While I do see value in early rising, I prefer to let them operate in a way that feels most comfortable to their natural sleep/wake cycle. And that means later starts to our day.
So regardless of whether I’m up early or need the extra rest, I always get my morning quiet time with coffee and some reading. Then it’s time to turn on a theology podcast, make my bed, and get ready for the day.
Once my son is up and ready for the day, I usually like to give him a list of his responsibilities.
At 17 years old, he’s very self sufficient, but I still prefer to make my expectations clear and have us both be on the same page. His job is to manage his time well so that everything gets done.
Helping around the house has always been a HUGE priority in our schooling. Chores teach important life skills, foster independence and confidence, give kids an opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the family, help combat entitlement, and prevent boredom.
My son is responsible for his room and the main bathroom, his own laundry, taking out the trash, helping with dishes, and making sure our chickens have what they need. In addition to his chores, he’s always willing to pitch in with home projects and unexpected issues, like changing a tire.
I’m thankful for the opportunity that home educating gives us to develop important life skills.
The Joy of Sharing Books Together
Around noon most days, we head to the dining table- our “school room”.
My favorite part of educating my children at home has been the joy of sharing books together. In fact, most of our learning has been done just that way- by sharing good books together around the table.
I will miss these days so much, but for now, we continue to read a short bit aloud each day.
Currently, we are working through The Heidelberg Catechism during this time, which I highly recommend. It makes a great daily devotional of sorts.
Pictured are some great books we’ve read aloud through the teen years.
What about independent work? What does it look like to do high school in an unschooled sort of way?
I’m glad you asked.
After many years of formal art and music lessons, these subjects now look like exploring and creating with the skills already acquired. Whatever gaps exist, YouTube and Google more than make up for.
Cooking is a similar story. I’ve had my kids in the kitchen with me practically from birth. We have a couple cookbooks for my son to find recipes in, and each month is a new category requirement- meats, fish, breads, grains, cookies, pies, etc
Career Exploration includes internet research on possible future jobs, looking at potential income, daily responsibility, requirements, and challenges. Each month, one career is the focus of a small assignment- a Career Fact Sheet, an Info-graph, a written explanation – whatever; anything to present some of what has been learned.
We squeezed in a good portion of California high school graduation requirements during freshman and sophomore year, so much so that junior year was skipped and senior year has been quite a breeze. Aside from, Cooking, Career Exploration, Music, and Art, my son does Bible Study using materials from The Daily Grace Co, and Creative Writing, which we’ll talk about later!
We started the year with a Creative Writing curriculum, complete with teachers manual. I should have known. Structured, rigorous, and thorough curriculums have their place, but not in our homeschool. Both teacher (me 🙋♀️) and student were miserable, so by February, we ditched it and went with something more fun and organic.
I could tell you exactly what we are doing now, but that would be missing the point.
The moral of the story is that you have freedom to discover what works for you. Structured or loose, formal curriculum or pieced together. Mid year changes. Extended breaks to pray and reassess. Ditching what isn’t working doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you smart- take advantage of this homeschooling perk. When something stops serving your family, switch it up.
Wednesday evenings are for Youth Group. Which means Date Night for dad and mom! If you’re married, it’s so important to maintain a connection with your spouse, even during the most exhausting homeschooling seasons, and date night is just one of the many ways to carve out time 💛
Before I sign off, I thought it would be fun to share with y’all what my two children appreciated most and least about our homeschooling journey. So I asked them and here’s what they said:
One kiddo loved most the flexibility with scheduling, especially in high school. Being able to plan out how the day goes for yourself is a huge perk. Another kiddo appreciated being able to study their specific interests and do lots of creative projects.
Both felt that their lows were the lack of community, not being in an official homeschool group for much of their education, and struggles with maintaining friendships. The older my kids got, the more they saw their community shrink as public school and packed schedules took over for many old friends. That isn’t the case with every homeschooler, but it is a part of our story.
Thanks so much for following along with our day! Catch me at @yourfavoritehousewife for more on motherhood, theology, and real life.
Thank you so much to Danielle 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.