Homeschool Day in the Life: Darby, homeschooling mom to two, and full time professor

Day in the life Darby

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 Darby, homeschooling mom to two girls, who also works full time as a college professor.

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!

Meet Darby

Meet Darby

Darby @darbyhawley has been married to her college sweetheart for almost 13 years. They live in TX with their two children, ages 5 & 6. Darby never would have expected to be a homeschooler, and yet she has shocked her younger self, as a delighted homeschool mama.

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Her homeschool philosophy is a hodgepodge of Charlotte Mason, Montessori, & unit studies. She likes to “cherry pick” her favorite aspects from these approaches to incorporate into a lifestyle of learning.

Darby loves Jesus, reading, gardening, cooking (and eating, of course), coffee, & chocolate.

Morning + Coffee + Jesus

Good morning Darby

Morning y’all! That’s how we greet friends in the deep south, & we’re friends now. I’m Darby from @darbyhawley, and I’m excited to visit with you today and give you a little peek into my world. Anything I share with you today is NOT something you should be doing. I’m simply going to share what is working for us right now. Honestly this schedule could all change next week.

In our house everyday starts with coffee & Jesus. From the beginning of motherhood I knew that I would need those things, and training commenced. My children are to stay in their room until 8am, where they can “read, sleep, or play quietly”. I give them that reminder every night before they go to bed, and this helps to remind them of the house rules. Not only does this give me time to start my day with those essentials, but I’m also modeling for my children the priority of being in The Word everyday. I get up at 6:30am and get myself ready for the day and read. My kids usually get up around 7:15am, get dressed, and read in their room. At 8am we’re ready to start the day!

Breakfast + Family-Style Learning

family learning

While my kids are eating breakfast, we do bible time, devotions (right now we’re learning about the Beatitudes), and scripture memorization. After they eat we sing our selected hymn of the month, and clean up breakfast. We will then start our “Morning Basket,” which isn’t really in a basket anymore, but is just what we call morning time. This is mostly family-style learning of content subjects (e.g. geography, history, art, music, nature, etc.), but we also do some skill work review for each child. The skill work is always a review of reading, writing, and math, targeting to where each child is in those subjects. This takes us from about 8:00am-9:15-ish, and then my kids head outside to play for at least an hour.

Household Catch Up

Day in the life Darby

Up until this point, our days all start the same. After our morning time everything is different and it depends on the day, the seasons, and the semester. Sometimes we will dive right into afternoon lessons, while other times I will dip out to teach a course at the university. More times than not though, I will prep for the afternoon, lay out books, prep dinner, take care of the garden, clean up, or answer emails.

Rhythms + Read Aloud

read aloud

We don’t have a strict schedule, except on Tuesday when we have dance and ninja classes. For the most part we have rhythms. So after playing outside my kids are usually ready for a big snack because it’s around lunch time. I use that time for read alouds. We always sit on the living room floor with a big pile of picture books. These books are usually curated to go along with our content subjects that we learn about family-style.

Skill Work Lessons

Skill work

After our book time I will work with each child individually for their skill work lessons. Whoever I am not working with is having their quiet time. I work with my oldest first, and while I’m working with him, my daughter is usually napping. She still needs a substantial nap in the afternoon.

Based on what my son is learning, he would be in the second grade in the public school system, so we spend a couple hours maximum going over reading, writing, and math. My goal is NOT to match what the school system is teaching. That would defeat the purpose and personal goals of homeschooling. Instead, this is our time together to focus on where he is in those areas. When we finish early, we climb into my bed to read together.

Then my kids switch. My son will read or build legos in his room while I work with my youngest on skill work subjects in the school room. She is young and does not need a lot of school work, so this lasts, at most, 45 minutes. I like to have these pockets of time to work with each of my children. I will eventually combine them I’m sure, but for now I really cherish these moments of connection with each of my children individually.

Poetry Tea Time

Poetry tea time

When my youngest is done my kids always want poetry tea time. I would say we probably do this three times a week. In all honesty, it’s not always poetry or tea for that matter. ? Sometimes we just read together over hot cocoa. Sometimes we take an art class or work on a handicraft project. The snacks are sometimes homemade, and sometimes an apple dipped in peanut butter. Lately, since we’re cherishing the weather before it gets too hot in TX, we’ve been dragging a quilt outside for tea time. 

After tea/hot cocoa time, the rest of the day seems to fly by. The kids go play outside for the rest of the day, but my schedule gets busy. If this is not a night where I am teaching, or the kids don’t have dance/ninja class, I get busy with dinner, answering emails, prepping for the next day’s lessons/activities. Dinner is on the table at 6, and the kids are in bed at 7:15. I read to them our “chapter book” until about 8pm. I will spend time with hubby before he goes to bed, talking or watching a show. When he goes to bed, I have what I call, “second morning”, and I work, catch up on emails, prep, and clean up. I am typically in bed around 1am, but I’m trying to get better at that. Then we start all over the next day!

Thank you so much to Darby for sharing your family’s day with us!

Day in the life Darby

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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