There’s something I love about peeking into the virtual windows of other homeschool mamas and seeing how they make this thing work. Today I’m going to show you a look at the day in the life of homeschool mama Kara Fleck. If you follow along over on Instagram, you’ve probably seen our weekly feature, Day in the Life of a Homeschool Mama.
This feature is where one homeschool mama, each week, takes over the Learning Well IG account and walks us through her day.
Here’s what Kara Fleck’s day looks like, who shared her day on Instagram a few weeks ago.
Day in the Life of Homeschool Mama Kara
Hello, LWC! My name is Kara Fleck. I’m a small town girl, wife, mother, and caregiver.
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I create YouTube videos, hand knit striped socks, and To Do lists that are far too ambitious. We’re a family of seven – myself, my husband, our four kids, and my special needs adult sister-in-law.
We’re homeschooling from kindergarten through high school this year, kiddos ages six to sixteen. Each age has it’s challenges and it’s joys. Some days I balance it all better than other days, but it really is a lot of fun to get to do this.
I can’t think of anything else that fills my heart up in the same way or makes me as proud as watching my children learn and grow. I’m looking forward to sharing that with all of you.
Day in the Life of a Homeschool Mama: Morning Time
Good (cold & frosty) morning from Kara and company! For some reason, a steady morning circle time never has quite panned out for us in a natural way this year. I tried, but it just wasn’t a good fit.
However, this slightly haphazard ritual we’ve fallen into of eating breakfast (for some of us, second breakfast), watching CNN10 or listening to a podcast, setting up a Colorku puzzle to solve, doing bit of reading, and going over our individual assignment notebooks for the day is a very nice, comfortable routine.
We are together and then we ease into our individual lessons from here and it works for the early risers and the later ones. I liked the songs, stories, and finger plays circle times of past years very much but this is a pretty nice way to start the day, too.
We stacked our books together to show you what we’re up to today
After breakfast we dive into our day. We’re currently using Build Your Library curriculum as well as some classes from Khan Academy.
The kids are in kindergarten, third, fifth, and tenth grades. Six through sixteen means different children need different things from me, so my challenge is to do my best to balance it and make sure I’m meeting everyone in this family schoolhouse of ours where they need me to.
It is interesting to me to see their different working styles.
They each have an assignment book and some of the kids start with the thing they love the most and some have more of an “eat the frog first thing” approach and work from least favorite subject onward, saving the favorite for last.
Which means one of my kids starts with math because they love it and one of them starts with math to get it done and over with. As long as all the boxes get checked, I let them self direct their schedules.
A Day in the Life of a Homeschool Mama: School Time
My high schooler is pretty independent, although she still needs occasional guidance from me.
My younger three all need a lot from me at this stage, and the truth is sometimes that challenges me. If we have a hiccup in our day, and today we’ve had a couple, it’s usually related to there simply not being enough of me to go around. That can be true outside of homeschooling, too.
But the goal is peace, not perfection.
Together, we’ve come to a place where we know that patience FOR ALL is the name of the game. Mom will get to you, but you might have to read or work on a puzzle or do something else while you wait.
We’re sharing resources like the computers, Kindles, and some of the books we’re reading, but I feel like all the cooperating and sharing is character building (some days more MY character than theirs, ha!)
As long as no one commits the sin of moving another kid’s bookmark or closes out their tab on the computer, peace reigns in the land.
Lunch is an anchor point in our day.
For my youngest two, this usually marks the end of their formal lessons. For my older two, this is a natural time to take a break. It’s when my sister-in-law needs my help with her medicine.
It’s when I need to recharge.
After lunch the pace of the day changes.
The mornings can get chaotic and loud with all of us working, learning, and playing. It’s a happy chaos that I love. But after lunchtime, the tempo of the day shifts.
My younger two go off to play, unless my third grader still has some work to finish up, and my older two continue lessons. Usually it is quieter. Sometimes I sit and knit, write, or work at the table alongside them. That’s pretty nice, too.
Now it’s time for what I think of as the paperwork part of the day.
As the kids finish up lessons, I check over any of their work I haven’t already seen, file their papers away in color-coded folders, and write out the next day’s assignments from our curriculum into their assignment notebooks.
We just use inexpensive composition notebooks for this. I could plan this out ahead of time, but I like this daily check in and progress recording – it keeps both mama and kiddos accountable.
Max’s notebook is always turned in to me filled with doodles. It’s a glimpse into how his mind works and I love it! I like to think that someday as a grown man he’s going to look at his old notebook and be reminded of the sweet, funny kid he was in fifth grade. It’s like a time capsule.
I also go over my own To Do list and plan the rest of my afternoon. Don’t worry, I have plenty of helpers for housework.
One of the things that used to bother me as a school girl was that we didn’t always finish the books we were reading during the year. That, combined with ringing bells signifying it was time to put the books away and get ready for the next class whether or not I was at the end of the chapter (!!!) was something my young bookworm heart found so insulting.
Now, as a grown up I have a firm “life’s too short to finish books you’re just not that into” rule, but in our homeschool we finish our books more often than not. The lesson or subject ends when we are ready, not by the bell or a date on the calendar.
I was blessed to grow up surrounded by books and I hope that’s a blessing my kids feel, too. Having a home library, with no due dates or ringing bells, is one of my favorite things.
We spend hours of our daily lives reading, for the most part as long as we choose, and we almost always get to the end of the chapter before we have to stop. My inner child feels redeemed.
Extra Curricular Activities in a Homeschool Family
Tonight two of the kids have taekwondo practice, so the minivan was on the move as soon as we finished dinner.
Sometimes it is a family class, but tonight is back to back lessons so we will be at the school for a while. That means packing snacks and books and things to do while we take turns waiting. I don’t mind because it also gives me two hours to sit and knit while I watch them jump and kick and yell with their friends and fellow students, which is not a bad way to spend an evening. Plus, this gives them a chance to learn and take instruction from someone besides mom and I think that’s good for all of us.
Ending the Day Well
The end of the day.
We’ve exchanged taekwondo uniforms for pajamas, the backpacks are emptied, the kitchen table is waiting for tomorrow, and this mama is ready to tuck herself into bed with a few books.
Thank you so much for spending the day with me! This is one of my favorite series and I feel honored to have been able to participate. I’d love to keep visiting with you over on my insta @karaefleck and on my YouTube channel, if that’s your jam.
I feel like I made some new friends today!
Thank you for checking out Kara’s Day-in-the-Life! Check out the hashtag #lwdayinthelife on Instagram for alllllll the fabulous takeovers! You are all such amazing mamas.
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