A Day in the Life of Erica, Homeschool Mama of Four
Hi friends! I’m Erica from @this_little_homeschool and I’m happy to be here sharing one of our days with you all.
I am a Jesus following, homeschooling wife and mama of four kiddos aged 8, 8, 3, and a new baby girl who is 8 months old. We also just moved to Southern California from the Pacific Northwest where I was born and raised. A new baby + a new home in less than a year = a need for lots and lots of grace.
I take a Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling and often follow where the passions and interests of my children lead.
Our hearts are for living books, art, and nature study so you’ll often find us surrounded by a stack of vintage books, drawing/journaling, or exploring the outdoors.
I look forward to sharing with you what a day looks like for us right now!
Good morning from Southern California!
This is Erica from @this_little_homeschool and I’m excited to be here taking over today to show you what a homeschool day is like for us.
This morning I’m up before the kiddos and I’m having some coffee, reading, drawing, and praying. Lots of praying. It takes oodles of patience to get through the day here and I pray for the strength to have it all day long.
I don’t always start my day before my kids wake up because I have an 8-month old that still does not sleep through the night. But I find when I get up early, pray, and draw or write in my #commonplacebook I am more ready to meet the day’s demands. And lately, I’ve been loving this book Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins. In my opinion, it’s worth reading once a year.
As I was typing this my 3-year-old came down and saw me on my phone and asked, “Mommy why aren’t you making me oatmeal?!” Quiet time over for the day.
What about you? Do you wake early or do you start your day with your children?
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Morning Basket Together
We’ve been homeschooling for 4 years now and when we first began I did a lot of things with my children that I would have done when I was working as a classroom teacher in a traditional school. It just didn’t really fit. Eventually, I found the Charlotte Mason method and it truly brought so much joy, warmth, wonder, and a pure delight to our days. Here is one of the things I love most about this philosophy: spreading the feast.
At breakfast, we gather around the table and enjoy singing hymns, reciting memory verses, reading poetry, and this particular morning we’ve added picture study. Some mornings we do a little history or geography study at breakfast. It’s a part of what we call our #morningbasket and there are certain things we do each day and certain things we loop through.
Each day we-
recite memory verses
do Bible study
Then we loop through things like-
Looping means I don’t assign a particular topic to a particular day. I just make a list of what we’re going to cover and we work through the list regardless of the day. Once we’re done we start back at the top of the list. Some days we cover geography and history if time allows, some days it’s just one topic and then we begin with the next topic the following morning.
Please let me know if you have more questions regarding a loop schedule.
I also have to add that I absolutely adore setting up a lovely table for us to gather at each day. But friends, don’t let this picture be misleading. This is where I put a lot of my effort right now because it brings me so much joy and we really need the atmosphere to start our morning off well. In truth I haven’t dusted the house in weeks, there are crumbs on the stove from last night’s dinner, and piles of dirty laundry awaiting me. Also, that’s microwave oatmeal in the bowl.
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There has been so much rain in Southern California and since we just recently moved here from the Northwest it has kind of felt like home. But we’re ready to leave all that behind, greet the sunshine, and be outdoors!!!
Before we do anything else we head outside after breakfast to breathe fresh air and use up some of that energy that children seem to have in endless supply.
We used to live near a wooded area we could walk to and explore and now we live near a large park/playground we walk or ride our bikes to. The funny thing about my children and playgrounds is they’d rather climb the trees nearby or run wild through the grass pretending to be things like a red panda family. But I’m just happy we have an easily accessible outdoor area to adventure in. And while we’re here we’ll be collecting some goodies to take back to our nature shelf.
And in truth here’s a huge part of why I make outdoor time a priority. When my children are grown and stresses creep up on them which they will inevitably do…I want them to look back and remember how good it felt to be outside. How a bad mood or a struggle for calm could be lifted by the feel of fresh air on your face, birds chirping in your ear, and sunshine on your skin. I pray they’ll find solace in nature all their lives.
How about you? Are you able to get outside often? Do your children prefer playgrounds or more natural habitats?
And all our friends in cold areas…I am praying spring comes for you ASAP!
Once or twice a week my 8-year-olds complete a #notebooking page. This week they chose to do one about the story The Ugly Duckling which they read for their language arts program.
We’ve been using this method for a couple of years now and it’s exciting to see the growth they have achieved over time. I believe notebooking to be such a dynamic activity. It combines things like narration, spelling, grammar, handwriting, and art into one lesson.
Are you familiar with
This is one of the first
It’s also inspired her to research and learn more about swans and she’s been writing and drawing about them on her own. I love all the possibilities we encounter for child-led learning.
After we fill ourselves up on fresh air and burn off energy we come back in and spend the rest of our time until lunch in this room. We’ve loved having a dedicated homeschool space but we also gather at the table and on the couch or even load up and take things to the park for the morning.
My 8-year-olds have a list of things to work through while I play with the little ones. The list usually contains things like:
Read independently for 15 min
Finish #notebooking page
Practice phonics cards
Play a math game
We also work through their math lesson together while I entertain my little ones with toys and books.
The one area I’ve been seeking guidance and information is with spelling. Do you have a method or curriculum for teaching it that you love? I’d love to hear about it!
This is the part of the homeschool day I believe my oldest girls look forward to the most. While the little two are napping we gather to read aloud and work on something Charlotte Mason called #handicraft.
We’ve done handicrafts like weaving and knitting; right now we’re working on chalk pastels. There are also things like:
One of the things I worry about most as a mother of four children is my ability to give them all enough individual attention. I want them to look back on childhood and have vivid memories of my presence there with them. This is my attempt to ensure that happens and it is such a valued time for all of us.
Have you tried handicrafts with your children? Which ones do you enjoy?
We’re ending the day with some #naturestudy and
Friends it has changed our lives. Truly. It has opened our hearts to loving and appreciating the world around us. It has helped us to find more joy in the simple things and to see the hand of our Creator and how much He cares for us.
For our family nature study looks like weekly or daily walks in nature, nature journaling, collecting natural objects, and keeping a nature table. It is more a part of our family culture than just a part of our homeschool lessons. We simply LOVE it.
Do you participate in nature study? How does it impact your home?
If you are interested but something is keeping you from beginning you can send me a message at my account @this_little_homeschool. I’d love to help you get started or point you to some wonderful resources.?❤️
Thank you for joining us and taking a peek at our day today! I hope you found some part of it useful or enjoyable.
Thank you so much to Erica 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.