Here’s a little look at the Day in the Life of Hana, who’s cultivated a rich learning environment that inspires, nurtures and empowers, not just her students, but her as well. At Learning Well, we understand that homeschooling doesn’t look the same for all of us. We understand it doesn’t have to either for us to learn and glean good things from each other. Each Wednesday, on our Instagram feed, we feature a new homeschool mama to take over the feed and show us what her day looks like.
Some of us homeschool for religious reasons and that inspires our homeschool days. Some of us homeschool from the road and never do school in the same place twice. We might have been homeschooling for years and years. Or we may have just begun our journeys. We understand that those details don’t really matter though. The common thread that binds us all together is our desires to educate our children differently.
We might all homeschool 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!
I’ve been so excited for this takeover! Hana from @pepperandpine is taking over the account tomorrow to share her day in the life. I have followed Hana for a long time and especially love her YouTube channel. Her homeschooling approach is sheer creativity and she never ceases to inspire me to create more with my kids.
Hana loves homeschooling! For years, she’s cultivated a rich learning environment that inspires, nurtures and empowers, not just her students, but her as well. This may be the secret to success for Hana and the key to her ability to thrive long-term as a homeschooler. The homeschooling journey is a challenging one, even in the best of times. Build your confidence as a homeschooling parent as you learn to cultivate your own passions, so you can raise life long learners and keep the joy if your own learning alive. In the process, you’re likely to discover who you are, your strengths and your abilities.
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Hana has homeschooled all her children since 2003. She currently homeschools her 8-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son as she no longer homeschools her 17-year-old son who is in community college and her 21-year-old son who has graduated university and is now working on his masters.
Though Hana primarily considers herself a Waldorf homeschooler, she is open to adapting her style to suit the needs of her children. Hana also loves to incorporate other educational philosophies into her homeschool when possible like the Charlotte Mason, TJed and Classical methods.
A Love of Learning
Me thinking about all the fun geometry lessons and activities I have planned for today. I definitely get over enthusiastic about homeschooling. It’s not always a good thing. There are times my excitement clouds my intuition and judgement. I often miss, until it’s too late, the fact my children weren’t getting a lesson or simply weren’t into it. Having to step back from my own curiosity and excitement requires constant effort in my part.
But on the flip side, having this much excitement about homeschooling has fueled my interest in it, and I truly believe it’s the one thing that has kept me going all these years with the same desire and energy.
I love learning alongside my children. I have main lesson books just like my students do! I’ll do a lesson with them, and if I’m not enjoying it or not learning from it, it’s a good indication that they might not be either. Doing lessons alongside my children has helped me modify my lessons so that I can keep them engaged. It doesn’t always work. There are times that lessons just require perseverance and dedication. But I’d like most of our lessons to be filled with wonder, curiosity, and a love of learning.
Homeschooling a teen means being prepared for the changes that are inevitable. Learning to not take it personally. Learning to respond calming, even when triggered. And remembering that this too shall pass.
It’s a time of transition. A time when the joys of homeschooling change from that of curiosity and wonder to that of seriousness and analysis. The projects and hands-on activities are set aside for the bookwork and in-depth reading.
Not that we still don’t find a way to incorporate those hands-on activities into our homeschool, it’s just that they aren’t at the core of what we do, they move into a supportive role. There are on the periphery. Those activities are fewer and are replaced by experiments and critical thinking, essays and research.
But following these years is a beautiful new relationship waiting to be experienced.
Savoring the Quiet Moments
Sometimes late is better than never. I’m finally enjoying my morning chai while the children work on their narrations and spelling. The spices had been brewing away on the stove for hours (since 7:30am), and only just now (10:30am), I added the tea and milk. My enjoyment will no doubt be short lived because I can hear that the children are done with their independent work, and I’m needed once again. But I’ll savor this moment because in these few minutes, the house is tidy, the children are quiet and I feel blissful.
Lunch and Rest
Lunch is almost always a feast in our home. It’s our main meal of the day, and we take a good two-hour break to enjoy our food and rest.
Rest usually looks like the children reading, listening to audio books or playing. Rest for me is working on video editing or watching Call The Midwife or another British show.
Today we made Persian food. This is one of my children’s favorite dishes. And I’ll share the recipe below. It was a goal of mine, early on in my homeschooling journey, to have our home filled with the delicious smells of food. It may seem like a silly goal to have, but for me I wanted my children to remember their childhood fondly. And smell is the strongest sense for remembering.
I want them to long for my food long after they’ve grown. I want them to look forward to weekend meals with the family, so that we can continue the tradition long into the future.
Here’s the recipe: sauté two onions until nicely browned. Add 1 to 2 cups of barberries to the hot onions. Make sure the stove is off at this point because the barberries can burn very quickly. I usually use a mix of grapeseed oil and olive oil to sauté my onions and to season the rice. I use organic basmati rice, and for this amount I used about 4 cups. Boil until it’s al dente. Then drain it. Then layer the onions, the barberries, olive oil and grapeseed oil, salt and saffron.
For the chicken, I usually use legs and thighs, but today I used a whole chicken. I season it generously with turmeric and salt mixed with water. I drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and I make sure that the skin is on and facing up when I broil it for 15 minutes. Then I cover it and reduce the temperature to about 400° and bake for another 30 to 45 minutes. For the salad, I mix a diced Persian cucumber, one diced tomato and the juice of one lemon. I season with a little bit of salt. For the yogurt, a dice half an onion and one Persian cucumber, and I mix it with 1 to 2 cups of yogurt. I also season that with a little bit of salt.
Play is the More Important Learning
And here’s where I get honest. I’ve pulled out our work for our math lessons. I’ve beautifully staged the books and games for you. I’m finally ready to teach our lessons, and instead my 13-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter are knee deep into Legos and pretend play.
If I wasn’t taking over the @learningwell Instagram account today, I’d forgo the lesson until they were done playing because for me, play is the more important learning that can happen at any age.
Also lately, my son and daughter have not gotten along. They’ve bickered so much. So the fact that they are happily engaged in cooperative play delights me to no end. But how will I finish the homeschool day with our lessons? I’ve said all day we’ll get to our geometry lessons in the afternoon, and now the afternoon has come and gone.
I don’t mind waiting, but I’ll admit to the heavy burden of duty I feel to completing what I set out to do, especially when I told you all about it!
It’s cliche to say, “that’s real life”, but I have no other way to explain it. That’s life and yes, we’ve been engaged in some sort of learning or family life all day, and there still doesn’t feel like there’s enough time.
You can always find our geometry lessons on my page @pepperandpinewhen this Day in the Life is over. Maybe we’ll finally get to our lessons!
Our homeschool is marked by a few things that make it our own.
Here are four things that you’ll find in our Homeschool: art, hands-on activities, living books and games.
I love incorporating games into our home school whenever possible. We have them for every subject area and by far my favorite are our math games and the Professor Noggins trivia card games.
When it comes to math games, I’m constantly amazed at how well my children are able to play them. I find math games a wonderful way to introduce or reinforce math concepts. You’ll find areas that need to be strengthened when you play math games. Generally, it is a fun and engaging way to practice math facts and other math concepts.
But math games aren’t for everyone. Some students find math games really stressful and the competition nature of games is not fun for all. I find at these times, turning a competitive math game into a cooperative math challenge usually helps ease those students who don’t do well in competitive situations. Then we all work to answer the question together.
Here my 13-year-old son and I are playing Equate. It’s a math game similar to Scrabble. I love playing this game and find it to be an exciting challenge. Not just in trying to find equations with your number tiles but also in trying to place them on the board so that you can get the highest score.
I also find games to be an excellent transition activity. When my children are playing together, I don’t want to interrupt them for a lesson. Often, I will simply pull out a game or a book, or I’ll set up a project for us to do. That simple act generally piques my children’s curiosity and they willingly join the lesson or game with curiosity.
Thank you Learning Well for allowing me to give you a glimpse into our homeschool day! It was a joy to have you follow along!
Thank you so much to Hana 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.