Homeschooling Day in the Life: Jess, former elementary school teacher turned homeschooling mom to five boys

Day in the Life Jess

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 Jess, former elementary school teacher turned homeschooling mom!

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 Jess

Meet Jess

Jess @siloandsage is a former elementary teacher turned homeschooling mom of five boys ages 14 down to 5. With her husband, they live on a small homestead in SE Wisconsin.

She loves encouraging other homeschool moms, so she created a business where she can support and educate other moms who want to homeschool through her courses and printables.

Jess is super passionate about letting kids learn at their own pace, not pushing them before they are ready, and educating the WHOLE child, not just the academics.

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Good Morning!

Good morning Jess

Good morning! I’m Jess from @siloandsage, and slow mornings are our rhythm.

In the mornings, you can find me here. It won’t be early. It probably won’t even be earlier than some of my children. But you can find me here. Bible open, coffee in hand.

In the 10ish years we’ve been homeschooling, I’ve learned how much I need to carve out time for myself. To read, pray, have my own hobbies, and have time in my day that fills me. I feel it on the days it doesn’t happen.

It was harder in those early years, but there were days I needed it more than I do nowadays. These days my children run off on their own more often than they climb into my lap, in the shift from dependent to independent.

So I put this chair in the middle of everything. It is a space where I can be present with my kids, but tucked away in my own corner. If I need to hide from the chaos, I have other spaces I can go. But here, my kids can be independent, yet with me. They can see where I draw my hope and my strength for the day.

Following Their Interests

Following interests Jess

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is being able to follow my kids’ interests. My eight year old found a magnifier this morning and pulled a cicada skin off the nature shelf. He opened his nature journal to observe and draw it. This led to pulling out some insect reference guides and learning more about cicadas.

“They lay eggs in trees?! I didn’t know that! I’m writing that down!”

If I had stuck to my own ideas of what we “should” do today, we would have missed this moment. The moment when he made his own discoveries and followed his own interests. No one told him he had to learn about cicadas today. It wasn’t on a lesson plan or in any curriculum. But he was jumping up and down with excitement to learn, and isn’t that what we want?

Homeschooling Multiple Ages

Multiple ages

Having a wide age range (from 5 to 14) means that my kids aren’t all doing the same thing at the same time. My older boys tend to work more independently, while my younger boys still need a lot of guidance and assistance on their tasks. When my boys were all small, we did everything together. But now there’s an ebb and flow of learning together, then moving to independent work, throughout the day.

We come together for Bible reading, read aloud, and group unit studies. Then my older boys work on their books, an online writing program, and various other interests. Then together again for board games, imaginative play or legos, meals, and time outside.

It certainly is quieter then when they were all under eight! 😉 But still we are all learning from each other. My oldest will pause to help his brother when he’s stuck on math. My youngest has a crew of teachers to help him with his letters. There are new challenges as their learning needs change, but this season we’re in might be my favorite so far!

Learning Life Skills

Learning life skills

Homeschooling is about far more than academics for us. A huge part of our day is learning life skills. Everything from chicken keeping to cooking lunch, we don’t think these skills are any less important than math and reading. Maybe some of this comes from having many kids or living on a small homestead where there is work to be done. But my job as homeschool educator extends beyond the curriculum and into our everyday life.

I want my kids to be able to read 𝘢𝘯𝘥 cook meals, to mend their own clothing 𝘢𝘯𝘥 have educated discussions about government. It’s not either/or, it’s both/and.

This is why our school day never truly ends. There’s value in all of it–the math curriculum and the habit training, the cooking and the reading lessons.

Life is learning.

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

Day in the Life Jess

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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