Here’s a look at the Day in the Life of Kim, a homeschool mama to five kids who is enthusiastic about bringing homeschool families together. 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!
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Are you so excited that DITL is back for the new year?! We’ve got a great lineup planned for you this winter and @holdingjoy is one of them! If you’re an unexpected homeschooler or are in the medical field, you will love to read more about Kim.
Hey there! I’m Kim, wife to my bearded wonder Joe (he told me to write that?) and mama to 5 kiddos ages 11 down to 1. I am a temporarily retired NICU nurse turned unlikely homeschool mama passionate about Jesus and babies. All. The. Babies. We live on a sweet piece of land in northern Arizona where the sunsets are breathtaking and each season is just long enough. Most mornings you’ll find us gathered around the dining room table making plans for that days adventures, most of them of the simple sort. Joe and I decided in the beginning of our homeschool journey, almost 8 years ago, that it was something that we didn’t want to embark on alone. We have made it a priority to educate in community. In some seasons that has looked like us being intentional about joining park days and Lego meetups and over the last few years that has looked more like us pioneering a cooperative classical model community in our area. We are enthusiastic about bringing homeschool families together and encouraging them in their journeys.
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Good morning Learning Well friends! I’m so excited to be sharing our day with you. Since sharing our day truly feels like sharing a piece of my heart with all of you I would like to start by saying that these squares represent the best of our day. Behind the scenes there are many pauses for heart checks, coffee, gospel rehearsing, coffee, diaper changes, coffee, working out of hurt feelings and skinned knees. Our days are lively and messy as you will see. I’ll jump on stories and share some of that messy with you all bc as my dear friend frequently reminds me, “People don’t need to see perfect, they need to see real.”
I hope today’s “day in the life” brings a good dose of realness and encouragement to you! We are getting a later start than usual because of a missing set of car keys, but the hubs is off to work now and the troops have eaten 3 bowls of cereal and are now ready for what we call 2nd breakfast.
Morning Time Around the Table
Our mornings have become a special rhythm that we stumbled upon out of necessity and mamas sanity. We were finding that so many things were calling for our attention first thing in the day. All good things like—doctors appointments, play dates, women’s bible study, and co-op all first thing in the day that inevitably meant that we would be returning home sometime around lunch with hungry and tired children, a mess left behind from trying to get out of the house in dramatic fashion, and a mama left to figure out how to manage the rest of the day WHILE actually getting any sort of lessons in. We slowly began implementing a morning time around the table, stopped scheduling doctor appointments before lunch, changed how and when we did playdates and bible study so that our mornings could be spent at home—slow and intentional. No rushing mama, stressed out wondering what she can frantically throw in the crock pot before she leaves the house. But don’t get me wrong we still have days like that because that’s just life.
This is what is working for us in this season of homeschool life. Like they always do, the seasons will change and our mornings will look different once again—but for now I will praise Him for this season and soak in all the chaos of mornings spent at home. What morning rhythms work for you?
Morning time normally starts at 9. Today we got a later start as we tried to solve the mystery of the missing car keys—that one will remain unsolved for now. Back to our morning basket! It is a compilation of all the things. Like for real. We need a bigger basket. If there’s something we want to read or learn more about you’ll often hear me say, “Throw it in the morning basket!” That’s how we roll around here. We like our rhythms flexible and fun. We do our memory work, devotional, scripture, prayer, hymn, weather, calendar and depending on the day an art, poetry, science or history reading. It always ends the same way—with them begging me to read one more chapter from their current morning read aloud (preferably moving onto the couch and probably because they want to postpone math as long as possible.) ? Little stinkers.
After our morning time the baby goes down for a nap, my preschooler gets some free play, the kindergartener sits with me to do his math and reading lessons, and the 11 and 10 year old begin the rest of their lessons for the day. I end up making my way to each of them to help them where needed. Or you know, break up any fights. ? Each kiddo has their favorite spot to head to as they settle in for the day. I have one who likes to do their work smack dab in the middle of chaos and another who likes to find a quiet sunny corner. We live in a small home which inevitably means lots of life = lots of noise. I like to think that this lively home life is building character and flexibility. If you would like to see more of our homeschool life and resources join me over at @holdingjoy.
Music lessons were my husbands idea. As a homeschooled kid through high school he has so much insight not only into the day to day but also the big picture of where we are going with all of this. That wisdom has helped shape our homeschool tremendously through the years. So when he said piano lessons weren’t for mastery of piano I was like oooookay. So what’s the point?! I’m seeing now that the benefits of music lessons have primarily been non-musical: increased concentration, improved hand eye coordination, confidence and some good old fashion grit. We have seen so much growth and confidence in my 10 year old with dyslexia.
The Underground Years
I had a friend tell me years ago that these early years of education are the “underground years” where the root building is taking place. They are necessary years, messy years. They aren’t at all flashy and are filled with a million non-insta worthy moments. Habits are being built, lessons learned, and characters shaped. To be completely honest these underground years are just as much for my heart as they are for theirs. If you’re feeling some of the weariness that can accompany the underground years too, you aren’t alone friend.
Allowing for Daily Adventure
Here’s a little not so secret fact about my homeschooling “style”–I get bored easily. We’ve educated in a Classical Charlotte Mason style since the beginning. We attend an amazing cooperative once a week. We believe that consistency in rhythms and habits can make or break a homeschool day. All that is so important BUT by Friday this mama is itching to get out! Can I get an amen?! To help with that we make it a point to hit the hills, or trail across the street, the town square, or walk the sweet country roads around our house each afternoon (even if it’s just for 30 minutes). I found that by allowing for adventure each day I’m less likely to get that antsy feeling. Adventure doesn’t need to be a crazy complicated thing; it’s amazing what you can explore right off your front porch—in your stretchy pants.
Community is Worth Pursuing
As I wrap up in this space I want to thank you for following along. Your kind words and interactions throughout the day have been such a blessing! I received a few messages asking about community, moms saying they are lonely and don’t know where to start. I by no means have this all figured out. In fact community looks pretty messy over here—just being real.
Early on in our homeschool journey we were told to not go at this alone, to find people to live alongside who we could share the tough with and together rejoice in the victories. By God’s grace we’ve found those relationships in varying ways through the years even though it hasn’t always looked like what we thought it might. Sometimes it looked like being the youngsters of the group gleaning wisdom from the friends that surrounded us—being poured into. Other times we’ve been the older friends pioneering all the things and doing so much of the pouring out. Through it all the message has been the same— we need TO BE the community that we desire.
Dear friend, how hard is that?! I can tell you that in some seasons you may have to be the mama that chases down another mama after a yoga class to ask her if she’ll be your friend (?true story). Lord willing you’ll find yourself with friends who, when you tell them you’re hurting, will track you down during family dinner at your moms house to hug you (true story too).
My heart to the lonely mama in these underground years is to say that community is worth pursuing, worth fighting hard for. This is a journey that you don’t have to go at alone. Be the community that you desire and I promise you’ll find your people. Come say hi over at @holdingjoy. I would love to journey alongside you in this sweet little space.
Thank you so much to Kim 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.