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 Leah, absolutely hilarious mom of five kids living in New York!
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!
Hi I’m Leah! I was born and raised in Southeast Massachusetts and now live in Western NY with my husband and five kids. We are first-generation, unlikely homeschoolers. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but by God’s grace we are in our ninth year and nobody has gone to jail yet. There are many things I like to do but don’t actually ever do, but three I do regularly: cooking, singing (loudly, forgetting the open window), and finding humor wherever possible (funerals not off limits). In the words of Elizabeth Bennet, I dearly love a laugh. I barely graduated 10th grade because I used to laugh so hard I’d get kicked out of class (this is not advice, just my testimony).
Our homeschool is largely a blend of online classes, independent learning, and quoting movies. The very best part of the whole deal is telling the orthodontist that I don’t need them to give me a written excuse for school. I feel distinguished and they couldn’t be less interested.
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But First, Coffee
Good morning from Western NY. We are in the middle of our 10-month winter season but the snow has never stopped a determined iced coffee drinker and her mini barista. That little guy is Sammy, our resident mascot. He’s the baby of the family which means his function is largely ornamental; he’s like a very valuable garden gnome.
Anyway coffee’s the first thing I do when I come downstairs, then usually it’s:
– Clean kitchen from night before/breakfast
– Get kids going on their assignments
– Clean kitchen again
– Get kids focused on assignments
– Find another mess
– Ask my son why he isn’t doing his math but is instead in the basement with a spoon and a bungee cord “looking for an egg and a soda” (this just happened while I was typing this)
This is really the heart of our homeschool. Much of my day is spent in the kitchen in some capacity while much of the kids’ work is outsourced or independent, particularly as they get older. My #1 role is motivator. Yeah. That’s what we’ll call it. We do history together which I’ve loved this year (is Paul Revere on Christian Mingle? Asking for one of my daughters in the future.)
No two days look the same, so in a way it’s hard to show a typical day. I’ve been taking snapshots this past week of random moments of different days that I may share, so if you see wardrobe changes that’s why 😃
Okay, my son has disappeared again. Off to find him…
An Arbitrary System of Measurement
I am never the first one downstairs. This morning when I walked into the kitchen, I realized first that my son had spilled cereal. I realized second that he was already sweeping it up. Isn’t that the way it goes? We see what’s lacking before what has been accomplished. I mean that’s a whole spiritual metaphor if you want to get real deep. But in an immediate sense, my husband has to remind me often—when I’m sobbing because I am failing my children—that I am not seeing all the ways that they are maturing. The growth is so gradual that it’s imperceptible at times. There was indeed a last time that I had to remind my son to clean up cereal he spilled, I just missed it.
Remember that a primary reason we wonder if we’re failing our children is because somebody came along and created an arbitrary system of measurements. We already have enough of those. Metric, imperial… we didn’t even need the American one, do we really need a scholastic one? We should be wise for our kids, wanting the best for them, and a good education is a wonderful thing to pursue. But the standard markers are arbitrary, we have to keep that in mind. Who is measuring character? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Someday if my son gets married, he’s not going to find a wife by reciting math facts. I mean maybe that’ll work. But probably not.
Imperceptible changes. One day you’ll put your 5-year-old into piano lessons and for the next decade it will be a mixture of fun, hard work, tears, resentment, parental doubt. Then one day you realize that the beautiful music serenading the house is somehow coming from their hands, and it makes no sense because you didn’t notice them growing. ❤️
Discouragement and Doubt
My husband insisted I bid you goodnight with this as my final pic, a real photo that he took a few years ago. All I had wanted to do was lie down but there were kids in all of the other rooms. The only quiet place left was the hardwood counter. It wasn’t too bad.
As I sign off for the night, I’d like to leave some brief encouragement. A common struggle for homeschoolers seems to be discouragement/doubt. I’m headed into my 14th year of parenting, there is still so much to learn (by the way it does not get easier as they get older. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar and the truth is not in him). However!, if I could tell my younger (and current) self one thing, it would be this: It’s very hard to give grace when our expectations are not met, but it’s easier when we truly understand and *rest* in how much grace we have been given. They really do go hand in hand. Being critical either toward ourselves or others (and where there is one, usually there is the other) always has fear somewhere at the root. God’s grace is the bedrock of security, and security gives you the strength to keep working hard. In my experience, the weary spirit brings you down way before the work load does. If this is something that speaks to you, I share more about this on my page @bostoncountrymom
God’s grace is no joke, but pretty much everything else is. It’s been fun showing you our day, thanks for following along!
Thank you so much to Leah 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.