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Homeschooling Day in the Life: Lydia, Homeschooling Mom of Four, Military Wife, and Lover of Unit Studies

Day in the life Lydia

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 Lydia, homeschooling mom of four, military wife, and lover of unit studies!

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.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!

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Meet Lydia

Meet Lydia

Lydia @happilyevercaffeinated is a partial nomad—a hazard of being an Air Force wife—and a homeschool mom to four amazingly creative kids. She’s a curator of her home library, adventurer wherever God has put her, and a homebody who loves a good nap.

You can find Lydia on Instagram sharing fun unit studies which include creative art projects, good books, and following her children’s interests.

Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life

What a “Normal” Day Looks Like

Normal Day Lydia

Today is pretty much an outside the house/fend for yourself…I mean work independently…kind of day so I’m going to share some of what we do on a “normal” day, too. (Is normal a thing?) I try to reserve mornings for family learning, which now is usually just for my younger 2 boys. My oldest is in high school & does a lot of work independently. My youngest floats in & out. That’s just where we are right now.

Our current unit study is on WWII & I set up every unit the same way. Books first, get started, see what pops up, hands-on projects. This week we’re learning about propaganda so we read books, watched some Disney shorts & The Battle of Midway by John Ford along with other examples of propaganda, and I asked questions comparing propaganda then & now. Lots of discussion! Their assignment is to create their own WWII propaganda poster for our unit project, a WWII newspaper.

Our days might vary but the rhythm is the same. Books, discussion, extras (YouTube, games, nature or music lessons) & hands-on projects to cover many different subjects relating to WWII: art, science, culture, geography, history, music, literature and whatever else I think of!

We use reading curriculum & math curriculum for my younger 3 & that’s it. The rest we make up as we go & wing it!

Project-Based Studies

project based studies

When my kids were young, I felt like a cruise director: today’s activities include…it was exhausting & fulfilling! Getting to watch them act out what they learned, narrating the books we read using homemade peg dolls, helping them cut up cardboard & build props, listening to them read their choice of poetry at tea time or see the light bulb click on when they finally understood multiplication! It’s a lot of hands on time.

And it still is. It’s just different. My boys are 15, 13, and 11. I’m not supervising hot glue crafts anymore, I’m driving to blacksmithing, leatherwork, & sewing classes. And the various stores for projects. I’m listening to someone process everything he’s learning through a video game idea, where you play as various fictional characters on the different fronts of a World War, brainstorming together on how to add details that most wouldn’t even notice. Or I’m reviewing illustrations & helping revise & edit a story in time for its deadline. Or I’m figuring out how to get prints of artwork ready for the next online sale and looking into platforms for an online business.

I may not be directing the daily agenda of each day anymore, but it’s no less fulfilling or exciting to be hands-on with older kids. To lean into their excitement & help them make those dreams happen. It still takes a lot of time. They still need their mom as they grow, just not necessarily as the cruise director. Instead, you realize you’re along for the ride watching them lean into their giftings & callings—all of which you’ve nurtured for years without even realizing it.

When the Day Doesn’t Go as Planned

Lydia Day in the Life

Homeschool days don’t always go as planned for one reason or another. Ahem, today is an example. One minute you’re doing a riveting DITL showing how you drive from place to place to place, the next you’re parked in an urgent care waiting room next to a kid with a wonky thumb (he’s not in any pain!)

Don’t sweat it.

Do the next right thing.

Have options.

Let it go.

Hug your kids & find a reason to laugh together.

Try it again tomorrow.

Preaching to myself.

The Flexibility of Homeschooling

Homeschool flexibility

Oh look! A post about books! We love books, we use lots of books, piles of books! Baskets of books!

We also move our library every couple of years as we move from military base to military base, state to state. *We* actually don’t always move them ourselves, but we are moving the most special ones ourselves and soon.

Being a military family, we move a lot. And I’m so thankful homeschooling allows us to slow down & pause when we need to, and then pick up where we left off. Our WWII unit will be the last one for a while. We’ll finish & just read aloud, do independent work and follow interests, and get ready for the move—emotionally, mentally, & physically. Moving is a lot.

I’m seasoned in moves, but I’m by no means a pro nor do I have it together. I mess up a lot, I ask forgiveness, and I try again. This is a hard season, knowing we will say goodbye to this community, our church & friends, activities we love. I don’t fully know what the next few years will look like. And I’m struggling with the uncertainty.

This homeschool journey comes with no guarantee either. Lots of uncertainty. Lots of struggle. It’s an exercise in trust. Not in the process or our ability, but in a Creator who stitched our children together, an incomprehensible God beyond our understanding, a God unlimited by time, a personal God who cares for us. I don’t know what tomorrow holds. But I know who holds tomorrow & I know he cares for me.

That’s what I hold on to when the going gets rough.

Doing What Works for Your Family in the Season You Are In

Season

Thanks for driving with me all over town & keeping me company in the urgent care waiting room today. It’s been…a bananas DITL.

You know, I almost didn’t do a DITL this year because this season is full of hard things, unpredictability, & uncertainty. But you know what? That’s life, it can be tricky. We aren’t promised easy & I’m so glad I got to show you a day off the rails. A day in the midst of preparation for a big move. A day that in the end, did not look pretty or Instagram worthy (unlike this photo from Glacier NP) And yet we are still here doing this homeschool thing in a way that works for us in this season.

If you’d like to see a less abnormal day, I’m over @happilyevercaffeinated I will try to answer a few questions about interest-led learning over there tomorrow bc frankly, this day plum wore me out & I’m going to bed!

No matter the season or bananas days with surprise wonky thumbs, love those kiddos well & do what works for your family in the season you’re in!

God is good, all the time.

Day in the Life Lydia

Thank you Lydia for sharing your Day in the Life 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.

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