Homeschooling Day in the Life: Mike, book cover designer and homeschooling dad to two children
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 Mike, full time book cover designer and homeschooling dad to two children!
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!
Mike @corleyms is a stay at home papa by day, book cover designer by night, and husband to his favorite(and only) wife during all hours. He is a father of two kids, two cats, and financial supporter of a cold-blooded reptile (a bearded dragon, not a politician).
Mike’s interests include Jesus, being outdoors, exercising, reading, making art and cooking all the vegetables. You can see some of Mike’s art at mscorley.com. You can see some of his animals and weekly flapjacks over at @corleyms !
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Hey there! I’m Mike, a home school Papa who has been schooling my kids since they were born. Started with just basic survival skills: eating, drinking and sleeping, then learning to walk and talk. Eventually they showed me they were serious about growing up, so we got into proper schooling in the preK years.
My daughter Camilla is 10, in 5th grade (or squirrel league if we don’t go by the public grade system) and my son Asher is 7, in 2nd grade (warm puppy league).
I also have two cats, Kanta and Zelda, and my daughter’s lizard named Kaze. Despite my best efforts they are still illiterate and have a hard time speaking any English.
I love teaching every day and the time I get to spend just living with them. (Unless its a bad day then I want to defensetrate myself). I know I’m gonna miss this time when they are grown up, and get sad thinking about it already, so I try to be present and enjoy as much as I can now.
Follow along on stories today (or highlights later) to see a play by play of our day!
We use a mixture of different curriculums. Sonlight is the main source for our History/Bible/Literature/Science. For handwriting we use Handwriting Without Tears, and then Camilla does typing (Touch Type Read and Spell) and Duolingo for learning Japanese.
I also do Duolingo myself so that we can eventually speak Japanese together and have secret conversations without you knowing what we’re saying.
Math has always been Camilla’s most difficult subject. We used Singapore for a while and tried a couple different things, but it was always really hard for her. She’d learn a concept then totally forget it when we moved on to a new topic. It was always painful to work on.
Middle of last year we switched to The Good and the Beautiful math, worked through that, and it was amazing. She loved it, I loved it, and we both stopped crying about numbers. So this year she’s using that again for math and I switched Asher over to using it (and plan to as long as it works).
We work on our lessons first thing in the morning, between breakfast and lunch hours. We’re able to get most everything done before lunch (pending attitudes), and then we spend the rest of the day just playing and enjoying the time we have left to be a kid.
In the afternoon when school is over we play. Sometimes we just hang out at home in the yard, but we take a walk at least once a day. And once a week we’ll go for a hike somewhere.
Today we walked a new paved trail the kids dubbed ‘wheat lane’ because they collected a lot of what they think is wheat. Is it? I don’t know.
We saw a wagon that informed us what noxious weeds were in the area. We picked some and threw them in the wagon (it was full of weeds). Walked the loop and we chatted about life. I ask questions to get their thoughts on whatever is going on and why the world is the way it is.
They learned the word noxious on the walk and we also discussed words that sound like what they mean. Camilla said the weeds were being OBnoxious growing everywhere on the trail.
When we got home Camilla was determined to turn the wheat into flour so she busted out her mortar and pestle and ground it up. She did pretty good!
They love just playing and making pretend foods outside with no expectations, and I love watching how they enjoy simple things.
I will make dinner a couple nights a week to give my wife a break. I enjoy cooking but I don’t compare. She is the superior cook.
So tonight I’m making dinner, and we’re doing it a little special. Every so often I try tying it into what the kids are learning about. I really only do this a handful of times a year but I want to do it more frequently, maybe once a month. Currently Camilla is studying China so we decided to make (probably Americanized) Cha Siu Bao buns from scratch.
Camilla helped me mix and make and roll out the dough. She really loves any sort of baking activity. While the dough rose I read them the end of Red Sails to Capri (great book, highly recommend!) and they made a mess on the floor playing Legos. When the dough was ready Asher helped me make the fillings, then I pinched them together which looks a little sloppy, but hey, it had love inside and that can be messy. Dinner was great and hopefully it was a good memory for them.
They love little things like that, and I think when they look back and think of our homeschool, it won’t necessarily be schoolwork that we did during the days. It will be making fun different nights like tonight. Which makes me want to do it more. MAKE CORE MEMORIES.
(Next time we’re gonna try Ecuadorian food because of another study unit we are working on.)
After dinner my wife takes over and I head to work. It’s a pretty easy commute since I work from home. I’m a book cover designer. I’ll work until about bedtime while they play games, read, get in trouble, take baths–whatever the feel like.
We all want to be the best parents we can be. It’s why we homeschool. We want to do something more than average, maybe bring them up in a way that’s better than we experienced, to spend more time with them, to give them our values, etc.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trying to recognize when things are the last things. My kids turned 10 and 7 this year. It’s going by fast. We all know the saying, “the days are long, but the years are short.” I really feel that race lately, the approaching end of all the stuff I love. Just two-ish years ago I was building all of Asher’s Legos, but now he doesn’t need me, and does it all on his own. When was the last one I built for him before he didn’t need me to do it?
I used to zip his coat for him and tie his shoes. This could have frustrated me in the moment if we were running late, but now he does it himself. When was the last zip? When was the last tie? All of these little moments are things that I remember bothering me at times before because they felt like a chore. The sweet things I took for granted thinking they would always be there, are slowly disappearing.
I want to be more present in all the stupid and silly and annoying moments. We rush through so much of their life, and we often now fight the things we wished so hard to have. It’s wild to think about that, and here’s my point: we don’t know when the last thing will be that they stop doing with us, whatever that thing may be. I want to be in the moment, knowing I was there and I did my best.
Thank you so much to Mike 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.