Homeschool Day in the Life: Mike, homeschool DAD!

Day in the life Mike

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, homeschool dad to two children by day, and freelance book cover artist by night.

Regardless of our homeschool approach, how long we’ve been homeschooling, or how old our kids are, we can all learn and be inspired by one another. 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 Mike

Day in the Life Mike

Mike is an artist, husband of one wife and father of four children, two of which are cats (and adopted). Not only is he a freelance book cover artist at night, Mike is a stay at home “Papa” that teaches and explores with his children during the day. His cats have been repeating grades because they don’t pay attention in class, but the humans are doing really great. 

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Mike has several interests including Jesus, the outdoors, folklore, exercising, literature and good vegetables. You can see some of his art at mscorley.com, and you can see his cats and weekly flapjack designs over @corleyms . You can see Mike doesn’t take things too seriously just by reading this. ?

Good Morning!

Good morning! (Unless it isn’t, in which case I hope it gets better.) I start my days at 5:07am to get some time alone to read bible and write my weekly letters to my kids and whatever else I can fit in before they wake at 7am.

These letters are a simple recap of each day that then gets compiled into a weekly letter. I am hopeful that when they are older they can have their memories jogged or at least read about what we did during their week as a kid. I keep a digital and hard copy of each letter, which I plan to give to them when they turn 18, or whatever age they would appreciate it. Having almost no memories from my own childhood, I do this with the hope that my children will.

While they have breakfast I read to them books from our curriculum and this science devotional. They usually finish eating before I finish their read alouds. So I usually get them done while they eat lunch.

Our Curriculum

Curriculum Mike

We use Sonlight for our curriculum. We have used this since my daughter was in kindergarten (she’s 3rd grade this year). I reuse the curriculum for my son which makes it easy (for me).

We do lesson 4 days a week (Mon-Thur), and then on Friday I do either an art lesson or kiwi crate or some other kind of craft or science experiment.

I like Sonlight because it is very organized (I like order), and breaks down each day what I can do. I sometimes skip stuff if it seems boring and I’ll supplement with something else. 

Sonlight is also very literature oriented, lots of read-a-louds for them to hear (my poor dying voice) and lots for them to read. Books are very important to us so this was the perfect curriculum for us. Now four years later, I realized I should do audio books for as many read-a-louds as I can. I don’t know why I didn’t think to do that earlier. (I never claimed to be smart!)


Lessons Mike

I break up lesson; my daughter does alone work while I do lesson with my son and then when he’s done I switch back to her lesson. Generally we start around 8am and finish around 10:30am. 

Longer if we have attitudes ?

Play + Getting Outdoors

Outdoors Mike

Sitting through the morning during lesson is hard. It’s difficult to be in one spot for so long. But I do like getting the ‘work’ out of the way early so we can just play the rest of the day.

Right after lesson we play 10-15mins of Ring Fit Adventure on the Switch. Its fun and you don’t realize your exercising. (I do it too, its legit!)

After lunch we head out on a walk in the neighborhood or a hike around town. We discuss important things like fairy clothes, taxes and why squirrels have fluffy tails.


Afternoon Mike

Afternoons we have quiet time while little bro naps. We read and play animal crossing and I take some time to myself to workout and be sane.

My wife gets home just after 4pm, and then I go to work until dinner around 6pm. I’m a book cover designer by trade. We eat dinner and get things settled down for the evening. We normally get the kids in bed around 7:30pm and then I work until about 9pm. Then it’s to bed for me with a little bit of reading. Sleep and repeat.

Real Talk

Real talk Mike

Actually today was a little bizarre. The kids did good through most everything. There was only a little bit of bickering and attitude, but nothing major. Normally we have a couple of big blow ups, fights, cries, anguish, grief and regret. This typically ends with me lying in bed at night wishing I had done things different–been a little more patient and a little more kind.

I really wanted to show that so I don’t look like we’ve got it all together all the time. Homeschooling can be very hard for me emotionally, as I’m sure it is for anyone who has put any time into it. I get mad, I yell at my kids, I do things the wrong way…a lot. My wife will come home and see the house spotless and ask me “Are you upset?”, because I clean when I’m upset and she knows. With that measurement in mind, our house is very clean throughout the week.

I say all this because I don’t want to create social media envy. Hopefully I have shown something neat that you might like doing with your kids. But I know it’s a struggle. If you are dealing with a hard season with your kid, seeing good stuff might be more discouraging than helpful. It’s easy to feel like you are the only one dealing with bad. I know what it’s like to be in that season.

At the end of these years I hope my kids look back and remember all the good things we did together. Or read about it if they don’t remember! I hope they can honestly be happy they got to spend their childhood with me and don’t resent it, despite all the mistakes I’ve made, and will keep making. I know these 18 years with them are going to go by so fast. I’m so thankful I get the time I do have, ups and downs and everything in between. The end will justify the pain it takes to get us there.

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

Day in the life Mike

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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