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 Sara, homeschooling mom to three kids, and second generation homeschooler from Canada!
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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Sara @chasing_jupiter is a second generation homeschooler, homeschooled from grade three through to graduation. Her husband was homeschooled too and that’s how they met. Sara is currently homeschooling her three kiddos ages 3, 8, and 12.
Taking inspiration from her own homeschool experience, Sara is doing her best to create a consistent rhythm in their days while forging their own path at the same time.
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At home, you’ll most likely find Sara with a cup of tea or coffee, surrounded by books, her kids (and their friends), and whatever creative projects, passions, and activities her children have strewn throughout the house. And if she’s not at home, she is often out with her kids at one of the many local trails, parks, or beaches.
Good morning, Learning Well Community! I’m Sara, from chasing_jupiter. I’m so happy to connect with you all today and share a bit of what my day looks like homeschooling three kids at three different stages. I have a preschooler, elementary, and middle schooler. Each one has their own wonderfully unique interests, different learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses. Finding a way to meet them each where they’re at, individually, in our homeschool days is always a challenge but I wouldn’t change a thing! I hope to show you a little bit of what that looks like today.
My morning gets started relatively early here. By 6am my husband and I are up and sipping coffee in the kitchen. I offer childcare to friends and family so I am often up preparing to have extra kids here for the day but today it is just us!
Despite the early wake up, mornings are slow here, just the way we like it. My 3 and 8 year old are early risers too so they’ll either play or like this morning they will watch a show on the tablet while they have their breakfast.
And I’ll be on the couch, with a basket of laundry to fold, books to read and a cup of coffee.
Time for the first reset of our day! (Or time to clear the early morning clutter to make room for the early afternoon clutter.)
I always wanted to do the fun stuff first, don’t we all? Unfortunately my choice to do that wasn’t working for us. I admit, I should have saw that coming. We always find time for the fun stuff in our day. We always get to the art, the music, the science and special projects, regardless of when we start. It’s easy to do when it’s something you love, for me and the kids. The required subjects however, math and language arts, end up being pushed to side more times than I care to admit.
So we restructured our days. Mornings are now reserved for read-alouds, math, and language arts. We’re learning to challenge ourselves to do the less exciting subjects first so we have more freedom and time to spend on the interest driven projects later. Surprisingly, some mornings even math has become enjoyable.
Finding a rhythm that works for our family in our eclectic, ever changing, part unschooling homeschool, is a never ending process. This year has been more challenging than most, yet this is also the year I have experienced the most growth in myself and my kids. We still don’t have it right, I’m not sure we ever will, but we sure are finding joy in the process!
Managing Days That Don’t Go as Planned
As I mentioned in the previous post, this year has been more challenging than most in terms of our homeschool days. Illness, health problems, moving, settling into a new house, recent and ongoing renovations, have all played a part in how our days have gone.
We had to learn how to prioritize more efficiently and how to work together even more than before, especially when our days aren’t going as planned.
As it turns out, this is one of those days that I’m not feeling my best. We’re doing the minimum, but I’ve learned that even the minimum amount of work adds up to so much in the long run.
Today you’re seeing a slower than average kind of day. There are no grand projects planned, or amazing experiments being conducted, or any long hikes on the beautiful local trails.
Instead we’re reading lots of books, I’m playing on the floor with my daughter, overseeing some baking, and watching a movie. Oh, and drinking lots of tea, knowing that even these slow days count in the long run.
Balancing Individual Needs
One of the biggest challenges I find with homeschooling is balancing the needs of each individual. My oldest son has a never ending thirst for knowledge. Pretty sure that started before he could talk. He devours books on whatever topic that currently interests him, and learns well independently as long as I provide the resources (though he does well at searching out whatever resources he needs if I don’t have them).
I’ve tried over and over again to include him in our unit studies and fun activities but he was bored!
Recently, I allowed him to switch to a mostly “unschooling” approach to his work. Or maybe a better word is “interest-led”. We still have to meet certain requirements but for his education I knew we had to do things differently so he could hold onto his drive and passion for learning.
I am learning this takes a lot of faith and trust on my part. This style of learning isn’t meant to fit in a neat little box. Each day looks a little bit different.
Today he’s working through a unit in his high school biology textbook and spending time at his microscope trying to identify microbes in a sample of water he took. He already completed math and his daily language arts that he helped put together.
At some point today he’ll practice piano, read more of his books, and head out to work on a wood working project he started last week.
We keep a notebook with a rough outline of each day and subjects required to complete. We fill in the blanks as we go, I know some call this reverse planning. This gives me a record of his work regardless of whether it was part of a curriculum or not.
Over the years I have had to learn to trust the process of interest-led learning. I have been amazed time and time again just how much learning happens outside of our carefully laid plans.
Learning Through Books
We do so much of our learning through books. There are shelves, baskets, and piles of them all over the house. I love seeing what other people are reading, so I thought I’d share the current books we’re each reading.
Stack 1: Our Read-Aloud stack. We only managed to read from three of these books this morning. But they’ll stay there for the week and I’ll pull from it when we can!
Stack 2: My books: Some of these are just for me, and a couple others (like mythology and physics) I’m reading for potential school topics.
Stack 3: 12yr olds: He carts his books around with him all over the house… literally… he has a cart. These are what were by his side today. The weather wasn’t great, so he spent more time than usual reading today.
Stack 4: 8yr olds: Graphic novels are his absolute favourite! Comics are what got him reading independently and inspired his love for reading. Even now as he begins to branch out into other kinds of books, I will forever be thankful for comics!
Stack 5: 3yr olds: I choose most of these at the beginning of each week but she always has a couple favourites we read OVER and OVER again (looking at you Julia’s House for Lost Creatures and There’s a Ghost in this House)
This is our homeschool. Thank you Learning Well community for being a part of it today.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a glimpse into our home as much as I enjoyed sharing our homeschool day with you all! If you want to continue chatting and connecting come visit me @chasing_jupiter
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO SARA 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.