Homeschooling Day in the Life: Shantel, second generation homeschooler and mom to both biological and foster care children

Day in the life Shantel

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 Shantel, second generation homeschooler and mom to both biological and foster 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.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 Shantel

Meet Shantel

Shantel @shantelshomeschool is a mom to five biological kids and two bonus kids through foster care. They have been homeschooling for about 10 years, though this is their first year with two in public school full time. Shantel is a homeschool graduate as well!

They live in the Land of Enchantment, called New Mexico, but locally, they refer to it as the ‘Land of Entrapment’ because it’s not an easy drive to get there!

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Shantel loves homeschooling; it’s been a passion of hers for years. She also enjoys sewing garments and quilts. She loves reading and has been reviving that love with a local moms’ book club.

If she had to describe their homeschool, she would say it’s traditional/Charlotte Mason-inspired/relaxed. They use more workbooks than she thinks a true Charlotte Mason enthusiast would, but only for two main subjects: Language Arts and Math. Literature and relaxed learning, almost unschooling, play a big part in everything outside those two subjects.

Shantel is definitely an early riser and early-to-bed kind of girl, and has been that way her whole life. She’s the odd one on Instagram who doesn’t enjoy travel. She is comfy at home in familiar surroundings, so they rarely travel, and when they do, it’s within driving distance.

Good Morning!

Good morning Shantel

Good morning! I’m Shantel from @shantelshomeschool, and today I’ll be sharing a day in our homeschool life and how we do things! I have five bio kids plus two foster children (you will not be seeing their faces). But here is a good idea of what our family looks like!

We start our morning early at about 5:45 a.m. for my oldest two at home, and from there, my two foster kids head to school. The rest of us at home get ready for the day before starting homeschool. Yes, it’s a bit crazy over here in the mornings! My oldest (18) graduated our homeschool this past spring and is out of the country on a mission, so you won’t be seeing him today!

Busy Mornings

Busy mornings Shantel

After getting home from his early morning religion class, my 16 year-old comes home to work on his school, at least on the days he doesn’t go to work. This year he is taking a community college class. He is also taking a geometry course from Denison, a chemistry course from Dive Science, and reading assigned books for history and literature.

My other three start on their school after picking up my oldest foster daughter from her public school class. We typically head home, but once a week we go to speech therapy afterward instead. It’s busy mornings for sure, but our mid-afternoons make up for it, though.

Leaving Lots of Hours for Play

Day in the life Shantel

My youngest two that are homeschooling use The Good and the Beautiful for their language arts and math, and we also use their handwriting occasionally. We’ve been using this curriculum for several years!

I try to leave lots of hours in the day for them to play, so history and science are kept to a bare minimum. I leave lots of time for them to research, create, and read. I currently have several tanks filled with lizards, toads, meal worms, and not to mention a large tote of cockroaches in our yard. They are always catching and researching about something!

We also have a large tote of scrap paper that gets used every few weeks because they are always using it for crafts of some kind.

More Than the Curriculum

More than curriculum

My 7th grader uses The Good and the Beautiful as well for her math and language arts. I can’t believe she’s my fourth to use level 5 LA! She absolutely loves the books and art! It’s been a joy to homeschool her, and I’m so thankful we were given the chance to do so.

If I had been a new homeschooler, then it would have been more tricky to homeschool my 7th grade foster daughter. I would have started her on grade level history, math, language arts, and science without considering what her emotional needs were.

Homeschooling is more than curriculum. I wanted her to feel safe and comfortable while learning, so I started her at lower levels that still challenged her but didn’t throw new things constantly at her. It took me years to understand that just because something is easy doesn’t mean they aren’t learning.

Dinner as a Family

Dinner as a family Shantel

We always end our day with dinner as a whole family. I’m very protective over this hour together, and we will reschedule activities or delay dinner so we can all be together. Especially as kids get older, that time needs to be guarded. It’s too easy to save a plate or say we are together all day, but I notice whenever we skip this time our home is less harmonious. Plus we enjoy hearing about each others day! The only time we miss this hour is my husband’s and I date night on Fridays.

The End of the Day

End of the day

This brings us to the end of our day! I’ve enjoyed my time with you today and hope I gave you a glimpse of what our homeschool looks like! If you have any questions, feel free to ask them! After today, I’m over at @shantelshomeschool and would love to help in any way I can.

I didn’t get to cover all I’d hoped, but I’ll be adding to it as I’m able to over on my account over the coming days/weeks. Thanks @learningwell community for this amazing opportunity!

Thank you Shantel for sharing your Day in the Life with us!

Day in the life Shantel

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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