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(Editor’s Note: This week we welcome the Smith family to Tuesdays at Our House. We love to read about what homeschooling looks like in other homes– it’s the best way to see the variety of styles and “flavors” of homeschool! If you’d like to share a typical homeschool day with us, please send an email to Tuesdays@thehomewriter.com.)
Life is much different than it was years ago when I had four children at home. My older three are all homeschool graduates (two have also graduated from universities) and living on their own (thankfully, my grandson and his mommy and daddy live nearby). Every year is different since there are new life circumstances, new curriculums, and new activities.
In the morning, my daughter gets up whenever she wakes up since the evenings can run late (especially during basketball season). I usually get up with my husband and am at my desk by 8 am. This gives me time to check email, facebook, etc. before the day gets rolling. When my 14-year-old daughter wakes up (usually between 8:30-9 am) we start with Bible time on the couch. It includes Bible and any read-alouds we are doing for any subject. She’s not a morning person, so mostly she just listens. Right now we are reading from the Soar Bible Study (by Amy Groeschel and Sheri Yates), and we read Amon’s Adventures (by Arnold Ytreeide) for Easter. (After Easter we started another biography from American History).
After that she moves to her desk and does her Starting Points (from Cornerstone Curriculum — which covers more Bible, Literature, and American History). Then she usually feeds the dogs, gets dressed, and maybe gets some breakfast (she’s not usually hungry in the mornings). When she returns to her desk, she will do her Algebra (Teaching Textbooks) and Physical Science (Apologia). Most of this work is done on her own unless she’s doing the study guide/summaries for science before a test or a science experiment. After completing those subjects, she will do a few minutes of sign language homework/study and then 20-30 minutes of piano practice. Several days a week she will practice archery in the backyard.
Throughout the day, I am busy managing our carpet cleaning business. I answer phones and do all the bookwork and billing. I can work beside her at my desk on paperwork for the business while she’s doing her schoolwork.
If she gets up early enough, she will be done with her work by a late lunch. Otherwise, she breaks for lunch and then finishes up after lunch. She always tries to have her bookwork done before she has to leave for a class or lesson.
Depending on the day of the week, we usually have a class or lesson to attend. Monday mornings are archery. Tuesday afternoons are piano lessons. And Wednesday afternoons are sign language classes (thankful she walks to sign language class). Thursday mornings we deliver Meals on Wheels. We leave our house at 10 am and even with a quick errand or two we are usually back home by 11:30-11:45. We have delivered meals for almost five years, and it’s always worth our time! From October through mid-March she has basketball practices or games usually four nights a week and most Saturdays. So those are extra busy months with late nights for the whole family.
Years ago we had a “Sacred Day.” It was a day set aside each week that we did NOT go anywhere! We stayed home and hit the books hard, made up for any work not done on busy days, did experiments, etc. Only for a rare occurrence would we do something on that day — and only if we could move it to another day of the week. Now that my daughter is the only one at home, she really looks forward to going somewhere or doing something every day. Also, it’s easier to get through one student’s worth of material each day than balancing two or three students and a toddler!
Right now we usually have a late start on Wednesdays. Since my husband is self-employed and often works into the evenings, he starts his day later on Wednesdays. He makes us a nice breakfast so we can eat together. We usually don’t start on schoolwork until he leaves around 10 am. Family time is important, so it’s worth it.
We have just completed our 26th year of homeschooling — with three years left to go before we end our homeschool adventure. Not sure what those years will look like: dual enrollment at the local community college; classes at the technology center; or strictly at home. She will probably continue to volunteer for Meals on Wheels and would also like to volunteer at Happy Hands, a school for deaf and hard of hearing infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners. But I can’t see into the future to know for sure what will happen — we will just trust in the Lord to lead and guide us!
How About You?
Thanks for taking the time to visit with the Smith family! Is there any part of their day or week with which you identify? Leave a comment, or send an email telling us about your day — you may be featured on an upcoming Tuesdays at Our House!