Will You Share About Your Day?

When we first began home educating back in 2000 I was very interested in hearing how other women ran their home schools.  I wanted to know all the details.  Did they keep a schedule?  Did they use chore charts and curriculum?  Did they say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning?  Did they get dressed every day?  I look back now and know why I was so interested.  I was looking for a measuring stick.  I wanted to know if what I was doing was going to be good enough.

Now, years later, I rarely worry about whether what I am doing measures up to other people’s standards, but am more concerned with meeting the Lord’s standards and my husband’s expectations.  I have successfully graduated my oldest and she seems to be functioning quite well as an adult.  That has given me confidence and perspective.
However, after having said that, I am always wanting to tweak my schedule, or change how we are doing chores, or look for a better, faster, more efficient way to do my household work.  In our town, we have a ministry called:  HFHG (Home For His Glory).  I had the pleasure of attending a recent meeting of theirs where 4 different women got up and shared a “Peek into my day.”  Each woman shared her schedule and a little about her philosophy for helping her home and homeschool run smoothly.  I enjoyed this meeting so much and gleaned some great ideas from all the speakers.
Then I was reminded of how much I craved that kind of insight when I first started staying home and wondered if some of my readers would enjoy the same kind of discussion.  If you have the time and energy would you like to come by the website and share a little about your day?  Whether you homeschool, stay home full time, or work outside the home, I would love to hear about how you manage your time and your days.  I know this will be a fun area for others to read and share ideas. I hope this will be a source of encouragement for women- lots of women just like you and me who are seeking balance, perspective and success in this journey of being a godly wife and mother.
If you do not see your post show up right away, don’t worry.  It takes a little time because I approve each post before it goes “live.”



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About the Author

Malia M. Russell Malia Russell is the blessed wife to Duncan, thankful mother to six children, ages 1 to 23, grandmother to one, and an author, conference speaker and director of www.homemaking911.com. Visit her site for inspiration, encouragement and practical help in your roles as a godly wife, mother, homemaker or home educator.

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Comments

comments

26 Responses to “Will You Share About Your Day?”

  1. Michelle says:

    “I wanted to know if what I was doing was going to be good enough.” You have summed up all the thoughts in my head in one sentence. Great idea, I really look forward to reading this and posting something of my own.

  2. Cathy says:

    Hi,

    Right now I don’t have a schedule but hope to have one in the near future. We have 4 little children ages 3, 18 months and 10 week old twins. I have a planner that has a list of basics to be done each day such as getting dressed, having your quiet time, etc., along with having basic house keeping chores for each day of the week. It has been great in helping me establish routines and to make sure I keep up with things. I also have a lady that comes in once a week for 3 hours to do cleaning or what ever I need. This has been a real lifesaver for me as I had to be on bed rest for awhile before the twins were born and frees me to take care of my little ones more. Ok, here is a general idea of how our day goes:
    Daddy leaves for work around 7:30, depending on how late we got to bed and how many times I was up nursing the babies I may or may not get up at this time.
    Once I get up I use the quiet time before the children get up to do my computer things or devotions. Then the little ones get up and we have breakfast, get dressed and do our teeth and hair. This takes a good hour or more. :) We work on cleaning up the house and the list of chores for that day. I take breaks to nurse the babies (about 1 hour out of every 2 hours is spent nursing) and read or play with the older ones. We work on our letters and numbers on and off through out the day as I think of it. After lunch everyone takes a nap… or is supposed to. :) 3yr old does not like naps and it is usually a struggle with her to go to sleep. If everyone goes to sleep then I use that time to finish up cleaning, read or take a nap myself. They usually go to sleep around 2:00-3:00 and sleep until Daddy gets home around 6:15. Then we have dinner, Bible reading and some family time before going to bed.

    One of the things I want to do today is make a chart for 3 year old on what chores she needs to do each morning and post it on the fridge so that she can learn to do them on her own.

    I look forward to hearing from all the other ladies on how their day goes!

  3. Jen says:

    We pulled our children from public school about 4 years ago to homeschool them. That first year I had them say the Pledge of Allegiance everyday, we had desks that they all sat at, we had workbooks, we did worksheets, I stood in the front of the room and taught them. Our kids soon grew tired of this…frankly so did I!! The next year we did unit studies and we all loved it. It was such a great fit for our family since our children are 15, 12, 10. The next year we were under attack from family members that went as far to contact our school district telling them that we were not doing what we should do…they were against homeschooling from the start. Thankfully our school district could see that homeschooling WAS working for our children. Our children’s grandparents just didn’t see it…they didn’t want to see it. So after all of that I went back to the “classroom” style because I was worried about them not learning enough or what they should. It didn’t matter that the kids were not really learning more…just learning right. So now here we are in our current year back to unit studies using The Prairie Primer, which is centered around Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. Our children love this. We are all so happy. We have learned that just because one child does well in a situation where text books and workbooks are used doesn’t mean that everyone has to use them. Follow God’s direction in your children’s education he will not steer you wrong.

  4. Andrea W says:

    Dear Malia,

    When I read your invitation to post our schedule I didn’t hesitate. I never give up an opportunity to write! I hope to give some testimony to other families out there who are considering home educating on how important it is to be with your children and not so important what your schedule is. Forgive the length of this post, but sometimes giving testimony takes some time.

    I have been home educating for only 1.5 years. Before I started home educating I did countless hours of research on how it was to be done. In nearly every website or book I read, the author would always say to take it slow your first year and not to get discouraged. So, I happily took their advice. We have started out VERY slow. We only do about 3 hours of school a day, 4 times a week. I find that is plenty of time to cover the basics of their grade. We also do year round school with lots of vacations so we can meet our state requirements for days in school.

    My oldest is, by school age, a 5th grader, but held back one year in 1st grade by the school. This year she will graduate 4th grade a little earlier than the schools this spring. I also have a Kindergartener working at the 1st grade level, and a 3 year old, getting ready to turn 4 year old, who we do no official education with as of yet.

    The first year was unstructured for the most part. We tried to get school done in the mornings, but if something else came up, we just moved it to the afternoon or skipped it all together. I am sure there are those out there who are asking, how then, do I teach the kids of about self-discipline and keeping a schedule. Well, honestly, school wasn’t our priority last year. Our goal going into the first year was not so much about giving our children a better education than the schools could give; it was to reconnect with our oldest daughter specifically. We felt like the public school did damage to her emotional well being and what we found out was that it wasn’t specifically the school; it was the institution and the life style we had to participate in to please the institution that was detrimental. Having set that goal, as we look back over last year and the progress she has made, we feel our first year was a success.

    Before going into our first year she had very little confidence and at the end of 2nd grade, and 8 years old, she was struggling with our authority over her. To get her to even ride her bike we would have to give long confidence building talks that would still end in her giving up after the first couple of feet. She would give teachers and family outsiders much more respect than she would us, her parents. She would often be defiant and stubborn at home and be an angel in social situations. I have to say, I am pleased that she knew how to act in public, but home life is so vitally important that it became a deep concern for us.

    As we tried to discover where the problem lied, I personally came to the conclusion that I was the problem. From the moment my precious daughter got out of bed I was hurrying her out the door. She was at school from 8am – 4pm. When she arrived home we would have a battle of wills to do homework and chores vs. watching TV until it was time for activities like church, Girl Scouts, and sports. By the time her dad got home, I was ready to wash my hands of her and would turn parenting over to him for the evening where he would struggle with her in much the same way. We also noticed that to get her to mind us, we had to break her spirit frequently. In my heart of hearts, I believe that is what caused her issues of self confidence. A scathing reproach on our parenting, to be sure, but it is so important for others to see how the lifestyle we have to submit our families to under the authority of the school system can be so damaging to our children and to the family.

    We finally had enough when we found at the end of her 2nd grade year, that she had passed all her classes with A’s and B’s but she could barely read and spell. Her math skills were barely on grade level and most of her class had passed her in their sleep. Why was OUR daughter struggling academically so much more than the rest and why were they passing her with A’s and B’s when they would then tell us she was performing lower than average? There was talk about special education and her being developmentally delayed. This infuriated me! It is so hard to see your child be the one who struggles when it seems the others around you are doing so well academically. It is my belief that her struggle was just more apparent than some.

    Our school was a good one to be sure, according to the standards the state and federal governments have set. It is one of the top in Indiana, but I wonder, behind closed doors, how many of those children were struggling emotionally? How many of them will grow up to be independent thinkers and creative geniuses? How many of them will know how to succeed in college and in the work place? How many of them will have the courage of heart to take the road less traveled? How many of them will have loving, meaningful relationships with their families? Or, will they all know how to go to school really well?

    I want to put a disclaimer in here that I respect those who have to, or want to, put their children into public or private school. I don’t mean this to be a condemnation of parents who don’t choose to homeschool. There are definitely people out there who can make that lifestyle work for them and thrive in it. I admire you for your ability to do so. We just couldn’t make that work for our family.

    After much prayer and discussion, we started our school. Over the last year and a half, we have seen our daughter blossom. She still struggles with self confidence, but she is gaining ground. Our relationship has grown beyond what I could have hoped for. She is a brilliant light in my life now. She is a huge help to me around the house, helps tremendously with her younger brother, and is a great friend to her little sitter. Academically she still struggles with spelling, but that might be because she is my daughter (I still struggle in this area). Her reading skills have leaped forward (she has a deep love for reading now) and her math skills are on grade level.

    The largest benefit from the time together has been for me. I have got to know my daughter and come to appreciate her unique voice. I have learned what a companionate young lady she has always been. I believe God has blessed her with this gift and it will be a guiding force in her life. It is so fulfilling to be able to know my daughter on this level, and a true blessing.

    I credit this success totally to God. If it weren’t for His love and my understanding of His love for every individual in our family, including me, I don’t think I would have had the courage to take this on. He also softened my husband’s heart on the issue. Years ago when we first put our oldest in preschool we spoke about home educating and he was dead set against it. And, most importantly, thanks be to God for this blessed country where we have the freedom to live our lives as we see fit. We all must endeavor to protect that freedom. I pray for guidance in raising the next generation of protectors.

    So here is what you have been waiting for — our schedule. We are very flexible, which I feel is the best part of home education. If we need to spend time with family or friends, we do it with no rearguard for what might need to be completed in our studies. If one of the kids or I am sick, we take the day off. If the schools have the day off and the neighbors want to play, we cut the lessons short and get to playing. Do we really learn anything? Well, like I said, daughter number 1 is catching up to grade level and finishing this year ahead of the schools, and daughter number 2 is a year ahead. Son number 1, and the youngest, just isn’t ready to start on his own, but he often sits with one of his sisters and watches their online studies. It is like a cartoon for him. So I would say, all in all, our kids are right on target academically and more importantly, spiritually and emotionally.

    Thank you, Malia, for this opportunity.

    7am: Hubby leaves for work, I get some tea and check email, news, and devotional
    8am – 9am: Kids Rise, Dress, Eat, Chores
    9am – 12pm: Home Studies
    12pm -1pm: Lunch and Afternoon Chores
    1pm – 4pm: Errands, Cleaning, Computer Time, Kids Free Time, More Studies if needed, nap time for little ones, Personal Development
    4pm – 8pm: Activities (Sports, Church, Meetings, Social Groups)
    5pm – 6pm: Dinner prep (but that is lessened with freezer cooking)
    6pm – 7pm: Dinner and Clean up
    7pm – 9pm: Relax with the kids and hubby (game, movie, chat)
    8pm – 9pm: Bedtime Routine for the kids with Dad, Mom gets a breather and a shower
    9pm – 11pm: Personal Time – Special Time with Hubby, Reading, Movie
    11pm – 12pm Bedtime

    We got rid of cable. ;) That is why you don’t see “TV Time” on there.

    We are also going to be adding a homeschool P.E. class and piano lessons at the Y in the next month so our daytime schedule will change a little. We don’t have a co-op school, but I pray one day we will. For now, all our studies are at home.

  5. Nancy says:

    I have recently rediscovered lists! I make a list every night for the next day (knowing it is likely I will need to modify it the next morning!) that has the things I am wanting to get accomplished the next day. I have a generic list in MS WOrd I work from that has the basics for everyday (so I do not forget simple things like taking my vitamins) and I copy and paste it into a new list for the day. Then I can consult my calendar and add or delete items from my list based on the specific needs of the day. My lists include Dailies, Food, School, Appointments, Home Blessings, & other. In this way, not only do I know what I want to get done in a particular day, but my kids can look at it too and see what needs doing. It has helped at house blessing time especially because they can see exactly what I want done (we have a rotating cleaning schedule). Mealtimes are smoother as well because I have a reminder in the morning if I need to take anything out of the freezer for lunch or supper and any timke consuming meal prep that might be required. Alternatively, if the day is going crazy, I can look at my planned meals for the week list (yes, another list!) and see what I can switch around and still have supplies on hand for. It has cut down on last minute trips to the store and meal prep stress a lot!
    All that said, I am not a planner by nature! I have resisted this sort of structure for years never realizing what a blessing it would be for our family.
    Do I accomplish everything on my list every day? NO. But I do get a lot done and I can still be flexible with a good understanding of what I am sacrificing in terms of time when we want to be spontaneous and do something random. Beautiful day? want to go to the park? Okay let’s go, but understand that it might mean more laundry on library day!

  6. I will post about our days, I sure can relate to those first few years wanting to know exactly how everyone else was home schooling, so that I could have some kind of yardstick to measure with!
    Now I am almost 6 full years into HS’ing and being a SAHM (both came simutaneously for me) and I no longer need a yard stick hah ha- I know that each family does what works for their individual family, and whatever they do He will work it all for good. There is something to be said for obeying God’s precepts (they are there for our good, and His glory) and I do believe that all of God’s children desire to have His guidance in not just their HS’ing, but in their lives entirely, every part. Every job, and every relationship. That being said, our days look as it works for our family and as the Lord would lead our individual family, although I am a sinful person saved by God’s grace alone He does use me despite myself to manage our home. educate our children, cook our meals and along with my husband choose and provide for our children’s entertainment. I also have pursued my continuing education in diffferent seasons as it has fit in best for the needs of our family, as well as served other families in different ways in different seasons, as God has lead us. I started out back in ’02 with my idea of a ‘good’ HS’ing environment- basically, public school at home (which was all I had ever known, and all my oldest child had known for the first 2 and 1/2 years of his education.) I started the days with the pledge of allegience (which I hadn’t even memorized fully in Pub.Scl.) and breakfast, different learning subjects, lunch, a scheduled PE time, and more scheduled subjects until the time to end the school day had come, and we would wrap up at 3pm just as all the PS students were walking home from their schooling. Nothing wrong with that if it works for your family, but I had some difficulty with mine because my son had different needs (and part of the reason I had taken him out of PS was because he had been having some difficulties with the teachers, and been diagnosed in Kindergarden with ADHD and ODD.) It dawned on me that HS’ing had to be about his individual needs or it would not work- and of course this is the whole beauty of HS’ing along with giving our children a Christ-centered education, and I had missed the gift! I adapted our HS’ing to his needs as well as ours, as we had done all along with the rest of our lives, and HS’ing became much easier for both of us and also more of a Joy. Today, just beginning his high school adeventures, my son is well educated and very able to work independently as well as in a team, or with an instructor. I can see God’s grace woven through all of the years, and am much more relaxed as a HS’er now for my 2nd grader and 4 year old soon to be Kindergartner. I look forward to all these new adventures, knowing that ‘big leaps’ will grow out of the soil of regular old daily life, and that God will be the fertilizer in that soil- making it healthy and wonderful. I know that I will sin and I will obey in the mixture that is life, and that I will love God and be jelous for His glory throughout all of my life, by God’s grace, as well. I think one of the best gifts a parent can give a child is for them to see that their parents are in need of a Savior just as much as they are, and to see us obey, sin at times, repent at those times, be granted vast grace and forgiveness by God and in living in front of them in those ways they too learn how to live. My dear ‘Mom in the Lord’ taught me that several years ago, and I hope to share it with as many Mom’s as I can because it has blessed me and my entire family for life to learn that and find it to be true. God bless all you beloved adopted children of God out there! :)

    Oh, for those who still like practicals we do start school around a certain time, but that can be flexible as needs arise and we complete our subjects most foundational first ( because my kids need to tackle those first, hah ha) so Prayer time and Bible reading come first- then we do Arithmetic and Grammar/Language , and writing skills. To follow is lunch, the other subjects (Whichever Science course, Geography and Civics studies, History studies, Reading a good book :) and Health studies.
    The schooling usually begins and ends by 2pm for us, but it may be 3 or 4 some days (depending on how many breaks to do other stuff we took suring the days) and all of that is Ok with us. I always prapare dinner within a timing of an hour from whenever my husband will be home, and we have healthy snacks to tide us over until family meal time on days when he works later. Above all, God’s grace is over all! Today we are going roller skating in an hour with friends and will have hot dogs for lunch there with them, then come home afterwards and do school in the afternoon until a bit before dinner-time. Then we will eat together, and enjoy Friday evening together as a family.

    ” How good it is to sing praises to Our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him.” Pslams 147:1

  7. Esther says:

    Thank you, Mallia, for this helpful thread of discussion.

    I’m a new wife and soon-to-be mommy come June, the Lord-willing, I’m looking forward to learning from these comments and schedule ideas. I’m traveling a new path, and one that I want to bring glory to God in so very much!

  8. Olivia says:

    We have been homeschooling for seven years now and have had the same type schedule from the start. We do school most everyday of the work week unless there is something important that comes up. This doesn’t happen often, but we are flexible and realize that this is one of the perks of homeschoolling. I am up by 7-7:30 and my homeschooled kids who are 10 and 14 are up by 8-8:30. We dress,eat breakfast, do some minor morning chores and then usually sit down together to read the Bible and pray together. This starts between 9-9:30. We also do our reading together of whatever we are working on at the time. This could be a History novel or books or a fictional book that we are reading together. I find this gives my kids some time to wake up especially now that they are a little older. Sometimes we are working on a lapbook and will then go to the table and work on that since we do a lot of lapbooks for history. We then move on with our other school work usually starting with Math and then break around 12 for lunch. We usually break for one hour for lunch and get back to school work until about three in the afternoon. The afternoon is filled with chores, playing, excercise, individual projects, sports practices, church and dinner prep depending on which day of the week it is. We do have a co-op day which takes us out of the house around 11:30 until 4:00ish. Our evenings are spent with Dad eating, watching some TV(which I hate), bathing, playing, or whatever they are into at the time. I’d say we do around five hours of school each day give or take: some days more, some days less. We usually sit at the kitchen table or on the couch for reading. My older son now likes to use the desk in his room to do his work sometimes. It seem no matter how I try to change the schedule if I am not satisfied we always come back to this one. It seems to work for us. I would love to get up earlier myself and get my kids up earlier, but we are good with it like it is for now. It is all I can do to get my 14 year old out of the bed these days:) That’s our day.

  9. Gretchen says:

    I’m a business and Elem Ed major and have had jobs in both fields. I sub once a week for our school district to supplement our income, which let’s me be at home with my gorgeous 2 year old boy. I may be biased, but right now he is working on a preschool curriculum so we’re trying to read up on being gifted, both of us have been designated with high IQ’s. Anyway since I know both my husband and I did not have overly stimulating educations, I was even considered a trouble maker because I was bored in classes, I have been trying to follow his lead and give him as much information that he wants to learn in a day. For example: Today we read a couple of chapters from Boxcar Children #1 and he was asking me questions about why the children were not with their mommy and daddy, where the puppy came from and why are they living in a boxcar. He also answered comprehensive questions about the chapter as we went along, what where the children doing, where were the going and why. So from these examples you can see I have to be on top of things and unfortunatly I do have many times a week where cleaning goes by the way side, but I try. So I do try to schedule. Here’s what I would like for our schedule and we follow on some days and food and lunch are pretty scheduled.
    7-8-wake-up, exercise, shower
    8-devotional
    8:30-make hubbies lunch and start morning meal for everyone
    9-Daddy leaves for work, clean-up kitchen, watch a show, finish eating
    9:30-finish clean-up, Bible, Circle-Time
    10-11-Storytime(Tues,Thurs), Pool(Mon,Wed,Fri,Sun) Sabbath School/Church
    11-1-Flashcards, Arttime, Leapfrog, creative play
    1-2-lunch w cookingtime
    2-2:30-Storytime w playtime
    2:30-5:30-naptime, computertime and plantime
    5:30-6:30-storytime w playtime
    6:30-7-dinner prep, clean-up
    7-8-dinner
    8-9-daddytime
    9-bedtime routine, story
    10-dad homework, mom plantime
    11-personal read, bedtime

  10. Sweetpeas says:

    I did a blog post of our “normal” schedule, it can be seen here: http://broadhorizonsschool.blogspot.com/2010/01/day-in-life.html

  11. Amy says:

    We are in our 10th year of homeschooling. I still wonder if I am “doing it right!” But the kids seem to be learning well. Our oldest started private school in K4 where they taught her to read, count, and various other things. I started homeschooling with a pre-programmed kid. We started homeschooling her in K5 – she is now in 9th grade. She has a brother in 4th grade, and a brother in 2nd grade, a K5 sister, and a 4 year old sister. I use A Beka for all of the kids as it works well for us. I prefer the “school” type of teaching with workbooks, tests, etc. I don’t do much school with the 4 and 6 year olds, they just seem to pick things up from their siblings and the little bit of PBS they watch during the day.

    Our daily schedule goes as follows: (If anyone gets done with a subject early, they move on to the next one and earn a longer break in the afternoon)
    5:00 am – DH and I get up and while he gets ready for work I make his lunch and probably iron his pants for the day (really should be done beforehand!)
    5:40 am – DH leaves for work and I get showered, then do the ironing, or some sewing. Some days I just sleep in the recliner.
    7:00 am – wake the kids who are to get up get dressed, make their beds and report for breakfast. (Usually cereal, pancakes, or coffee cake) I walk the dog.
    8:00 am – we all hit the door for a mile long walk around the neighborhood. This is PE for them and exercise for me and my 9th grader.
    8:30 – 8:45 am – We prepare for school. I bring out a folding table into the dining room so the 4 and 6 yo DDs have a place to do puzzles, color, play with playdough, make words with magnets, flashcards or whatever. Legos are too noisy.
    8:45 – 9:15 am – Pledges, Bible reading, then work on memorizing Psalm 119. There are 180 school days, and 176 verses, so a verse a day. We’re working on it.
    9:15 – 10:15 am – DD does Health or History, DS does Math, and DS does Spelling, Phonics, and Reading with me.
    10:15 – 10:30 am BREAK TIME!
    10:30 – 11:30 am – DD does English, DS does Writing, Language, Spelling, and Reading with me, DS does math.
    11:30 – 12:30 pm – lunch time and outside time
    12:30 – 1:30 pm – DD does math, DS does History with me, and DS does Health with me.
    1:30 – 1:45 pm – BREAK TIME
    1:45 – 2:45pm – DD does Science, DS does Science, and DS does Writing, and Seatwork.
    2:45 – 3:00 pm clean up the mess. :-)
    3:00 – 4:00 pm – outside time or whatever they would like to do. I usually work on grades or sewing or just watch afternoon PBS with them.
    4:00 – 5:15 pm cook dinner.
    5:15 pm – DH comes home so dinner is on the table waiting for him when he gets here.
    As soon as dinner is over, DD and I go for a 2 mile walk around the neighborhood while DH and DSs clean up dinner. When we get home then I visit with DH, or sew, or read, and the kids play in their rooms.

    Chores are on charts on the refrigerator and each child is responsible to do their chores each day. We do them either in the morning while we are getting ready, or at lunchtime, or in the afternoon when we are done with school. Laundry and other housework is done during the school day when I get a chance. I schedule days off so I can do grades – I am really bad at getting these done. By the time school is over, I am ready to be done with it for the day and doing grades is no fun.

    During some times of the year, we have football practice/games or baseball & softball practice /games as early as 5:30 and often times running until 8:00. We have 2 playing football, and 3 playing baseball/softball. Those are crazy days! Usually we are out at the recreation department on Mon, Tue, Thu, and sometimes Sat morning. Church is Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Weds night. WHEW! Friday morning grocery shopping every other week makes me adjust the schedule and shorten the day, but it fits.

    When realtives come to visit, they are always worn out when they leave and tell me to “Rest, you’re probably worn out.” Our poor parents! :-)

    Sorry this is so long, but as I always say, with 5 kids, everything about us is either really big or in multiples.

  12. A day at Sather Homeschool

    I remember thinking a few years back, when things were quite hectic, “I’ll wait to do that until things get back to normal.” That’s when the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “This is normal.” In looking back on our 17 years of homeschool, I have to admit that the quiet, peaceful days that I like to think are normal are few and far between.

    In the beginning, we tried to imitate a typical classroom. We even had little school desks. Then our 15 month old son was diagnosed with leukemia and we were pressed into finding a different model. We proceeded to what I like to call a “flexible” schedule, and believe me those 3+ years of chemotherapy taught us to be extremely flexible. We’ve chosen this verse to guide us in making our schedule: “A man’s heart plans his way: but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9”. We’ve put the most important things first, so if the Lord decides to send us an interruption, we usually have them done and can be open to His call on our time. For the first few years, this often meant school in emergency or hospital rooms. I had my little bag packed and ready. When Eric needed to be taken in suddenly, we were equipped to take advantage of new learning adventures. This was the beginning for us of making all of life a learning experience.

    We try to start our days between 7:00 and 7:30. Our first hour is spent doing personal grooming, making beds, and having our quiet times with the Lord. Then we meet in the kitchen for breakfast and chores before our family Bible time. We spend about an hour together before breaking up to do various assignments in Bible, Calculus, Physics, or piano.

    Our oldest daughter, Emily (22), is studying Calculus with her brother Eric (18) and preparing to take the CLEP math exam with him shortly. She is a freelance editor and keeps as busy as she would like to be with that. She is also writing a book and teaching herself to do graphic art.

    Rebekah (21) is studying Web Design with Penn Foster University in Phoenix, AZ via internet. She is also a writer and works at developing her talent every free moment. She is currently studying the French revolution and French so she can use it in one of her novels.

    Eric is studying Physics, Calculus, and preparing for his math CLEP exam. In addition he is working with the accountant at church on the finances, and runs the sound board as often as possible. He and Emily also take piano lessons.

    While they study independently I have an opportunity to check my e-mail, make phone calls, start dinner, and finish up any things I have going on.

    Eric is usually starving by the time math is done, so we stop for lunch. On Mondays I have lunch with one of the children, so I usually leave with my date for the week and go into one of the small towns nearby to eat and listen to whatever is going on in their life.

    After lunch, Eric chops wood, shoots his bow, or does something physical — ice fishing is hot right now, while Emily and Rebekah walk our dog, Strider. He is a flat-coated retriever and needs his daily run. He loves the snow and usually comes home wet from rolling in it. The girls have been known to come home wet too, not from rolling in snow, but from snowball fights.

    Afternoons are spent on a variety of fun areas of school, including piano, guitar, baking, preparation for women’s Bible study, or writing.

    My main responsibility now is overseeing and making sure everyone remains on track. I am indeed reaping the results of training our children to know how to learn and to love learning.

    Dinner is about 6:00, with each of the children taking turns helping to prepare meals. Eric’s specialty is breakfast, so while we work on dinner, he often busies himself with a golf video, hitting golf balls or chores his father has given him.

    After dinner we gather as a family and enjoy having Dad read to us. This year, we have been reading Minnesota history and a book about Scotland during the 1800’s. Dad is also reading to us from the book of Hebrews. We end our night with family prayers.

    Although normal life for us is often hectic and filled with the Lord’s interruptions,
    I try to keep my eye on the goal of Titus 2:5 “…to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
    Some days that means we keep our noses to the grindstone of our schedule, other days that means we respond to a hurting friend’s need for a listening ear and prayer or someone to watch children in an emergency. I’ve often been guilty of attempting to keep life from interfering with my schedule. But… real learning is what happens as we live life. The Lord often has to gently remind me that one of our goals is to teach our children how to live life well. This seems to happen better during the interruptions than during the scheduled school time. Accomplishing what the Lord wants us to do requires that we be available on a daily basis, willing to respond to His call, whether that means following my schedule or being available for service in another way.

  13. Michelle says:

    Good evening. A little about our story. We started homeschooling 4 years ago. My husband and I decided to bring our children home from private school when tuition became too expensive. At that time our oldest was finishing 5th grade and the next one was finishing Kindergarden. Now our oldest is in the middle of 9th grade. She was dx with diabetes last year and I am SOOO thankful she has been home to be able to help her manage her diabetes. Our second daughter is working through 4th grade. We have started our 3rd daughter in Kindergarden and she is now reading. Then our son just turned 3.
    Every year is different than the one before. This year we have decided to take an extended Spring Break. We start raising our own food last year. Right now we have 3 steers for beef, 60 chickens and 5 horses. (Just to clarify, the horse are for enjoyment, not food!)In the next few weeks we will be putting up fences and building a barn for the cows and horses as well as a coop for the chickens. What better way to learn life skills and to be doing them first hand.
    Aside from our extended break, I work full time as a nurse in the ED of our local hospital. I work 12 hour shifts and am gone 2 days of the week and every other weekend. My husband is a tow truck driver and stays home with the kids while I am at work. We are using Sonlight this year. I have to use a pre-scheduled curriculum due to time constraints. The girls are very good at self learning. Is it easy? No way! Would I do it any differently? If I could do it differently it would be to be able to stay home with my children full time, but that does not seem to be in God’s life plan for us at this time.
    If you ask what our daily schedule is I don’t think I could tell you. Every day is different. My husband and I do not “do school” the same. I have found that very challenging yet God has brought about in me a humble spirit in this matter.
    I hope this post is helpful to anyone who is struggling with working full tme, running a small farm, homeschooling and the such. As Todd Wilson, The Family Man, has said, “It’s hard, but it’s good!!!”

  14. Kelly Greene says:

    I am in my first year of homeschooling our just turned 6 year old and we have a just turned 1 year old. My husband is a Pastor so his work hours are flexiable. I do the bulk of the homeschooling but my husband joins us on fieldtrips and when I work (2 days a month) he takes over school for that day.

    typical day:
    5:30am to 6:30am wake up sometime between these times, exercise, unload dishwasher from night before, do Bible time.
    6:30am to 7:30am; prepare breakfast for family, on Mondays (laundry day) start laundry. Eat and get things togther for schooltime.
    7:30am to 8;30 am start school sometime between these times. on Tuesday it is latter because I go the Bible study first then after I return we do school.
    9:30 am to 10:30am: we finish with school during this time frame, shower and get dressed. Playoutside if waether permits until lunch, or play inside games, coloring and sometimes watch a movie.
    12:00pm lunch, Daddy comes home, church is right across the street! We all eat together at the table. Psend a little time discussing what we did at school.
    1:00pm to 3:00 pm: Daddy back to work, oldest outside to play if weather permits, youngest nap time. I use this time to prepare things for supper, to cleaning or tiding up around the house, reading, answering e-mail, etc. Also may spend time coloring or playing a game with oldest child.
    3:00pm to 5:00pm: if weather permits outside time, or playing inside. cooking supper.
    5:00pm to 5:30pm Supper occurs between these times. Sometimes earlier if my husband has an early meeting.
    5:30pm to 6:00pm: family time until children go to bed.
    6:30pm: youngest goes to bed
    6:30pm to 7:30pm family time with oldest, games, watch a movie, etc.
    7:30pm to 10:00 pm: spend time with my hushbad (if he is not at a meeting) reading sepeartely of out loud to each other, reading e-mails, watching a movie, etc.
    10:00pm sleep.

    We do not have TV hooked up to and channels so we only watch DVD’s or VHS’s. I try to limit TV time to 30 to 45 mins per day. Will also allow oldest to do computer time on some days, I set a timer for no more than 30 mins.The schedule is flexiable so that if theree is a doctors appt or we are going to visit a family in our church.

    In christ,
    kelly

  15. Kris Tyree says:

    I have been homeschooling for about 4 years now, pulling out one child 4 yrs ago, another 3 yrs ago, and the last two 2 yrs ago. As a single parent, I had to start slow because my ex was very against hsing, so I started w/one of the grandchildren I am raising, and then the next. Then after I had gotten full custody, I pulled our two out. I started with a much more scheduled program, but now we are more relaxed. I have to be on guard as some family members are not too keen on HSing, and I feel a need to be on board with things. The kids have Bible and History all together, then the 3 youngest have science together, the older boy works alone w/help from me if needed. Then they all do math, by themselves but I am there to help if needed, or to teach a new concept. Usualy we have a break then, and have lunch. We will finish up with reading and anything else in the afternoon. We love field trips, or just the park or outdoor walk. We have church 2x on Sunday, and Wed night. The kids have a drama class that goes fall/ winter w/ a show in the spring, and then a summer theater program They have Art 1x per month, but we do art at home too. I think life skills are important too, so they have time cooking, sewing and working in the yard/garden. Of course, life has a way of changing plans, and somedays I feel I accomplished nothing, and other times we get so much done in a week I’m amazed. We have a lighter schedule in summer, but I don’t like to stop entirely for too long, because its harder to start back up. I feel I have a tendency to be overscheduled w/other things to do, and also can easily fall into being lazy, and just do what I want/need to get done. Through it all, the Lord is there to encourage and uplift me, as well as my church friends. Sometimes I get sidetracked by others opinions, and they get me doubting myself, but God always reels me in, and sets my feet back on the narrow path. Praise Him for that!We are different, because we are chosen by Him, and He will never steer me the wrong way.. Oh, by the way, we use ACE Math, Apologia Science, Mystery of History, and Learning Lang Arts thru Lit. I really want to start doing more unit studies and lapbooks, too.

  16. Mary Mullenix says:

    I pulled my youngest out of public school 10 years ago to homeschool her. In 2007 she took a military high school GED exam to join the military. When her scores came back we found out she had received the highest score of any in this area in over 15 years. Her home schooling was a lot of reading and learning about life and how to manage a home. She has been in the service for 3 years now and has 2 MOS titles and is getting ready to go over seas in August.
    I also have a five year old granddaughter who lives with me that I am now home schooling. I use “The Core Knowledge” series for her. I have used it with all my kids to see if the schools are up to federal standards. When she started to school at home in January my 22 year old son came to me and said mom I want to finish school at home with you.
    You see he dropped out one year short of graduating because he had been labled “special ed” and we could not pull him out to homeschool him because of the city shools need for the special goverment funding they get for these kids. (some kind of state rule)) I know now that he was not special ed he just did’nt learn the way other kids did. To this day I am sorry that I ever made him stay in school as long as he did.
    Our school days are everyday all year long. We feel you should learn something new everyday. Our day changes from day-to-day due to my husbands work hours. So here is a sample of what we do.

    8 up and dressed
    9 breakfast
    10-12 pledg, story time and educational videos
    12 lunch
    1-3 Bible time, crafts, writting
    3 snack
    3:30-5 P.E.
    5-6 supper
    6-7 free time
    7-8 bath and bedtime
    We do chores through out the day and Sunday is the Lords day and family time.

  17. Stephanie Holland says:

    I love this topic, as so many of my homeschooling friends would love to be a fly on the wall at each others homes. My husband and I have 6 children ages 11, 9, 7, 5, 3, and 1. I do not remember all the details on why we decided to homeschool. The biggest factor was that our oldest was begging us to teach her to read when she was 2 and could read all the bold face words in Teach Your Child to Read in a 100 Easy Lessons, a month before her 3rd birthday. I like to talk to other moms about this topic in hopes of gleaning some great tid bit on how to be more efficient with my time in order to do the “fun” stuff that you have great plans for at the beginning of the school year but you have pushed to the side by the 2nd month in. I read a great book- A Mother’s Rule for Life. My husband gave it to me for Christmas 5 years ago. (But I didn’t find the time to read it for a whole year.) When I did, I decided to implement what I read. Superwoman had to hang up her cape. I made lots of lists- cleaning, errands, activities, school, etc . . Then I assigned months to certain activities and put them on the calendar. Those things that had to happen more frequently were assigned a day of the week. My children and I now clean one major area a day: M-dusting & vacuuming, T-bathrooms, etc. Otherwise the pigpens followed us around and undid all our hard work if we spent all day cleaning. I used to do the same with laundry. I realized that there were some things that could not escape daily attention like the dishes and cooking. But laundry was one thing I did not have to do on the Lord’s day. M, W, TH, F clothes get washed. Tues. towels get washed since its bathroom cleaning day. Sat. beds get stripped. For school, I have tried so many organizational methods of assigning school work. I was introduced to the Work Box method this past fall. I have tweaked it to fit my space and family’s needs. It is actually helping incorporate those “fun” things. I wanted to school year round, but didn’t have a good method until last year. We went to a 4 day school week where we do book work M-Th. Friday is library day and fun activity day, field trips, get togethers, computer time, Summer, we do school on M-W-F in the morning before the pool has warmed up. T & Th we go see free movies at the local theater and summer reading activities at the library. I had great ambitions and decided to move a few subjects/special projects to the summer only.
    A good day for us is: 7-8am Mommy time: exercise, shower dress, pray, laundry, unload dish washer 8-9am kids get up, dress, breakfast, chore
    9-noon school
    noon-1:30pm lunch, read-aloud (sometimes its a bk on tape), recess
    1:30-3 finish up any studies/ free time
    3-8 activities
    5:30 make dinner
    8 baths 9bedtime
    my husband used to say “we” homeschool, but that changed a few years ago when he went to night shift. Luckily, he has been able to work from home for the last year. So he can pop in and say goodnight and occasionally sit and have dinner with us. Ora et Labora- Stephanie

  18. Vickie Bordelon says:

    Great idea! Love your blog Malia as well as you talk at the old school house expo! This is my 2nd year homeschooling and we are having a very difficult time with scheduling. I have been taking my 5 year old to O.T. and S.T. for the past 2 years 2 days a week for 2 hours each day and we do 1 day of coop. I was hoping to reduce the amount of going that I was doing, but I don’t know if that will be possible. The therapist believe Aubrey may have Asperger’s and we will be seeing a neurologist next month so I am not sure how this will be working with 2 days of therapy and 1 day of coop. Thanks for your ideas.

  19. Cathy says:

    I first began homeschooling my children when they were four years old; they are now 15. Over the years we have had to adapt our schedules at times, but overall the following has been a schedule that has worked for us: My husband leaves for work each day around 9:00. I use the time before he leaves to have my morning devotion, cook him breakfast, watch the news and catch up with emails. After 9:00 I go around straightening up things that are out of place in the house before we start homeschooling at 10:00. At 10:00, we meet in our designated schoolroom and complete Bible, Math, and Science. We break for lunch at 12:00, fix lunch, and do various activities around the house. At 1:00 we go back to school until 3:30. I then took the house and divided into deep cleaning segments that take about an hour apiece. There is an assignment for six days a week that will ensure that the house is always clean. The girls are responsible for their area upstairs. At 6:00 my husband is back home and we sit down to supper and then enjoy our evening. For the past several years I have taken in a friend’s son who did high school work with us until passing his GED. This year I will be having a new student join the mix who is a little younger than the girls. This past year and a half I had to work for three hours each day at the family business, but now I’m back to being able to do this from home.

  20. Renata says:

    Hi Thanks for this opportunity to share about my day. I always enjoy reading how other ladies go about juggling their days & seeing where I can “tweak” my system.
    I am quite a strict home schooler – we do school 4 days a week with every Thursday being a more social day – once a month to home school group, twice a month to a dance class with other home schoolers & the other Thursday is a Mum’s group where we pay a babysitter to watch the kids (other home schooling families here as well) while we do a study & pray together. I try & tell myself that Thursday is my day off & I don’t schedule any housework for this day except what is absolutely essential.
    So our normal days (not Thursday) go kinda like this
    7am – everyone must be up by now – of course the boys are usually up much earlier, but Miss Ellie is a little later. From here we do breakfast & then morning jobs. We live on a farm, so this includes various jobs outside as well. By 9am I want everyone dressed & properly groomed, their rooms tidy & beds made & their am jobs done. We begin school at 9am with devotions (after all this is why we home school – so we can teach our children about the Lord). After devotions I send the twins (who are 4) off to play & I begin Maths with Zai (8) & Ellie(6). Because they are so close in age & our curriculum has the same topic for them both each day, I teach Ellie’s lesson with both children listening & then send her off to do her work while I teach Zai the extra parts of his lesson – although since maths is our familys best subject often Zai is ready to do his work without the extra explanation. If I am sure he understands the concept I let him do it. After Maths we do English – this varies for each day but includes spelling, grammar, writing workbook, handwriting & spelling test during the week. I try & teach Zai & Ellie seperately, so it depends who is finished at what time as to who goes first. I also have extra work for them to complete individually if they both finish at the same time (eg their handwriting or writing out spelling words etc.) At 10:30am is morning tea – this is followed by outside playtime for the children & I try & get my first load of laundry out on the washing line (Zai has to put it in the machine & run it each morning). At 11am we come back to school & I set individual work for Zai & Ellie while I do a preschool program with Eli & Jud (4) – we do this for half an hour & then we do intergrated (the twins are included in this)- which is a mixture of HSIE, PE health, science, art etc. What we do varies each day, but I always prepare my plan the week before – I find if I prepare everything & pray over it beforehand, the week usually goes much more smoothly than if I am preparing that day. By12:30pm or 1pm (depending how the day is going) all work is finished & we have lunch. My afternoon is a bit less structured, although I do like to keep a routine of sorts. A couple of afternoons the children have sport, but generally we have a rest time (although the kids really don’t like this) – while I do housework or computer work. This only lasts about 1/2 hr. The children have free play after this, but I usually encourage them to go outside if its a fine day (unless they have been extra slow in their schoolwork – then they have to finish it in the arvo). I like them to help me with various tasks at different times on different days – working along side them is a wonderful way to teach them. 5pm is when I (with helper) prepare dinner (I always menu plan & pull the meat out of the freezer in the morning) – and dinner is at 6 to 6:30pm depending on when Dave arrives home from work. The children help clear the table & then it’s bath, family devotions & bed for them(7:30pm is bedtime). Dave & I quickly pack the dishwasher, do a small wash up (because I try & keep on top of it during the day – the kids love to help with this), sweep the floor & then it’s our time – we do exercises or look up thing on the computer, or he studies his uni etc. – sometimes we need to go & do jobs around the farm. We try to go to bed around 9pm as I like to read -we try & have lights out around 10pm.

    Thanks for letting me share about my day!
    Have a lovely one
    Renata:)

  21. Malia says:

    This one came to me via email from Katie:
    I was hoping to see an encouraging/ comforting story from someone that doesn’t seem to have it all together.

    I humbly share my story/ routine really only to encourage those who are still struggling, even after many years, and may be with illness too. May my story be met w/ grace.

    The most encouraging homeschooling article I ever read, I believe was in a HSLDA magazine. The story was of Christopher Klicka & his wife’s family, I believe. I found it very encouraging, because they were both quite ill, but home-schooled through it all. This is where our life fits in.

    I have a long list of diagnoses & life is just so hard for me to keep up with.
    I prefer to be an orderly person, and do so as much as possible. I would LIKE to have more of a regular routine, but w/ illness & constant fatigue, you never know what’s going to happen. You can only do your best, and that is what I do.

    My kids are nearly 12 & 10 & we’ve been h’scling from the start.

    Every day my husband goes to work ( Tues-Sat.), I wake up w/ him, which currently, is 5:30/6 am… make his breakfast & lunch & see him off w/ a kiss & blessings.
    Then, depending on how much sleep I got (depending whether I could breathe through the night or not, or such…) and how I felt, whether rested enough or not, I’d either stay up or go back to bed & get some rest. (For rest is critical to my health right now & I aim to get better for my children’s sake) IF I’m able to stay up, we all get tons done, and I feel successful & happy. If I have to go back to bed, I feel rested, but feel like a constant failure, never getting enough done.

    We are constantly trying to figure out a routine that works best for us, and am continually trying to be more flexible in some areas, and more disciplined in others.
    I do have lots of lists & to-do lists, though it certainly doesn’t mean it comes close to all getting done, but the priorities have a way of getting done, don’t they?

    So whenever we do wake up, we take our supplements, eat, start laundry, put away dishes, dump garbages, & pick up laundry piles.

    When moved to do so, or character has been troublesome, we are sure to do our Bible reading together, & in the morning. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. (Sometimes we read Bible together in Mama’s bed while Daddy is showering in the evening, and sometimes I just remind the kids to read their Bible before sleeping, and sometime I read my Bible & sometimes I don’t… just sheerly feel too busy or too tired) but keep aiming to be more consistent here. How’s that for honesty?

    Anyway, after all that… we do school UNTIL WE GET HUNGRY or need a break, than we eat, maybe clean up a few more things, keep rotating laundry…. take a walk out in the country about 3:30 or so. (3:30 because that’s when the mail comes by, and that’s before it gets dark, as this is Winter). May take a break & watch some Christian video, or get right back to school & may be doing so until 8 pm often times. (And eat together the kids & I, somewhere in between/ more clean-up.) Then rest together & enjoy one another, maybe reading Bible, or kids reading Bible aloud, memorizing scriptures, reading a chapter story book together, or a Christian movie or play a game, or just hang out quietly.

    Some weeks our focus is on helping others, or fellowship, or preparing for the next holiday or birthday, or taking a week to do some more unpacking….

    But there’s ALWAYS educating going on. -Teaching the children yet again, HOW to wash the dishes properly, step by step…. teaching them how to cook another kind of food, how to read a recipe, double a recipe, change a recipe, how to research, how to make phonecalls, how to use a new kind of tool, how to, how to… how to…. ;-)

    I love teaching my children! (I’d love to have several more children, if I could just regain health!) ;-)

    And yes, our priorities are character, love, Bible, reading, writing, math, and THEN the rest…. We have been using mainly workbooks, & are moving into using more & more REAL books to teach & to learn. (Used to do the pledge years ago… tossed that out… keep trying to get rid of the public school routine we often try do duplicate, unknowingly.)

    We do school at the table, we do it on the bed, we do it on the floor, we do it on the couch, we do it in the car on the go, or in a waiting room…. we do school anywhere….

    In 2009, “our lives fell apart” as I like to explain it. In one & the same month, we lost our home- which we owned,, right after we laboriously took care of Grandma for 2 mo. while she was passing away, (a very, very stressful time, very wearing on all of us, due to family interference/ drug addict family members- NOT because of Grandma)… so while recovering from that, just 1 wk later, lost our home, and had to be out in 30 days!

    We then moved to a temporary home, for 2 mo, which was “unlivable” as some of our Christian friends have said. That’s a whole ‘nother story, but which God provided for in the next steps beautifully!…. (To GOD be the Glory!)

    But then we moved AGAIN… and I thank God… but we did move not only twice in one year, but twice in 2 mo. time…. and after 16 yrs. of marriage have acquired MUCH by this time, and that is a LOT to move! Do you remember your last move? Boy- I had forgotten how much work.. and it’s a LOT more work, the more stuff you’ve acquired! ;) Add on constant fatigue to this, trying to get healthier, eat healthier, make more food from scratch, learn how to cook healthier, research HOW to get over your illnesses, homeschooling, unpacking, (making order out of chaos) and the every day required chores, of dishes (by hand now), laundry, child-training, etc… Lots to get done, and not much energy to help.

    I say all that because, my kids have lost a LOT of schooling time during that year, & we are still trying to get caught up. I feel like I’m drowning. But this is a season for us, and God obviously has His plans, & they are not mine. He has things He wants us to go through together, and to learn.

    I know my kids WILL get caught up, and they WILL excel, and pass their grade level at some point. Their brain matures every year, and that helps a great deal, as they are just capable of more, thanks to God & to His glory!

    I know God is teaching us all godly character, patience, unconditional love, compassion for others, continually learning not to judge others.. .for we just haven’t walked in their shoes… learning flexibility, and contentment regardless of circumstances.

    Mother, maybe you’re ill, like me, and such stories of routine (or lack of) are quite hard to find. May you be encouraged & comforted. There are more of us out there than is mentioned. For what kind of story is this to WANT to share, after all? I do have friends that have adult children now, (homeschooling Christians) & they have a routine much like this (very relaxed). Some would shudder at their relaxed routine, perhaps. But they have the best godly- characterized children, and they themselves are SUCH a godly example, and their kids are plenty educated. -Women who USED to be perfectionists, but are fully-recovered & most content! ;-)

    God bless all Mothers!!

  22. goofy1ut says:

    I never got the opportunity to teach my little one in the traditional way. He was mentally disabled and never got beyond the level of an infant before he passed a few years ago.

    However, I created my own cookbook with our favorite recipes that are super easy to make for Christmas presents in 2009. One of the mothers that I gave this to had told me that prior to this, she knew how to make mac ‘n cheese and hamburger helper.

    Her children were very excited to try these new recipes and she used the opportunity to teach even the youngest how to measure which included a lesson on fractions. They learned about temperatures for the oven, math skills, telling time, and reading.

    I don’t have a good example of a typical day, but I do have an example of an ongoing lesson that she has used with this cookbook to teach math, time, nutrition, and reading in a way that kept the kids engaged.

    When my little one was still with us, I did do something special with him that new moms can do with their little ones. When out grocery shopping with him, I talked to him about what I was looking at, what it was, what it tasted like, why we should eat it (even though he never ate solid food), and even discussing the price differences between the two options or the nutrition labels. 5 years after he has passed, I still have such fond memories of those times together.

    And just think, we all need to learn and understand the skills to cook & shop for food wisely. These are two skills that are so multi-faceted to what skills can be taught to your children and a valuable lesson for later in life that I wanted to share.

    I firmly believe that children who are involved in meal planning and cooking are much more likely to eat what is before them. There is nothing worse that wasting food because the kids won’t eat it.

    Also, I didn’t get the benefit of learning to cook from my Mom. Not that she didn’t try, but she started when I was a teen when I hated most of what she made (I became a very picky eater) so I no longer wanted to learn because she always cooked with onions and peppers which I hated (and still do). It is actually something that I now regret and wish that I let her teach me. I hear about those who did learn to cook with their parents and the bond that it created. I envy that. I also never got to learn from my Mom her gardening skills. Now I am in my 30s and am reading books to learn how to garden. I don’t yet have a place to garden, but I want to have a small sprouts garden indoors. I regret not learning how to garden before becaue it is healthier and cheaper to grow your own veggies. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of raiding the garden for fruits and veggies and being too full for dinner sometimes because I ate so much.

  23. Rebecca says:

    Malia,

    Thank you for doing this. It is helpful to see how other moms “get it all done,” or don’t but are determined to keep growing and learning. I am firmly in the latter category, but will share with the hope that it will be encouraging to someone else.

    .

    I vacillate between more and less structure in our schooling. I believe our children are learning every moment, even if that lesson is how to treat others with respect even when I dislike their behavior (anger mgmt), how to ride a two-wheeler (PE), or how to do dishes (life skills). For curriculum, I follow a Charlotte Mason, Classical, unit study approach with an occasional bit of unschooling thrown in when Mom gets sick or just worn out. Basically, I like real books and we do notebook pages of some of what we have learned each week. I also prefer games over workbooks, though sometimes I get lazy and use them.

    Sometimes I lean toward more structure and wonder whether I should be giving tests and grades, teaching spelling and Latin, and following a strict schedule. For me, those times are usually a response to guilt or fear that I’m not good enough and my children aren’t measuring up to school standards in some way. Then, I am reminded that what ultimately matters is God’s standards and I get back to a good balance.

    My housekeeping leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes we invite people over just for cleaning motivation. Clutter makes me stressed so I try to keep it to a minimum. I like to use the “10 second tidy.” Basically, everyone quickly stops whatever they were doing to tidy up an area that has gotten out of control. Otherwise, I try to clean once per week.

    My biggest struggle right now is  balancing my commitment to my family with the needs of our elderly neighbor. She had a mild stroke a few years ago and cannot drive, so we take her to doctor appointments and errands. Unfortunately, this has gotten a bit excessive. I am working to limit my errands with (or for) her to only one afternoon per week. It is very difficult as I feel sorry for her and know that we are called to help widows, yet my priority is my husband and children. I have contacted the local senior center and they offered some suggestions. Balance is difficult. I am learning (the hard way) to pray before committing my time (or answering the phone.)

  24. Rebecca says:

    I just realized I left out our basic schedule! So, here is the plan – 5:45ish rise, exercise, Bible 7:00ish kids rise, I prepare breakfast. 8:00ish morning chores 8:30ish family prayer time then school work. 10:00 snack 12:00ish listening lunch (compliments of MyAudioSchool.com). 1:30ish finish school work, co-op, errands, chores, free time, nap time. 6:00ish dinner and family Bible reading followed by family time (reading, playing wii, watching movies, walking, park, etc.) 8:00 and 8:30 bedtimes. My husband works extremely varied hours as a self-employed contractor, but is usually home for dinner.

  25. K Quinn says:

    Great post! The only family I found myself measuring against was my sister’s. They had a different schedule based on their family’s needs and I felt we needed that too. My husband often has late days during the school year and wanting to spend time with our Peanut means we start the day late so we can eat dinner and have family evening time with him.

    We use a DVD program (Bob Jones) and this is our third year. We start classes with Math because it takes early brain power. We are very interactive with the DVD and I ask questions and reinforce what is being taught. It’s a very good program we enjoy. I also like to have my hands busy so I usually fold laundry (I detest laundry) during class.

    9am- 10isham : Breakfast
    10-11: clean up, laundry, make beds
    11: Math
    Break (snack) (some days we run errands right here)
    Noon; English/Phonics (mid way break for lunch)
    2pm: Free time, I exercise, clean up some more
    3pm:Spelling and Science
    4pm: Get out and visit people
    5 or 6pm: Start dinner with Peanut’s help or not
    7pm or 8pm Daddy comes home and we have dinner
    9pm bedtime routine for Peanut which includes a Bible Study and scripture memorizing. It can be involved with crafts and such
    10pm mom has some time !!!!! maybe… more dishes, cleaning up
    It’s a very ish schedule but it works so that we can spend time as a family together during my husband’s busy season.

  26. jenny says:

    (I may have sent this twice??? – sorry!)
    I stay at home.
    I have 9 children: 3 boys, then 2 girls, then 4 boys. Ages 16-3.
    Homeschooled from beginning.

    I never could stick to a written schedule, I have a veritable graveyard for planners in my storage as well as somewhere out in the landfills. But our day is very routine and regular. I call it block scheduling. Here it is in a nutshell. Times are rough, and are only provided to give you a feel for length and sequence of blocks:

    7-8 morning routines, showers, bedrooms, little brother,etc.
    8-9 breakfast and clean up, sometimes a few desperate chores, sometimes right to school.
    9-10 math
    10-11 science then a snack
    11-12 language arts (longer) and history (shorter, and together as a family, reading aloud and discussion based)
    12-1 lunch
    1-2 clean up house, chores, ready for afternoon naps and quiet, independent times
    2-4 naps, quiet, independent stuff (see below)
    4-5 snacks, prep for supper and/or tae kwan do lesson for oldest sons
    5-8/9 errands, tkd lesson (M,T,Th only), supper, ready for bed, family Bible time

    Everyone has permanent household assignments, so if everyone does their job, everything gets done – never happens all at once, but knowing everything gets addressed regularly keeps my mind at ease.

    I keep the school book work and heavy house work before lunch as much as possible. We all work better knowing that the afternoon is ours.

    I used to feel guilty about that, but my children squeeze every drop they can out of those afternoon hours. They voluntarily do things like learn spanish, calligraphy, woodcarving, martial arts, drawing, equestrian studies, etc. All their own choices. I still struggle with guilt, but I refuse to take that time away from them, doing what they love and start controlling it by requiring school-type things from it. So far so good.

    I hope this helps someone. The biggest things is to get the priorities done, and make sure some rewarding fun free time is kept a priority. Otherwise, be open to tweaking, and then let go of tension. Our children are going to be fine even with messy rooms, papers, and a habit of being late, as long as it’s in a relaxed, accepting family atmosphere, where Mama is a sane person with a sense of humor. Thanks!

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