Thursday, June 05, 2014

Our Worst and Our BEST Homeschool Days: What Those Days Look Like!

Have you ever had a day that of THOSE days?  That was our day yesterday

I overslept a bit, so I was not up to have "my" time in the morning and get done what I usually get done early before the children wake up.  The kids also woke up early, so they were tired and grumpy. 

Then my children said they did not want what I had cooked for breakfast, but 10 minutes after dumping their plates, they asked for a snack because they were hungry.  Argh.

School was a fight, too.  No one wanted to get started, they did not want to do what was planned for the day, and what should have taken minutes took hours to complete. 

Our day started off all wrong, and it was a "terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day". 

So, have you had one of those days??   

What did I do about it?

Yesterday evening, I had a talk with my oldest son and let him know that I was going to be creating a daily routine for us to follow.  I told him we were going to follow this routine for the rest of this month--no exception.  He seemed to be in favor of my idea!  I told him I would be putting it in writing in every room of our house, if needed, and that I would have a copy of it with me during the day.

I shared with him exactly what the order of our day would be, and let him know that after the month of June was over, if something needed to be changed about it, we could change it then.  But for this month, we will follow this routine to a "T".

This morning, when he got up, I showed him that I had written it all down, and I asked him if he remembered the routine.  He told it back to me exactly as I had told it to him yesterday!  It is amazing to me that he recalled this list--in order:

  1. Eat breakfast
  2. Morning 5 - our getting ready routine
  3. Walk Rosie (she is our 1 year old great dane/lab mix)
  4. School time
  5. Lunch
  6. Chores
  7. Quiet time

That is the quick list, so here is a more thorough explanation of those parts of our day:

I am almost always up, with breakfast started, when the kids get up and come to where I am in the kitchen.  We will eat together and, most days, have a devotional, prayer, and worship song while still at the table.

Our "morning 5" is our getting ready routine for the kids.  They (1) get dressed, (2) put pajamas away--either on their beds for wearing again that night or in the hamper, (3) make up the bed, (4) brush teeth and hair, and then (5) come get a high five from me! 

We have begun taking our dog, Rosie, for a walk--to help her get some energy out before we sit down to do school.  She is worn out and calmly lays at our feet for a while.  Here in Alabama, first thing in the morning is the only time you can take a dog out to walk and not get sunburn or dehydration!  This walk does us all good in giving us fresh air and an outlet for my two boys and their own energy!

Lunch is always simple for us--leftovers from dinner, sandwiches, tortillas, soup, or something else easy to prepare like that, along with fruit, cheese, or nuts.  We eat together, and often will review our memory verses while together at the table, or I will read to them.  I have more of their attention while they eat and can not talk! 

We do chores together for now, until they all learn how to do jobs on their own, and do them well, without supervision.  We follow a rotation of cleaning two rooms (or areas) every day--cleaning every room of the house every two weeks.  Today, we did one child's bedroom and the hallway.  We picked up toys, dusted furniture and doors, cleaned the windows, and vacuumed.  We worked together, and it only took about 15 minutes.

In fact, we do only what we can do in 15 minutes.  I want to keep it from taking TOO long for them.  If anything else needs to be done after that time frame, I do it later in the afternoon when doing the chores that the kids cannot handle yet at their ages (like scrubbing the shower), or I do it when making my rounds to check the house before my husband gets home from work.  But for the most part, those two spaces are clean--and we did it together!

Quiet time, as you'd probably guess, is the long-awaited part of our day!  My three children are all past the stage of taking a daily afternoon nap, but that does not stop us from taking a bit of time each day to rest and get a break from each other.

I first got this idea from watching this video by Peace Hill Press:  (Note:  there is a part 2 of the video you will want to see as well.)

We have done two hours before, but since we are taking advantage of the "less hot" temperatures right now, we are only doing 90 minutes to allow a bit more time outside.  They can all handle 2 hours easily, though, if needed.  Every day we do at minimum 1 hour of quiet time.  During that time, I always take that hour to rest myself!  I usually sit in a comfy chair and read, or I'll sit back on my bed and close my eyes, if needed.  I am not a napper, but a 10-minute snooze does wonders for me some days!

After a rest, our afternoons are filled with outside play, computer privileges, playing in their rooms, or outings to the park, a friend's house, or other errands.

What you just read described our day TODAY.  On a day like yesterday, I've got my towel in hand, ready to throw it in the ring and give up.  But on a day like today, I wash, dry, and fold that towel, and put it away for a while.

It's amazing how long we homeschool moms can survive on just ONE good day!

So now, tell me in the comments what YOUR school day routine looks like!  I love hearing from you!


  1. I'm curious: what part of AL are you in? We are in-process of moving from central MS, where it is extremely hot and humid, to north AL; we are hoping for a "break" from the heat/humidity. Any chance? Or, are we dreaming?!

    BTW, I admire any woman who home schools. It ain't for sissies!

  2. Anonymous, North Alabama is not much better. :) Hot and humid here too. You might get a tiny break, but it won't be much.


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