A Day in the Life, Baker Family

 

 

What is homeschooling really like?
Well, each family is unique, and, therefore, each homeschool is unique!
“A Day in the Life” is a series of blog posts featuring real Idaho homeschool families.
In this post, we introduce you to the Baker family, home educating their three children ages 13, 11, and 9.


 

Hello friends! I am Jenny Baker. I am married to Pat and we are homeschooling three middle-aged children. They are not preschoolers and not yet high school (but we are getting closer to that end!), so I call them “middle-aged.” They are Faith, age 13; Isaiah, age 11; and Elijah, age 9.

We use mostly Bob Jones Video Lessons with a few supplementals thrown in here and there when needed. We will transition to more of an eclectic curriculum in high school. Next year we will be giving it a go with Institute of Excellence in Writing for all three (well, four so that I can learn the program with them).

This is in no way means a typical day with a typical schedule. We donʼt have a typical schedule and I usually let my kids choose the order of subjects unless I NEED them to start with something specific. Recent home renovations have kept our daily routine flexible. Also, I substitute teach in the public schools 2-3 days each month. On those days, my children take their school work to a dear friend’s house.

To keep things organized, I prepare daily work folders for my children.  In stuffing the folders, I have to consider what has been completed, what hasnʼt, if I am working that week (I’ll select easier, more independent work for the boys to do at a friendʼ s house in that case), and of course whether or not I have finished coffee cup #2.

 

RISE AND… WELL, AT LEAST RISE!

7:00 AM – Hubby gets up and goes to shower. I get up and make coffee, prepare his lunch– leftovers usually — and put his breakfast on the table. Today, it was Capnʼ Crunch cereal. (I really do give him eggs or oatmeal most other mornings for those that are concerned).

7:35 AM – Hubby leaves for work. I do my Bible reading. Today was Psalms 27. Then I get to drink my own coffee because itʼs been 30 min since taking my thyroid meds! I pop online for awhile and wait for kids to wake. I end up waking the snooze hounds because they are not rousing themselves. This will change in summer if they know they get to eat breakfast popsicles outside or if Faith knows that there will be horses involved! Those days, she will happily volunteer to make everybodyʼs breakfast and pack everybodyʼs lunch just to get to the horses that much faster!

The children do their morning chores with much prodding while I do mine, then they enjoy their cereal. I really want to get this cereal finished off–I bought it as a bribe last week because I knew I wanted to check out my sonʼs least favorite section of Walmart (the sewing section!) and he was going to get dragged into it with me!

MORNING CHORES:

  • GET DRESSED
  • MAKE BED
  • PUT AWAY JAMMIES
  • TIDY BEDROOM FLOOR
  • EMPTY DISHWASHER

 

FINALLY READY FOR THE “FORMAL” STUFF

We head downstairs to the basement schoolroom. Faith starts with Science – reading a chapter on genes and mutations and pennet squares (Oh My!). Itʼs pretty in-depth. Isaiah starts with math. He has two more pages of the current geometry chapter plus one chapter of the metric system before he finishes his book for the year. Elijah starts with Heritage Studies. He is learning about time zones and schedules today. I help him with this. Then he watches an additional lesson of that same subject, finally followed by a break.

We have a rule of doing two subjects or two lessons from the same subject before break. In my daughterʼs case, sometimes it is just one subject since one of her subjects equals the time it takes for two of the boysʼ subjects. Today, Isaiah has to also complete two reading pages in addition to his first two because he had not completed them when he was supposed to.

Because we utilize video lessons, the recordings often have a funny skit or something to introduce the lesson or to make a point, so at any given time, one of the kids will pull out the headphones and say, “Hey! Watch this!” but more often than not it is more like “Watch her face when I pause it riiiiight… HERE!

While Elijah is on a break and the other two work through their subjects quietly, I type this up as it happens and then take a few more pics in addition to stuffing daily work folders for the boysʼ remaining days this week and enjoying a banana. I also think about whatʼs for lunch – most likely sandwiches. PB & J for Isaiah, Cheese for Elijah, and Tuna for Faith and me. Elijah is stuck with cheese as he is allergic to fish and nuts.

BREAK TIME!

We donʼt have a specific time for this as everyone works at their own pace, but two finished subjects are required before they can take their break. Today, since we started school later, our first break is also lunch. Faith is (hopefully) making the sandwiches while I prepare future Heritage Studies Lessons for 5th grade and listen to the toy cars zoom overhead in the living room. We are also prepping for a bit of fun PE today – first day of bowling! We are using the Kids Bowl Free program!

We eat quickly before we leave so that they will not ask me to buy anything there, but guess what, after we bowled, someone has found the vending machine! I cough up a dollar to buy a Kit Kat bar and we all get a stick –it worked when they were little and itʼs going to work today!

BOWLING IS A BLAST!

 

4:30 PM Back at home and Faith has finished her school day, so she makes sure her room is tidy and then starts on some sugar cookies to take tonight to church. I tell her to half the recipe due to time constraints. We will eat dinner at church at 6:15 and it is almost 5:00 now! Having the recipe ought to give her some math review since she has already finished her math textbook for the year.

Elijah attacks reading and Isaiah chooses one of his favorites: Science.

 

WRAPPING IT UP!

We are almost ready to call it a day! It is 5:00 PM and the boys probably need to tidy up their rooms before hubby comes home. He will have time to give everyone a hug and kiss before we all pile in the van to head to church 20 minutes away. We will have dinner there.

So, just so you know–we did not start school until 11:00 AM today. Somedays are earlier. Somedays we have a working breakfast ( just like grownups!) and eat while they are watching their school videos. It was fun to share and I hope that I can read about some of your days!

Committed to helping parents fulfill their God-given right and responsibility to educate their own children.