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 Miller family, home educating their two boys, ages 9 and 11.
It’s dark when I wake up. 5:30 is always dark. I think it’s because no one should ever get up at 5:30! Unfortunately, my husband leaves for work before 7 a.m., so whether I want to or not, we are up before the roosters. This is the perfect time for me to read my Bible, start some laundry and enjoy a hot cup of coffee from my Keurig.
My boys come down the stairs between 7:00 and 8:00 am. I don’t have a set time for them to wake up each day, but I do try to get them out of bed before 8 so that they are ready to start school at 9 a.m. They have breakfast in their jammies while watching old episodes of Tom and Jerry. We are a Hanna-Barbera loving family.
9:00 a.m. Showers are done. Beds are made. Rooms are tidy. The boys are now comfortably settled in a cozy spot of their
choosing reading their Bibles and having a little quiet time. Once they are finished, they work their way down a list I have made for them of independent work. This includes some silent reading (or D.E.A.R, which we borrowed from Ramona Quimby), handwriting, Daily Grammar, piano practice, and Teaching Textbooks.
My 9 year old reminds us at 10:30 that he is ready for a snack. To be honest, he would snack all day long, all through his school work if I would let him. However, 10:30 is our designated snack and break time. My 11 year old uses this time to message his best friend who is also homeschooled. They compare where they are in their day. My 9 year old gets his snack and runs outdoors. He jumps on the trampoline until I call him to come inside.
During the boys break, I go over their morning work. My 9 year old needs to correct a mistake in his reading notebook. My 11 year old rushed a little through handwriting and needs to be reminded to slow down. I look over math and grammar.
It’s 11:00 a.m. and time for science. It’s important to me that the boys learn note-taking skills. We each grab our books and meet at the school room table. We are using Apologia Science and as I read the boys take notes on the important things that I say. They focus on vocabulary words and also draw their own interpretations of the descriptions given in the lesson. My 11 year old jumps up and gets excited because he is able to make a connection to something he read in his Bible that morning. We end the lesson with a prayer because it feels right to thank God for showing us that He is the Creator.
Its noon and we are hungry! The boys put their books away and we head downstairs to the kitchen. My 9 year old gets out a hot dog maker that his great aunt bought him for Christmas last year. It works just like a toaster and he is able to pop everything in and it pops everything out all warm and toasty. My 11 year old slices a bagel and slathers it with cream cheese. I love that they have become so independent this year in the kitchen.
From noon to 1 p.m. we take a break. The laundry that I put in at 5:30 a.m. is now taken out of the washer and thrown in the dryer. Another load goes in. I hear my 9 year old practicing a song on the piano. Fur Elise is being played as quickly as his fingers will play it. I put my hand on his shoulder and he slows down. Despite the speed in which it is being played, there is nothing that makes me happier than when my boys play the piano.
Lunch is over. The kitchen is clean and we are ready to tackle Picture Smart Bible. After two years of working through the Old Testament, we are finally onto Matthew. The boys draw the parts of the story in their notebooks as I read scripture passages and explanations. Their notebooks are thick with pages and pages of Old Testament drawings and it’s exciting to see an entire Picture Bible slowly being completed.
Our afternoon is a mix of working together and working one on one.
Twice a week we meet in the family room to do Logos Latin. Today is one of those days. The three of us watch a video and practice our chants and vocabulary. This is our first year with Latin and we are learning together. It’s not an easy study, but definitely interesting as we learn the derivatives of words. Our chants today seem stronger, so perhaps we are improving!
Later we listen to Story of the World on CD while adding to our timeline and coloring an activity page. This lesson is about Assyria so we get out our globe and I show them where Assyria was located-Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq. We make the connection that Nineveh was the town that Jonah was sent to.
Once our Story of the World binders are put away, 9 year old and I tackle spelling, First Language Lessons and Writing with Ease. My 11 year old works independently on a website that he is designing. When 9 year old is done, he bounces out of the room to play. His day is complete. 11 year old and I tackle spelling, Rod and Staff English and Writing with Skill. I have to admit that I am learning along with him on these subjects. I don’t think I ever had grammar this intense when I was in school. But we enjoy these moments together and I can really see amazing progress in his writing.
It’s 3:00 and we are finished for the day. It has started to rain and I find my 9 year old reading Redwall by Brian Jacques. My 11 year old is reading a book from HeadFirst on website design. The house is warm and cozy and I can hear the patter of rain as it drips onto the sidewalk.
It’s finally time to get out that laundry that I keep forgetting about. It’s now dry but wrinkled. Oh well! I also am able to finish a few other chores before starting dinner.
My husband comes home at 4:30. The boys are so excited to see him and follow him around the house telling him about their day. Once they settle down I have them set the table and help me get things ready to start dinner.
After dinner the boys do some evening chores. 9 year old drags us all outside to play foursquare. In his p.e. class last week at the Nampa Rec Center they focused on foursquare and he plays every chance he gets. The boys are both surprised that I am actually a pretty good player! We play until it starts to sprinkle on us.
Before bed we snuggle up and read aloud. We are on the last chapter of A Cricket in Times Square. The clock strikes 9 now and they are off to brush their teeth and be tucked in. Each night we take turns praying and tonight it’s my turn. I am incredibly blessed and thankful.