First Day of Homeschool + vlog

Well, guys, we did it, we finally had our first day of homeschool.  I say finally because it seems like we started so much later than we normally do – even though we homeschool year-round.  Usually, we try to have an “official” first day somewhere at the beginning of August, or the second week in August.  This year the kids wanted to go to Art Camp.  That was later in the month of August, and we took off Jack’s birthday week.  So, we started later than usual with all of our first day of homeschool shenanigans.

This will be a true day in the life.  Not what I hoped to do in the day, or what I “normally” do.  Rather, I will take you through exactly what we did, and how it all went.  This particular first day of homeschool was a doozy because my older two had just gotten over several days of super high fevers.  And then, of course, Lucy caught whatever Emma and Jack had the day before we were to start.  So that is where our first day of homeschool will start.  With fevers.

First Day of Homeschool: Morning Routine

4:00am  My alarm goes off.  I check to see if Lucy is warm.  She is.  So I take her temperature again and get her to take some medicine.  Usually, when my kids get a fever, it is easy to control with medicine.  This one has taken medicine and cool baths, and cold washcloths on the forehead.  It is a process to get her to take her medicine.  By the time I get her settled back to bed, I am fully awake and know that I need to just get up for the day.

5:00am  The first day of homeschool is not really any different for me than any normal day.  I still get up and immediately brush my teeth and make coffee.  Coffee is pretty much my lifeblood these days.  We are on day 6 of waking up every couple of hours to check temperatures and give meds or cool baths if needed.  On “normal” days, I will wake up anywhere between 4 and 5:30.  I don’t wake up with an alarm.  I stopped doing that a couple of years ago.  Yes, I know it is probably a luxury to be able to wake when I want.  My body just knows when to wake up.  I have found that if I get up when I wake up, I feel more rested and better prepared the rest of the day than if I roll over and go back to sleep.

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My morning routine is the same every day.  I brush my teeth, I get my coffee, and then I sit down and read my Bible and write in my Write the Word Journal.  I have found that this is the best thing for me.  It feels off now if I don’t complete that rhythm.

The second part of my morning routine is specific to homeschooling.  I will write out what the kids need to do for the day on their weekly schedule pads.  However, on this lovely first day of homeschool, I haven’t planned a blessed thing to do for the week.  With the kids being sick, I didn’t have my normal Sunday afternoon planning date with myself.  So, we are winging it today!  I would prefer to have my teacher planner all filled in for the day, but it isn’t, and I can’t dwell on it.

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The Kids get their day Started

7:30am  Two of my three kids are up now.  They are having oatmeal for breakfast.  They have oatmeal just about every day.  It seems to be the only thing that Lucy likes.  When it is cold I like to make muffins.  Lucy still isn’t feeling great, but I am happy that she is eating something.

8:30am  Jack is up now eating his breakfast, and Emma is eating her second breakfast.  The kid eats constantly.  It is amazing to me.  A note here on the late time.  I don’t wake my kids up in the mornings unless we have someplace to be.  For a very long time my kids did not sleep in.  Or even sleep until 5:30am.  I tried all the tricks.  Go to bed earlier, go to bed later, no naps.  It didn’t matter.  My kids have ALWAYS been early risers.

Then a funny thing happened this past year.  They started sleeping past 6am…and past 7am…and sometimes past 8am.  And I told myself that I wouldn’t wake them.  So I don’t.  Sometimes if they are sleeping super late, I do wake them up, but they are almost always up by 9.  This has meant that while I aim for us to start school around 9am, sometimes it doesn’t happen until 10, and that is OK.

First Day of Homeschool Traditions

9:30am  We start our first day of homeschool with our normal traditions.  This means a lot of new school supplies, and this year LL Bean backpacks.  I was excited about the backpacks because I had them growing up.  And actually I still have my LL Bean backpack from Junior High…still going strong.  The kids have been antsy all morning though, and not in the best mood.  The older two still don’t feel 100%, so tempers are short.  But, they were all really excited about the new school supplies!

It makes me so happy to see how happy they are to get new crayons and markers.  It isn’t much, but for some reason, they always give the most amazing reactions to getting these new school supplies.

After all the new school supplies shenanigans we take our first day of homeschool pictures.  Most of the time these are candid pictures in a very messy house with the kids in costumes or still in their pajamas.  Today everyone is actually dressed, and the weather is beautiful, so we took pictures outside.


Let’s start school!

10:30am  Our homeschool day starts with the Bible.  Then I also read history.  While I am reading, I let the kids work on art, or play with toys.  My older two are almost always drawing something when I am reading to them.  Lucy is always in and out depending on how she is feeling.  Today the medicine has been working so she is happy and happily coloring in her notebook.

11:15am  Everyone is happily playing, so I go to use the stair stepper for a little while.  I’m still trying to wake up.  It isn’t working!

12:00pm  I finished exercising.  We are having a really late day!  I set up the kids to work on their spelling while I make lunch.  Lucy spiked a fever again, so I give her some more medicine and she decides to take a nap on the couch.

This actually gave us a good bit of time to get the rest of school done for the day.  The kids work on math as well as their reading after lunch.  We aren’t starting our writing projects for another couple of weeks, but the kids work on stories that they enjoy writing on their own.  Jack works on his movie that he is programming in scratch.  Emma is also working on Maine Studies this year, which is a requirement in Maine once between 6th and 12th grade.

The end of our First Day of Homeschool

Emma ends up finishing her work around 4pm.  She has a little bit more to do than Jack.  Lucy is feeling better after her nap, and I feel good overall about how our day went.  It would be better if the kids had not been sick leading up to our first day.  It also would have been better if Lucy wasn’t sick during our first day.  I have to remember that it is OK to have a slow start to the school year.  Even though I don’t feel as prepared as I normally do, we will fall into our rhythm easily enough.

This is our 9th year homeschooling – yes we started when Emma was 2.  I know, it sounds crazy to me as well.  But, because we have been homeschooling for that long, and focusing on that aspect of our lives for that long, I can figure out what we need to do even when we have a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of week.  They won’t all be like this.

It is OK to ease into school.  You don’t want to start with every single subject and burn out by your third day.  Take a breath, enjoy the start of your homeschool year, and know that I am rooting for you as we all start a new homeschool year!

What are you most looking forward to this homeschool year?  Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. I love this.
    We bought curriculum for the first time this year. I guess I felt I needed more structure for our first legal year of homeschooling (We’re Mainers also, 5yo and 7yo), but it’s SO structured that we’re struggling with it. I’m already missing our easy-going days from last year, and we’ve just finished the first week. I need to take some time this weekend, and figure out how to spread out the “assigned” work in a way that we don’t lose all the things we loved so much about homeschooling in the first place.

    1. It is definitely hard when you buy curriculum that is so structured. I actually also buy curriculum that is pretty structured, but I realized pretty soon off the bat that I was not going to be able to follow the schedule to a T. Instead, I used the resources that the curriculum offered – books, order to read them, comprehension questions, background information, and we went at our own pace. There is nothing that says you have to complete that curriculum in 36 weeks, nor does it say that you can’t cut anything out of the curriculum! Feel free to e-mail me if you want to talk specifics!

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