Homeschool Day in the Life {8, 6, 2 year old}

Some of my most favorite posts to read are day in the life
posts.  I think that is also why I enjoy vlogs
so much – I love to see the simple, everyday occurrences.  I like to be able to glean little bits of
information here and there in order to make my days run more smoothly – or at
least that is the attempt!
I had big plans this year. 
I wanted to do another day in the life vlog like I did last year.

Unfortunately, that did not happen.  It reminded me of one of the top reasons we
homeschool – flexibility.  If you would
like to see my post from last year, head here.

I am most definitely an early riser.  I wasn’t always that way, but sometime after
having my second child I realized that if I didn’t get up early, I would not be
as good of a mother as I could be.

I rarely wake with an alarm these days, and tend to sleep
exactly seven hours before I wake up – so whenever I go to bed, I tend to wake
up exactly seven hours later.  Weird, but
it is the way it goes.  In another life I
would get up at 4am, and I probably still do that a couple times each week, but
for some reason my littlest decides that when I wake up, she also should wake
up.  So, I have been getting up closer to
6am as of late. 
Most of the time I will get a good 20 minutes before someone
else is awake.  This gives me a few
minutes to get my coffee, brush my teeth and get my mind ready for the day.  If it is a day that I am up a couple hours
before everyone, I read my Bible, do scripture writing in my journal, and then
I try to write for a while.
The kids are almost always up by 7am, and two out of three
need breakfast immediately.  My middle
guy is the late sleeper, and will sometimes sleep in until 8:30 or so,
especially recently because he has been sick with a fever, which is absolutely no
Our breakfasts are very basic, either oatmeal with frozen
blueberries and sliced banana, egg burritos, or peanut butter toast.  We are not very fancy here, but it is a good
start to their day.
My breakfast of choice is coffee…always coffee.
The kids have free play time until 9am, when I start school
with everyone.  They will usually play with
LEGO, build something in their room, work on a book they are reading, or watch
PBS kids.  The past week with fevers it
has been PBS kids…I’m glad that the programming is educational, because when
anyone is sick it tends to throw everything else off!

At 9am I try to do our circle time.  I am not as reliable about this as I would
like to be, but sometimes Lucy is otherwise occupied (she is my youngest) and
when she is occupied, I try to jump right into the school that takes a lot more
of my attention.
A new thing that I am working on since January is to have
dedicated school time, instead of trying to multi-task (check e-mails, do
laundry, put dishes away, work on my blog) while the kids are working on
something.  Even when they are fully
capable of working on something independently, they tend to slow down and their
minds wander, or they sneak off to play while I am not looking. 

Now we have dedicated school time from 9am-11am.  And surprisingly we get almost everything
accomplished during that time!
When Jack is working on school we go through three things
for him – Singapore Math 1B, HandwritingWithout Tears My Printing Book and he will read a chapter of a book. 
Currently he is reading The Hardy Boys Secret Files Collection.  He will read a chapter and then he has to
come and tell me three important things that he read.  It seems to be working quite well.  Also, he is super speedy so that he can get
to his “more important” work of making stop motion videos, drawing video game
scenes, playing with his LEGOs, or building something with his snapcircuits.
I count all of the “other” as school as well, but I am
usually trying to let him get as much free play and self-directed learning as
possible.  He will be seven at the end of
the summer, and that is when it will start to become more real for him.  We don’t do seat work every day, mainly three
days a week.  He is almost always present
for when I am doing read-alouds though, and that comprises a large part of our

Now, Emma, being eight, does a little bit more school work,
as in every day.  But, her diligence pays
off.  We are about 6 weeks out from
finishing the school year, which is uncanny to me.  We do school all year long, but
sometimes I forget what all those extra days lead up to in the summer, breaks
at different times during the regular public school year. 
We try to start with the harder subjects.  It seems easier to get those out of the way
first, although sometimes she does not want to do those subjects at all –
mainly math.  She is currently working
through Singapore 3B.  We really
like this curriculum; I think that it gives an excellent grasp on math.  I have heard a lot of people recommend
Teaching Textbooks as soon as you can get your kids into that program, but it hasn’t
appealed to me yet.  We are planning on
continuing with Singapore Math in a few months with the next set of books, 4A
& 4B.

Then we have spelling. 
We have been using Sequential Spelling Book 1 this year, and I really
like it.  Although, it definitely can get
a little stressful doing 25 words every day, but they do build on each other,
and I have seen her confidence grow with her free writing.
Once Math and Spelling are out of the way it is time for a
snack and some Cosmic Kids Yoga.  This
is something my kids have been doing for several years, and everyone loves
it.  Lucy included.  She will often get one of the kids’ yoga mats
and say it is time to do yoga – very cute coming from a 2 year old.

After our little break Emma will finish up her “seat work”
which is her cursive as well as whichever book she is reading at the
moment.  Then it is onto read alouds.
We are actually all done now with our Sonlight Core D books for the
first year of American History.  Now the
kids will pick a book off the shelf and we will read that.  Jack has been asking for me to read him Lassie
and Emma has been enjoying the Mandie series, which is a series that I read
when I was a kid, actually they are the same books I had when I was a kid.
At this point everyone is hungry again (are my kids the only
ones who eat just about every hour?!), and I start to make lunch.  The kids are then able to have free
play.  I forgot to mention that Lucy is
decidedly good during this time.  I do
have to spread my time between helping Emma and making sure Lucy is not
climbing onto the tv stand, but for the most part it works out well.
After lunch it is time for quiet time, rest time, nap time,
anything where there is dedicated time that the children are up in their rooms,
and Lucy is sleeping. 
For a very long time I used this time as a way to catch up
on *everything else* that goes on (chores, blog work, more chores,
de-cluttering), but when I hit a wall at the end of last year,
and decided that my word of the year would be margin, I started to take
this time as self-care time.  It is a
time where I can read, write, sit, think, knit. 
It is really just a time where I practice self-care.  I need it, I deserve it, and I finally gave
myself permission to take that time.
It would be nice if it were an uninterrupted amount of time,
but the kids are usually up and down the stairs asking me a question about
Minecraft, or something else, but as long as Lucy sleeps, Emma, Jack and I will
have this quiet time.
We encourage a lot of free play, a lot of drawing, and
music.  Overall it is a much more relaxed
schedule than it used to be, but it is working well for us this year.  The kids seem to be enjoying it more, and
that is the most important thing in my book!

Now, to get back to my three sick kiddos and new puppy!

Do you take time for
self-care during your homeschool days?

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  1. We are currently using Sonlight C. I will have similar age children next year that you did in this post: an 8 and 6 year old (3rd & 1st). I am wondering how it has worked out for your second? Has he been able to keep up as your daughter has progresses to Sonlight E or have you changed curriculum? I'm just afraid that my younger will be forever behind in history, etc if I don't find something that's somewhere in the middle of both of them. Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated! Thanks.

    1. You know, my daughter has done really great with E this year. And I thought that I would easily be able to handle two cores with my kids (plus a 3 year old). I was sorely mistaken. We tried to slog on through two cores in the fall, but I realized pretty quickly that A. my son wasn't as interested in the subject matter as my daughter at his age, and I was also trying to do Core C with him because I knew the subject matter and level of work was going to be too much for him to really "do" E.

      I took some time over Christmas to sit down and really flesh out what I wanted to accomplish with both kids.

      What I decided is that I am going to let my son tag along with as much of the history that he wants to listen to in E, but I would not require him to do any of the E work. Next year I plan to skip core F in favor of core G for my daughter – which I know not everyone is a fan of the age range, the amount of work etc. but I know that it will work out fine for us, and then I will cycle back to core B with my son for some of the read alouds that we missed, and being on the same history cycle, but using mostly the spine from G to work through year 1 of 2 of world history – if that makes any sense 🙂

      What I would say is that it definitely depends on the child as to whether or not they can continue to tag along in the cores. My son can definitely tag along, but misses a huge amount of it because he is not writing essays or doing research, but I think he is still getting quite a lot of information and understanding as we move through the cores with my daughter. This will also give me a chance to read some of the books that we skipped over last year when I was trying to include some of the Core B books for him while we were doing D with my daughter.

      Sorry this reply is so long! If you have further questions, please feel free to e-mail me – hello@townsend-house.com

  2. I hope your kids feel better soon and what a sweet puppy. I do take time each day for me. I wake up early before them, even 5 minutes to chill. Thanks for sharing your day with us!

  3. I think nap time or quiet time is needed for moms too. I try to use that small window to relax on the couch with a snack and my laptop. If I don't get that time it puts me in a bad mood for the rest of the day! Also, your puppy is adorable!

  4. Thanks for sharing your day in the life, I love reading what everyone else is up to! I had to laugh at the part about the snacks, my kids aren't hungry ever hour but I am! Usually I'm the one snacking and they are satisfied to keep working on whatever it is they are working on.

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