a day in the life... / academics / home educating and daily life

be a fly on the wall: a day in the life of a homeschool family

I often say that if you were a fly on the wall, you’d get a real experience of life in a homeschool family.

I imagine what it looks like. It’s not a school. It’s a home. Where I try to fit in feeding the sourdough starter, watering seedlings, blog writing, lunch making DURING the time I chat about plot and setting for my children’s stories, check spelling workbooks, or discuss the correct use of who or whom, find more info on centrifugal force and ponder when God started.

I thought I’d give you a slice of a Monday in our lives at this time of year. Every Monday would not be like this one. Except from about 7-0830. That’s fairly predictable. I’m usually eating lunch at twelve and quiet reading at 1315, science or history at 1430, and off to town after that, usually, but not every day.

This Monday went like this…

0550 Wake up. Sun illuminated through our huge bank of bedroom windows. Turn on iPod meditation and fall back to sleep.

0710 Actually wake up. Yoga moves in bed. Grooming. Today feels like a day to take full supplements: vitamin d, half a vitamin b, omega oils, milk thistle.

0720 On the yoga mat before anyone knows I’m awake. Turn on the iPad yoga video. Do my own thing instead.

0725 Message teenage schooled daughter: “Good morning. May it be a good day.” Hubby brings her into town before he does rounds and paperwork.

0730 She comes for hug before she leaves. Make coffee.

0800 Ask for quiet from the kitchen, as dishes are being put away and cats are being cared for before 15 mins screen time. “Oh my goodness,” excited Zach says, “I think Moosecraft is Live!”

Find hubby outside tying his shoes and listening to audible scripture waiting for oldest daughter to head to school. Crisp morning, but blue skies.

Drink coffee, eat yoghurt parfait with homemade granola and blueberry jam. Read scripture reading, William Wordsworth poetry, chapter from joel goldsmith’s ‘the art of meditation’. Write journal. Nothing to write in the ‘Feelings’ section. I guess I’m not feeling anything? ha. More coffee? ‘Goals’ section takes most of the journal page: 13 lucky things I’m planning to do. If I come up with more activities, I’ll write them down to check them off.  ‘Intention’: activate (for it is Monday).

0830 Meet for Morning Time with 15, 12, & 9 year old. Discuss daily and weekly schedule. Who needs a ride to town when? Busy week with rehearsals for community dance performance on weekend for two daughters. Outdoor soccer starts Thursday.

Read: ‘A Long Winter’ (which, hilariously, it has been a long winter), listen to morning bible verse, which hilariously is “honour your father and mother, that your days may be long upon the land”, read prayer on learning to forgive, listen to Classical Music 101 cd and randomly ask composer and title.

Watch BC Work Trek videos. Learn about foresters and brew masters. No one wants to be a forester. Kids want to know how much money veterinarians make.

Two kids at a time do: ‘Art Gallery’. Five minutes to gaze at Renoir, Monet, and Michelangelo art books on the floor of my study. This morning, they look at ‘More than Human’, a giant photo art book on animals anthropomorphized. Kids giggled about seahorses male mating rituals, showing their baby carrying pouches to prospective females.

Each kiddo tells me their plans for the day. “Exactly what I always do,” clever twelve year old declares. Fifteen year old daughter fevered and chest cold, trades her Monday work morning at the bakery with another morning in the week.

0930 Read daily high school email, email re: chicken coop planning, decide time to discuss cottage garden rock wall with landscaper.

0935 Try to remember password on new email account. Recover flipping email password, eventually (pardon the expletive).

1020 Start pretzel dough. Forgot to include sourdough starter, again.

1032 Review 9 year olds cursive, journal, writing notebook, poetry memory.

1121 Finally finish sending resume to BraveWriter. That was an extensive application process. Ask girls to be quiet, because they’re arguing.

1125 Listen to girls enact French conversation from their French vocabulary.

1130 Listen to 12 year old’s mystery novella and discuss theme and types of dialogue found in NaNoWriMo for Kids.

1145 Listen to 9 year old short story and discuss plot and dialogue tags. Clever plot combining ‘Once Upon a Time’ series and Wizard of Oz. (No other child would have been familiar with shows like ‘Once Upon a Time’ as young as him, but he’s the youngest of four).

1155 Ask everyone to write in their daytimers and leave on my homeschool desk. Remind 9 year old about spelling practice and Latin review. Five minutes for spelling on iPad. Latin tomorrow! He spent too much time on his computer chess break.

1157 Ask 12 year old daughter to rotate her laundry so I can start two loads of towel laundry that magically appeared after the weekend.

1158 Kiss husband who arrived home from meetings. Find out he also brought home groceries. Another kiss.

1159 Reread my application form & wish I wrote ‘professional reader’: find me on Goodreads and participate in NaNoWriMo.

1159 1/2 eat leftover salad and Brussel sprouts from last night’s dinner.

1200 Landscaper arrives to discuss driveway rock walls.

1220 Eat leftover bean enchiladas from two dinners ago & listen to more of Bravewriter poetry podcast.

1230 Form salted pretzels and let rise; add pork ribs to crockpot and season.

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1339 Sit on a blanket with the kids, their books, my short story anthology from Alice Munro and my computer.

**this is really tricky adding ‘journaling’ of our day into my day

1400 Bring pretzels to kids reading on the lawn.

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1445 Try to use computer to write stuff down, but husband using the computer.

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1449 First canoe of the year (two daughters reading their zoology and general science books then doing gymnastics on front lawn).

1505 Find bottle in the river, which probably has a secret message. Nope. Just an absolut vodka bottle.

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1515 Stop at neighbouring island to see how many nests there are: 3

…sorry geese parents, we kinda freaked you out. But we didn’t touch the nests.

1538 Help 9 year old son find books on geese incubation and goslings.

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1550 9 & 12 year old read Chris Hadfield book on ‘Around the World in 92 Minutes’. 17 year old returns from school. 15 year old goes to town with dad for dance rehearsals and choir rehearsals till bedtime.

1620 Read about river eddies, Bernoulli’s Principle, how mountains are made, and birds of Canada. Have kids read donation request letter from Canuck Place, a children’s hospice in Vancouver, and decide how much we should donate. 9 year old researches trisomy 5P.

1635 Discuss 12 year olds slime business and prepping labels for slime containers.

1640 Discuss pictures of babies with trisomy 13: “It’s so sad.”

1643 Kerfuffle because one child is shushing the other child.

1650 12 year old makes slime labels. 9 year old watches Horrible Histories DVD, I go outside to garden, woot woot.

1723 Only got to the greenhouse, not garden yet. Planted chives and collards in trays. Watered trays. Listen to Bravewriter podcast, again. Huge reminder: “Remember the sacredness of this moment in you life. Meaning for today…What we need to do today, is to remind ourselves that this is a privilege. Not everyone gets to do this homeschool thing. I mean, are you kidding, we wake up in our pajamas, we stay at home, we eat fun foods, our kids cuddle us and tell us they love us. They surprise us with all their antics and that’s what we call our work? I know some days its just ridiculously hard but you wouldn’t keep doing it if the rewards didn’t outweigh the challenges. And I know you know that. So today is just to remind you we’re pretty danged lucky, we’re really lucky.”

1725 Fold and rotate laundry. Plant three types of sunflowers outside garden. Dig two holes for blackberries along the rock wall in the orchard. 9 year old comes out to kick the ball. 12 year old comes out to ask if sibling wants to come see her new slime store. She starts slime video and kicks out 9 year old.

1805 9 year old asks if we’re having dinner. (Because he is hungry? Or because he knows he can play Minecraft afterwards).

1806 9 year old warms leftover rice on stove and makes green salad with tomatoes, serves ribs on his plate and is eating before I get inside. I finished planting sunflowers. Parsley & rhubarb are growing in the garden. Lilacs & raspberries are greening.

1810 12 year old & I eat on patio. 17 & 9 year old eat inside: “It’s too cold.” Actually, it’s 18 degrees today. But, okay.

1815 12 year old & I walk down to her ‘house’ that she made on the river. She would like her own tree swing. I tell her to find me rope and a piece of 2×4, and I will show her how to do it. We decide to walk down the beach before the water rises and find yet another lovely Canada goose.

1915 Only two things left on my list today: write my novel (okay, spend an hour writing it anyway), and meditate. Somehow I missed that in the morning. Might have been useful. Perhaps I’ll do it with candlelight and a child or two when it’s dark. Oh, and I guess I was going to make a plum coffee cake. Still five bags of plums in the freezer. There’s only so much baking I should eat anyway. Tomorrow…

7 thoughts on “be a fly on the wall: a day in the life of a homeschool family

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