Apply it by the gallon.
Homeschooling needs to be covered in it.
I’ve homeschooled while working full-time outside of the home for three years until the Lord called me home. We’ve homeschooled through my husband’s unemployment. And we’ve had 3 additional babies since “officially” beginning our homeschool journey. We’ve homeschooled in survival mode, like when my mom’s house burned to the ground. In 2008 homeschooled while traveling around the country with my husband’s job for a year; that year of travel was also when I started this blog (you can read my first post here…the pictures are pretty small).
Tons of grace for yourself, along with a flexible attitude, are needed to make your homeschool life as enjoyable as possible; because this lifestyle and the opportunity to daily pour truth into your children are a rare treasure.
Here are several of the dynamics intertwined within our homeschool life rhythm currently. Grace and flexibility are being liberally applied.
- I’m pregnant and having #6 mid-school year.
- Hubby may be going through a schedule and job change.
- We’re currently in our one major sport per year; both boys are playing county-league tackle football (hubby is a BIG football guy ;)). We have a heavy practice and game schedule for about two months.
- The Lord has helped me embrace the title of Work-at-Home Homeschool Mom. I’ve heard Crystal Paine say several times (my paraphrasing) that realizing she was in fact a work-at-home mom helped her greatly in managing her family and responsibilities. Although my passion for blogging and writing as a ministry has taken my time for over a year and a half, either early or late in the day; Free Homeschool Deals has become a nearly full-time business. My new deal site is a huge blessing back to my family and is serving a great purpose blessing homeschool families everyday. I’m able to run FHD because the Lord has directed the development and success of it radically. I’m simply following after His leading, and trusting Him and my husband every step of the way.
Now I’m saying homeschool rhythm, but below I’m giving you times. Although I’m not a die-hard to-the-minute scheduler, I simply see and embrace the time pattern that our days naturally follow. We have days where we drop it all and go to the National Zoo. We have seasons in which we roadschool and leave the books mostly at home (I have children who can’t breathe without a daily stack of reading). And since we homeschool year round we generally only do school 4 days per week. I prefer the word rhythm during this season. Our days have a rhythm and life is beating to the homeschool drum. It’s not too far off our homeschool life schedule from last year. There are some tweaks, and new homeschool curriculum, that we’re making work for us.
Here’s a visit from our local homeschool robot.
- 4 a.m.: Mom is UP at 4 a.m. I have my time with the Lord – usually 30 minutes, although He may certainly interrupt my plan – and then I roll into getting business ready for the day. I work from 4:30-8:30 most mornings. Through much of my work I listen to preaching online. I consider that a profitable multi-use of my time.
- 7:30-8:30 a.m. Good Morning List: Jadin (12) and Zion (9) are up and begin to complete their Good Morning List. Their morning list includes: showers/ADLs and personal Bible reading time (they are both on one year Bible plans). Jadin shuffles the laundry, which is simply starting a load and putting a load in the dryer. Zion puts away dishes from the night before. Then they have free time until the rest of the house is moving.
- 8:30-9:00 a.m. Little Kiddes & Mom Ready: This is when I get the little boys up and ready, and myself ready to some extent. Both boys are up about 8 a.m., but they’ll play in their beds for around 30-minutes. I also help Naomi with her girl hair during this time.
- 9:00-10:00 a.m. Jesus & Breakfast: We have a wide open hour for breakfast, and we need it. Besides, there’s no reason for rush. Naomi sets that table while I make breakfast. Many times it’s simple such as oatmeal, cereal, or bagels. I’ve craved french toast lately. The kids haven’t minded. 😉 Bible reading can be reading one chapter aloud, other times we may be able to read two or three chapters aloud. I also read at least one story from Jesus Freaks. We read this Voice of the Martyrs devotional through annually. It is graphic, but it’s a testament of Christians paying the ultimate price for the Name of Jesus.
Country Homeschool Playtime
- 10:00-12:00 p.m. Tablework Time: This is our table work time. The majority of our school work is done during this time. The older boys work on their Teaching Textbooks and other mostly independent work in our living homeschool room, while I work with Naomi and Gaby for the first hour (10-11) at the kitchen table. Gabriel is free to come and go as he pleases, but usually he chooses to sit right by his sister as she’s working on her reading and writing. He still enjoys sorting his beans and working out of his busy box, which you can read more about in the early years of homeschool. At 11 I switch to working with the older boys on spelling and any other subject that they need 1:1 attention. Many times Naomi gets into her own creative projects at the kitchen table while I work with the big boys. Gabriel and Liam are usually immersed in the trains or blocks together.
- 12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch & Story Time: We’re ready to eat again after two hours of serious work. We usually have left overs from the night before for lunch, this is quick and painless. The kids help with serving drinks, refilling sippy cups, and setting the table, while I reheat and recreate with leftovers. After we eat, I read story books that Gabriel and Naomi pick. They listen to so many of our chapter book read alouds, which is wonderful, but I try to let them (as Gabriel says) just pick kid stories too. This is their time that we focus on their choices.
How Liam and I spend much of our time together. He loves riding in the Ergo Carrier.
- 1:00-3:00 p.m. Read Aloud Time & Naps: As we near 1 o’clock Gabriel and Liam are pretty close to licking the floor. It’s common for Gabriel to ask to go to bed. Each of the older boys take a younger brother to tuck in for nap time. Getting the little boys tucked in doesn’t take long. We all stretch out on the couches and get lost in read alouds for a good 2-hours. Our reading may drip into our rest time, but that’s okay. You can read what read aloud time looks like at our house.
- 3:00-4:00 p.m. Everyone Rest time: This is when the big kids, momma included, lay down and rest. I sleep, snore, and drool unashamedly during this hour. Jadin and Zion may just read or draw during this hour, but Naomi and I take it very seriously. The younger boys get up around the time that I’m done with my nap.
- 4:00-5:30p.m. Household Chore Time and Dinner: For a good hour we tackle the nitty gritty areas of our house. Dishes are washed as needed through-out the day, and laundry is shuffled, but for an hour we get the house in order from top to bottom. Since we do have to leave several evenings per week (in the Fall) for football I get dinner ready during this time as well. We eat and we go by 5:30. Here are several cleaning schedules ideas for homeschool families, including our one hour afternoon cleaning schedule.
The room is a mess, and play time was fun; but I love that this is how I found them – reading.
- 5:30-8:00 p.m. Football Practice: (**3-4 nights per week Sept-October. Then this time becomes our evening family game and reading time.**) I walk the track with my trusty double-stroller for at least an hour during practice. There are also several other homeschool families who are good friends that we visit with during this time. It turns into a wonderful fellowship time for the families and great work out time for everyone.
- BED! We’re not in bed by 8 p.m. during football season, but our goal is to get home as quickly as possible and get to bed. We can usually do it by 8:30 – 8:45 ish. This momma is tired and ready for bed. The little boys are again licking the floor – or near that point. Naomi is worn out from walking the track with mommy and the stroller at football. Jadin and Zion are exhausted from 2 hours of solid tackle football practice. Quick showers & goodnight!
Other posts in this series that focus on preparing for the new homeschool year:
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