[Editor's note: We considered holding this previously scheduled post for later publication since it includes so many references to social activities, but there is such high interest in what a typical homeschool schedule looks like that we decided to go ahead with publication. Although the social activities in the schedule are clearly on hold at the current time, the insight into Vanessa's homeschool schedule with three teens might be helpful to those "suddenly homeschooling" as well as long-time homeschoolers. Vanessa recently wrote a "day in the life: homebound edition" post that is helpful for comparison.]
I admit I love to peek behind the curtain into other people's homeschools. I can't help it! It's not because I want to compare. It's because I love seeing how people tailor their routines, curricula, and lives to support their home education lifestyle.
I had never considered sharing a day-in-the-life of our homeschool until now. I have to say, it was fun to record our day in my planner.
It made me pause and notice all the moments of learning that make up our days. Of course, this is just one day and with three teens (gasp). Our days look different than when I had three preschoolers or three elementary age kids.
I sometimes fight against our days because I miss the together time. I miss the projects and playtime. I miss nap time. However, we've reached a point in our homeschool journey where I am making more time for my own work, the kids enjoy working independently or taking classes online or in local co-ops, and staying involved in meaningful extracurricular activities.
Yes, we're busy and in the car several days a week, but, we're growing and evolving and doing what's best for our family right now.
Here's what a recent Tuesday look like in our homeschool.
The alarm goes off and I hit the snooze button. I was awake until 1:00 am plus the time change for Daylight Savings plus I am a night owl. Everyone is still asleep, so I roll over and fall back to sleep.
I get up and everyone is still asleep. This is not unusual as I have three teens—boy and girl twins and an older boy—and two are night owls. Sleep is very important for our family so I try to honor their growing bodies and brains. Also, I like the quiet time.
I text my mother-in-law to set up math schedules for the day. She's a retired math teacher and teaches my sons via an online video platform. It's a lifesaver.
I take my morning supplements and grab a big glass of water and go do my morning routine for my part-time job. I am lucky to work from home for a company and job that I love.
My oldest wakes up and starts getting himself ready for his day at our co-op. On Tuesday's he's there all day. He loves it and brings his computer to do his one online class in between his in-person classes plus he needs the social interaction.
My younger son, the boy twin, slumps down the stairs. I make smoothies for the boys and get my boy twin prepped for math with grandma. I throw together lunch and snacks for my older son.
My oldest son and I are out the door. I am in my standard uniform of pajamas with a sweater (or jacket) and a ponytail because I like living on the edge of appropriate dress for homeschooling moms. At least I remembered to take off my slippers and put on my clogs.
Today, he has a history class, a writing class (online) and a teen communication course. He enjoys spending the day at co-op with his friends and also completes other schoolwork or group projects.
I arrive back home and check Voxer (a voice/chatting app) while sitting in my car. I respond to messages for work and to a few friends. My boy twin worked on math with his grandma while I was driving to and from the co-op location.
My girl twin wakes up and I make her breakfast. She had two hours of basketball practice last night plus the time change. She is very tired and very hungry. I make myself a smoothie.
I chat with the twins and sip my smoothie. We discuss the day and who has to be where and when and what they need to do for schoolwork.
The twins work independently. My daughter takes all of her subjects up to her room to work. She is working through a language arts workbook, Spanish, a U.S. History program, and literature. She picked out all her own topics and curricula and works on several subjects every day. I answer questions as needed and check-in with her. We do math together on most days. But not today as she asks if she can take a day off and I oblige.
Her twin brother is more of an unschooler. Today, we discuss his desire to start a podcast, and he cleans his desk and edits a podcast script he's been working on for a few days.
I start the laundry, mop the kitchen, discuss the grocery list with my husband (he's working from home today) and wash the dishes. I prep dinner in my Instant Pot (chicken for burrito bowls--a family favorite).
My daughter is finished with her work and rests and has free time. She has four hours of basketball practice tonight, so I don't push her to do too much in the afternoon.
I sit down to eat lunch and journal. My boy twin goes outside to shoot hoops and he will eat lunch later.
Boy twin is back to writing and editing podcast scripts and researching how-to podcast videos.
I finally change into my daytime clothes (which means yoga pants and a comfortable shirt and sweater) and throw on some makeup and finalize the grocery list. I pack lunch for my boy twin to take in the car because I know he will eventually be hungry.
My boy twin and I head out the door for errands. First, we stop at the library and he grabs more podcasting books, YouTube marketing books (I don't ask) and some Garfield comics.
We had to Target (naturally) to grab a few items (if there's such a thing when you go Target). We immediately see the store manager and he fist bumps my kid. Yes, we're buddies with the Target manager. This is one of the reasons I love homeschooling. Getting to be out and about and making connections.
The manager knows my son loves sports trading cards and they discuss them every time we come into the store. Today, he shares a story about an older man who purchased tons of cards that morning and the manager told him about my son and his passion for cards too. Love it!
We head to the next town over. We listen to a podcast about one of the Apollo missions. My younger son and I spend lots of the time in the car, just the two of us, so we always have a podcast or three going and we've learned so much about history and science this way.
I surprise him with a stop to the gelato shop. The weather is lovely and we have some time to kill before we get my oldest at co-op. We enjoy our treats and then head into Whole Foods to get groceries.
We're back home and my son goes outside to play with friends and I wash the dishes again and listen to a podcast. My husband and daughter have left for a night of back-to-back basketball practices.
I'm back in the car to pick up my teen at co-op. He gives me a rundown of his days, his classes and tells me he's starving.
I quickly check in on work stuff, sign my oldest up for a dance hosted by our co-op and get the rest of dinner prepped and ready.
My teen is resting in his room after being gone all day. My younger son is back outside playing with friends. We are loving the longer days!
My younger son and I eat dinner together. My teen is working on a computer issue and tells me he will eat later. I do miss having dinner each night all together but also know that our schedules have been busy and that's okay.
I clean up the kitchen while my younger son checks his e-mail. He heads upstairs to shower and get ready for bed.
I make hot tea and settle into my nighttime work routine. I typically get the bulk of my work done at night. I listen to my podcasts or audiobooks and knock out whatever tasks I need to for that night.
My younger son is up in his room reading and writing, my husband and daughter are home and eating a late dinner, and my teen is back up in his room working on his computer and texting with friends.
I do a short yoga practice. I do yoga at least five to ten minutes of yoga daily and am trying to do it every day for one year. It's been a wonderful, grounding form of self-care.
I straighten up the kitchen and clean the counters. After, I run a bath and grab a book and relax. My younger son is asleep and my husband and other two children are watching the news and talking and probably snacking.
Everyone else is in bed and I sneak back downstairs after my bath to do dishes (again) and listen to music. I check in on my teen (he's asleep earlyish for once). I decide to read a bit more on the couch before heading to bed.
Phew! That was actually a pretty packed day for us. Not every day is this busy and I do try to create some ebb and flow with the driving and activities. As I said at the beginning, this was a great exercise in noticing all the amazing things we're doing in our homeschool right now. Spend a day or two recording your own family's day and celebrate all the daily successes and connections you're making with your kid and in your community.