What Does Homeschooling Look Like? Welcome To A Day in Our Life

I was recently asked by a mother (that will soon be homeschooling a fifth grader and K'er for the first time) what my day looks like. In all honesty, every day is a little different than the next but I remember how I loved to take a peek into other homeschooler's day when I was starting out. I don't know if it will be beneficial, but this is what an average day on our life looks like....

7:00 The alarm goes off and we begin morning chores.  They consist of getting dressed, making beds, starting a load of laundry, sweeping the kitchen and bathroom floors, wiping down the bathroom sink, emptying garbage, feeding and watering animals. The bucket to fill the animals water can't be found so we get a late start until it is suddenly spotted in the location it is actually suppose to be at.

8:15 Eventually chores are more or less finished and we turn our attention to breakfast. Ru announces she is going to try and eat healthy and makes a breakfast of toast, orange juice and greek yogurt, her sister follows suit and we take turns reading the bible during breakfast.

8:50 I briefly consider what we should have for dinner and what I might need to defrost. The breakfast dishes are cleared, teeth are brushed and the girls pull huge stacks of books they anticipate they will need for the day and heave them on the dining room table along with their binder that includes a copy of their school schedule. As they turn to their schedules (BellesRu's), I pull a copy up on my laptop and we decide to begin with reading Luke 2: 1-20 for memory work even though we memorized this last year. I thought it would be fun to replace our current memory verse (Psalm 19) since Christmas is fast approaching. We do the same for poetry, reading Advent by Christina Rossetti. They then review old memory work. For Ru this is Psalm 1 and for Belle it is The Pledge of Allegiance.

8:55 They each complete one page of handwriting. Ru is almost finished with book F from Universal Publishing and Belle is almost finished with Handwriting Without Tears. They race one another to finish in order to be the first to be able to play State Settera (a recent addition to their memory work). I remind them to work with a mind to perfect execution and put in another load of laundry.

9:20 They complete a keyboard lesson using Typing Web. We then sing the noun, verb, adverb, adjective, sentence, article adjectives and preposition jingles from Shurley English and move right into a lesson on regular and irregular verbs. Dad comes home for a brief moment to pick up something he needs for work.

9:40 It is time for English from the Roots Up. We play a game to review the roots we have already learned. This takes a while to set up because we can't find the "dinger", and as you may or may not know, the "dinger" is very important in a made up game of this nature. Finally it is located and the game proceeds. Afterwards, the students add another derivative to the current index card of the week - logos.

9:55 We begin  math by completing a review and practice worksheet from  RightStart Mathmatics and then complete a lesson and another worksheet.

10:40 We listen to our current composer and then move on to Latin. While they complete the written part of the lesson, I busy myself making two math worksheets to be used in place of our regular lessons for the next two days. Normally, I would teach a lesson and then follow it with math games/worksheets to reinforce the lesson. That won't work in the upcoming days, as we will be out of the house for one of the days and only home in the early morning for the other.

11:05 We sing our current hymn and then one child works on math facts using XtraMath while the other tidies up.

11:10 Belle listens to Shakespeare's Measure for Measure while Ru and I move to the sofa and read a chapter from Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution.

11:40 Ru narrates Abigail Adams, while I fold and put away laundry, and then takes her turn at XtraMath. I change bedding and when Belle is finished with Shakespeare, she narrates.

12:00 Lunch consists of grilled cheese, Red Lentil Chili and mandarin oranges. I pull out meat for dinner and ask the kids what they would like. Their recommendations would require a trip to the store so I set out frozen dough for rolls and begin assembling an apple pie.

12:30 After we clean up the lunch dishes, Belle proudly announces that she finished school before lunch and races to her bed to read Science Secrets. For the next hour she busies herself with several of the experiments while Ru reads one chapter of Kidnapped on her kindle and follows it with a narration.

1:00 Ru practices violin. I fold and put away more laundry and straighten my hair so I won't have to tomorrow.

1:20 Ru reads Minn of the Mississippi and narrates.

1:30 Deciding that today is the day she will tune her old violin, Ru spends the next hour or so tinkering with her violins. Belle proceeds to look through an old Betty Crocker children's cookbook and then abandons it for sketching in her fashion portfolio.

2:30 It is Ru's week to collect and clean the chicken eggs. It is pouring rain so this is done quickly today. I look on pinterest for dinner ideas. Finally I decide on PF Changs Mongolian Beef  served with jasmine rice and grilled carrots. Belle decides to turn her drawings into paper dolls. I take a quick look at social media, address Christmas greeting cards and work on this post. I've lost track of Ru. She is probably reading a Star Wars book, her latest obsession.

4:30 Everyone does a quick cleanup and I begin cooking dinner with Belle's assistance.

5:15 The husband comes home, we eat and clean up the dinner dishes. The kids help make their lunch for tomorrow and gather all the necessary school books and materials for tomorrow. They get their backpack ready and lay out clothes for the next day ( I will be at work and they will be at various dance and art classes).

7:00 Baths are taken.

8:00 I help them review their Awana's materials and read from Marguerite Henry's Album of Horses.

8:30 Lights out for the kids. I continue working on this post, finish some email correspondence, and make shopping lists and to-do lists for tomorrow.

11:00 Lights out for me.

June {Daybook}

Outside My Window......
untouched photo from where I am typing (so glad the dirty window didn't show up in the picture)
Giving Thanks.....
Good health. Not in the typical trite way, in the truly thanksgiving way. I am at that stage in life where friends are battling cancer, I'm having gallbladder issues etc. Yes siree, I have stopped complaining about the physical things that plague young people (read vanity) and am grateful for a body that is still functioning.

I Am Thinking About....
Writing. God has been gently nudging me to write. Not writing  for an audience but self reflection. Writing is hard for me. Self reflection is even harder.  The kind of writing I need to do will require quiet for an extended period of time and I'm considering ways to accomplish this. 

In the Schoolroom....

Everyone seems to be enjoying summer break right now but we are still plugging along,  at the moment we are listening to Robinson Crusoe. We have tabled our science curriculum in favor of Nature Study for the time being.
releasing a tree frog after observation
In the Kitchen....
My poor refrigerator desperately needs a good scrubbing so I am not planning on any cooking today. Instead, I will be forcing serving as many leftovers as possible for dinner tonight. 

I Am Creating....

I am helping Belle create a Science Space in her room. I am not entirely sure what that means but she recently removed all girly decor from her walls and had me hang the solar system she was given for her birthday from the ceiling. She is waiting for me to hang a shelf so she can display "cool science stuff on it." (BTW, don't buy the one in the picture if you care about accuracy or that it does not actually glow in the dark.)
I Don't Ever Want to Forget....
How tender and affectionate my girlies can be to one another.

I Am Working On...

Combining my third and fourth graders more so we can enjoy what Charlotte Mason coined The Grand Conversation!

I Am Reading....

The Living Page

I Am Praying For....

Health conditions mentioned above.

I Am Struggling....

Same as last time, staying up too late at night!

I Am Hearing....

Birds, birds, birds........

Clicking Around....
I am really enjoying Christopher Perrin's audio's.
I keep visiting Miss Mustard Seed for our bathroom remodel inspiration. I am loving the blue and white.

Around the House....
The flower beds need weeded and hubby is diligently working towards a new bathroom!

One of My Favorite Things...

Laying on top of the trampoline with my peeps reading The Secret Garden. They BEG me not to stop!

A Few Plans for Next Week.....

A visit to  Compassion International's Change the Story event, school, Father's Day, a Wedding that the girls are both in, and my favorite.....a Used Homeschool Book Sale!

I am linking up with The Simple Woman's Daybook Editions 


Because of the Brave

Because of the Brave, I've never known a life void of liberty. 

Thank you doesn't seem to suffice.

This Memorial Day please take a moment to pray for the families that have lost a loved one in the Armed Forces. Better yet, look them in the eye and tell them "Thank You".

So often, we don't know what to say, so we say nothing. Our silence is devastating to those grieving the loss of a loved one that gave the ultimate sacrifice. You don't have to wait until you can find the right words because chances are, you won't. A sincere thank you, even if, especially if, bumbled will mean more than you know. So will admitting that you don't know what to say, but you are grateful for their service and won't take it for granted. 

Another easy thing we can all do is to stop complaining about our country. Just for today, we can do that, can't we? Shouldn't we? 

Want to do more? If you are looking for meaningful ways to help your children understand and honor this special day, visit Alea Milham's post on Activities to Teach your Child about Memorial Day. Check out Allison Hendrix's post 10 Ways to say thank you on Memorial Day for more great ideas. 

Our family has always enjoyed attending parades that honor our Armed Forces. This year we went to the Civil War Reenactment shown in the first photo. Both activities offer concrete ways to display honor, respect and service to our children.

Thank you to all that have sacrificed so that we may enjoy a life of liberty! 


How to Teach Grammar with No Busy Work {Part One}

Shurley English, Sing, Spell Read & Write, Simply Grammar, English for the Thoughtful Child, Queens Language Lessons, Serl's Primary Language Lessons, Spelling Wisdom, and Easy Grammar, what do these have in common?

They all currently grace my bookshelves. *hanging head in shame.*

To be completely forthcoming about my dirty little secret, I purged four large boxes of curriculum, including grammar workbooks a few months ago and yet somehow these were still on the shelf.

There is one thing you should know about me: I'm tight. My daughter and father call me cheap.

I picked up most of them at thrift stores or used curriculum sales, so if you think I am shamelessly throwing money out the window, you're wrong.

That sounded a bit defensive didn't it?

Hello, my name is Kelly and I am a curriculum junkie.

Is intervention necessary if I don't actually use the curriculum? Hmm...that seems almost worse.

Hello, my name is Kelly and I am a curriculum hoarder.

This is where a good blogger would delete and begin anew. Not me. It stays. Somewhere out there is a kindred spirit that feels like she just might be ruining her children's education and therefore picks stuff up here and there,  just in case. There must be! I can't be the only one, can I?

Okay, now let us dig into what we actually use for Grammar....

We use the Shurley English Introductory Jingles to easily memorize the definition of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, article adjectives, sentences and prepositions. You can see video of the girls singing them last year in this post (scroll down below the Language Art section). They enjoy memorizing anything put to music and it really does seem practically effortless. 

Obviously it isn't enough to simply memorize the jingles so I spend some time explaining the definitions and playing a game we call 'I Spy (insert parts of speech)'. We play this in waiting rooms, in the car, while washing dishes, you get the idea. Someone makes up a sentence and the first one to name the current part of speech wins. The winner makes up the next sentence and the game continues. Easy peasy, and effective.

Another activity we do is to write simple sentences on a dry erase board and then we work through them by identifying the verb, noun and so on. It takes less than five minutes tops. We do not diagram sentences in the traditional way and this and this explains why.

At this point in their education they don't need to diagram complex sentences, that will come later, after they are writing complex sentences.   ;)

If I am in a good mood, I allow them to play teacher and "teach" us how to properly diagram the sentence. They love standing in front of the dry erase board with marker in hand and take it quite seriously.  In the words of Peter Drucker
“No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.” 

Once that's mastered we use Easy Grammar to learn prepositional phrases. In the beginning it takes a total of 10 minutes, tops. Once they get the hang of that, and are feeling fairly confident, we go back to them "teaching" a couple of sentences every other day on the dry erase board.

Check back soon for Part Two!


Branding and Such

Some photos from a recent branding........

calves just separated from their mamma's
Ru and her cousin herding them into the pen

getting vaccinations to keep them healthy

This article explains why cattle are branded. I remember when it was done like this..............

Once, my brother was doing his best to hold the calf down like the one in the photo, and my father slipped with the branding iron and branded my brother. 

The squeeze chute (think Temple Grandin) definitely makes it easier and safer on everyone including the calf.

It just wouldn't be any fun without an Uncle pretending to put a kid in the squeeze chute.

But don't worry, that's pretty standard around these parts, and she wouldn't really want it any other way. 


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