Our days around here haven’t changed much in the last couple of years. I do have one less student at home which does free up some of my time. With a Junior and a 7th grader, one would think that I could have a little of my life back, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for me. Many homeschool bloggers talk about all this independent study for their high school age kids. At my house, my daughter is very diligent about her school work, but to say that I am uninvolved or that I can leave her to her own studies would be a lie. My 7th grader still needs a lot of my attention. Here it is. What an average school day looks like for me.
I am up! I am up! I promise. Coffee? Where is the coffee? Check Facebook, Twitter, the blogosphere, email, and play a few lives of Candy Crush. I will watch a bit of Fox & Friends even though they all annoy me to some degree, and eventually I will take a shower hopefully before my daughter gets in and uses all the hot water.
My daughter is up. She gets herself up every day. She likes to have time to check her Instagram and Facebook. I wake up Freckle Face, and he bounces down the stairs to catch his daily dose of Fox and Friends. The boy loves the news. We all eat breakfast, get fully dressed, and lounge around until..
There are no excuses. We start at 8:00. We have a devotion and pray.
Math for everyone. My daughter reads her own lesson and starts working. She is working through Saxon’s Advanced Math book. (have I mentioned that this book is hard?) I ask her what she is doing new for the day. Sometimes I go over it with her and sometimes I don’t. I sit down with Freckle Face and go over his lesson. He is using Saxon 8/7. We correct the problems from yesterday and we argue over whether or not I really said what I said. For the next hour both kids work independently on their math. I step in to help whenever necessary.
Usually I am telling Freckle Face to stop goofing off and get to his math.
Once again, “do your math” is coming out of my mouth.
If we are lucky, Freckle Face is almost done with his math, and my daughter has moved to Latin. This is not independent work for her. I have to go over her assignments with her. Sure, I could hand her the answer key and tell her to check her work, but I know from experience that she doesn’t learn anything this way. She hates Latin. It is all about checking off the box. She could care less why she got it wrong. I suppose there are some families out there that love Latin and can’t wait to get to their Latin assignments, but we are not that family. No, I am not going to let her quit.
For the love of chocolate, please get your math finished!
What problem are you on? Seriously? Could you zip it and do your math, please. Pretty please?
Forget it. I am not asking nicely. Stop talking! No, I don’t want to hear about just one more thing. Tell me later. Ok. Fine. Yes, that is interesting. Please finish your math. (I don’t know why it is math that holds us up. Nothing else is like this.)
Freckle Face is probably finally done with math. Oh, my goodness that was painful. He usually moves onto science. He is using Apologia General Science that is heavily modified by me. He is finding that he really likes science. He doesn’t seem to mind the conversational tone in these books like the other kids did. I add a lot to his work. Maybe that makes it better. I don’t know.
(No, you can’t have lunch yet. No. I mean it. You just had a snack.) I do a quick spelling lesson with Freckle Face. Takes all of 10 minutes and then he pulls out his Latin. He is using Latina Christiana 2. This is my third time through this book, and I am a master of it. Yes, tooting my own horn here, but small victories and all that. We work on translations, and I give him some of his own to do. My daughter is working through her Marine Biology by this time. I don’t do anything with her for this course except correct the study guide questions.
My husband usually comes home for lunch. The kids make their own lunches. I stopped making lunch because they like to decide what they want. Sometimes they heat up leftovers or make a frozen pizza. Sometimes they make a sandwich. I don’t mind what they have. Then, I sit down with my ipad and the kids and my husband watch a goofy show of some kind.
We may be getting back to school, or we may be avoiding it. Depends on the day.
OK. We are really getting back to it now. My daughter goes to her room to work on her final subjects. In the afternoon she works on Western Civilization, British Literature, and Religion. All of these are directed by me. I make assignments, and she does them. I check over the assignments, and we discuss anything that she found interesting. I like having discussions with my high school kids. It is always fun to see what they are thinking about. I work on Grammar, Literature, and History with Freckle Face. I usually incorporate writing into one of those subjects instead of making it a class of its own.
Still working.. I am probably reading writing assignments and trying to pretend that they are better than they are so I don’t have to tell them to rewrite it. Because that is always fun. It does pay off. Recently, my oldest called me from college to thank me for tearing apart his papers. “Mom, do you remember how you would tell me that I was writing like a 3rd grader? I am so glad that you did that. I see it now.” He was also very thankful that I made him learn so much grammar. He also said that he was happy he studied Latin. Ok, I lied. He didn’t actually say that, but it was implied. I heard it in there.
We are usually done by now, and everyone has gone off to their respective places. Freckle Face goes outside. My daughter works on her cross stitch or Instagram or whatever, and I play Candy Crush and Twitter. Dinner sometimes is on my mind.
The above a is typical day when I don’t have anywhere to go. Most days we have somewhere to go. When that happens, everything gets pushed around, and I become a screaming banshee. Well, maybe not that bad, but it is more stressful. We have to work a little later and no one, and I mean NO ONE likes that.
Household chores are thrown around in there too. I toss a load of laundry in, vacuum, or clean a bathroom, but this should not leave you with the impression that my house is tidy. It isn’t. Ever. Unless someone is coming over. I came to realization years ago that I can either get all of our school work done, or I can have a tidy house. It isn’t both. Because when our school day is over, the last thing I feel like doing is housework. And let’s face it, I have 3 other capable people in the house. Obviously, they don’t seem to mind the untidiness or they would pick up after themselves. The truth is that we just have too much stuff. I am working on that.
I am just being real here. I think real homeschools are more motivational than the ones you find in the magazines. Today is a snow day. I was going to make the kids get their work done in spite of the snow, but it snows once every 5 years here. I think we can afford to take the day and enjoy the snow.