One of the questions I’m asked about homeschooling is what a typical day looks like. Whether you’re already homeschooling or thinking about homeschooling it can be fun to take a peek into another homeschool family’s daily routine. Our daily homeschool schedule varies depending on the time of year and what other obligations we have at the time.
When my children were younger (we started homeschooling when they were 6, 4, and 2) our day looked much different than it does now. Homeschooling took place throughout the day and we weren’t as structured. As they got older, I would school them at the same time on some subjects and alone on other subjects. Then, when I went back to work full-time (they were 11, 9, and 6) the older two worked independently (their care provider was not to do any school work with them) and my youngest worked on a little schoolwork with his care provider. You can read about my experience with working full time and homeschooling when my children were younger. I also wrote a quick day in the life of working full time and homeschooling when my children were a little older and my youngest was no longer going to a separate care provider.
Now that I’ve quit my job to work for myself (this is how) our daily homeschool schedule has changed again. While I love that my boys were able to homeschool independently while I was working full time I’m glad to have a consistent time with them each school day to go over new concepts.
Our Daily Homeschool Schedule
Our family homeschools year around. Since we don’t take the summer months off from homeschooling we are able to have shorter homeschool days and take more time off during the school year. We currently homeschool on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Homeschooling doesn’t take much time each day with just three kids. I’ve written before about how much time it takes to homeschool. It varies from one family to the next and it’s even varied for us depending on how old our children are, what we’re learning about and how independently they are able to work on a subject. Right now homeschooling takes us about 3 hours per day, 4 days per week.
Below is our current summer/fall 2016 daily homeschool schedule. It might change next winter and spring, or it might not. I’ll write a new daily homeschool schedule post when it changes. (Here’s our Winter 2017 homeschool schedule.)
Monday and Wednesday
9:00AM-9:20AM: Math (Monday is a math teaching day for us. We spend the whole 20 minutes learning a new concept or taking a deeper look at a current concept. I also spend 1-on-1 time with anyone who needs it during this time.)
9:20AM-9:50AM: Science (Science sometimes takes longer and we often do more with science outside of scheduled school hours.)
10:00AM-10:20AM: Physical Education/Recess/Break (I encourage the boys to go outside when the weather is nice. I do yoga or lift weights during this time. They can join me if they want or when the weather is bad.)
10:20Am-10:30AM: Quick snack time
10:30AM-10:50AM: Reading (My oldest two read alone, my youngest reads out loud to me.)
10:50AM-11:10AM: Social Studies/Spirituality/Character Education/Critical Thinking/Emotional Intelligence, etc. (We’re currently watching Crash Course Philosophy and US Government. This time is used to teach the boys about world religions and spiritual beliefs, values, ethics, effective communication, relationships and more. It’s probably my favorite time of the day. We have a lot of good discussions and I love watching the boys learn to think critically and ask questions about why things are the way they are.)
11:10AM-11:20AM: Journaling (The boys write in their journals. Sometimes they have a topic to write about, sometimes they do free writing. If there’s no topic that day and they can’t think of something to write about they are encouraged to draw or do copy work from a book.)
11:20AM-11:50: Piano lessons or practice (I spend about 10 minutes with them four days per week either teaching new concepts or listening to them practice. They are encouraged to practice at other times during the week, as well. I use the same piano lesson books I used as a child.)
Tuesday and Thursday
Tuesday and Thursday differ from Monday and Wednesday in the following ways:
- We do language arts from 9:00AM-9:20AM instead of just math. We still do what I call “daily operations”, which consists of the boys doing two-minute drills on all of the four basic math operations. We do those daily.
- We do history instead of science from 9:20AM-9:50AM. (We use Story of the World.)
- We do Spanish instead of Piano Theory from 9:50AM-10:00AM (We’re currently watching Butterfly Spanish on Youtube. Next, we’ll move to Spanish I.)
I try to end our school day by noon so we can have lunch. I leave a ten-minute buffer at the end of the morning in case we run over. If I see that we’re behind and might go past 12:10PM, we don’t do journalling that day. Usually, though, we’re right on time!
What Do Homeschoolers Do All Day?
As you can see from our daily homeschool schedule we’re only focused on school for three hours per day. So what does the rest of our day look like? What do homeschoolers do all day?
- At 12:00PM we have lunch.
- Chores are done at 12:30PM.
- The boys usually have free time from 1:00-2:30PM.
- They eat a snack at 2:30.
- By 3:00PM we get ready to leave for soccer practice. (We leave by 3:30PM) My oldest and youngest have additional training and then practice that begins around 4:00PM. They remain at the field with my husband (who coaches two soccer teams) until his last practice ends around 8:00PM. When we drop off my other two sons at practice, my middle son and I run errands. Then we head home to make dinner. I usually get some work done during this time, as well.
When we don’t have practice, my boys have lots of free time to play (both outside and on electronics inside), be creative, or just sit still and think.
A Homeschooling Work-From-Home Mom’s Daily Schedule
In addition to homeschooling my children, I’m also self-employed. The work times listed in my daily schedule are likely to be interrupted as the boys need me, but that’s why I love working for myself. I have the freedom to put work aside and take care of real life as it happens. Sometimes, though, I tell the boys we’re on “fire, blood or broken bones”, which means they are not to interrupt me unless there is an emergency. We keep it pretty balanced.
Here is what a typical homeschool day looks like for me:
6:00AM – Wake up, feed pets, put away dishes, switch/fold laundry
6:30AM – Drink tea and check emails/work/write
7:00AM – Prep for homeschool (write on whiteboard, lay out supplies, pull up websites on family computer)
7:15AM – Breakfast and work/write
8:15AM – Prep breakfast if needed
8:30AM – Wake up the boys
9:00AM – Homeschool
12:00PM – Lunch
12:30PM – Work
2:30PM – Prep snack for boys
2:40PM – Check emails
3:00PM – Get ready to take boys to practice
3:30PM – Leave for practice
4:00PM – Run Errands (if needed)
5:00PM – Make dinner
5:30PM – Eat (Find out why my family doesn’t eat dinner together and what we do instead.)
6:00PM – Work
7:30PM – Dishes/Switch, fold, put away laundry/Shower
8:30PM – Reheat dinner for husband and two sons
9:00PM – Get ready for bed/Put away dinner if needed
That’s a typical homeschool day right now. Of course, it changes from time to time. And, we’re always sure to encourage learning outside of school time and pursue the interests of the boys even if we aren’t currently studying them.