Since beginning homeschool. The most often question I get asked is, “What does a typical day look like?” or “What’s your homeschool schedule?” While no day is exactly the same, we do have a sort of rhythm and that we lean on to make the days go as smooth as possible. I’ll admit that I’m not a strict schedule person so we kind of just go with the flow and adjust our day to the needs of our family. If it’s an exceptionally beautiful day outside, we go out and enjoy it even if that means we push math back a day. I will just dive in and give you a play-by-play of one day this past week to give you a glimpse of what our homeschool day looks likes.
We school primarily in our dining room. You can check out our homeschool space here. I am pretty relaxed with that though so we go wherever is most comfortable for learning. If the girls want to lay down a picnic blanket in the living room we will. We go outside when the weather is nice and will take our homeschool work to go if I have errands to run. The biggest thing I’ve learned this past year is that everything is figure-it-out-able and I bring that energy to homeschooling.
Our Homeschool Schedule
My alarm goes off. I really enjoy exercising first thing in the morning before the girls get up so it’s out of the way. I’m a serial snoozer so sometimes I don’t hop out of bed before 7:30 but on this particular day I did it! I throw on workout clothes and head out to the garage. I spend about 50 minutes exercising and then head back inside. If the girls aren’t yet up I hop in the shower real quick. Today is a magical day in which I have time for a shower!
The girls are up! They head downstairs, sleepy-eyed but dressed. They start their day with a morning chore. This is something really easy that takes them less than a couple of minutes to complete. They then can move onto their morning basket. This is a basket of books and activities that they can do to get their day started. We recently added these Story Cubes to our morning basket and that’s the usual favorite. While they do morning basket I fix their breakfast. Millie typically has Nutella toast and a banana or a waffle with Nutella. Basically, some version of a carb with Nutella and P has a waffle with sausage every morning. Sometimes P asks to make herself some eggs and I always say yes to this. Anytime the girls want to cook or bake I usually oblige because it’s a great schooling opportunity. They eat their breakfast while I read aloud from our morning basket. This is probably my favorite part of our homeschool schedule. I love reading aloud to them. We always do a quick Bible lesson and then we read from Harry Potter. We started Harry Potter at the beginning of the pandemic and we’re now on book four. While I read they can draw, color, do a search find book, or play with playdoh.
Here’s a list of what we currently have in our morning basket:
A Couple of Library Books
Highlights Hidden Pictures
Rory’s Story Cubes
Sight Word Flash Cards
Animal Flash Cards
10 x 10 Multiplication Table
About 9:30 am
Once we’re done with reading, morning basket time is over and the girls run up to brush their hair and teeth. When they come back down they grab the rest of their school stuff and bring it to the table. It’s time for us to start Language Arts. This part of our day gets a little tricky because both girls need my attention while they work on different things. I usually get Millie going on her Handing Writing Without Tears workbook then work on a lesson with P. Once P’s lesson is over she can work on Explode the Code, Typing.com, and Her Hand Writing Without Tears cursive book. She doesn’t do all of these every day but she can choose one or two to work on. While she works independently, Millie and I work on Go For the Code together and some reading/phonic practice.
About 10:20 am
We’ve wrapped up LA and it’s time for reading. P reads independently, her assigned book and if she has extra time she can read a book of her choosing (currently she’s working through the Zooey and Sassafrass series as her chosen reads). Millie will watch a read-aloud book on Youtube.
We follow up our reading time with a snack and a break. Sometimes we have an outdoor “recess” and the girls and I go for a walk, play at the park, or just play in our backyard. Other days they prefer an indoor “recess” and then they can play in the playroom or watch something on TV. I feel strongly about them playing outside every day so if they do choose an indoor recess, they know they have to play outside in the afternoon.
It’s lunchtime. This is when we really just unwind. We sometimes pack a lunch a take it to the park or just throw down a blanket in the backyard and eat out there. Around this time I can hop on my computer and check emails, work on Annie the Brave orders, or hop on here and work on blog posts (like this one). After the girls are finished eating and we’ve cleaned up we get ready for our afternoon work.
By this time of the day, Millie is about done with school. We usually have a couple of minutes of math work together and then she cleans up her school stuff for the day. For Millie’s math, we do a lot of counting, number recognition, practicing writing her numbers in sand or playdoh, recognizing and creating patterns, etc. I love this time because the girls work together on it and it makes P very proud to help her sister. After Millie is done she has free play and P and I begin her math lesson. Most days I give a quick 5-10 minute lesson and then she works on her daily math exercise independently.
This is our last time block of the school day. We use the later afternoon time to do science, social studies, and art. We rotate them out daily so one day we do science, the next day we do social studies, then art, and back to science. I am generally very relaxed about these subjects and we kind of just decide together what we’d like to do. Millie can choose to join us or not. Following the California state standards for third grade, I find lessons on sites like Teachers Pay Teachers or Education.com that fit our interests. I also try to incorporate some Outschool classes once a week as well. Most recently, I signed P up for a class all about koalas.
We’re done with our school day and I start handing out tickets for the day. We have a ticket reward system where the girls get a ticket each for morning and afternoon work. They also get tickets at random for kind deeds or going above and beyond. They use their tickets at the end of the week for prizes from our prize basket.
The girls clean up their workspace and are ready to play. They each have an afternoon chore so they work on those and once they are complete they have free play until about dinner time. This is also my quiet time. The girls know that they can play upstairs or be outside but if they are downstairs they have to be doing something quietly. Also, if I didn’t get a chance to exercise in the morning, I usually try to fit it in during this afternoon quiet time. This is also the time that we run any errands that come up.
Late afternoon I’m working on cleaning the house, any blog work, or Annie the Brave work that is needed until dinner time.
That generally sums up our homeschool schedule Monday through Thursday. Our curriculum is on a four-day school week so we use Fridays to catch up on any work that we may have missed, anything we need extra practice on, or fun things like bigger art projects (we recently made paper mache globes). I don’t know if homeschool will be our thing beyond this school year but I have really enjoyed the time we’ve gotten to spend together this year. It’s very rewarding seeing the growth my children have made so far this year and I’m very thankful for the opportunity to experiment with homeschool even if we don’t decide to continue it in the future.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below – I’m happy to answer anything your curious about!