A Day In The Life Of A Homeschool Mom

My oldest started Kindergarten August 2020. As you can imagine, it was a very chaotic time for everyone, let alone brand new schoolers. I enrolled my daughter in the local public school and we set about navigating school for the first time. If a child came down sick, class was closed for 2 weeks and everything was done on zoom. They expected my 5 year old to sit still for 4 hours watching zoom. I sat by her side to help her shuffle through the assigned work and keep her on task. Almost instantly, my daughter’s mood began to shift. She would spend 2 to 3 hours after school in a tantrum. Inconsolable. She hated zoom school. I hated zoom school.

It got to the point that I would log into the zoom, turn off the camera, and we would just do whatever. But she wasn’t really learning anything. After a few months of back and forth between on campus and zoom during extended closures, we had enough. I pulled her from school and bought a few workbooks. Thus began our intro to homeschooling. 

I should mention, I was that person who swore I would never, ever homeschool my kids. You know what they say, never say never. After pulling her from public school, we were waitlisted for a charter school homeschool hybrid. Until then, I did my best to meet her educational needs on my own. I was miserable, this was not how it was supposed to go! Kindergarten was supposed to be the gateway to my free time!

I must admit not having to zoom anymore was so much better for my daughter’s mental health and I had to learn to deal. One thing that I had to come to grips with, is that a homeschool day does not look like a public school day. We aren’t doing hours of filler work, we are focusing on a concept, practicing and then moving on with our day. Homeschool takes a fraction of the time traditional schooling takes, especially in these younger grades. 

We eventually made it through Kindergarten and were accepted into the charter school to start first grade. Through this program, they give you all the curriculum, lesson plans, and support. Your homeschool days feed into their on campus days and build upon each other. I love the hybrid aspect of this program because it still provides structure, peer engagement, and a semi-typical educational experience but is flexible to the needs of my child. 

Now I have 2 children in this program and I’ve had to find a way to manage homeschool days so both kids get their needs met. We don’t start our schooling until 9am. We have a leisurely morning. I try not to let the kids watch a show before we do homeschool as I’ve found the day’s lesson does not run as smoothly when I do. I always start with our easiest topics so that if I face resistance, it doesn’t ruin the rest of the day.

We typically go in this order; English/ Literature, History, then Math. Science is done on their on campus days but I like to add in extra science projects here and there. The best part about homeschool is it can travel when we travel. There really is no right way to homeschool. If your child is resisting math, you find a different method. You’re not locked into any one curriculum or way of teaching. You meet your kids’ learning style and watch them grow. 

While homeschooling may not have been my first choice, I am glad it found us. Their teachers have been a source of tremendous support, not only academically but emotionally. Their smaller class sizes and flexibility has given my children a place to thrive! I can’t imagine ever going back to traditional school again. Now that I have almost 2 full school years under my belt, I feel like I’ve figured out a routine that fits for our family.  This is what a day in our homeschool looks like. 

We start our day like everyone else but without the chaos. Breakfast, get dressed, and a bit of free play before we launch into our curriculum. By 9:30am we are ready to get going. The tricky part of having 2 young kids learning different things, is the juggle back and forth at the same time! Homeschool moms of little kids are epic multitaskers.

To help keep me on track, I made a little schedule which is of course flexible based on where my child needs to focus their efforts more. If they take less time on a subject, we shift the break up. I always take a break between subjects to give myself a chance to change out the curriculum and let the kids have a breather before switching gears.

9:30- Language Arts

10:00- break/ snack

10:15- Math

10:45- break

11:00- History

11:30- Lunch

During the afternoon, when my kids decide they are bored, I encourage them to complete their daily reading of 20 minutes minimum. We also incorporate a craft, drawing, or something tactile a few days each week. This isn’t a scheduled activity but something that comes as they express their boredom :).

We also love to take field trips around the community and learn by seeing. Something as simple as a trip to feed the ducks opens up conversations about migration, how they swim, sleep, what they eat, etc. We are privileged to live near the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Zoo, Sea World, Balboa Park, Legoland, etc. There is no shortage of experiential experiences for my children to have. Homeschool moms know the most important learning happens out and about. 

Some day’s we finish our curriculum in an hour, others we go past lunch. The point of homeschool is not to fill the day with fluff but to ensure our kids are comprehending the concept and practicing until we are confident they understand. As my kids get older and the curriculum becomes more in depth, they will inevitably spend more time on their formal education. But truly, what 5 year old needs to spend 6 hours with formal learning?

So there you have it. A day in the life of a homeschool mom. It’s not glamorous, but it’s our life and we love it. Do you have any questions about homeschooling? Connect with me on Instagram and let’s talk!