NOT Back to School – A Day in the Life

In CategoryHome Schooling


This week on the Blog Hop, the topic is A Day in the Life of our home school!  

The following represents a pretty honest account of our typical day…


The kids start thumping around and throwing open our bedroom door every five minutes to make various announcements – “I have to PEE!” and “I’m HUNGRY!” 

I put my pillow over my head, then plant my foot in Jim’s back and shove him out of bed. He gets everyone dressed and chucks food down their beaks while I hang onto every last possible second of sleep. I know what you are thinking – he’s swell and I’m not. It’s okay, luckily I’m fine with that. He does laundry too. 


I stagger down the stairs and head directly for the coffee pot. Jim refills his mug, kisses everyone and heads to his office in the basement, where mysterious computer geekery happens. The kids follow me around, peppering me with questions until I threaten to put a baby gate up in the doorway so I can drink my coffee in peace. I check my email and cruise the internets for an hour or so, occasionally hollering settle down! and  NO! you can’t have the hammer! in the direction of the playroom. 

9-ish am

I drag myself away from the computer and herd everyone into the school room


Big begins his morning negotiating session. “No, not Ma-ath! Math is the WORST. How about if I pick, then you pick?” and “how about if I skip all theseones?” and “Little gets to play with bugs? I want to play with bugs TOO” and so on and so forth. Mostly, I find this amusing. It’s interesting to see his powers of persuasion developing. We usually compromise, with my conditions being something like, “okay, but if you whine even ONCE, you have to go back and do them all.” At some point he realized I would not negotiate with him if he didn’t hold up his end of the deal, and he now honors his agreements like a little gentleman. 

9:02am – Noon

We begin with Handwriting Practice, then I let him choose between Math and Reading/Phonics. After that, it’s his turn to pick, then mine, and so on until our work is done. In the past I kept a 4 day school schedule, so I could keep a day for paying bills and shoveling out the kitchen. It was too stressful for him, so we moved to a 5 day schedule, limiting ourselves to 3 or 4 subjects a day. Math, Reading, and Spelling are on Mon/Wed/Fri; and Geography, Science, and Vocabulary are on T/Th. Handwriting Practice is daily. Yay for being an understanding schoolwork scheduler, Boo for no time to bill-pay or kitchen-shovel.

So mornings are filled with schoolwork, intermingled with lots of “wait your turn” “lower your voice” “pay attention” “quit doing that” “get off the floor” “where did you get that?” “quit making that noise” etc, etc, etc. 

Actually, there is quite a bit of “quit making that noise!” now that I think about it. 

Some days he buckles down and gets all his work done by lunch, and some days he needs lots of play breaks and snack breaks.

Some days we get absorbed in chemistry and our weekly experiments go on all afternoon, and some days Someone has eaten all the marshmallows we were going to use for molcule-building and I have to be evasive about why we can’t do our project. 

Some days I spend a lot of time either comforting him when he’s struggling or sternly telling him to quit whining and get with it. I call that Character Training and tell myself it’s just as important as book work, so I don’t get too discouraged at how behind we are falling. 

Some days I have to make bread or go to the grocery store or pay bills or lie on the couch with a bag of chips and the remote (not really, but doesn’t that sound great?), and school gets minimized or pushed to the next day altogether. 

Noon-ish onward

Jim comes up and helps make lunch for the kids. He fills me in on the latest thing Microsoft is doing to mess up his life, and I ask him if skip-counting by fives really seems that important. 

After we finish schoolwork, they do the things kids do and I do the things mommies do, sometimes getting exasperated and saying things like where did you get that hammer? and how about watching Word World and being quiet for a few minutes? Jim comes home around 5, and they wrestle with Daddy or read aloud; and I take a break before starting in on dinnertime, bathtime, and bedtime. 

Eventually, about 13 hours after the day began, it’s time to sink into the couch and relax with some teevee

And get ready to do it all again tomorrow.

I love to peek in other people’s windows, so link over to the Blog Hop and tell about your Day-in-the-Life!

Tags: ,

14 Responses to “NOT Back to School – A Day in the Life”

  1. Marsha Says:

    My husband works from home, too. It’s nice for the kids to eat lunch with Daddy! Hope you have a great week!

  2. Mrs. C Says:

    Deb, this is the *best* ol’ homeschooling post I’ve read in a long time. I hope you get lots of visits from the blog hop. 🙂
    Mrs. C´s last blog post ..Umm

  3. Cindy Says:

    You are hilarious! Thanks for making me laugh! 😉

  4. Sonita Says:

    From the hop

    LOVE your post-sounds a lot like our typical day (but we do less formal school)I totally understand the grabbing every last second of sleep you can!

  5. Tamara Says:

    Great “Day in the Life”! Homeschoolers have so much fun and are so creative 🙂

    I wish my husband could work from home, but more times than not, and being on call, he’s away.

    Thanks for sharing and have a very enjoyable 2010-2011 school year!
    Tamara´s last blog post ..A Day in Our Life – comical

  6. Tressa Says:

    Hilarious! I love it! You are awesome!
    Tressa´s last blog post ..My first harvest

  7. Michelle Says:

    I love it! I “shove” my hubby out of bed to get kids settled down too! I need my sleep! Thanks for sharing!
    Michelle´s last blog post ..A Day in the Life

  8. Theresa Says:

    I love your sense of humor and your keeping it real 😉

    Stopping by from the blog hop, but I am your newest follower!!

    This is our first year homeschooling and I am learning so much from moms who have been at it for a while!

  9. Michelle Says:

    Sounds a lot like my house! 🙂
    Michelle´s last blog post ..Why Were GFCF

  10. Anna Says:

    Too funny!! Thanks for a peek into your day. I have 5 little ones so I hear a LOT of the same things you do and find myself throwing out out the same words DAILY. Have a great school year!
    Anna´s last blog post ..A Day in the Life ofME!

  11. Ashley at Says:

    Hey! Your morning sounds a LOT like mine!!
    Ashley at´s last blog post ..Cool Homeschool or Teacher Resource FREE!

  12. Hannah Says:

    Great post! I seriously am left wondering if our children were somehow seperated at birth…I do believe I spend most of my days saying the exact same things to my Munchkins. 😉

    Hannah (#58 on this week’s blog hop)
    Hannah´s last blog post ..The Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop A Day in the Life

  13. Says:

    Thanks a million for this post. I am going to have my daughter read this post. It sounds very similar to her day all except for the husband part. Her husband is out of the door very early and home very late so she is the whole enchilada. Your remarks to your children are what real life is like. Thanks aqain for the post. It was great for this gramdma of a homeschooled child to read. 🙂

  14. the domestic fringe Says:

    Your post made me smile. I’m not a morning person either. we will begin homeschool this coming Monday and I’ve set the start time for 9am. I’m just not coherent earlier. My son keeps trying to get me to begin around 7:30-8, but my brain just doesn’t wake up that early. Sounds like you have a fun house! Kudos to your husband for helping out in the mornings.