Telling you what a typical day looks like puts me in a vulnerable position. I am tempted instead to tell you what I want my day to look like. But where’s the fun in that? So here goes…
How early I wake up depends on the season, what we have to accomplish and how late I stayed up the night before! I take an hour by myself to prepare for the day. I sit in a quiet place reserved for listening. It is worthwhile for me to hear from God before I hear from all the people in my house.
I cook breakfast while the kids get moving, have their own quiet times and feed the animals. If the chickens are laying, we eat eggs. If my farmer friend has killed a pig, we eat sausage. My mom cleans the kitchen while the kids and I gather around the table to start school. And YES! I do realize how awesome this is!
This year we are studying the Old Testament and American History together. I read aloud for these two subjects and the ensuing conversation can last until lunch if the topics are intriguing. Looking back, I treasure the foundation that reading aloud has established for our family interaction. The kids draw, paint, knit, sculpt clay or work on our timeline while listening.
After we break for lunch, I cover the basics like math, science and grammar with the younger three. My 10th grader does the bulk of his work independently. We write and give oral reports as part of a very small co-op. We have a list of assignments and indoor chores to check off. But I will admit that more often than not, if the weather is inviting, we escape outdoors before indoor tasks are done. When it’s planting time, we are learning in the dirt. Harvest time? Well that’s health and nutrition, as we can homemade salsa and make our own natural medicines for winter colds.
I've shared the basic framework of our homeschool days. But what I really want to leave you with is this: Don't be afraid to change your schedule to let real life in. No book assignment will ever be as important as a conversation with your child about hurt feelings or his dreams for the future. If you fill the day with busyness, there won't be time for questions. And by all means, don't judge the day's worth by comparing your day to someone else's. The earth looks different according to the seasons, and I think our lives should too.