This is what a day in our home school looks like right now.
We wake up and the girls play or read until I call them into the kitchen for breakfast.
We eat together at the table, usually the same breakfast everyday to keep things simple, and we review our Bible memory verses.
As soon as we finish with breakfast, we start doing our daily chores including cleaning off the table, unloading the dishwasher, reloading it, folding, drying, and starting a new load of laundry, etc. Through years of trial and error, I have found that it helps to get this basic housework work done before we settle down to do school, otherwise, we are too tired when the school day is over to start such physical work.
Both my nine year old and my four year old have a list of age-appropriate chores in their bedroom that I help them refer to everyday. I also do some of my basic housework at this time and I offer the girls help and supervision as they need it. The baby plays around our feet while we all work. She likes to cause trouble. She crawls into the beds right after we make them, or she plays with the toys we are trying to put away, etc.
When my oldest daughter is finished with her chores, I usually tell her to sit at the kitchen table and start doing handwriting, logic, and sometimes math, because she can work on those subjects somewhat independently. By this time, I am usually finishing up my housework and my four year old has finished her chores, too, and is playing with her baby sister. I can usually come in and out and check my oldest daughter’s work and start offering her help. Then, once everyone’s house work is done and the little girls are playing, I will settle down at the table and do spelling, math review with flash cards, language, writing, science, etc., with my oldest, all the subjects we need to work together to complete. We try to finish as much as we can before lunchtime, but we don’t always finish everything before our stomachs demand food.
At some point, we have to make and eat lunch. We usually eat the same healthy lunch, too. Again, this just serves to keep the time we spend on lunch prep and clean up somewhat consistent. We usually listen to an audio book while we eat. After lunch, we all clean up the table and I put my baby daughter down for a nap, if she hasn’t needed one already, and I have my two oldest daughters review their memory work for Classical Conversations together. Then I work with my four year old while her older sister gets a book and reads silently. When my four old finishes her schoolwork, both the girls are free to play for the rest of the day, unless my oldest is too into her book and wants to read more.
On some days, at least one day each week, my four year old asks to go first. On those days, I let my oldest get a book and read it silently when she is done with her chores. She reads until I finish doing schoolwork with my four year old and then I will begin doing school with her. My oldest is always happy to read so, either way works fine.
One day a week, we all do history together in the afternoon. Most days, we finish everything by mid-afternoon and the girls have some free time before dinner. Sometime in the afternoon, the baby wakes up from her nap and begins playing with her sisters and I always try and exercise before I need to start making dinner.
I work part time at least one day a week. On the days I work, we leave after breakfast, come home for lunch, and then start our school day with chores right after lunch, just like every other day.
Having this consistent routine ensures balance; my house never becomes so dirty that we can’t function and our school work isn’t ever neglected either. We get more or less done some days, but everyday, we are being productive.