A Day in the Life of our Homeschool – With an 8 year old and a 10 year old

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Each day of the week is very different for us. Some days we’re with friends all day, or we might spend a whole day immersed in a hands-on science project.

But the day I’m sharing here – Thursday – follows a similar pattern each week. Because we’re out over lunch, there’s no time for big projects. Instead, we fit in lots of shorter activities and reading aloud. It might be my favourite day of the week!

7 – 8 AM

I wake up and meditate, then come downstairs to let the dogs out.

After I’ve unloaded my part of the dishwasher, I savour the day’s first cup of tea and a bowl of porridge in my study.

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Greeting the day. Blue(ish) sky!

8 – 9 AM

I do my daily German Duolingo lesson.

Usually I catch up on emails and blogs at this time, but today C(10) gets upset while practising her guitar and needs a pep talk. She’s having difficulty adjusting to her new teacher, and is being a bit tough on herself. I give her a cuddle and remind her that she can’t solve anything when she’s feeling down. She agrees we’ll talk about it again later when she’s feeling better.

9 – 10 AM

J(8) asked to learn about quantum physics this term. The Uncle Albert books are a wonderful introduction to the subject. Last week we heard about special relativity in The Time and Space of Uncle Albert.

Today I read aloud from Black Holes and Uncle Albert, a story about “the exploding universe …  black holes that swallow up everything, speeded-up time, light that is yellow but also red and blue … and how it is that you are made of stardust.”

Lots of big ideas to talk about as we read!

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J(8) asks to try tea, so I make him a cup of lemon and ginger with a dash of agave. He’s not impressed!

10 – 11 AM

C(10) and I do Latin and then maths together. Right now we’re working through Math Mammoth’s Division 2. Although we don’t follow a curriculum, individual books from the Math Mammoth Blue Series are great value when a child needs extra practice on a particular topic.

C(10) fills in the answers on her iPad using Notability  “This is fun and kind of relaxing,” she casually comments as she works. {I mentally punch the air.}

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J(8) plays with Lego in his room. He tells me about the RPG game he’s invented with them.

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11 AM – 12 PM

We leave for French class at 11:40 and we’re not back until 1:40, so we eat pancakes before we leave. I read aloud from Puddles in the Lane, a lovely story about a family of children evacuated from the London Blitz during World War II.

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Pancakes and reading aloud

12 – 2 PM

C(10) has 15 minutes one-to-one with the French teacher before J(8) join them for an hour. I walk the dogs in beautiful nearby woods. The children emerge from their class with Valentines “coeur” cookies.

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French Valentine cookies and dog walking

2 -3 PM

After lunch (soup and sandwiches), I practise guitar while the children play Minecraft together.  J(8) is paying her Minecraft gold to build houses for him in a world he’s created.

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Playing Minecraft together

3 – 4 PM

I do maths with J(8).  I suggest that he tries the division pages C(10) enjoyed earlier.  As soon as I read out the first question, J(8) starts to roll around the floor on a space hopper.

I have an epiphany. It occurs to me that J(8) has as much difficulty concentrating on maths while he’s sitting still, as I do when he’s leaping around the room. (Sometimes I need to be reminded of something a thousand or so times before the penny finally drops.) I decide that as the grown-up, I need to to overcome my difficulty focusing, and find a way to accommodate J(8)’s wiggles.

It works! We actually manage to maintain enough momentum for him to learn some new maths.

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This much movement in 30 seconds of maths!

Meanwhile, C(10) mixes up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough. We bake six cookies and freeze the rest.

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C(10) making cookies

4 – 5 PM

We enjoy C(10)’s cookies at Poetry Tea. She reads an extract from The Pied Piper, from our new poetry book, A Child’s Introduction to Poetry (thanks, Lisa), and “Double, double, toil and trouble” from Macbeth.

J(8) chooses poems from A Children’s Treasury of Milligan, which he received for Christmas. J(8)’s comic narration and Spike Milligan’s poetry are a match made in heaven; C(10) and I are very grateful to Santa!

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Poetry teatime

After poetry tea, C(10) asks me to join her while she practises guitar. She plays beautifully, this morning’s upset long forgotten.

Thank you, Hwee, for the inspiration to join Simple Homeschool’s Day in the Life series!

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I’m appreciatively linking up here:

Entertaining and Educational

Collage Friday

Weekly Wrap-up

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48 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of our Homeschool – With an 8 year old and a 10 year old

  1. So glad you’ve decided to join in the fun and write about your day. It’s always interesting for me to read about another homeschooling family’s day and to see how they spend their time.

    Interesting about J(8)’s wiggles. Tiger used to be rolling around all over the lounge floor or climbing up and down the sofas and table during our reading lessons, which shocked my husband when he saw it as he was expecting a more studious scene. 🙂 I just let Tiger get on with his rolling and climbing while we practised phonics. That was a few years ago. He doesn’t roll around now but he still doesn’t sit at the table for very long. 🙂 Nonetheless, he seems to have absorbed the reading lessons despite the constant movement. I’m sure J(8) is absorbing plenty in your maths lesson, even if it doesn’t look that way to the rest of the world. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the inspiration, Hwee. I read Jamie’s blog but I must’ve been a bit behind and hadn’t noticed the linkup. I’m really looking forward to reading everyone’s posts there.

      That’s reassuring to hear Tiger used to be a wiggler too! It’s funny, my brain understands perfectly that J needs to move in order to concentrate, and I’ve always been okay with him rolling and climbing around while I read aloud.

      But perhaps because I am very visual, for some reason my brain couldn’t compute how he could do a sum without looking at it. There is, of course, plenty of maths that one does need to look at (and write) but hopefully in time J will be able to keep still for long enough to do those things. And in the meantime there’s plenty he can learn while climbing the walls! (Hurray for homeschooling! 🙂 )

    1. Thanks, Rebecca. I know what you mean – 8 is such a cute age for boys, isn’t it? Old enough to share the theory of relativity with but little enough to warm your heart with their wiggles!

    1. I like to think so, Shelly! Sometimes I wish I was learning a different instrument from my daughter, but then it does help me help her out so it’s swings and roundabouts! [I hope you know what I mean. I seem to remember using that expression with another US friend and I realised you don’t say it over there! But I hope you get my gist. 🙂 ]

  2. Your day looks lovely. I love, love the idea of poetry tea and I also love how much reading aloud you do. I still do that with Keilee. 🙂 Love this day!

  3. Ok, so I love how you shared your day. Sure, with the outline of all the things to get done, but the pictures told the stories so much clearer. I loved the candidness of the photos. relaxed, enjoyable, but getting things accomplished. like his math movements, trying tea (and not being impressed, ha!), legos on the floor while the kids are playing minecraft, … yeah, that’s the beauty of homeschooling… to learn AND live! Great post!

    1. What a lovely comment, Sheri – thank you! You’re so right, homeschooling does feel like the perfect balance of living and learning, doesn’t it? When my kids were in school (briefly, a long while ago) it felt like “life” was crammed into a few short hours. Now there are no arbitrary barriers. We just live, and learn. 🙂

  4. This was all kind of fun, wasn’t it? I find it so interesting how different everyone’s day is and then I feel so thankful to be able to have the freedom to do things in a way that suits us as a family, rather than institutionally through school.

    1. Yes – freedom is a huge factor for me in choosing this lifestyle! I do love reading about individual projects people do, and their general approaches, but there’s something fascinating about reading a full run-down of a homeschooling family’s day – even if it is a completely unique day!

  5. I think it’s great that you are pursuing your own educational goals as well as the children! I have a Minecrafter at my house too! It looks like the ball seat is a hit! Your day looks like it was jam packed with food, fun, learning and outdoor exercise in a lovely place!

  6. Lucinda,

    I loved hearing about your day, imagining you in your study eating porridge. I like a bowl of porridge after I’ve run! Walking the dogs in the woods sounds so delightful. It’s good to find something enjoyable to do while our kids are in their lessons, isn’t it? Some ‘me’ time!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Sue,

      Thank you for reading about our day. We are very lucky to have many beautiful woods around here. We’ve been walking in woods a lot recently; we usually alternate with the river, but the Thames is flowing at about a hundred miles an hour at the moment, which is fun for us (in wellies) but not so good for exhuberant young pups who don’t know where the edge is!

      I’ve been very much enjoying your recent posts. I would like to brave Facebook soon so I can join in the conversations you have no doubt inspired!

      1. Lucinda,

        I saw you have a Facebook page. I had mine for quite some time before I finally decided on the best way to use it. It’s a great way to share links to resources and other interesting stuff. I also find some readers prefer to comment on FB rather than on my blog. I hope you will stop by one day. We’ve had some lively conversations recently which has been so good!

        1. Sue,
          I love your page! I visited yesterday and was delighted by what I found. Up until now I haven’t had a good FB “routine” (actually, I kind of avoid FB), but your page might be my incentive to change that.
          Thank you for liking my page. As you have seen, I have done almost nothing with it! Oh well – I am sure I will learn a few things hanging out at your page. Thank you for your encouragement. 🙂

  7. What a fun idea to record one of your days.

    So glad you are enjoying the poetry book. We are looking at adding some new ones to our collection. My girls so enjoy our poetry tea times.

    1. We’re really enjoying the book, Lisa. I just got around to ripping the CD onto iTunes too so we can listen to the actors’ renditions of the poems, hurray.

      I hope you will share any other poetry gems you discover!

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