Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Heidi's Day in the Life (13-, 9-, 4- and 1-year-old)

I am always fascinated to read Day in the Life posts from other families and so I try to share one each year here on the blog on the off-chance you're as interested in this stuff as I am.  Here's a peek into our typical day.  Of course, there's no such thing as typical.  This is our routine and something we shoot for, but we often have to make adjustments along the way.

Day In the Life

My day starts early, generally around 5am. I start off with scripture study and reading an uplifting book.
My goal for this year is to study the Old Testament. I'm LOVING IT for the first time. See the resources that are making all the difference here. 

I am thoroughly a morning person. My brain tends to shut down for the day around 3pm, after that
I'm only good for fairly mindless tasks. I try to have an hour or two to myself each morning before little people are up and about.

Daily Art challenge.  I am headed into my fourth year of making art every day. It's much more likely to
happen if I do this project first thing, so try to get it done before kids wake up. If I have time, I also try
to get some design work done before kids are up as well. I try to make a hard and fast rule to drop
everything and exercise. I love using FitnessBlender workouts. Generally the kids wake up and
wander into my room while I'm finishing up. If needed I help Elijah get set up with an audiobook or
music on headphones while I finish exercising and get dressed.

Once kids are awake we’re go, go, going.  Breakfast, morning chores, sibling squabbles, getting
babies dressed, etc. We have a 5 year age gap between The Bigs (Ellie-13 and Ethan-9) and The Littles
(Elijah-4 and Edith 1.5). So we’ve got kids in all stages from toddler, preschooler and elementary
to middle school. Read about our adoption story.

This checklist is saving my life. It contains every thing we need to accomplish every single day.
Everything from unloading the dishwasher to individual school tasks to who is going to clear the
dinner table. Kids mark things off as they are completed and when their lists are done they get 30
minutes of screen time. The list may look like a lot of items, but everything is usually done by noon
or so (longer on days that we dawdle in the mornings or drop everything and do something fun).

I've received many requests to share an editable copy of this but that takes a lot of work and the needs
of your family are going to be so different than ours that I think you'll be much better off making
your own checklist. (I still love you, though!)

I have a child who is VERY motivated by screen time. So he has the opportunity to earn extra time
daily by doing things that I think are very important that he might complain about me adding to
his list otherwise. With the promise of a few minutes of minecraft time, his attitude is completely
positive and he often does things from this list without being asked:

We have Before Breakfast jobs, but most of the rest of our checklist happens fairly organically. I try to
start morning time by 9:30 each morning, after folding a load of laundry, making a plan for dinner,
helping Elijah practice violin and making/eating/cleaning up breakfast all together.

Morning Time:
This is the heart and soul of our homeschool day. We sit together, pray, sing a hymn, read scriptures
and read uplifting and inspiring books. ( Read more about our morning time here.) We do part of a
history lesson most days (we're currently using The Good and the Beautiful year one and we LOVE it), and
then some science or art and then we move on to individual work.

Independent Work for The Bigs:
Math (Teaching Textbooks)
Language Arts (The Good and the Beautiful)
Assigned reading (20 minutes of a book I select for them)
Chores: They each have a Zone to clean and one other job daily.

Preschool for Elijah:
We don't do a super formal preschool. But I try to sit down daily with him and work on letter recognition or play a game. We always read a stack of books together.

After morning time and morning chores, I often work on the blog or other work projects for about an hour while the kids watch a show. We then move on to Quiet Time.  While Edith naps, the other kids disperse to their rooms for 60-90 minutes of quiet(ish) play or reading. I often work during this time, but sometimes I'll read or nap myself. 

In the afternoons we have music lessons, swimming/soccer practice and scouts/youth group. One day a week we have a homeschool co-op for a couple of hours in the afternoon. This is one of the highlights of our week; it's a really laid-back co-op, a place to play and learn and do things that are easier to do in a group setting than at home.

We have a once-a-month co-op that we just love. It's called Culture Club and we meet together with
two other homeschool families (our dear friends) to do short presentations about the culture or time period we've been learning about that month. (See our friend's presentation on Brazil above). We do field trips periodically with this group as well.

Fridays are Nature Days. We do a more laid back Morning Time, and then head out for a hike or other nature activity with friends. We adore this group of like-minded families and spending time outside together often is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling.

After lessons and practices are over, we gather at home for dinner and a quick house clean up.

After dinner we put The Littles to bed (after books, songs, etc.), enjoy some time with just The Bigs. I read aloud to them, we read scriptures as a family and then send them on their way as well.
Jason and I get to have a little time together to watch an episode of a show (I often knit or work on embroidery while we watch), eat secret snacks and/or read our current books before we finally crash into bed as well.

I am so grateful for this messy, loud, full and lovely life of mine. I love learning alongside my little people and experiencing so much together.

More Day-in-the-Life Posts:


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