How Do You Do It All?

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I had someone ask me yesterday how I do it all — the schooling, the housework, the hands-on projects. This really struck me as funny because I can’t tell you how many times I find myself wondering if we’re doing enough. I thought that maybe it’s just a misconception brought on by the fact that I feel the need to talk about, well, just about everything we do.

At any rate, I was telling this mom a bit about our schedule and I thought that others might be interested in hearing it, as well…and, maybe commenting and sharing a bit about how you do things. Not for comparison reasons, though. No one’s allowed to compare! We do that to ourselves, as humans and especially as homeschool moms, when the truth is we’re all created uniquely.

Let each one test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself without comparing himself to somebody else. – Galatians 6:4

I generally get up by 8:30 and I wake the kids by 10:00. We are so not morning people. I use the hour and a half before I wake the kids to get myself ready for the day, spend some time in Bible reading and prayer (lots of prayer!) and a little computer time. After I wake the kids, they have an hour to get themselves ready, check their chore charts and get some breakfast.

During the hour before we start school, I try to throw a load of laundry in the washer and fold the load that’s in the dryer. This system has been working well for me. I’ll throw the load in the washer into the dryer at lunch time, so that it’s ready to be folded the next day and there are no clothes sitting wet in the washer for a day or so. Yeah, ask me how I developed this system.

I’ll also use this time to take care of whatever other housework needs to be done – making my bed, vacuuming and dusting a room, unloading the dishwasher. More involved projects get saved until the weekend or, occasionally, for the afternoons after school has been completed. This system has served us well since the house is generally at least straightened up and fairly clean at any given moment.

We start school by 11:00, covering the basics in the mornings: Bible, reading, grammar, writing and math. We all do Bible together and Brianna goes to her room to do her work independently. She’ll come to me if she needs help with a concept, but generally she works independently.

I usually finish everything that requires my direct input by 1:00 and the younger kids will work on math and handwriting on their own while I fix lunch. We’re usually ready to resume school by 2:30, after having enjoyed a little down time after lunch.

The afternoons are our fun time when we do history, science and any related hands-on projects. Josh and Megan do their music homework and we’re finished for the day. The kids finish anything that they may not have finished before lunch and then they’re free for the day.

I try to check their work before dinner, so that it’s done for the evening. I mark their mistakes and, if they need to make corrections, I write a note at the top of the next day’s work. They know to check for the note and make any corrections the next day before they begin that day’s work. If anything is marked “see me,” they know to come find me because I need to explain something to them.

We’re usually finished with everything by 4:00 or 4:30 and I’ve got some free time – or time to spend with Brian or the kids – until I start dinner at 6-ish.

What about your day? How do you get it all done? You can leave a comment or, if you blog about it, feel free to leave your link in the comments.

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  1. Wow! Definitely a full, but obviously fulfilling day. Our “school day” usually starts by me waking at around 8 am, and my 3rd grader is usually up before me. We have breakfast, have a little fun with our dog, then we start school. We use what I would describe as “classical meets unschooling.” We sit in our “classroom” and go through the days assignments provided by our curriculum. Then we break for lunch around noon. If we have more curriculum work to do we finish that up after lunch. Afternoons are spent doing extra fun projects, such as lap books, clay art, etc. I make sure he gets some personal reading time, then it’s on to guitar practice. Sometime around 3 or 4 pm we are “done” with school, and Jeromy gets to go play, watch a little TV, play outside, whatever fun activity he chooses. We have dinner around 6pm, after which we either find a show on TV to watch together, or we play a board game. Twice a week I take Jeromy to karate class, or various co-op functions with our homeschool group throughout the month, and Sundays is for Sunday school, bible study, and Mass. Jeromy gets tucked into bed by 8pm. Somewhere in the middle of all this, I manage to do a load of laundry, do the dishes, feed dogs, brush my teeth, comb my hair, fix meals… I don’t really have a schedule or formal system for getting these done, it’s just a matter of finding the pockets of time needed to do them, and somehow, miraculously it gets done. Jeromy’s chores are done before school and after, while my husband and I spend time together after Jeromy has gone to bed. Yes, the day is full, and one might think me crazy for not having a schedule… but so far, it works for us. Oh, and it probably helps that I only have one child. God Bless all of you who have more than one and are homeschooling more than one… you are my heroes!
    ~ Maria

  2. This is great. I usually get up around 8:30 also and start school around 10 or 11 am. I was thinking that I was being a slacker because I found no one at my homeschool support group that doesn’t start any later than 8am! Thanks for this encouragement! Shine on!

  3. Thanks for sharing one of your typical days with us. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “I have to be up really early” mentality but that’s not what it’s about. In my opinion, it’s not about a specific time. Each family is different. Different things work for different families.

    Hope you have a great week!

  4. We are just the opposite. We ARE morning people. My husband, daughter and I are all up by 6 or 6:30. My daughter is bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to start the work I have out from last night ready for her. Usually this is some type of worksheet. After breakfast we do any of the other subjects lined up for the day and by noon we are all done! It is interesting how different we all can be!

  5. Still working on figuring the whole “our day” thing out, but it’s good to hear about yours- gives me confidence. I hope others post theirs as well.

  6. Ummm, let’s see. We get up before noon, do school, eat dinner, go to bed. Well, we are a little more organized than that. I do like to see that other families don’t start schoolwork till late morning. I am happy if Wild Man and I are started by 10 and Ga’hoole Girl by 11. Thanks for sharing.

  7. My husband works from home, and is at his computer by 7am. given a choice, I would homeschool in the afternoon, but the kids get started on their book work early so they can be free by lunchtime (always noon, time also chosen by the working at home husband.) I am occasionally sandbagged by both kids climbing into my bed with their schoolbooks and asking me for help while I have only one eye open and no morning caffine. I often remind my kids that we are on a flexible schedule, and we can choose to finish early and get out for a field trip to the zoo, or science musuem, or volunteer at the library, or at the nursing home.We belong to a co-op that meets twice a month, and have the usual reading programs that we participate in through the library, book-it and the local toy store (book bucks! yeah!) and I have wanted to try music lessons, but it’s not working in our schedule at this time.
    We also attend the orchestra, theatre and other cultural activities sporadically, in what I would call a well rounded foundational education.
    Today, by order of the superintendent and teacher, school is closed due to the extreme cold weather (-21, air temp, -30 to -40 wind chill) but we are working on cars for the awana grand prix at the end of this month.
    Hope everyone else is staying warm!


  8. I am NOT a morning person either, but I get up at 6:30 with my husband so I might have an hour before Daniel wakes up. If he wakes up early, like he did today, I feel like I can’t catch up! I like to use the time before 8 to wake up, eat breakfast, put our day’s supplies all together so I don’t have to leave the room to get glue or scissors or something. I like to start around 8. Much later than that and I’ll lose his attention…any earlier and I just can’t think yet! 😀

  9. Thank you for that!
    It is so neat to see how different everyones schedule are! This is my third year homeschooling and I’ve always tried hard to keep on a regualr schedule but it is hard. I have a second grader, a 4year old boy and an 11 month old boy who both like to be involved with school. So our day is up and down.
    I feel better hearing more people have a more relaxed time frame with school. Maybe I can relax too and just do it when it work s not by a clock!
    Thank You.

  10. We had a great schedule…until we got the cow. Then everything went out the window. That was nearly 3 years ago and I’m still trying to catch up! But we do love the milk, butter, etc.!

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