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typical day at school

Hello there!

I wake up to the sounds of birds chirping and greet the morning by throwing back the curtains and filling the room with radiant sunlight. In the still, I glide down the stairs and sip hot tea while reading my Bible and taking in the tranquility. I then address the children with a joyful salutation as they open their sleepy eyes and smile, ready to make their beds and eat breakfast at the table…yeah right.

A typical homeschool day would ideally look like this I suppose, but we all know this is far from reality! Homeschool is great but not everyday is perfect. In fact, the very first day of homeschool in third grade, my three-year-old brother Aaron broke his arm. Yes, for real. We went outside for a mid-morning break and while on the monkey bars, he fell forward somehow onto the ground and hit his arm just right to cause a trip to the emergency room.

Never fear, nothing similar ever happened again and I have not heard many stories of homeschooling beginning with the emergency room! We survived that day and many years later. Family is made of people and people are messy. Each day is not bliss but each day can be filled with joy and grace.

I think it might be helpful to some to understand what a typical day of home education looks like. I can only speak for my household, as many people do school differently. I also follow a routine more than a schedule, as life happens and not everyday can be kept to a rigid time frame. Rigid schedules are difficult, especially with other little people in the house, right? The following is an outline of how the morning and afternoon work at our house this year, according to ages and stages of all of us.

6 - 6:45 ME TIME: Super important, since I am a much more patient person when I have had a chance to gather my thoughts and enjoy the calm before the noise. I wash my face, run downstairs, make some green tea, and read my Bible at the kitchen table. Other tasks are accomplished, such as blogging, lighting a candle, or whatever can be done quickly.

6:45 - 7:15 I accomplish a house cleaning job for the day so no complete day is spent solely on cleaning. Mondays are bathrooms, Tuesdays upstairs floors, Wednesdays downstairs floors and grocery order, Thursdays dusting, vacuuming downstairs, Fridays whatever needs to be touched up. I also throw in a load of laundry each morning to keep it from taking over! I used to believe that doing laundry each day would be horrible, but trying it this way has enabled me to stay on top of loads and not feel overwhelmed by attempting to finish so much in one day. That is excessive folding for anyone, even of you enjoy laundry!

7:15 The girls are usually up and the older ones make their beds, get dressed, as I get the younger two up and dressed. We head downstairs for breakfast. At the table, we follow our Bible lesson for the week that I include as part of the homeschool curriculum. We use the Gospel Project and you can look into it here ________. We have prayer time together, all of about a minute of it, as I smile to myself at the wording used. So fun to hear children pray! They help clean up, then head upstairs to brush teeth and get to work.

8:30 We begin school or go to the gym. I aim for the gym three days a week for classes, which keeps me sane. On non-gym days, we go right into schoolwork or begin after coming back from the gym.

10:00 The youngest lies down for a nap and I continue to instruct the older ones with their worksheets. The younger middle girl who is three plays or if I have a few minutes between school, we read books together.

12:00 Lunch time: best time of the day! We head downstairs, they can help get lunch out, set the table, or sometimes if the weather is nice we sit on the back patio. On fun days, a picnic is fun at the park. School work is usually done by lunch, so we are able to put the books away and be done for the day. Sometimes reading may be left, which can be worked on after lunch during rest time.

1:30 Rest time: a needed part of the day! Everyone has a space she goes to either take a nap or be alone and play quietly. Obviously, when life happens, we are not always at home for this, but when we are, everyone benefits from a break from each other. I use this time to write, check e-mail, sew, or finish a task. Sometimes, though, I will find the hidden candy in the pantry and eat it while watching tv.

I take clients one afternoon each week, so I have a kind couple who come over to watch over the girls at this time. It is a blessing to me to be able to go out and do something I do. I believe this is important for people (moms) to remember who God has created them to be outside of a mom. It sure helps my mind remain sound!

I hope this gives some clarity to those who are curious what homeschooling really looks like. I must mention that this is a routine more than a schedule so the time is different sometimes. Older students usually have work to do after lunch.

To answer another question most people have, yes, I always make sure we are all dressed even if we are staying home because I know that people perform their best when they are dressed for success. Forbes magazine even recognizes that clothing definitely has an effect on the wearer. Yes, we also get up early and begin school early since I want to teach self-discipline and the great feeling to get it done and have time for extracurriculars and simply playing. There are many questions that come from thinking about home education. Do you have any that have come to mind? I would love to hear them. If you have any successful ideas from your homeschool, I would love hearing them as well. I am always willing to learn better ways to incorporate successful strategies into life!

Love, Charis

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