Archives For Homeschool

For the past 5 years now, I have recorded a day in my life on a January day and shared about our everyday life. This year, I recorded our day in January once again but am just now sitting down to post about it over 2 months later!

Here’s a glimpse into my life as a stay at home, homeschooling mama of 3 (and one on the way!) on Wednesday, January 25, 2017:

8:30 – I’m awake and moving slow. At 23 weeks pregnant, I still need lots and lots of sleep!! I get out of bed, start a load of laundry and begin making breakfast.

9:30 – We’re all eating breakfast. Then we tidy up the table and begin our school work for the day.

10:30 – We’re in the midst of our school day. Paxton is working on his math worksheet while I read to him. While he is working, I take a quick break to move laundry from the washing machine to the dryer and begin another load.

11:30 – We’re reading Sybil Ludington’s Midnight Ride (a lesser known young female figure from the American Revolution). We spent the beginning of this semester reading anything we could get our hands on about the Revolutionary War period! This hour continues with more school work and of course breaking up the occasional fight between the younger two who don’t have any structured school work.

12:30 – Lunch time. Everybody is happily eating lunch. We have a little bit more school work to finish up, I check Paxton’s math and start tidying the kitchen.

1:30 – It’s story time! Oh, how I love reading to my little ones. We read a lot of books as part of our school work but there’s nothing quite like cozying up on the couch with story books that the kiddos pick out for me to read and snuggling – especially on a winter day!

2:30 – The boys are in their room resting (which means playing quietly with their toys or looking at books) while Cecilia and I are in bed. For several weeks, thanks to pregnancy tiredness, I’ve been taking an afternoon nap and she usually joins me. I’ll read a chapter or two in my books and then we snuggle up and nap.

3:30 – I’m awake from my afternoon nap and feeling rested to face the afternoon and evening while Cecilia is still snoozing.

4:30 – Starting dinner prep. Wednesdays are Awana night which means I have to have dinner ready earlier than our normal dinner time in order for the kiddos to have time to eat without being rushed before we leave around 6:10.

5:30 – Finishing up folding a load of laundry (I’m always doing laundry it seems) and getting ready to serve dinner to my crew.

And, from dinner time, the day got crazy and I stopped taking pictures! The kids have AWANA at 6:30 at a church in our community. It’s just 5 minutes from our home which is nice. Once I/we drop them off, we typically come home, clean up our dinner mess and relax for a little bit without kids. If John David is working late for whatever reason, I’ll just sit and read a book in silence!

I leave to pick them up around 7:45 and we’re all home by 8:15. The kiddos typically eat a snack after Awana and then we start our nighttime routine – get pajamas on, brush teeth, pick out books, cuddle up on the couch and read and then head to bed.

My days are not very exciting but how I love being able to stay home with my children, educate them at home and live such a wonderful life!

A Day in My Life from previous years:

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

Homeschool Space Tour

A few weeks ago, I shared about homeschooling in a small space. We don’t have a dedicated school room but we’re making the most of the space we do have.

Our dining area doubles as our learning space which mean this area of our home works all day long. Once breakfast is over we clear the dishes and wipe the table down so we can begin school. Once we’re finished with school for the morning, it’s lunch time and we once again gather around and eat. Many afternoons are spent around the table doing art projects, writing or playing with Legos. And, of course we use our table for dinner each evening.

Homeschool Space

This is the view from kitchen into the dining area. Our table and our school cabinet are the main components of our school room. The black wall you can partially see to the left is our chalkboard wall which is a fun learning space element.

Homeschool Cabinet

Our learning cabinet holds all of our school books and supplies as well as some games and learning toys for our toddler. This cabinet is actually a former TV cabinet that my mother-in-law gave us. A few coats of white paint gave it new life and it’s a great piece to hold all of our materials.

School Books

This top shelf holds our smaller Sonlight books and school supplies (pencil sharpener, scissors, glue, hole punch, stapler, etc.) are contained in the white basket.

The bottom shelf holds our Sonlight books as well as some workbooks we’re working through. The green bin holds the school work for the next day. Each day when we finish our lessons for the day, I spend a few minutes gathering all of the books that we’ll need for lessons the next day and put everything together in the green bin. When I’m preparing to do school in the mornings, I grab all of our materials out of this bin and we’re ready to start learning for the day.

Homeschool Shelf

The shelves to the right contain the kids art and coloring books and hold their crayons, color pencils and markers. The middle shelf is our library shelf. I have found that having a place for library books makes keeping up with them much easier and also makes them not seem like clutter while they’re here (a place for everything and everything in it’s place!) The bottom shelf holds things for Cecilia to play with while we do school. I try to keep these items rotated. And, truth be told, she’d much rather be sitting at the table, trying to get in on the action and attempting to write on things than play with her toys!

My StudentAnd, here’s my student. I’ve been planning on homeschooling him since before he was born and it’s hard to believe that Kindergarten has finally arrived and we’re actually doing it. I was so nervous about finding a good rhythm before we started but so far it has been a really enjoyable experience for all. We’ve had a few moments, but overall I’m thankful for the opportunity to educate him at home.

Homeschooling in a Small Space

Five years ago, when we sold our first home and started looking for a new one, one of the home features on our wish list was a bonus space of some sort that we could use for a school room. Even though our son was a baby, we knew we would homeschool and thought having a separate room for school was a necessity.

We ended up compromising on several items on our wish list in favor of a home that was smaller than the first home we owned but below our housing budget. For us, giving up extra square footage was well worth it since we have a very affordable mortgage.

We’ve lived in this home for 4.5 years and have attempted to sell but have realized that choosing to live small allows our family more financial freedom. And, a few months ago we set a goal to pay off our mortgage by May 2020 so we’re planning on staying here until the mortgage is gone!

Last month, our oldest started Kindergarten and we began our journey of homeschooling without a dedicated school room.

Homeschooling in a small space has proven quite simple for our family.

Our learning area is our dining room. Our table is the most used piece of furniture in our home. It’s where we eat 3 meals a day, do school, create and write (I’m currently sitting at our table writing this!)

As soon as breakfast is over each morning, we clear the table, wipe it down if necessary, then pull out our learning materials for the day and jump right into learning.

We have a cabinet in our dining room that holds all of our school supplies and books as well as our art supplies, coloring books, library books, learning games and there’s even a shelf with toys for our toddler.

Homeschool Cabinet

While our dining room may have a bit of a classroom feel, I think it’s quite charming. I love having a map on the wall, our children’s art work displayed and books in our dining room.

Instead of viewing our limited space as a challenge, I’m embracing the simplicity of making our small space work.

The cabinet is our learning material storage space which makes me think carefully before making purchases and I ruthlessly declutter items that are no longer useful for our children.

I’m also thankful for our library, we check out our limit of books almost every week so our children are exposed to a variety of stories and information but we don’t have to deal with the clutter! Having a dedicated shelf for our library resources keeps them from getting lost and gives them a place to belong while they’re in our home.

After just one month of homeschooling, we’re loving the lifestyle of teaching and learning with our children. We also know that being content in our small home and homeschooling in a small space has given us more freedom.

Favorite Children's Books

We love reading.

Our children love having books read to them and all three enjoy looking at books. Our homeschool curriculum is literature based. We even keep a selection of books in our van for them to ‘read’ while they’re riding.

Of course, not all children’s books are the same. There are many books out there that are considered ‘twaddle’. We prefer quality, classic children’s books that inspire and spark imaginative play!

Here’s a list of our favorite books for baby, toddlers and preschoolers as well as a few of my favorite parenting books.
Baby Books

Baby

For babies, we like simple board books with bright pictures. We really like Bright Baby books, they’re simple with big pictures for chubby little hands to point at and learn basic words. We also like books that are interactive (like touchy-feely books).

Toddler Books

Toddler

The best books for toddlers are books with bright, colorful pictures and not too much text per page. Our toddlers have all loved animals and trains so we have several of those type books on this list.

Preschool Books

Preschooler

As children grow, their attention spans begin to increase and you can start reading them books with more text per page. Of course, they’re still young children so illustrations are still very important!

 

Parenting Books

Favorite Parenting Books

While these aren’t children’s books, they all have been inspiring to me as a parent of young children and I wanted to share my favorites!

What are your favorite children’s books? (I love book recommendations!) Are some of your favorites on this list?

Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links.