How We Make it Work

A Day in the Life of Our Homeschool, by Briana Elizabeth

Thursday

I woke up around 7:30 to the dogs barking because my 10th grader was leaving for music classes. He walks down to the local public school (and home) about four times a day between all of his classes and marching band. I stayed in bed. Husband had a conference online with a Chinese company and didn’t get home until 1:30 am, and I sat up to wait for him. I’m dreading the day. Slightly.

7:50  I go downstairs, start my pear jelly, and make a pot of tea. I turn the oatmeal on (I let mine soak overnight so this is easy) and walk a dog or two.

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8:19  Everyone is around the table drinking coffee and reading. I join them. Eventually I go over the schedules, and people start talking about presidential candidates. The whole table joins in, it becomes a civics lesson, and I reroute them back to reading.

8:27  I forgot to add ginger to my jelly, so I get up and add that in.

8:33  Still drinking tea and reading–really reading this time.

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8:37  Last sleepy head wakes up and joins us, and I confess I did wake her up. We’ll go too long if she doesn’t start soon, and she wants to play with the neighbors everyday. I like to make that happen for her.

9:20  Jelly is done.

9:22  10th grader comes home, and we stop reading to eat breakfast.

9:30  Daughter has to be driven to work. (Thankfully this is less than 2 miles away).

9:45  Another cup of tea.

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9:46  Dh is about to leave, and I get him ready to go to work for the day. Normally he leaves around 9, but this is a somewhat off day.

10:03  Kids are finishing up algebra, some are eating, and I review notes with my son on a paper he wrote.

10:15  I make my own omelet and sit down to eat and help two kids with math.

10:17  Son takes over teaching his sisters algebra, so I can help a small person.

“God gave you fingers, use them.” Yes, I just said that.

10:20  Son is so adorable and kind as he helps his sisters. We are all laughing at the problem.

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10:22  Pugsly is in the kitchen making himself an omelet. I can’t eat oatmeal; he hates it.

11:00 Complained about algebra on Facebook and was not only commiserated with but given the idea to buy Dragonbox. Done deal. Smaller kids are playing while the stragglers get showers. I am looking up meme quotes while everyone takes a breather.

11:10 I grab a straggler to do some language arts and my commonplace book.

11:15  Everyone is at the table doing “English”.

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11:45  I split everyone up and sneak off to teach small child history.

12:12 People have written some excellent stuff today! We successfully pulled out of the algebra tailspin.

12:22 Three kids are still writing and working on compositions. I send Pugsly to read a poem, while I do mapwork with Small Child. Pugsly comes and reads me poem, and we talk about it.

12:32  Three STILL working on compositions (why would I go and ruin a good thing by stopping them?). I finish poetry analyzation with Pugsly, and we bank one lesson extra.

I am finally going to get a shower.

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12:48  Downstairs again. Made my bed and switched around the wash while I was up there. Dinner is mostly made, and I have a meeting at 7 pm. I need to remember to start tomorrow’s dinner too (soak beans, make stock). We have a picnic and a church service tomorrow, so I need to ‘bank’ as much as I can!

12:56  I call an end to the writing. Two have music class at 1:30, and I need to eat. I walk a dog and load the second batch of dishes into the dishwasher (the boys did the first earlier). My neighbor stops over for a few minutes.

1:22  Daughter decided she’s not going to band, so Pugsly is off to class by himself. The girls are still working on compositions, smallest child is doing some spelling corrections, and it’s all very, very quiet.

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1:26  Smallest child is done, and she will have lunch. All she has left is Nature Study.

1:36 Both daughters are done with compositions (history crossover), and they were both so well done that I get to cross off over a weeks worth of writing exercises. This homeschool thing might work after all.

All I have left is poetry, science, and history with the olders. Oldest son has physical therapy (had an operation) at 3:40. Hopefully I can get it all done by then.

1:40  Older boy leaves for honors choir. He’ll be home at 3:30. I have to make some puppy formula, and one daughter hits the shower.

2:07  Puppy pen is clean, and they are fed. I am doing nature study with Smallest Child.

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2:47 She looked for bugs, and I picked sage and apples and weeded a bit. We have worms and grubs, millipedes and … bugs to look at. I was hoping to see the baby roly poly that I saw the other day, but we couldn’t find him. The older girls are now working on mapwork of the fall of Rome.

2:57  Science! Pugsly is home, and wants to go play football at the school, so we are Getting It Done.

3:40.  PT.  Dropped Pugsly off at the high school to play football on the way to PT.

3:58  Heading to the screened-in porch (called The Fake Outside) to do poetry with the girls.

4:18  Finished poetry. The girls are going to give one dog a bath. I’m going to sit out here for a bit and enjoy the sun.

4:30  Girls feed puppies and take off to play with friends.

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5:00 Another sink full of dishes, and I sit down with an iced coffee to do some STS work.

From here on out I put the clipboard down and it’s muddled, but it goes something like this:

6:00 I start dinner. This is late for a lot of people, but Dh regularly works until 7:30/8 pm and we all eat together. When my kids were small, they ate much earlier.

6:55 Dinner is in the oven finishing up, and I walk out the door to go to my meeting. Since it’s only a block away, I make it in time.

8:00  I come in the door and Dh just got home. The kids served themselves, fed puppies, and walked dogs, so we all gather around the table.

8:20 pm I decide I don’t want to go to the store in the morning for bread, so I leave to pick some groceries up and buy a can opener. We have a picnic tomorrow and church at 12:05, so I want to  leave myself wiggle room in there. Thankfully I live in town and the store is less than a mile.

9:00 pm I’m home. Dh took care of the pool, and I see wine on the counter. I pour myself a glass and sit out in the library with him to chat.

9:30 pm  Football game is on. I shut the kitchen down for the day, then head to poke around the internet.

10:00 pm, I walk all the dogs, give them water, straighten things up, and grab a book.

10:30 pm I’m in bed and the kids are too.

Looking back at this list, I realize I accomplished a good bit more than I thought I did.

Now to do it all again tomorrow.


Briana Elizabeth has been at this homeschool gig since her 23 year old son was in 7th grade, and his psychiatrist told her that he had to be homeschooled. Her son never went back to public school that year, and the following year, she pulled her 4th grade daughter out of public school. Her five other children have all been homeschooled entirely. It was baptism by fire, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world. Through the years, she has in the end, not only educated her children, but herself, and homeschooling has brought about a whole paradigm change of living for her family. The education that had seemed only possible for the elite was possible through classically homeschooling.

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