A Homeschool Day in Our Life, April 2020

I have homeschooled for 19 years with four kids so I know what it’s like to have 100 things going on at once, but now two of my children are done with college, and one is at a local community college full-time as a high school junior, so I have just one child currently under my direct teaching.

My current homeschool scenario follows. No two days ever look alike in my homeschool, but here is a sample of today to give you an idea of what we do. We generally finish what I call “official” school subjects in about three hours/day. I try to incorporate learning activities into everything, and since I know what my son is reading and studying, it is easy to point out connections in daily life.

1 son married and self-supporting.

1 college senior
Age 21, home from university unexpectedly since March, completing college online. Completely self-sufficient. Graduating May 2.

1 high school junior
Age 17, first-year Running Start student, working online currently. She is mainly self-sufficient. I help as needed with a difficult math concept yesterday and helping her begin an online scholarship application today. We checked today and the June SAT we planned has been cancelled.

One sixth grader (Using Sonlight Curriculum, Core G)
• Breakfast, incidental morning stuff for everyone. Load of laundry in. Coffee for mom.
• Classical music playing in the background (EVERY morning since forever–I have a set of 36 classical CDs I have about worn out) Today was Schubert. Sometimes we discuss the composer and read a short history from the CD case. Yesterday I taught him that Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony was unfinished because he wrote just two movements and there are usually four movements in a symphony.
• 9:00 a.m. Begin school (we are not early starters)
• 15 minutes Bible read and discussion (per curriculum, currently Bible book of Acts and International Children’s Bible Field Guide). Sometimes we read aloud, sometimes I use the Bible app audio. We recently watched the entire Drive Thru History series Acts through Revelation in 18 episodes over a few weeks.
• 30-45 minutes history read together and discussion, plus geography. (History of the World Medieval Times, Usborne World History, etc. per curriculum). Today was Ferdinand and Isabella before Columbus, uniting of Spain, brief Inquisition. Moors were mentioned, so we discussed Othello since we are also reading about Shakespeare elsewhere, and we looked at Spain in our Children’s Atlas of the World to check out Grenada and Portugal. We just finished a read-aloud, I, Juan de Pareja that took place in Spain, so we had looked at Spain recently.

• Poetry reading 10 minutes—sometimes we look up words or discuss things. Favorite Poems Old and New. Today was some Odgen Nash and Edward Lear. Looked up the word runcible together. It’s a nonsense word Lear made up.
• 30 minutes read-aloud (currently The Shakespeare Stealer). We talked about what was going on in Shakespeare’s day in London, including how the Globe Theater was closed during The Plague! He already knew this since the closure is in the sequel to The Shakespeare Stealer that we have read before: Shakespeare’s Scribe. We googled Globe Theater to see what it looked like, and I told him some Shakespeare plays I have attended. I took him to Hamlet a few years ago.
• 30 minutes independent reading of his assigned reader. He finished Shadow of a Bull, a Newbery winner today. We discussed what he liked and didn’t like about the book and what he learned. I had him find the copyright page and check the publication year to see what year it won the Newbery medal. Newberys are generally awarded the year after the book was published.
• Break for snack or lunch depending on time
• Read new math lesson together or alone from textbook (Saxon ½ Algebra)
• He completes math lesson or test alone and I help if needed. About 20-40 minutes
• Math correction together and review every missed problem. 10-30 minutes.
• Language arts: one Winston Grammar Basic lesson (prepositional phrases and object of preposition review)• Editor-in-Chief 1 assignment. He works alone and we check together and discuss. Less than 15 minutes. We have four lessons left in the book.
• About 3 days/week we do science reading and possibly a worksheet from curriculum (Sonlight Science 6, The Usborne Book of Science: An Introduction to Biology, Physics and Chemistry) We are behind in this subject but will catch up when we finish other things.
• We are working through Exploring the World of Mathematics (Master Books), reading aloud a few times each week. It’s a history text of how mathematics was developed throughout history. He likes math, and this brings up a lot of conversations. We are currently in the chapter about how standards of weights and measures developed over time.
• Afternoons free for various activities—today he helped me in the garden, planting beets and watering flowers and vegetables. I checked to see what he has left on the Kindle right now—last week he read Ready Player One and Lizzy Bright and the Buckminster Boy on the Kindle. I loaded him up with several Gary D. Schmidt books since we loved Okay for Now last year. I had him look up an Adventures in Odyssey episode I remember that mentions Romeo and Juliet to listen to together later today. He is also reading the sixth Harry Potter book.

Miscellaneous Afternoon
I work in the afternoon and do other household and work tasks. He hangs out with siblings, maybe in the treehouse, and may listen to some Adventures in Odyssey episodes (we have an online subscription) or read or play video games. I asked him to create an instrumental Spotify playlist for me last night to call “Mom’s editing music,” which he started, so I put in some requests, including Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. I checked online to see if his Iowa Test of Basic Skills test results are up yet. I sent those in for scoring last week. When I get these, we’ll review his high and low spots together.

A few days ago I had him write a poem—he chose to write about the pandemic—and we submitted it online to the King County Library System poetry contest currently open for all ages. He wrote it on paper, so I had him type it up today to learn some Microsoft Word functions, how to save it and email it to me to print for his language arts folder. I remembered how much we enjoyed reading William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily a New Hope aloud (me, daughter, son) last summer by assigning ourselves the parts, and put that on hold at the library again.

5:30 p.m. Listened to an Adventures in Audio adventure with him where Romeo and Juliet was a central part.
6:00 p.m. Son helped me re-pot a succulent plant he selected a few days ago at the Covington nursery.
 Dinner somewhere in here
7-9:00 p.m. Watched Ratatouille as a family.
9:30 p.m. Read aloud Shakespeare Stealer continued from morning, with mom and older sister.
10:00 p.m. Kids to bed
10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. — Mom edited

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