A Day in the Life Homeschooling a First Grader and a Toddler

One of my favorite blogs, Simple Homeschool, has been running a Day in the Life of… series. I decided it was time I highlighted a day in my homeschool! Today was not a “normal” homeschool day since we had our co-op’s Valentine’s Day bowling party.

But I’m starting to realize that no day is ever “normal” when I am homeschooling a first grader and a toddler!

Our homeschooling days are never "normal" since I have a first grader and a toddler. Every day is different.

6:29 I wake up a minute before my alarm. My husband is leaving for work. I turn off the alarm and we pray together before he leaves. After my shower, I hear my son and daughter making noises. Raisin asks if he can talk to his sister.

7:00 I am dressed and I get Strawberry up and dressed. She resists because she wants to run and play with Raisin. I tell him to get dressed, but he wants to play for a little while. I check email and then do my hair and makeup. Strawberry follows me around begging for a hairbrush, makeup, and hugs, etc. I am happy to comply.

7:30 Raisin has dressed and says they want to eat Right Now. Strawberry starts begging for food too, so I guess it’s about time. Who knows? Sometimes Raisin begs to do school before breakfast, and other times the kids play a game before they want to eat.

We tidy rooms and head downstairs. Usually, I make a big serving of oatmeal, but today we have cold cereal, yogurt, and fresh strawberries.

8:00 Breakfast is over so we tidy the kitchen together, emptying and re-loading the dishwasher. We head to the family room couch, where we cuddle together and read Gospel Principles and accompanying scriptures as our devotional. Meanwhile, Strawberry wonders off and reads her dolly a board book. (I try to get a picture but my phone won’t cooperate!)

8:30 Music appreciation time! We are listening to Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra this week. Today is the brass instruments, but after we listen to that section, we decide to cuddle under the blanket and listen to the entire thing again. Strawberry snuggles under a blanket with me.

9:00 Upstairs for school!

Usually, we school until an early lunch at 11:30 and then Strawberry goes down for a nap for an hour. Then we go out and do errands, library runs, and other things.

Wednesdays, though, are our co-op day. We usually leave at 9 and have science, writing (I teach it), craft hour, and family and consumer science. But today is a special Valentine’s Day party at the bowling alley. We have just one hour to get as much school done as we can before we need to drive to the party.

We start with a page of Miquon math. But Raisin finds it hard today. So we bust out the frog manipulative jar to practice the concept of doubling. Raisin gets the hang of it. I help Strawberry as she puts frogs on a string, dumps games out of the closet to play, and otherwise tries to distract Raisin from his work.

It takes an hour to work through the problems together. He insists that he does not want my help and he finds the Cuisineaire rods to help him. I don’t want to mess with a kid who is figuring it out, so I let him be. Strawberry and I keep busy.

At 10 a.m., it is time to get ready and go. Raisin brings his tablet along to “give directions” as I drive. He loves looking at maps. Oops! He needs a container to collect Valentine’s in, so I improvise a solution as we walk out the door.

Thankfully, Strawberry sleeps in the car for the 30 minutes it takes us to get to the alley. That will be her only nap time today! I quiz Raisin on spelling words. On the way home, we will listen to our Spanish audio CD for practice.

We bowl, eat Valentine’s Day candy, play and talk with friends. Then we head to a friend’s home for a luncheon after our bowling time is over. Chaos.

We get home at about 3:45. Exhausted.

Raisin disappears to play “Grand Canyon” in his bedroom closet. I read picture books to Strawberry for a little while.

4-5:30 p.m. is dinner preparation and chores for me, quiet time for the kids. Strawberry watches Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood today. Often, the kids play in the playroom together. But after our exhausting day with only the briefest of naps, I don’t see an issue with the toddler zoning out, quietly. We are not very hungry after our late lunch and snacks all day, so I plan on a light meal of leftovers for dinner. Get some household needs addressed, sit down and check email. Did I mention I am exhausted?

5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. is dinner, clean up, and bedtime preparation. Raisin helps me put away some laundry, and Strawberry helps make cleaning up the office and playroom difficult by dumping things out as we try to tidy. If things are not too messy, we would read picture books on the couch together.

Today, there is enough to do that we tidy the house until bedtime. Raisin insists he does not mind Strawberry’s “help” and he does not want my help, so I let them “play-clean” together without my interference.

7-8 p.m. Daddy get home right at 7 p.m. today. Kids run to greet him. We read a scripture together and have a family prayer. I read three stories to Strawberry and she goes to bed with little resistance today.

Meanwhile, Raisin finishes cleaning out his desk, a project he assigned himself. (He’s delighted by the things he finds hiding in there!) Other nights he will read books to himself, but tonight it is late and he is tired too. Now he gets in to bed. I tuck him in “like a whale,” asking him his highlight. I tell him mine, and the lights are off.

8 p.m. I sit down and type up my day while my husband plays the piano. Sometimes we watch a show together. Sometimes I work on plans for the next day, or create ebooks and games for TeachersPayTeachers.

Today, I realize that we did not get much school done, but I know it was a great day. Math, a little bit of phonics/spelling review, Spanish practice, socialization, and physical education (bowling counts, right?). That’s a day!

Most days we don’t have a field trip and party. We usually don’t spend an hour on one page of math. We usually get at least a little of history, science, writing practice, and so forth in.

But today feels like a typical homeschool day in many ways. We learn some things (not as much as I intended, and not the same things I intended!), we have some fun, we take care of a house, and we spend time together.

Isn’t that what homeschooling is supposed to be?

What is your typical homeschool day like? Are any of your days similar to what I’ve shared?

P.S. I wish I had pictures, but my camera was not cooperating today!

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  • I really enjoyed hearing about your day; especially because you mention that it was/wasn’t a typical homeschool day. I think it’s important to embrace life as it happens, as you seem to describe also, so accepting the day for what it was/is is important!


  • I am not a homeschooler and don’t think I’m cut out for the task but I have full respect for anyone who can do it! Sounds like you have a full, lovely life and I enjoyed reading about it.

  • There is never a typical homeschool day in my home. I used to be more on “schedule” when I first began my homeschooling career, but now, as I’m more relaxed we just do our schooling throughout the day in any order that works for that day.

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