Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What Do Homeschoolers Do: Barely Out of Tuesday

A Day in our Life

Do you wonder what goes on in the house of other homeschoolers?  Do you try to figure out exactly what homeschooling looks like on the inside of a long-time homeschool family?  I remember, in the beginning, wondering what everyone else was doing right now...  What are they talking about, planning, working on?  LOL
Our days now are far different from our early days of homeschooling.
In the early days, we sat down at the table and went through books from front to back, and I wrote down all of the activities in a record book.  Our schedule was pretty flexible, but we did spend most of our time at the table...

Now, a great many days and weeks and months and years have passed and our homeschooling days have changed about a hundred times.  These days, since we are in Australia for the year, we do far fewer actual lessons now.  Every day brings us something new.  New people and places that we enjoy exploring.

Let me tell you about our day today.  It's fairly typical, if there is such a thing.

Bonobo woke up first, as usual.  On the table was a list of work for him to do.  (*more on this list later)  He watched a few TED talks, did some Geometry and some Algebra, read a part of a chapter in biology about habitats and niches.  He swam for about an hour.  He talked to a friend from back home for about an hour and a half...creating a Minecraft world and playing a game of Yugiho while on Skype.  Then he helped get some meals together for the day.  This afternoon he and I did some work with Australian history and geography and then went for a drive.  After dinner he and his dad watched a science documentary on cars and...something.

The Doctor slept in.  She talked with a friend online.  Then she had a guitar lesson, an acting class, and did some rehearsing when we got back home.  She helped with dinner.   Tonight she is doing some writing and some Algebra.  She is also working on figuring out her outfit for an acting performance she has this weekend.

The Doctor
This evening we heard that a good friend of ours is in the hospital with complications from an earlier surgery.  We will go and visit him tomorrow.  And now we are sitting in the living room, everyone doing their own thing.  I am blogging.  My husband is doing some work on the PC.  The doctor is still writing.  And Bonobo is watching some funny video series on YouTube that he loves.  Just a regular day.

What will tomorrow bring???

***  About the notebook:  Each child has a notebook in which I write assignments.  Sometimes I will write several days worth of lessons.  Sometimes I write what is to be done in a single day.  A "typical" entry might look like this:

  • Algebra & Geometry:  Read pages 180-182.  Do practice problems 1-30, even only.  Ask Mom if you need a hand.  Review pages 55.  Do practice problems 10-20, odd only.
  • Geometry:  Do pages 177-178 with Mom.
  • Life Science:  Read pages 210-217.  Review all photos, charts, graphs, and review questions.  Be prepared to discuss with Mom.  Go onto YouTube and watch a couple of videos on habitation and specialization in animals
  • Chores:  empty dishwasher and bring in the wash on the clothes line.
  • Choose two TED talks to watch
  • Choose poetry or music to listen to with Mom.
  • Write five "thank you" notes for birthday things.

His work usually takes about 2-3 hours in a day.   I try to make sure he does at least an hour's worth of work independently.   He also has friends he hangs out with and projects that they are working on. He has a few projects he is working on alone.  And he and his sister usually do chores and neighborhood stuff together.

So, that's what a typical day for Bonobo looks like, with LOTS of variation on that.
Any questions?  I'm happy to answer them!


If you like this post you might also enjoy:
or this one:
On Being an Atheist Parent


  1. I'm really glad you put this up! I am one of those people wondering if what I do deviates from what other homeschool mommies do...etc. Mostly I do this because I don't want to be too lazy or regimented (i find both to be equally destructive for my kids).

    Usually we are up in the morning ready to play. While the kids take a bit of time to themselves I prepare breakfast. We eat our breakfast lazily, taking all the time we want. Usually this last around 45 minutes, due to playing and chatting.
    Afterwards we go upstairs and get everyone dressed for the day, make our beds and do general tidying up in our bedrooms, brush our hair, teeth, etc. (hey hygiene is a GREAT class for a 4 year old!)
    Back downstairs for more free time. I usually catch up on my coursera videos (thank you for introducing me to it, i've spread the word!) and somewhere around 930 baby boy lays down for his morning nap. At this point biggest monster and I do our "scheduled" lesson which usually entails picking out a library books (on the subject we're discussing that week) and read it while discussing the topics in it. I draw pictures to help her understand & then we do either an activity like math, spelling, or an art project that loosely follows the theme.
    Once baby boy wakes up we play for a bit then there's play and lunch. After lunch baby boy goes back down for an afternoon nap, this gives me a little free play time with biggest monster (we call it pony-ing out when it's my little ponies, otherwise barbies, or wait... both! lol) We sometimes work on making items for her toys, like a huge castle we've been building.
    THen, finally, i lay her down for nap and get some quiet time to scrapbook or sew or nap myself until dad comes homes.

    it's pretty cold here, and I'm definitely NOT a cold weather enthusiast so we try to go to the library at least once a week. I also do field trips to museums and other places that fit our general theme. ALSO, i don't pick the theme. When I started (almost a year ago), I did. That was a complete waste of time for such a small child. She literally discovers new things each week and when I ask her on thursday what she would like to learn about the next week, she actually has trouble picking! I think this helps her learn more and be much more interactive in our lessons rather than ANNOYED that there's yet ONE MORE THING she has no choice in!

    Oh how i love my independent homeschooler. I had planned on sending her to kindergarten but I'm scared shitless that she'll get there, tell the teacher that dinosaurs are more like birds than reptiles and be bored out of her mind while they discuss the freaking abc's for the umpteenth time.

    Thanks for a view of your typical day! I sure do love reading your blog and appreciate all the work you do to keep it updated. :) When you move back to the states, what region do you live in? - if you don't mind me asking. I do realize that privacy is important on the internet!

    1. I'm thrilled to read about your homeschooling day! I am happy to hear that you have one of those wonderful kids who LOVE to learn!
      Child-led learning is my favorite thing to hear about!

      We live in St. Louis. You?

      Thanks so much for the kids words on my blogging. I have "seen" you here before and I am so glad to "see" you back!



Leave a comment!