Tag Archives: what do homeschoolers do all day

The evolution of a homeschool mom

We have about a month left in our school year, and as the end of our 6th- and 3rd-grade year draws near I’ve been feeling a little reflective. Specifically, I’ve been trying to figure out why I’ve struggled so much this year. I’ve been stressed all year because I’ve felt that we weren’t getting enough of our schoolwork done. The kids have a lot of away-from-home activities, and I feel like all I’ve done is play catch-up.

And suddenly a few days ago something occurred to me: I’m evolving. I’ve been the kids’ primary teacher for their entire school career, but that isn’t really the case any more. Poppy is taking classes elsewhere for almost every subject this year, which means I’m more of a coordinator than a teacher for her now. That time hasn’t entirely come for Pete yet, but it’s getting closer.

Here’s a glimpse at what our weeks have been like these last few months:


Monday

Poppy’s taking a creative writing class from me at Monday co-op, Pete is taking a class called World Building that involved making up his own country, and they’re both taking a class in which they play board games. We’ve been a part of our Monday Co-op for almost five years. It’s a very sweet group, but it skews toward young kids and it isn’t really meeting our needs anymore. It’ll be a bittersweet departure, but it’s necessary.

Tuesday

Poppy has been taking an Shakespearean acting class, a lot of tae kwon do and some extra training for soccer on Tuesdays, while Pete meets with his spelling tutor and has a swim lesson — all worth activities that do not take place at the same time. Tuesday was meant to be a day that we stayed home and focused on our schoolwork, but best laid plans and all that.

Wednesday

Poppy spends a good bit of the day away from home taking writing, science and a culture and civilization class on Wednesdays, and Pete has chess class. This is one of the days that we actually do get a bit more work done at home, especially for Pete.

Thursday

Thursday is New Co-op day. That’s winding down for the year, too. It’s been a terrific addition for us, academically. Poppy is currently working on a presentation on Nirvana for her History of Rock ‘n’ Roll class, and she did a presentation on Australia this week in World Geography. She’s also taking a literature and writing class, in which her most recent assignment is to write a persuasive paper. She’s trying to persuade the world to adopt a pet. Pete is working with a small group on making a stop-motion film about the parts of a computer for his Technology class and researching javelin in Sports & Games and the Marquis de Lafayette in literature, and he just finished a project about The Sun for his Astronomy class.

Friday

Fridays are my least-busy day, because the piano teacher and the spelling tutor come to us. This is the day we get most of our at-home work done.


Don’t you hate it when you get a demanding text from the principaw?
My personal goal for next year is to embrace my new role. I’ll handle the registration and help them figure out how to juggle homework and sports and free time, and I’ll plan field trips, and I’ll drive them all over town and back again. And most important for my peace of mind, I’ll stop worrying that we aren’t getting everything done, because they’ll be doing quite enough.

Want to peek into some other homeschoolers’ lives? Check out the weekly roundup at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

We’ve entered a new era in homeschooling

It’s been a good long while since I wrote a This Week In Homeschooling post, and that’s because this semester the kids have more outsourced work than ever before. We joined a new co-op that’s much more academically focused than the one we’ve been doing for years. We’re still doing math, history, spelling and some science at home, and between the new co-op and the classes Poppy was already taking downtown a good bit of our school time at home is dedicated to doing homework.

Here are a few highlights from the week:


Monday

The kids had their final Odyssey of the Mind meeting before the regional competition. I think they’re both kind of relieved that they’re nearing the finish line. We listened to our “Story of the World” chapter on the way to and from the meeting. We learned about Pedro II, who was the second and last emperor of Brazil and seems like a pretty good leader.

Tuesday

Poppy’s OM team came over for a few hours to practice some spontaneous problems and run through their script a few more times.

Wednesday

Poppy went off to her classes downtown while a sickly Pete convalesced in his room all day.

Thursday

Thursday is New Co-op Day. Poppy’s literature class is reading “To Kill a Mockingbird,” she learned a little about Elvis in History of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and she discussed India in world geography (which I’m teaching). Pete’s reading “The Boxcar Children” for literature, and he played soccer in Sports & Games, learned about Venus in astronomy and took apart a computer tower in his technology class.

Friday

Poppy had a piano lesson earlier today, and Pete had a session with his spelling tutor. We learned about The Pantanal via a very short history project, and the kids did some homework. And then we ended the school day early because it’s beautiful outside and they wanted to go enjoy it.

We used one of those origami fortune-teller gizmos to learn about animals that live in The Pantanal.

Want to peek into some other homeschoolers’ lives? Check out the weekly roundup at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

The children take a virtual trip to Pearl Harbor

We crushed this can last week using the power of science. Because Pete was studying air pressure.
We crushed this can last week using the power of science. Because Pete was studying air pressure.
We’re getting tantalizingly close to our Christmas break, so of course now is the time I’ve decided to crack down on the rampant morning electronic distractions. Pete has been diving directly into Metroid on the WiiU when he wakes up in the morning, and Poppy has developed a mild obsession with some Australian dude who opens packs of Pokemon cards on YouTube, and both of those things have been making it difficult for the kids to get started on their schoolwork in the mornings. So on Monday night I gathered up the WiiU controller and the iPad, and I changed the password on the computer.

I went to bed expecting a mutiny on Tuesday morning, but so far as I can tell neither of them even noticed the stuff was gone. (Although they certainly will now, because Poppy reads all of my posts. Hi Poppy!) They’ve been more pleasant about getting their schoolwork done, and they’ve been getting along with one another unusually well. I think we’re going to stick with the electronics-free morning routine.

At Pete’s request, we started reading “The Hobbit” for our family read-aloud this week. He’s listened to it 1,000 times as an audiobook, but I don’t think Poppy has ever listened to the whole thing. The opening pages have piqued her interest. Here are some other highlights of our week:


Monday

Poppy had finished 75 percent of her schoolwork by 11am, and Pete spent most of his day working with his Odyssey of the Mind team. It was a weirdly hands-off day for me.

Tuesday

This was our first electronics-free morning, and I was shocked that the kids didn’t even ask where the iPad or Wii controller were. I was far less shocked that our morning went much more smoothly than mornings past. The kids got most of their work done before 10am, when we headed out to a meeting. Pete met with his spelling tutor and Poppy had a piano lesson after that, and then the afternoon was full of tae kwon do, followed by writing homework and science reading.

Wednesday

Poppy spent the majority of the morning at her Wednesday classes, while Pete and I went to chess class and got out allergy shots. Once we got home, we took a short break before the kids settled in to watch a virtual field trip about Pearl Harbor that was produced by WYES in New Orleans. It was a very informative program, and the online polls they included kept the kids engaged.

Watching the WYES Pearl Harbor virtual field trip.
Watching the WYES Pearl Harbor virtual field trip.

The kids went back to building a cat village in the basement after the virtual field trip, and after that they both tackled their math lessons.

Thursday

Thursday was our only “normal” day this week, which I guess means that staying home and doing schoolwork is no longer our normal.

Friday

Poppy is doing the first part of her tae kwon do testing this evening, so we’re going to take it pretty easy today. So far, the day has been dedicated to cleaning. Specifically, the kids are helping one another clean their rooms while I sit in the floor and read “The Hobbit” to them. I’m getting the good end of this deal.


In future-schooling news, I’m signed up to teach a geography class to a group of middle-schoolers in the spring. I’m looking for some exciting materials for that, so please let me know if you have some wonderful ideas or sources!

Want to peek into some other homeschoolers’ lives? Check out the weekly roundup at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!