My Typical Homeschool Day

I am in my eleventh year of homeschooling, and I must say, that in some ways, homeschooling gets more difficult each year.  I am not trying to discourage anyone, I am just keeping it real.  When I first began homeschooling with one first grader and two preschoolers, our “school day” took about 1.5 hours, tops.  These days I do school with my five children from 8:00 AM-3:00 PM.  Sometimes later.  During that time, I rarely do anything else, just school.  No laundry, no housecleaning, no cooking.  Just school.  It’s not for the faint-hearted.

However, I love my life, and I would not give up my role as a homeschooling mother for anything.  I welcome the daily challenge.  As Cara reminded us before, “Just because something is difficult, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing a good job”.  I agree, and I also will add, just because your homeschooling takes all day long doesn’t mean that you are doing something wrong. If you have several children, homeschooling will take a good portion of your day.

Here is a typical day:

5:00 AM I wake up, drink coffee, and read my Bible.

6:00 AM I run, and some days I even shower if I have time.  If I am doing a longer run, I will finish just in time to begin school with the children, so the shower has to wait.  Yes, that means that I stay yukky all day, and my hair and make-up are not done.  I am okay with that.

7:00-7:45 AM (whenever I am through running)  I grab a protein bar, drink more coffee, and start the washer.  I also put supper in the crock pot on some days.  I supervise the children’s morning chores, clean the kitchen, and prepare the house to begin school.

6:45 AM my older three children arise, do their morning chores, eat a self-serve breakfast, read their Bibles.  My younger two arise at no particular time, but if my 7 year old is not awake by the time I am done running, I will wake her up.  The younger two have chores as well.

8:00 AM School begins!  The older three do independent work, and I read our daily Sonlight reading to the K and 2nd grader.  We also will begin their math lessons if we have time.

9:00 AM Bible lesson at the kitchen table.  Everyone stops his schoolwork and meets at the table.

9:30 AM Older three back to independent work, I do math, Building Thinking Skills, and begin Language Arts with the younger two.

10:15 AM Snack break.  I move clothes from the washer to dryer and start another load.

10:30 AM I finish up Language Arts with the younger two.  The older three are still working alone.  Usually towards the end of this time block, my 7th grader has finished all that he can do alone.  He is allowed to go out to the barn and play until I am ready for him.  Typically my K son is finished before my 2nd grade daughter, so he joins his older brother at the barn.

11:15 AM I work with my 7th grade son.  I check all the work he has done alone and have him make his corrections.  I teach him any new math concepts, and I do spelling and writing with him.

12:30 PM Lunch for everyone!  I work on laundry again (washing and drying….still no time to fold or put away!)

1:00 PM I read my 7th grader’s Sonlight books to him.  The younger two play, and the older two finish their schoolwork.  When the older girls are done they usually sew, crochet, or run if we don’t have cross country practice that afternoon.

2:00  PM Home Ec with my two oldest girls.  The younger three are all free.

3:00 PM I check the older girls’ schoolwork, tidy up our school areas, finish up the washing and drying.  If we don’t have cross country practice, I will actually fold the clean clothes.  On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, we have to leave the house at 1:35, 3:15, and 3:25, respectively.

The rest of my day is a blur of cross country practice, errands, preparing supper, housecleaning, afternoon chores, phone calls, and email.  Then supper, baths, and I try to get all of the children in bed by 10:00 PM.

During our school day, I keep my phone nearby with the timer set.  That keeps us all on schedule.  It may sound rigid, but when I just go with the flow, I don’t get nearly as much accomplished.  The schedule is a great tool for me.

My older children have a laminated checklist of all of the subjects they must complete each day.  I spend a fair amount of time each summer preparing their lesson plans for the year, so they can complete their work independently.  They have printouts of charts, schedules, checklists, etc. to keep them on task.

My husband is usually off work one week day each week, and we do not have school on those days.  I use those days for appointments, long runs, grocery shopping, and housecleaning.  My house is never completely clean!  I just do what I can when I have time, and try to enjoy my life with my family.

That’s my typical day!  Yes, I am exhausted, but I am happy!

Roan is the homeschooling mother of five children aged 16, 14, 12, 7, and 5.  She has been happily married to her husband for 20 years.  Their entire family enjoys good books and running.  You can read about their daily lives at Joyful Always.



  1. says

    Thank you for a very honest look at your homeschool days! Our days are quite similar in length, although (sadly) I don’t have a morning run to tell about! Two of my three kids have swim team every late afternoon and one has swim team three times a week. The swim team schedule helps us stay on track and move through our days. I completely agree with your first statements – when all of my kids were little, we really could be done by or before lunchtime and have a FULL day. With a high school student, a junior high student, and an upper elementary student – that is really not possible anymore.

  2. Jessy says

    Oh, I totally agree about it getting harder! The “young years” were so much easy for me to juggle! With an 8th grader, 4th grader and 1st grader (with learning challenges) this year, I’m finding it hard to get everything done! (My house is never truly clean either…and there are some CEREAL and FRUIT dinners! LOL)

    But despite our crazy schedules of school, sports and scouts, we do find those wonderful quiet, relaxing “pockets of time” to be together!

  3. Linda says

    Ok, you ladies make me feel totally inadequate:) I have an only child, who is in 6th grade. She has a sleep disorder, so some nights she doesn’t sleep at all, on those days we start early and get our day over with, some nights she sleeps beginning in the middle of the night and continuing until mid day. This makes planning our day really hard sometimes because I never know when I wake up if she will be awake or asleep. The good news is that our curriculum (Time4Learning) plans lessons for me, so all I have to do is concentrate on getting the most out of our day. I hope to see a clean house again in the future, but I am not counting on it. Thanks for sharing your day, the schedule sounds great!

  4. Karina says

    I can see that I am late viewing this post, but I wanted to let you know how much it encouraged me. I am dreaming of homeschooling our two treasures this fall, and having an honest, open look at your schedule is a big help. But, mostly, it’s good to hear from experienced homeschool moms that it’s okay if it gets difficult–many worthwhile things do (like a good, long run!). I know I will come back to those words when my ability feel small and my hours short.