A day in the life of a homeschooling mama

I found this post very interesting by a child-led homeschooling mama. I just love her blog and she has lots of wonderful ideas, but I was struck by how little time she had for herself during the day (or at least the day she featured), basically none. This is my biggest worry about homeschooling. That I’ll be with both the kids all the time and won’t have time to do what I (some what selfishly, I admit) want to do. I decided it would be fun to look at one of my days and just picked one. Of course it got out of control and a bit crazy, but you know what, I’ve decided to share it. Mostly as a record to myself. And also as a way to answer that age old question, “how do you do it?”
1:45-2:50 AM up with Bennet. She’s slept through the night twice and they were glorious, glorious nights. But as of now we’re back to up in the night.
6:30 Bennet gets up. I ply her with books white I have a few more minutes to sleep. This doesn’t work for too long because Bennet loves her gummy vitamins. I think she must go to bed dreaming about them. Because “vi-ma-mins?” downstairs to get vi-ma-mins?” starts and doesn’t stop.
7:00 head downstairs in a bit of a fog. Heat up left over oatmeal and make toast. Face time Bj. Decide I should start the grape juice. Gather the supplies and clean grapes. Sit on the floor and eat a bite while watching a little bit of Bones (I usually don’t watch much and Bennet is starting to understand things on the iPad so I think my time getting to sneak this in is limited, the girls rarely have any screen time).
sept 25 grapes on table-1
The day before we had picked grapes at my friend’s place, as they still had lots of juice from the year before. So ya, a lot of grapes.
8:30 spend ten minutes organizing the linen closet
sept 25 grape juice-1
8:45 check on juice and help Bennet with a xylophone she found somewhere.
sept 25 baby in oil pan-1
9:00 text with Bj, shower and get ready
9:30 my friend comes over with her son so I can show her how to make juice.
10:45 Tuesday wakes up, and immediately goes outside with her buddy to play
11:35 start making lunch
11:55 eat outside
sept 25 5-43-1
(Tuesday snapped this photo of me with her camera)
12:30 canning
1:15-1:35 get Bennet down. It takes longer every day and she sleeps less every day but I am just not ready to give up on the nap yet.
2:05 our friends leave. I put another batch in the canner and sit down to have juice with Tuesday when
2:12 Bennet wakes up, so I try to get her back down
2:35 run downstairs and turn off burners when I realize she’s not going to go to sleep so easily
2:40 hear an epic down pour. Tuesday runs in and tells me her fairy garden is covered with “wet wetness” and could I please bring it in?
2:45 rub Bennet’s back
3:15 Bennet and I fall asleep
5:25 Tuesday wakes us up because we’ve been “sleeping forever!” (meanwhile she’s been playing. She has a two hour “rest time” where she plays and reads every day, but sometimes it’s less)
I answer texts and return phone calls. We head downstairs so I can start back up the juice process. I have to finish this day because mold sets in on grapes in our climate so quickly and it will spread seemingly instantly. Besides ALL THE FRUIT FLIES drive me crazy. The girls meanwhile color. Tuesday found a book that has cursive in it and wants to try it so I grab some great texture cursive letter cards we have so she can run her fingers over the letters and try it. At some point we eat some dinner, left overs I’m sure, though I can’t find what we did for food in my notes.
sept 25 6-28-1
sept 25 letters-1
sept 25 7-34-1
7:30 Bennet gets in the sink to play.
sept 25 kitchen mess 8-31-1
8:15 Tuesday gets in the other sink and hilarious giggles ensue.
9:10 Tuesday takes Bennet upstairs to change and get ready for bed.
sept 25 10-18-1
Finish canning, cleaning. Read them stories between canner loads. Halve all the small tomatoes and oil for the dehydrator.
11:09 they’re asleep
sept 25 juice-1
(35 quarts of grape juice – I’ll give half to the friend who helped me earlier in the day)
Laundry, clean up, get in bed and watch a little Bones and knit to wind down.
12:05 lights out.
So ya, I guess I didn’t get any time to myself. But you know what, I did get done what I wanted to do that day. I had a secret hope of getting a few quilt blocks done, but the grapes (and tomatoes) had to be dealt with and we got it done. The girls didn’t have any hands on lessons from me, but I don’t think I could ask for better from them. They spent time outside playing with another kid, digging in dirt and making lots of pretend food. They did more than keep themselves busy; they actively sought and completed work important to them. And this is what I just LOVE about the more free style/unschooling type of thing we are doing now. I wouldn’t have even though to have Tuesday draw her camera with detail, or write out the alphabet. She did it, because she wanted to. She wanted to see if she could do it from memory, and then found a way to check her work. Of course I often wish there are more hours in the day, and that I could sit and give them all my attention for long periods of time. Some days I am able to do that. And some days I’m canning 35 quarts of juice, after having Bj gone for days at a conference, and it’s survival mode. But it’s all good.
Maybe I will do one of our “normal” days sometime… if we ever have one!

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  1. Wow! I’m so impressed with all that grape juice – thanks for sharing a real slice of your life. Your girls are lucky to have such an awesome mom!

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