A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler: Our Simple Homeschool Routine

When we were making the decision to homeschool, one of the biggest questions I had was what a day in the life of a homeschooler looked like for other families. I wondered what a typical homeschooling day is REALLY like. Not just the Pinterest perfect pictures of happy kids in perfectly decorated school rooms!

So, today I'm sharing with you an average homeschool day and typical schedule.

But, here's the thing.

The best thing about homeschooling is the flexibility it offers! So, if a friend calls and says, “Hey! I just found out about {a cool event happening} – want to meet us there?” – we can drop the plans and go! If my daughter isn't feeling well, we can re-arrange.

So, we do have our share of unplanned excursions and sick days, but this is the basic flow of our homeschool family life.

My Weekly Homeschool Planning Time

One of the most important parts of my week happens on Sunday evenings… my weekly homeschool planning time. When I leave this until Monday morning, I start the week stressed and feeling behind.

I review what we've done over the course of the past couple of weeks, see which of our subscriptions need to be added in to this week's plan, and think about any struggles that happened over the last week that need to be addressed.

I print out any resources that I need and write out my daughter's daily assignments in her spiral notebook. With colored highlighters and stickers, of course.

This is also when I make a plan for library trips, the errands I run while she's at dance class, or any plans we have with friends and family.

A screenshot of the Education Perfect homeschool app.
Assigning tasks in Education Perfect.

I also like to take some time each week to plan out our meals.

“Kim, that's has nothing to do with homeschooling!” You might be saying. But it does, my friend, it really does. When your kids are home all day they might become more like hobbits and require second breakfast. And snacks.

I use eMeals, and then do pickup grocery orders at WalMart. It's SO easy – their app is freaking brilliant! The new plans come out on Wednesdays, so I usually make our meal plan sometime on Thursday or Friday and pick up groceries on Saturday mornings.

Even if I don't follow the plan exactly, meal planning helps me avoid the 4:00pm ritual of standing in front of the freezer willing myself to have some brilliant dinner idea.

Which makes our homeschooling days easier and reduces my daily decision fatigue. I can't recommend meal planning enough.

Developing your Daily Homeschool Rhythm

In our home, I have an only child who is a night owl. She'd rather go to bed at 10:30pm and wake between 9:00am-11:00am than go to bed earlier and be up at dawn! Getting to sleep is a challenge for her – and always has been – so we decided when she was younger that we would allow her to go to bed at a time that was natural for her.

Your family might be different! This is where you do what works for you and your kids – and what works for you as the homeschooling parent and your energy levels.

Your daily homeschool rhythm doesn't have to
look like anyone else's!

We do slow mornings here, most of our homeschooling is done in the afternoon, and we relax in the evenings. However, I'm pretty sure my daughter would LOVE to start her homeschool work around 7:00pm!

That doesn't work for me, though, my energy levels are low by that point in the day. I'd love to do all our homeschooling first thing and get it out of the way for the day – but my daughter needs slow wake up time. So, we compromise on afternoons.

Instead of looking at a “school schedule,” look at how your family naturally works and fit homeschooling in the best you can, blending your energy levels with those of your kids, your work schedules, and other commitments.

Your daily homeschool rhythm doesn't have to look like anyone else's!

Discover your family's unique homeschool path.

Download this free guided journal to get clarity on your goals & priorities and align your homeschool with how your family actually works.

Curriculum Choices and Styles of Learning

When homeschooling, it is important to choose the right curriculum for your family. There are many different options out there, and it can be overwhelming to try to figure out which one is best for you.

I like to start by researching different curriculum choices and reading reviews from other homeschoolers. This helps me narrow down my choices and figure out which one would work best for my family.

It is also important to consider different styles of learning when choosing a curriculum. Some children learn best through hands-on activities, while others learn best through reading or listening. It is important to find a curriculum that fits your child’s learning style and allows them to learn in the way that works best for them.

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler

Before we were homeschoolers, I wanted to know what a typical homeschool day looked like, but all I could find online were schedules that people made for their preschoolers!

So, here is what a typical homeschool day looks like in our home, with our 13 year old.

Our typical day looks something like this:

Kiddo wakes up. She does ask me to get her up earlier if we have somewhere to be so that she can have some quiet morning time before we head off.

Morning time, cuddled on the couch with her iPad.

This year she has taken on preparing her own breakfast as well. She makes things like smoothies, waffles in our mini waffle iron, scrambled eggs and toast.

Once per week we have a morning dance class.

We have lunch together and chat about the things that need to be done.

This is our prime homeschool zone.

My daughter is mostly independent now (at age 13) with her schoolwork. She has her spiral notebook, computer, and all her curriculum materials on our homeschool table.

Homeschool curriculum on a wooden table with a small chess set.
I like stickers. I also like the typing curriculum from The Good and The Beautiful.

Late afternoon
Chores, anything I need help with, gaming time with friends, library trips or errands.

Once per week we have an art mentor who comes to our house for a private lesson.

We have dinner when my husband is done with work. In the warm months we might go for a walk, go out in the canoe, or go into town for an ice cream. In the colder months, you'll usually find us watching a movie, playing a board game, or everyone chilling with their iPads.

We have a pretty simple, quiet life! Our daily rhythm has changed as our daughter has gotten older. When she was 6-10ish, our days included a LOT more playground trips and on-the-go learning like field trips, local museums, and other hands-on learning.

Now as a teen she'd prefer to have more time to spend on her interests… baking, art, gaming and YouTube, so we do more traditional curriculum that is more straightforward and takes less time.

We still have plenty of time with friends, though! Every Sunday we have two of her closest friends over for the afternoon, and we often spend Friday afternoons with friends also. Sometimes after dance class we have lunch and hang out or go for a walk too.

Staying Organized in Your Homeschool

The best reason to stay organized in your homeschool is to lower your stress and worry level. Truly, if you can implement a basic organizing system that works for you, you will feel more confident and secure in your homeschooling.

I like to use a variety of tools and resources to help me stay on track.

The online curriculum we use (Education Perfect) has a task assignment tool for me to give my daughter assignments on specific days. While I could lay out the whole school year in advance, I never do. Life happens.

Instead, I plan weekly. I have printouts of all the lessons in the courses we've chosen and I go down the list and assign them and then check them off when they are completed.

I have a very high-tech weekly planner that I use. Ready to see it?

A weekly homeschool schedule written in pencil on a sheet of notebook paper.
We are super fancy over here.

I added up all the lessons in the Education Perfect classes we are doing and figured out how many to assign per week, added in our non-online curriculum (typing, writing and our fun subscriptions like Letters from Afar and The Yesteryear Gazette) and made a weekly outline. It's super flexible.

I do like to use iCal on my Mac to keep track of our appointments, activities and events. That way, I am always able to check my phone and my schedule anywhere. As someone who used to be a hard-core paper planner girl, it's been a transition to getting used to online calendars. But now I wouldn't go back!

Finding Your Homeschool Community

Finding your homeschool community is so important. Not just for your kids – for YOU.

It doesn't have to be huge. Our core homeschooling community is 3 families, one of whom is an hour and a half away. But those close friendships (and working through disagreements) keep both my daughter and I feeling connected and supported.

A day in the life of a homeschooler - a playdate with friends at a playgound.
Playing with our homeschool friends!

Being part of a homeschool community can provide support, guidance, and friendship. There are many different ways to find your homeschool community. You can join an online homeschooling group, attend homeschooling conferences, or join a local homeschooling co-op.

There have been times during our seven years of homeschooling where I've needed to create the community or experiences we wanted to have. When my daughter was younger, I created a local unschooling group that met weekly in the multipurpose room at the library.

Last year, I worked with a local dance studio to gather enough homeschool families to start a homeschool Irish dance class.

If you can't find the community that works for you – make it. I guarantee there are other homeschool families out there wishing for community too. (And for the record, I live in a pretty small town.)

Don’t Forget the Free Time

While it is important to stay on track with your homeschooling goals, it is also important to make sure you and your kids have down time.

Family time is important! One of the things we found really hard when our daughter was in public school was the homework grind… yep, even in Kindergarten and first grade. She'd be in school from 8-2:30 and then have homework on top of it. Since writing is one of my daughter's areas that need support, packets of worksheets were literally the worst possible thing I could ask her to do in her time away from school.

Rest. Is. Important. Fun is important. Hobbies are important. Sleep is important.

It is also important to make sure you carve out a little time to fill your cup. Maybe it's a Saturday morning bubble bath or a quiet walk after dinner – it doesn't have to be huge or expensive. But parenting and life as a homeschool parent is 24/7!

If you're thinking about homeschooling, or just started, here are more resources for you. I write all about what I wish I would have known 7 years ago!

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