A Typical Homeschool Day

(If there were such a thing).

Virtual Homeschool International

We try to have a schedule. Heavy on the try. A usual day with our six homeschooled children (out of our nine) looks something like this: We get up about 8:00am. The children clean their rooms, do their age appropriate chores, check in with mom, and then eat breakfast. After breakfast is when school begins. The children have a set schedule for school work, which they can vary with permission. They follow the schedule set out on their VHI homerooms on most days. Homeschool takes them about 3 hours a day, including breaks. Some days take less time, and some take more. Fridays are "Choose Your Own Interest" day. On Friday, the children choose a topic they want to investigate and spend their homeschool time reading and doing projects on that topic.

We are usually done by noon each day. We have found that most interruptions to our homeschool happen during the afternoons. So we plan less structured activities during that time. We have also found that once people find out you are homeschooling (Doctors, friends, other parents, and relatives), they mistake this to mean you are free all the time. Sometimes you have to get a bit possessive of your homeschool time and tell people that you're schooling, but will be available at such and such time to do whatever, they can call back, schedule you for, or visit at that time. Most people take this well because it is just a matter of them not realizing their mistaken assumptions about homeschooling.

We spend lots of time together as a family. We have much more time for family activities such as going to the library, park, or activities, and for just enjoying each other. Our evenings are usually free times except when educational programs take place in the evening, like on the Discovery Channel. But even this can be a family event.

We have found that the children are pretty inventive and creative when they have time to pursue their own interests, and quite honestly, they are the envy of their public school friends for not only sleeping later, and being homeschooled, but for the many opportunities that they have to just explore their worlds that public school students often times feel they miss.

We eat dinner later than most families, 8:00 pm. We have a snack at 4 or 5:00 and the kids have time to explore until dinner time preparation when the older ones help with preparations and set up of dinner. The younger kids clean up the play area and put away stray toys during dinner prep (on good days). Or they play outside (most days). We eat Dinner and everyone talks about their day. Dinner is a fun time and we laugh a lot.

The kids go to bed at staggered times. The younger ones (6 and 7) are in bed by 9:00, and the middle ones (9 and 11) go at 9:30, while the older ones (13 and 14) are up till as late as 11:00 on some nights.

This may seem late, but my husband and I rarely go to bed before 1 or 2 am. We work on the Virtual Homeschool more efficiently after all the kids are in bed for the night.

Your typical day might look a lot different. You may need more or less structure. We started out trying to do homeschool as if we were doing public school at home. This brought the stresses of public school life home to our family and we soon discovered we needed to look at the needs of our family and adjust our school day to fit those, rather than try to fit the family into the school day.

We also take vacations from homeschooling when we need them. I declare a week off if the kids are getting resistant and balking at their work. We forget that they see schooling as their work, their livelihood if you will, and they need to have down time too. There are also times when it seems that I am pushing Jell-O up a tree, such as times surrounding family deaths or weddings, when I declare a vacation, and we get back on track after a few days. This seems better to me than making homeschooling unpleasant for both the children and me.

That is our typical day (if it exists).

At any rate, you will have to find what works best for your family. This may take as long as six months or as little as a week. And it may change next year as your child and family changes. That is normal and nothing to get anxious about.

Dr. Elizabeth Klein


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