15 In Homeschooling

How I Homeschool {Adventures in Homeschooling}

Since I started homeschooling my 7th grade daughter, I have received a lot of questions from readers and friends about how I structure my day as a mom who home schools and works outside of the home full time.  I thought it would be fun to share what our weekly schedule looks like, which, by the way, is never really the same.  I will prefice this by saying that although my daugther would be doing a lot more “schooling” were she back in public school, I am choosing to focus first and foremost on her heart, her walk with the Lord and the few subjects this year that I feel are most important.  This has truly been a crazy transition for us and in many ways, we are still figuring things out.  I lean heavily on God’s strength and wisdom and am having to learn to give up control in more ways than one.

Here’s a peak into our week!

Mondays

This is the only day during the week that I am home full time (my only day off).  On Mondays, we focus on Math, English and Science.  After I take my 4th grade son to school in the morning, I have my quiet time, with my coffee, blogging, emails until I wake my daughter up about 10AM.  She will work on her studies until about noon, and then we take a break for lunch.  After lunch, regardless of whether her studies are done or not, we have some bonding time, where we will watch a movie together, go for a smoothie, do some window shopping, or she will tag along while I run errands.  I choose to allow her to catch up in the evening, since her heart and our relationship is the most important.  If she has remaining work for the day, she will complete it after dinner.

Tuesdays

On Tuesdays, my daughter goes to my sister’s for supervision while I go to work.  Her focus on Tuesdays is Math, Vocabulary, History and Performing Arts.  Because I am working, she has to be pretty self sufficient.  I pick her up at 4PM on Tuesdays and bring her to church, where she does a devotional set in the prayer room. (sings and plays piano) for an hour, then attends youth group.  Any work not complete when she gets home on Tuesday is either finished before bed or carried over until the next day.

Wednesdays and Thursdays

My daughter goes to my sisters for supervision while I go to work.  On these two days, we choose to do school at night.  Her focus on these days vary, and include Math, English, Vocabulary, History, Literature and Science.  She normally almost always has her English done before she comes home, and she works both before and after dinner to complete her work.  On both of these nights I catch up correcting her assignments for Tuesday-Thursday. I find that giving her two days during the week to do school at night works, as she and my sister have the freedom to go out and have fun.  And I can have a better handle on what she’s doing on those days, and be available for questions and assistance.

Fridays

My daughter goes to my sisters for supervision while I go to work.  Her focus is usually Math, English and Vocabulary and almost always has it done before she comes to church in the evening.  If not, she works on the weekend to catch up.

Challenges

The hardest part about working full time and homeschooling is the lack of consistency. Thankfully, my daughter is old enough to be mostly self sufficient.  I could not work full time and homeschool a younger child.  The other challenge I encounter on almost a daily basis is one of attitude and reluctance.  Daughter is not use to mom being teacher, although I’ve been teaching her for her entire life.  She does not like being told what to do, and is not use to the homeschooling environment.  We’ve made great strides, but I am really hoping she will embrace this even more next year.  She is somewhat of a reluctant schooler.  She was making do in school; but now she has mom looking over her shoulder and watching her every move, and not to mention she will be 13 in a few months.

Tips

Flexibility is huge.  If there is an event coming up that my daughter wants to attend, I shuffle things around so that she can go. If I know I am going to have an extremely busy week at work, I may let a few things slip.  Who ever finishes curriculum anyways?

Choosing the right curriculum is key.  We are on our 4th science curriculum so far.  But that’s okay.  It’s important for me to find something my daughter enjoys, but still challenges her.

I am learning not to sweat the small stuff, nor the big stuff.  My life is full, but I believe God has asked me to walk this journey, so I am learning to let go and allow God to pour in His grace, wisdom and strength — oh how I need His strength.

Having fun is good for the heart. I can tend to be somewhat of a control freak, and my daughter, well, she will soon be 13.  So I don’t have to tell you that things can get a little heated when we are both in the same room.  Stepping back, taking a breath and allowing ourselves to laugh and have fun is so important.  Yes I am teacher, and mom, but at this critical age for my daughter, I want her to know that I am also her friend.

 

I am looking forward to next year already, as God has really been speaking to my heart about His plan for my daughter’s schooling.  I have a feeling things will be very different next year. Hopefully, my daughter will come to a place where she enjoys being homeschooled and embrace the benefits of flexibility, which she would hardly have attending public school.

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, hats off to you!

*This post is part of a challenge to blog every weekday in the month of April.  You can read more about it here.

15 Comments

  • Reply
    Dawn St Amand Paoletta
    April 8, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Oh Barbie, you are my real life hero! This post just blessed me beyond belief. First paragraph- I wake my daughter up at 10 AM! Thank you for that. I am still struggling to find the balance with my soon to be 13 year old (October actually) but she is in 7th grade (or was when we pulled her out at her request) – you just affirmed so much for me in this one post. I think I need to print it out and put it in my Home School Binder when I feel alone. I work part time at night – teaching a class, Monday thru Thursday. So not full time…but it’s hard at times since the class is at 6-7:30 at night. I have been feeling overwhelmed to the point I want to quit everything ( I know this is not God’s will) – the job, teaching Sunday School, leading Moms In Prayer, blogging, and let’s not mention the house work! I feel like I am always planning something…anyway…thank you for this. I am going to a big Home School convention at the end of the month. We are also looking for curriculum. THis year I used what was given to me, because it was last minute and God provided. But I am looking forward to picking out her next curriculum- especially Science. She hates the experiments. Also very reluctant to authority…but you said it a ll. The relationship building is key. Thank you so much for this post to start my week!
    Dawn St Amand Paoletta recently posted..Writing to God – 40 Days of Praying With My Pen by Rachel G. Hackenberg (Book Review)

    • Reply
      Barbie
      April 8, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Oh friend, thankful for this timely post for you. It’s been a rough year and frankly, I am thankful it will be over soon. Daughter wants to go back to school, but I know what the Lord put on my heart to “take her under my wing for a season”. This season is not over. I spent some time talking with Lynnette Kraft when I visited her a couple of weeks ago. I am realizing as a private homeschooler, I don’t have to be all crazy about my schedule, or curriculums for that matter. I have more I am learning and hope to post more updates on the homeschooling front soon! Be blessed my friend!

  • Reply
    Linda
    April 8, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Barbie…It sounds like your daughter is very blessed to have such a dedicated mother who allows her to school at home and who adjusts the schedule so that she can feel secure, and content. It is a blessing that she can go to your sister’s house…and have supervision and fun too.

    Lynnette has found such creative ways to homeschool, and it has worked out well for her and for her kids. I wish I could have schooled at home…back in the day! ha!

    I think it is a great way to teach!

    Love, Linda
    Linda recently posted..Six Word Saturday, Gaither’s Concert!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      April 8, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Thanks Linda! Lynnette was a huge inspiration to me while I was there as we talked homeschooling. She gave me lots of good advice. Have a lovely week!

  • Reply
    LyndsD
    April 8, 2013 at 8:01 am

    I love love love this!!! What a blessing you are to your daughter and what a beautiful legacy you are leaving her with!! It works sweetie and it doesn’t matter on the consistency… Your daughter sounds like she is thriving and growing and your are laying such a great foundation. God is leading and that is all that matters. 🙂 🙂 You are doing great momma!!
    LyndsD recently posted..Orphan Mindset or I’m a daughter to the KING?

    • Reply
      Barbie
      April 8, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Thanks so much for your encouragement LyndsD! It’s so appreciated.

  • Reply
    Noreen
    April 8, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Hi Barbie, As you may know, I homeschooled our two daughters from 6-12th grades and loved it. It was such an incredible adventure and the benefits totally outweighed the hard work. Both my daughters now homeschool. Great job to you!
    Have a great week.
    Noreen
    Noreen recently posted..Back Home

    • Reply
      Barbie
      April 8, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Thank you Noreen. Welcome home!

  • Reply
    Kelli
    April 8, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Barbie, you are amazing!! Such an inspiration as always! I am in the middle of transitioning to Classical Conversations. I actually have my first information meeting tonight which I am very nervous about, hence my blog post for today 😉

    • Reply
      Barbie
      April 8, 2013 at 10:10 am

      I haven’t checked into Classical conversations too much. I will have to check into it. I have no doubt that you will do well!

  • Reply
    Missy
    April 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    As a former Elementary School Teacher, I always said that Homeschooling Mamas are my heros! Your daughter has an excellent and praiseworthy model in you. It sounds like you strive to build in margins so that you aren’t always on the go and that is so wise!
    Missy recently posted..What a Weekend!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      April 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Thank you Missy! You’re so encouraging. Have a beautiful day.

  • Reply
    Melanie Wilson @psychowith6
    April 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    It was very interesting reading your schedule, Barbie. I’ll pray your daughter catches the vision for homeschooling! You’re doing a great job balancing all your responsibilities.
    Melanie Wilson @psychowith6 recently posted..Six Steps to Take When You Realize You’re Homeschooling a Child With Special Needs

    • Reply
      Barbie
      April 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Thanks so much Melanie!

  • Reply
    Jenn @ Home is Where You Start From
    April 10, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Barbie, your homeschooling sounds really nice, specially your Mondays- how lovely! I am in awe of moms who work outside the home and homeschool- it takes a special mom and a lot of skills to do it. I agree with the right curriculum, it takes time, sometimes to find what works not only for the student, but also for mom- who might have her own learning/teaching style and her own struggles (raising my hand here). I really enjoyed your post, it was very encouraging. 🙂

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