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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.