As a homeschool mum, my lifestyle is probably quite different to most people’s. I spend all my time with my children, I do not have to do the school run and I have a house full of educational books and resources. You may be wondering how I do it. What is it like to have the children at home all day? How do I plan lessons and teach them? Do my children socialise with other children? I hope this article will answer some of your questions and give you an insight into the day to day life of a homeschooling family.
7 am – Wake up and breakfast
Although my children do not go to school, they do wake up quite early. They are normally up around 7 am and we head downstairs to eat breakfast together. If my toddler wakes up earlier than the other children, I often read books to him on the sofa before the others get up.
After breakfast, the children will go off and play while I clean up the breakfast things and put on a load of laundry. Sometimes we do some baking for our mid-morning snack. Then I make sure all the learning resources are ready as the children are getting dressed.
9 am – Maths and English
Once we are all dressed, it is time for reading, writing and maths. I listen to each child reading from their reading scheme books. We use the Keywords with Peter and Jane books for reading. After this they do some writing practise using their spelling textbooks.
For maths, we use the online curriculum, Conquer Maths, or do some worksheets or activities I set up for them to practise certain mathematical concepts.
I will usually set up an activity for my toddler to do to keep him occupied while the older children are doing their morning lessons. After I have listened to the children read individually, I can often spend time with my toddler while the older ones get on with their maths and writing by themselves, though I am available to help them if necessary.
10 am – Snack time
We have a break at around 10 am for a mid-morning snack. This usually consists of fruit, nuts, rice cakes or crackers. If we have had time to bake something we will eat cake or cookies! I will often read to the children over snack time from a chapter book. At the moment we are reading ‘The Secret Garden’ which we are all enjoying a lot.
10.30 – Foreign language practise
After our snack time we often spend some time learning our foreign languages. We are a bilingual family and speak English and Turkish at home. However, we still do have to spend time learning Turkish as English is the children’s dominant language. Also, we learn Arabic as a foreign language so we spend time in the morning practising letters, words and short phrases.
I like to make language learning fun for the children. We use a wide range of resources including books, flashcards and computer programs and also do lots of arts and crafts related to language learning.
11 am – other subjects
From 11 am until lunchtime we work on other subjects. We will do one subject per day, either History, Geography, Science or Nature Studies. A lot of our work on these subjects involves arts and crafts so I do not schedule art in as a subject on its own.
At the moment we are following a nature curriculum called ‘Exploring Nature With Children’ which I love because it covers a variety of subjects such as science, nature studies, English (both writing and poetry) and art. We may spend 2 or 3 days a week covering this curriculum.
For history we use the ‘Story of the World’ curriculum which I really like as it follows a timeline starting from the Stone Age and gives lots of fun activities to complement the learning.
12/12.30 – Lunch followed by afternoon out
We usually have quite an early lunch as we head out to organised home education activities in the afternoon. The children attend lots of groups and activities with other home educated children. At the moment they go to Forest School, a weekly project group, drama and trampolining. We also try to meet up with the other Muslim home educated children once a week or fortnight.
4/5 pm – Free time
After we come back from our afternoon activities, the children will be free to do what they like while I am cooking dinner. Sometimes they watch TV and other times they will head into the garden to play, play with their toys or look at some books.
6pm – Dinner
We often eat dinner around 6 pm though this can vary depending on the children’s evening activities.
On some evenings during the week they have classes to go to. They both have swimming lessons, my son goes to football class and my daughter goes to Brownies. They have asked to start extra classes this year so I am arranging these at the moment.
7 pm – Get ready for bed
At 7 pm it is time to head upstairs to get ready for bed. Once they are in their pyjamas we all sit together for bedtime stories. They choose a couple of books for me to read to them. Then they are in bed by 8/8.30 pm.
9 pm – Blogging and planning
After the children are in bed, I head downstairs to start my evening work. This consists of planning for the next homeschool day and getting resources ready. As I am a blogger, I also use my time in the evening to write blog posts, catch up on emails and work on my social media accounts. I also try to read some books. I rarely have time to watch TV!
Weekend language schools
The children both go to language schools at the weekend, therefore, we often have a day or two off during the week. The great thing about homeschooling is it is so flexible meaning we do not have to stick to the normal school week of Monday to Friday. Normally we have Mondays off as my husband has a day off so we can go out together on family day trips.
The children go to Arabic school on Saturdays and Turkish school on Sundays. This is a vital part of their language learning as it enables them to interact with adults who speak the language as well as socialise with other children who are learning the language.
I hope you have found this article interesting and informative. If you have any questions please get in touch and I will try and answer them in my regular live Q and A videos on Facebook.
Ronni is a Speech and Language Therapist specialising in bilingualism. She lives in the South West of England with her Turkish Kurd husband and their three young children. They are a multilingual family, speaking English and Turkish at home and learning Arabic as a third language. Ronni shares information about her multicultural family life on her blog, Multicultural Motherhood, where she writes articles about homeschooling, bilingualism and speech and language issues. She can also be found on social media.