I don’t know about you, but I really like “day in the life” blog posts and videos. I’m not only encouraged by the real day-to-day events and challenges that others face, but I’m also able to glean ideas to add to or alter what I already do.
Since I’m a homeschooling/work at home mama with four kiddos, and there are a lot more homeschoolers this year than there were last year, I thought it might be helpful for me to post my own “day in the life” post. Maybe some mamas can be encouraged by what I do and get some ideas, and in turn leave comments and let me know what you do!
In case you’re new around here, I’m a homeschooling mom of four young children and a Christian mom blogger. My husband works at a school, so it’s me managing the day with our kiddos. The “work at home” aspect of what I do is managing and creating content/products for this blog and my online store, The Mom Life Shop.
Back when I just had two kiddos and didn’t have a business, before they were even old enough to do more involved homeschooling, I didn’t have to have such detailed home systems and routines as I do now.
I could get away with that, obviously, because I wasn’t nearly as busy as I am now. However, because I have four children, homeschool, and run a business, it’s a must for me to run my home with lots of strategy, processes, grace, and self-discipline (with God’s help!). I talk more about this in The Busy Mom’s Guide to Daily Routines.
Currently, I’m transitioning my habits to get to bed even earlier and be able to be up at 5 am. That means I have to be asleep by 10 pm, which means I have to be in bed in the 9 o’clock hour, which means I have to shut my mind off from processing anything else by 9 pm.
Here’s what a day in my life as a homeschooling/work at home mom looks like:
6 am: Up. Bathroom, drink a large cup of water, start the Keurig (I drink Super Coffee-it’s the only coffee that really works for me). Spend time in prayer and worship. Then personal hygiene and mentally prepare for the day.
7:30-11:30: Morning session. During this time, the children do their personal hygiene, we have breakfast, and then we worship/pray together. At some point, either after prayer or during breakfast, I’ll read the Bible to them. I then do academic lessons (which I’ve planned Sunday evening), and then I’ll often inspire play by arranging some of their toys a certain way, or I’ll put some paper and crayons on the table, or a couple things of play-doh and a few tools.
I’ve added something new to my schedule I call chore sprinkling. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to make our homeschool schedule as true to real life as possible, and in doing so, I realized that while I appreciate us having a daily flow where certain things happen at certain times, I also enjoy doing small tasks here and there between (or even in the midst of) larger ones.
For instance, before I ring the homeschool bell, I’ll quickly throw a load of laundry in the washer and tidy up any laundry that may be waiting for me on our bedroom couch. As my kids are busily occupied with schoolwork, I may quickly switch the clothes to the dryer, or clean off the kitchen counter, or sweep the floor.
Also, we’re currently transitioning into a Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling, and I’m still working on internalizing her philosophy. This affects our daily homeschool schedule because I need to allot myself time to study, which I do during quiet time.
*Side note: if you don’t already, I highly recommend for you to make time for yourself to study a little every day on topics related to what you do all day (homeschooling, parenting, etc). It will really help you make the healthy and necessary adjustments for your home life!
9:00: academics. This is part of a circular system, meaning I’ve created a full-functioning system to make sure academics can run smoothly in our home.
What that means is that I have not only the event (academics) as part of our daily routine, but I also have a set time during the day to check their schoolwork (during their tv time), a time to make lesson plans (Saturday evening), and a time to check on what they need and order/buy things (Saturday evening).
Using circular systems like this ensures that I have what I need when I need it to keep this part of the day from being sloppy and unproductive.
11:00 (or so): head to the park or play in the back yard. It’s super important to me that my kids be outside for a good amount of time during the day. Not only for the vitamin D3, but to be active and enjoy nature!
12:30: lunch time. I use my meal planning printables and try to keep lunch as simple as possible. We usually do a lot of quesadillas, salads, grapes, apple slices, grilled cheese sandwiches, leftovers, baby carrots, steamed peas, baked chicken strips, baked sweet potato fries, etc.
After lunch, it’s quiet time for 60 minutes. At this time, my youngest child will go down for a nap and I will put the microwave timer on for 60 mins. The others know that they need to be in their rooms playing quietly or resting. My older girls will do some reading/writing at this time as well.
During their quiet time, I will rest my mind and do some more Bible reading.
2:00: Chores. I’ve created a daily chores schedule to streamline this process.
In our home, my older girls have both paid and unpaid chores. They can earn $1/day doing their paid chores, which consists of things like wiping down the baseboards, washing windows, wiping windowsills, wiping down cabinets, and washing doors.
Their unpaid chores are things like cleaning/organizing their own room, putting away laundry, cleaning their bathroom, and helping with dishes and meal cleanup.
Their unpaid chores are things I will most likely never get around to, but I pay my girls to do them so I can both make sure they get done AND teach them how to manage money. Both of them know, even at 8 and 9 years old, how to portion out their money where they give the first portion of what they earn to the Lord, put some in savings, and keep some to spend.
During this time, I will also work on chores. I’ll fold laundry, take care of my master to do list, and deep clean/tidy. For more on my personal home management system, check out The Busy Mom’s Simple Guide to Home Management.
After my kids finish their chores, they are free to either play or work on skills. Currently, my kids use YouTube to learn and hone their skills in things like crochet, drawing/sketching, sewing, ballet, etc.
3:30: Snack and show time. I give them a simple, healthy snack (think apples and peanut butter, popcorn, or cheese sticks) and they can watch anything from PBS, Right Now Media, or Curiosity Stream. During this time, I check my kids schoolwork, write in their planners for the next day’s schoolwork, and take care of what I call “personal admin” (texts, voicemails, emails, etc). For more on this, check out The Busy Mom’s Simple Guide to Home Management.
4:30: Start dinner. I like to have my older girls help. My husband gets home at this time, so this is the end of me doing the day by myself 🙂
5:30: Family dinner. After we eat dinner together, we clean up, so the kitchen is usually cleaned pretty early.
Free time/family prayer. We don’t have a set time for this, but this is usually sometime before bed. Wednesday evenings, we leave soon after dinner to church.
6:30: bedtime routines. Hygiene, teeth brushing, reading books, tucking in. And inevitably, sending kids back to bed when they get out.
7:00-9:00: personal time/time with the hubs. This is where I usually spend some time on the blog, reading, praying, Instagram/Facebook, stretching, etc.
9:00-10:00: I try to be in bed early so I can get up early. My husband and I will spend some time together and sometimes watch part of a movie. Then I’ll do some night time hygiene and head to bed!
On Wednesdays, all of my kids go to a mother’s day out program at a local church. That’s the day I spend the most time on my blog. Likewise, I blog in the evenings and in spurts on the weekend.
On Friday evenings, I don’t cook-we usually get food from somewhere like Chipotle or order pizza. From Friday evening to Saturday evening, we try to have a Sabbath where we don’t do anything but rest and maybe a bit of yard work. I’m currently working on honing our systems and routines even more so we can fully enjoy our Sabbath.
Sunday, we go to church in the morning, and in the evening, I plan our meals and try to shop and stock our fridge/pantry. Sometimes I’ll just order groceries from Walmart.com or another store and pick them up Monday.
So this is it! I know some may think, how boring to follow the same routine every day. Don’t you want to switch it up? Be more, you know, sporadic and spontaneous?
To which I would answer, yes and no. Yes, I plan on scheduling a day a month or so for a homeschool field trip, and we spend a lot more family time during holidays when my husband is off.
But to be perfectly honest, every day used to be sporadic and at a certain point, it started not working (like when we added more kids). I’m not a person who tends to work well when everything is happening randomly and I love me some systems.
I’ve learned that if I want my priorities to be real in my life and make sure the things that need to get done are taken care of, then I must have solid, realistic systems and routines.
So this is a typical day in my life for the season of life that I’m in. Are you a work at home/homeschool mom? I’d love to hear what’s working for you!