November 29, 2023

Jessica’s Homeschool Day in the Life (with 10-year-old only child) ~
Written by Jessica Waldock from Waldock’s Way

We’ve found that a strict homeschooling schedule doesn’t really work for us. Instead, we have a flexible routine that we follow. This gives our homeschools a loose structure without having to stick to a strict schedule.

Taking a more flexible approach to our homeschool days ensures that we don’t feel rushed and anxious about being “behind” either.

Follow us to see what a day in the life of my homeschool looks like these days!

Jessica’s school day in the life (with a 10-year-old only child)

Before we get into the day-to-day details, here’s some background on our family: My husband and I both work from home, are an only child, and are a family of night owls.

Jessica's homeschool day in the life

Start our homeschool day off right

I’m not an early riser. In fact, no one in my house gets up very early. These days, we all wake up between 9 and 10 in the morning because we tend to stay up late and read or listen to audio books independently.

The beginning of the day slowly moves to breakfast for everyone. After breakfast, Emily will do whatever I pour for her. Breaking things down like this allows me to start the day slowly and gives Emily a chance to learn independently through exploration.

This morning I went out on winter construction work for Emily. These activities fit nicely into our winter study and encourage her to think creatively before we start formal lessons. If you are looking for winter sprinkle ideas for your homeschool, check out mine Winter sprinkling and print ideas.

While Emily is busy throwing things around (or doing some other activity independently if she doesn’t care what I spilled in the morning), I can engage in healthy physical activity. This is when I’m working on lifting weights or doing other exercises. Then we all go for a walk together as a family.

We end the morning routine with some chores like making the bed, feeding the cat and doing the laundry. This is also the time when we can shower and get ready for the day.

Educational lunches in our home school

Once we finish our work, it is usually lunch time. Lately, Emily has been a big fan of the snack-style lunch. I prepare lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods for her to grab whenever she feels like “snacking” during the day.

Making healthy snacks like these helps ensure our homeschooler can always grab something to eat when she’s hungry without disrupting the school day.

Then we have a class lunch. This time is so important to me because it is a space during the day where I can do the things I need to do, relax, talk on the phone or do something for myself. Meanwhile, Emily continues to learn with a great documentary, podcast, or audiobook at lunch.

There are so many great documentaries, podcasts, and audiobooks to enjoy while she eats. Recheck our favorite documentaries and best podcasts to help you get ideas for your homeschoolers too.

Our homeschool routine

Our homeschool routine is very flexible and interest based. After lunch we will start our lessons, including work from any unit study we are currently doing together. You’ll find us enjoying reading aloud this winter books and activities in our Wilson Bentley Unit Study all about snowflakes.

I don’t always know all the activities and lessons we will cover in a day. It is because I try to give grace to all of us when we are at home. Because it’s flexible, we can roll with it and not get stuck when we don’t get all the things on the list done.

Sometime during the afternoon, Emily engages in a fun activity or STEAM lesson with her dad, Kevin. Today they make artificial snow using a fun science experiment with a chemical reaction.

Our evening routine

Once Emily finishes her more structured activities, we will go our separate ways. This is the time when Emily can have free time to do whatever she wants. This is also usually the point in the day when I do my work.

Then it’s time for dinner. Emily sets the table while we prepare the food. We all enjoy a family meal together.

After dinner we start our favorite part of the day: time spent with family. Normally it looks like we play games together, but we can also watch a show or movie together. When we have a family game night, we each pick a game and we all play it together.

After homeschooling and family time, everyone is ready to wind down for the night. Around ten o’clock we do the last of the housework and start our bedtime routine.

Jessica's homeschool day in the life

Our bedtime routine

Our bedtime routine looks a little different now than it did when Emily was younger. We have a bedtime basket routine (similar to a morning basket) that we use to calm and bond before bed.

To learn more about using a bedtime basket in our homeschool and to get ideas for your own bedtime basket, check out our basket before bed.

This routine is shorter because Emily often reads or listens to an audiobook by herself when we finish our bedtime basket. Then Kevin and I spend time together watching a movie or reading books and enjoying tea before bed.

Lately, I’ve been using this time to read for my own entertainment. It’s another way I deal with it self care as a homeschool mom.

Our homeschool works for our family and we have found that flexibility is key.

Flexibility in terms of the number of assignments we complete each day, as well as start and end times, has been a really important part of making our homeschool sustainable and filled with learning opportunities for our whole family.

What does your own homeschool look like? I’d also love to read about a day in your homeschool life, so be sure to share your own homeschool routines and adventures in the comments.

How the days changed:

Jessica's homeschool day in the life

What is your personality as a homeschool mom? Take Jamie’s quiz now and get a free personality report to help you organize your homeschool based on what your personality type needs most!

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