Monday, August 9, 2010

Our Actual First Day of School

I took notes today as we had our first day of school. My plan was to use those notes to see how long each subject took, where we could be more efficient with our time, and how I could arrange our day differently.

Now that I have looked back over my notes from today, I have decided to share my day. Our actual first day of school--so you can see what a real homeschooling day can look like.

5:10: I woke up, drank coffee, read my Bible, fixed Jimmy's lunch, showered and dressed for the day, and started a load of laundry.

6:30: I checked to see if the older girls were awake (they were: Olivia just getting up and Julie had been up since 6:00) They read their Bibles and did morning chores, dress, had breakfast. I cooked breakfast.

7:00: I woke up Clay. He did the same things as the girls. I set a deadline of 8:00 for everyone to be at the kitchen table, ready to begin our Bible lesson.

Can't remember what time Leah and Sam woke up, but it was in time for them to watch a Little Bear episode and do their chores.

8:10: We began our Bible lesson.

8:45: Olivia, Julie, and Clay did schoolwork independently, I did Leah's school with her, and Sam played with 3 preschool activities on the schoolroom floor. Sam also climbed all over me and drug out tons of Little People toys, and Julie and Clay both had to stop me for questions about 10 times. Both of them also finished all that they could do alone before I was finished with Leah, so Julie made homemade bread, and Clay took Sam outside to play.

10:00: Now finished with all of Leah's school except for Sonlight read alouds. Began her read alouds.

10:20: Finished with Leah's read alouds. Total school time for Leah=1.5 hours.
Snack break for everyone. I also transferred the laundry to the dryer.

10:50: Sonlight read alouds for Julie and Clay. We also did their Sonlight language arts activities during this time, as well as the timeline and markable map. Leah played around, Sam played some with the Little People and then sat in my lap and fell asleep while I was reading.

12:30: Lunch break. I tried to lay Sam down in my bed, but he woke up. He watched another episode of Little Bear (I know, too much TV for one day, but some days it happens!). I also know that I have still not done preschool with Sam yet! Our lunch break lasts one hour. That is longer than usual, but we all seemed to enjoy the break.

1:30: School with Clay. Olivia has been working independently all day. She has the occasional question, but so far is managing alone. Julie is still cooking! Leah is playing. I'm not sure what Sam is doing.

2:10: Through with Clay's school. Go over Julie's schoolwork for the day with her.

2:20: Meet with Olivia to review her day's schoolwork. I discovered that she did not know about her questions to answer after her history lesson. She works them now.

2:30: The children have all vanished, and I clean up the schoolroom. At some point during the day Sam has gotten out a lot of Little People.

2:55: I find Sam, and we do preschool. It takes 15 minutes!

3:10: Read aloud to Leah and Sam.

3:30: Help Julie with her homemade bread, read email, do some paperwork and phone calls for the Spartans (homeschool cross country team). This "office work" wouldn't have taken so long if I had not been interrupted 14 times. Ate some of Julie's delicious bread.

4:40: Started supper--pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, black-eyed peas, and sliced tomatoes. Cleaned the kitchen (partly). Sweet Julie is ironing for me!

5:15: Fold all the children's clean clothes. Julie folds all of the towels and sheets.

5:30: Clean the kitchen some more, check on supper.

5:45: Call all children to do afternoon chores. Help Leah and Sam do their chores. Cleaned boys' bathroom. Finished supper.

7:00 Jimmy comes home. We all eat supper and enjoy lively dinner conversation. I ask all the children to share something that they learned today.

7:40: I clean the kitchen while Jimmy and all 5 children do some cleaning in the barn.

7:55: Fold the last two loads of clothes and put them away.

8:30: All of the children are back inside. They bathe and get ready for bed. I read to Leah and Sam in Sam's bed. We are joined by all of the other kids....4 kids plus me in Sam's twin bed and one child on the floor. After reading our nightly Bible story, I read 3 chapters of a Junie B. Jones book (I know! Quality children's literature! But, if you have ever read Junie B., you have to admit that she is hilarious!).

9:30: All children are in bed! I prepare for bed myself--with my laptop.

A Few Things to Differently Tomorrow:
  • do preschool with Sam immediately after the Bible lesson
  • have Leah's math, handwriting, and phonics pages ready for her to work on independently while I am doing preschool with Sam
  • make Sam clean up the schoolroom before he escapes
I also plan to take notes again. I wrote down the actual time it took to help each child with each subject while I was working with them. I think I can ease us into a predictable routine after a few days of taking notes.

How was your day?


  1. I got tired just reading everything you did! We aren't starting school until Thursday.

  2. I just love your blog, you have such an organized home, and it encourages me. I love hearing how your children spend time together and help so much around the home... I am going to read your archives and look for ideas to help implement more responsibility in our home:-)

  3. Looks like you accomplished a lot! I have preschool with Sariah before the others also. It makes her settle down a little more but we are still working on getting her to do her chores. That's another story! lol

  4. You got it all done!! See, you really are superwoman! We're waiting to get in our groove when we get home from vacation. I love your blow by blow notes from the first official day. I think I'll do that, too.

    Thank you for sharing! I have one question. If you got up at 5 in the morning, why didn't you squeeze in a run?


  5. Now, if I remember made fun of me for loving Junie B. Hmmmm. :) Glad you had such a productive day!

  6. Roan,
    Thank you for your comment and encouragement. I'm a complete WRECK, worse then post partum I think or just as bad. I don't think I have your phone number. Maybe it's in the book. You have a full day and I don't want to interfer with it! I am working all night tonight and I have to take Carson for his weekly allergy shot tomorrow and to see Dr. Oswalt at 1:45. Then we have church at 6. We leave Friday for Atlanta. If I don't call you tomorrow, I'll try to call you on Thursday. If not, call me or email me 869-3544 or