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Everest Academy is a ministry of Everest Family Church in Hayden. We offer freedom along with quality resources, information, activities and support to those homeschooling in Alabama. We believe that the parent has the best interests of their children at heart. We believe that the parent is the first and only teacher that a child needs. In keeping with this philosophy, we wish to be a very hands-off church "cover" school and allow the parent to lead and guide their children in the direction and at the pace they feel is best suited to their children. We ask only for what the law requires while offering support along with quality resources to aid families in their efforts.

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler

Hey Homeschoolers! I am working on making a resource for new homeschoolers where they ask the questions and veteran homeschoolers give the answers. My goal is to provide advice, resources, and most of all to show that there is more than one way of doing things. 

Please contact me with your answer to the following question. I have already included answers that folks sent me on Facebook. Please let me know if you do not want me to include your name in the posting. Please give as much info as possible including links, details, explanations, etc... I will add your answers to this page so that new homeschoolers will have a resource to refer back to again and again.

You can contact me at everestacademy1@gmail.com with your questions and answers.   Please put "Blog Challenge" in the subject line.  

Deb Spradlin
Everest Academy Administrator

Question:  Many people want to know what a day of homeschooling is like. Please tell us what a typical homeschooling day is in your family. 

*Mechanics class with dad where the boys learned how to change the oil in their dirt bikes.  We also had carpentry lessons when we built our chicken coop by hand.  The boys worked hard with their daddy to build our chicken coop. They learned about measuring and angles, how to use power tools, and actually helped brain-storm for ideas on how to solve problems.

*Today was dissection day! This year we are studying marine biology. Our co-op class met at our house for the afternoon. We dissected, watched some video, saw Christmas Island crabs on you tube and played a game to review all we've learned this year. Third grade science was NEVER this much fun!

*Our school varies from day to day and from season to season. Two things are consistent though: Science taking over the house and reading.

*I like to have a theme of the week. We usually start the day off with chores and breakfast, then move on to "school time" when the boys have math and directed reading. This picture was from our foods of the world week. We like to make lunch themed as well at least once a week. Latkes are yummy!  Our afternoons are full of movement. I try to make sure that we spend at least an hour a day moving, either by playing tennis, taking a nature walk, going on a field trip, or even making our chores into something fun and exhausting.  Late afternoons are another short clean up time and free time. Usually the boys will play Wii games for an hour, then play with the dog and each other in their "fort" out back. We keep things pretty simple and free flowing around here.

*My son is totally into weaponry. He has researched weaponry from all of the American wars leading to a love of history. He was also VERY into Legos. I say run with it.

*We have typical days and some not so typical. For the most part we start school at 10 am after everyone is awake and had breakfast. We turn off the tv and anything distracting. We usually do Math first because it gets them focused, then on to History or Science.  We do spelling all day long even when we aren't schooling! From time to time we do Art and Writing but I don't make those a daily course. Reading is a must for at least an hour, but usually they go over because they enjoy reading! We do enjoy the more hands on learning so I try to play lots of games or go places that we can explore more into what we are studying. I try to let the kids pick what we are learning that week and not just go chapter to chapter in the books because it seems to help them focus when it is something they like to learn about :) We aren't your typical school day but it works for us!

*As you might guess, a typical homeschooling day in the Taylor house is anything but typical. Sure, we have those days when it seems like we're just schooling at home, but for the most part, no two days are the same. I have three kids ranging from third-grade to high school. During the summer before a school year starts, we decide on what each kid is going to study for the next school year. Typically, we study five or six subjects each school year. The math and language families are always included in those subjects, but the kids generally get a lot of say in the other subjects, bearing in mind that my oldest's need to line up with his diploma requirements. So, after we decide what we're going to do, the next step is to find a plan, or a lack thereof, to implement it.

This brings me to a typical day. For the sake of honesty, I'm going to use a typical day from last year so that I can resist the urge to tell you next year will be perfect. We generally school Monday through Friday. Chandler, my oldest, usually gets up first and that gives us a chance to talk about anything he's having trouble with, usually Algebra. We tend to work on that together until the other two kids decide to crawl out of bed. We don't have set bedtimes in our house, unless I have issues getting my kids up when I want them up, so if Chandler gets up at 7:30 on his own, that generally gives us an hour and a half of uninterrupted time to work on his most difficult subject. My schedule pretty much ends right there. Yep, you read that right. By 9:00 in the morning, my structure is, for all intents and purposes, complete.

After we've crossed Algebra off of our mental list of things to do, a general flurry of activity takes place with no rhyme or reason. Kimbre and Connor do a lot of their school work together and so a 'typical' day might look like this: Bre offers to play I-civics with Connor for half an hour while Chandler and I get into a discussion about the politics we watched the afternoon before on television. Then, Connor might declare a family Freerice competition in which we'll all grab a lap-top and see who can earn the most pieces of rice in a set amount of time. Bre Elise will inevitably offer to write someone a letter or find a recipe for dinner while Connor drudges through a penmanship page that I've made for him. Chandler will, if I haven't hidden it from him, study Latin to the detriment of every other academic subject. Following the Shurley Grammar method, we'll all at some point end up at the kitchen table classifying sentences for a while and Kimbre almost always volunteers to teach Connor his math. Connor will bring me a science book and ask me to read out loud. Chandler will study soil amendment  hydrogen fuel cells, survival skills, or some other scientific phenomena on the computer. After Algebra, the only thing that ties us to a schedule is that we watch a few shows together everyday. Little House on the Prairie is a favorite, as well as the Glenn Beck show, Drive-thru-History, and the Creation Series. Everyday also requires a hefty trip to the vegetable garden and ends with family chores and cooking dinner. An hour before bedtime is set aside each weeknight throughout the year for reading. This is generally the flow of the day. Sometimes the subjects, or at least the methods change, but we pretty much operate this way. I find myself struggling to keep up with them, but for us, this works much better than a schedule taped to the refrigerator. Not only do they tend to get more done, they enjoy it.

It might be important to know that my kids get a weekly list of things I'd like them to accomplish. They use this list to build their own days, so to speak. The lists I give them add up to well more than a year's study of each subject we are working on that year. I would say that Chandler, the oldest, has the most structure while the youngest has the least. My kids, as you would imagine, have their individual strengths and weaknesses, but overall, I'm confident in saying that they are good students, they enjoy learning and they won't struggle their way through college. 

*I would like to say that our home school runs smoothly every day, but that would be stretching the truth a bit. It is many hours of patience, work, and fun. Now that we are in our 6th year of homeschooling, I have a system that works fairly well for us. I have 3 sons ages 10, 11, and 2. During the school year, (summer is a totally different schedule), my older boys start their chores about 6:00 a.m. They clean their rooms, gather the laundry, sort it and begin a load. We eat breakfast around 6:45 and start school about 7:00. From 7:00 -9:00, we have textbook school. This is generally our science or history time, subjects that involve a lot of discussing. At 9:00, the toddler awakens and my older boys are on their own with school work. They usually take a recess break for about 30 minutes and then come in for a snack. Around 10:00a.m., the boys get back to school work and I help them while I’m cleaning toddler messes, cooking, doing preschool activities etc. Generally, from 10-12, school is done lightly. These hours are reserved primarily for preschool learning and interaction. We all help with that.

From 1:30-3:00, during the toddler’s nap time, the older boys read, draw, or do quiet activities in their room or outside. Around 4:30, we finish up chores and start supper. After the dinner dishes are put away and the kitchen is cleaned, we may have family night and play a board game or cards. We go over any problems they may have had with school work. We have devotion and prayer time and the kids usually go to bed about 8:00 PM.

I don’t think we have a regular routine during the summer. The month of June was filled with VBS, a Growing Roots Workshop at Camp McDowell, which was awesome, library programs, a few swimming days, and a weekend camping trip at the lake. July is going to be garden month. During the past week, we have shucked corn, snapped green beans and pealed peas. My fridge is so full of garden veggies; I have no room for anything else. We will be freezing and canning vegetables this month.

We read a lot during the summer, do some history and science, and play more video games than we would during the regular school season. 

In addition to school work, the boys are involved in soccer, basketball, and baseball. We have piano, AWANA’s, skate days, and Froggy’s. 

Homeschooling is a very full, fun, and exciting life. We love it and feel blessed to have this opportunity.

*We're pretty laid back in my house when it comes to what time school starts. I usually get up around 6 in the morning to spend time with hubby before he goes to work. My 14 year old son usually gets up around 8am. He does his morning hygiene ritual, has breakfast then sits down at the computer so he can do the days work. We use the SOS program and on most days it takes him about 1.5 hours to complete all his computer subjects. Those subjects are Algebra, World Geography, Chemistry, English 1, High School Health, and Computer Business. At around 10am I wake my 13 year old up so she can start her day. It takes her about 1.5 hours to complete all her computer classes which include; Algebra, History, Science, Language, Constitution, & High School Health. Once her school work is done she does her daily chores, we have lunch together as a family, they have around 30 minutes to goof off. Around 1pm we all sit down and read our books for a while. After we read it's time for Art, Music, and son takes accounting after these are over. By 2:30pm all computer and book work is over so we get in our physical education in several different ways; bike riding, swimming, playing on the trampoline, trail walking, hopping on the elliptical machine or just turning on some good music and dancing until we're tired. Depending on the day depends on the events that are scheduled that evening. The kids take part in Girl Scouts, Guitar lessons, Riding (equestrian), youth programs with our church, skating/bowling with the church, or just going out side to interact with their friends in the neighborhood. Our learning doesn't stop when the weekend comes. Each weekend we take the kids to different places to learn different things. This past weekend we went to Blue Springs State park to swim ... they learned about the natural springs that they swam in, the indigenous fish of the area,George Wallace who was born in this town and they learned that this area was famous for Moonshine. I know we don't run our school like other families, but it works for us perfectly and that's what's important.