Welcome to the second installment of our blog series A Day In The Life Of A Homeschooler.

In each installment I will introduce you to a homeschooler and ask them a few questions about a typical day in their homeschool. There are so many different styles and methods of homeschooling, and they are different for each homeschooler. I hope that you enjoy this sneak peek into a few of them!

Meet Bonnie from TheKoalaMom!

Hi! I’m Bonnie Way, a second-generation homeschool mom with five kids ages ten to newborn. I was homeschooled for grades 1 through 12 in Alberta and went on to earn two university degrees. This year, I’m homeschooling my oldest three daughters in grades 4, 3 and K. We follow three different curriculum, so I guess you could call us traditional homeschoolers (book learners!). I appreciate having teacher’s manuals and textbooks to keep us on track. I started homeschooling when my oldest started Grade 1 and we’ve used mostly the same curriculum since then. We live in Vancouver, BC.

Q: Do you have a set schedule that you use each day? Please explain.

Bonnie: Yes, I like to have a routine in place. I don’t say we have to have things done at a certain time, but I try to reserve mornings for school and afternoons for free time or extracurricular activities. We homeschool roughly four days a week.

Q:What does a typical homeschooling day look like for your family?

Bonnie: We wake up around 8ish in the morning (we’re not early birds here!). If the girls are up earlier, then they can read or play quietly until I get up. I’ll shower and get everyone breakfast. Then while I’m making my latte and going over our lesson plans for the day, my oldest two girls do their music practice (one is taking violin and the other piano).

When they are done, I do science and / or history with them, or assign reading to them. They do their language arts workbooks on their own, and my oldest does her math on her own. Sometime during the morning, I’ll do math with my Grade 3 and Kindergarten students. After that, it’s up to them to finish their schoolwork, and I’ll check it.
While they work on school assignments and reading, I check email, blog a bit, do housework, etc. Around noon, they each have one chore (e.g., unload dishwasher, start laundry) to do. I try to keep our extracurricular activities to the early afternoon. This year, they are doing music, skating, swimming, and catechism classes. They are also involved in a few monthly girls’ clubs.

Q: Do you think you’ll stick with your current routine in the future? Why/why not?

Bonnie: I’m always evaluating what’s working for us. I found our third year of homeschooling to be the smoothest. It seemed we’d found a curriculum and a routine that worked well for us. So while I’ve made small tweaks to the routine, it has mostly been the same since we started homeschooling.

I’ve always tried to get school done in the mornings, as it just doesn’t seem to happen if we leave it to the afternoon (or try to do it after being out for the morning). My curriculum has also always followed a four-day week, which gives us a flexible day in our week for errands, extracurricular activities, or catch-up days.
This year, I started having the girls practice music right after breakfast, at the advice of a friend and after seeing that leaving it until the end of the day wasn’t working. So I’ve made little adjustments like that, but overall, our routine works and we’ll probably stick with it.

Q: Do you have any advice for other homeschooling moms?

Bonnie: My husband and I always talk about the “right education choice for the right child at the right time.” I know that homeschooling isn’t the right answer for everyone, but it works for our family. At this time, I can’t imagine doing school any other way with my daughters. I love having them at home with me and knowing what they are learning about and being able to link their education to our everyday life. I love seeing their relationships with each other grow as they spend time together.

At the same time, that doesn’t mean our homeschool always goes perfectly. I have days when the girls don’t want to do their school and complain it’s boring, or days when everyone is grouchy and the house is a mess and I just want to pack them onto the school bus. I think it helps to look at the big picture of life and education. Doing so keeps me on track, because I’m always reassured that even on the hard days, we’ve made the right choice for our daughters at this time.
If you’re going through a rough patch, I’d encourage you to also step back and look at the big picture, and consider what’s the right choice for your child. It doesn’t have to look the same for every child, and it’s certainly not going to look the same for you as it does for your friends. Maybe something in your routine needs to be tweaked; maybe a bigger change needs to be made. Only you know what’s right for your family.

Thanks for getting to know a little more about Bonnie and her homeschool.
Join us again soon to meet another homeschooling mama in our next installment of this blog series, A Day In The Life Of A Homeschooler!