Monday, August 22, 2011

Here We Go Again

It’s official. Today starts our 10th year of homeschooling.

I got my students up around 7:00. When they were all gathered around snuggled in blankets and ready for devotions. I asked them if they would like to go out for breakfast or if they would rather pick up doughnuts and bring them back home. They chose doughnuts. Which was fine by me.  I can’t argue against cheaper and easier!

We spent half an hour in devotional and prayer time


189   the finished chalkboard


and then we went to town for those doughnuts.  At home glasses of milk were poured and then the feeding frenzy began.

After breakfast our day took flight.

Nine full years of homeschooling has provided for a pretty solid routine. I don’t sway from it much.  The wonderful thing about it is I don’t have to remind the boys what is expected of them!  After our sugar laden, non-nutritional breakfast the boys just jumped in to the routine like we had never stopped. 

Chores inside and out, personal Bible time, Piano playing, and Teeth brushing (all this is required through the summer break also) Check, Check, Check.  All was accomplished and we started school right on time at 9:00 AM.

Each boy grabbed his books, no prompting from me and settled into their Monday morning work.  I would explain our school schedule in detail, but I’m sure I would lose half of my readers after the first paragraph or two.  Let me just say that we do  things a bit differently with the younger two boys.  We combine several of their subjects and they do a weeks worth on Monday and Tuesday.  The remaining subjects they do a weeks worth of on Wednesday and Thursday.  A few things like spelling and reading are done daily.  But, if they get every thing accomplished in those four days they get Friday off.  It is a great incentive!  My oldest does not care for this type of schedule and follows a more typical one.



Lots of brain power was used and some serious scratching of pencils could be heard. There were a few distractions and a lot of, “Mom, can you…?”  I did notice I need to re-iterate that I am only one person teaching 4 different grade levels.  I can’t be at everyone’s side at the same time!  When things got a bit harried I had Lauren play near by with a basket of toys and I focused on what the boys needed.



By 11:30 everyone was finished with what was required of them individually.

Lunch was served and then Joel took over lessons!



Our propane tank needed paint BAD. Joel had the boys scrape it and paint it.  Middle boy, being the conservative that he is thought he would squeeze the paint out of the sponge brush he was using because it was too full.  He ran to the faucet to rinse off the paint only to find that it wouldn’t come off.  Joel teasingly told him it would take a couple of years to come off.  Poor guy!  He thought his dad was serious and that he would have to walk around with silver hands.



Eventually we convinced him we could get if off and he went to work.

After their afternoon of “learning” to clean the pool, and really learning to paint the propane tank, and cleaning out the rabbit barn.  They were in my realm again.  The younger boys and I sat down and read our history and science books together.  And before I knew it the day had skipped away.

That’s how these school days go.  Packed with learning all day through.  Books, projects, writing, major learning of intellectual knowledge going on in the mornings and life lessons and work ethic in the afternoon.  It’s how we roll around here!






And if you have a moment head over to At The Well for my latest article on Reflections on the Home.



  1. Sounds like a great first day! Hope you have a great 10th year!

  2. I really like your schedule! That Fridays off incentive would really have worked for me! I think they should do that for adults with their careers, too! People would be a lot more productive! :o)

  3. Sounds awesome, Jenn, and I'm diggin' the doughnut tradition. You can't go wrong with a Krispy Rreme. In the words of a wise man, "I don't care if you can't spell Crispy and you can't spell Cream, those folks at Krispy Kreme are doing some good work over there."
    Wise(crack) man being Tim Hawkins :)
    Have a great week!!

  4. I love it! Get the book work out of the way and onto the life lessons! Sounds perfect!

  5. We start next week! I pray you and your family have a blessed year:)

  6. Sounds like a good and productive first day! Love you guys! And I love the way your chalkboard turned out!

  7. We start our co-op tomorrow, but I'm not quite ready to start Sonlight this week, so instead of stressing out and trying to get it all done we are going to start either next week or after Labor Day. Love your routine. Wish I could borrow you for a few weeks to get me into a groove. So glad you have walked this path before me. Thanks for all your great advice!

  8. Jenn, you have no idea how much I admire you for how organized you are! I'm sure I told you before, but my mom taught the 5 of us at home, all the way through, and it is NOT an easy job. :)

    I have not completely ruled out teaching Savannah at home, but for now she started kindergarten yesterday at an awesome Christian school down the street. She was SO excited. I was excited for her, but, man, I miss that girl. Kinda made me re-think the homeschool option. :)

  9. it's real good.
    real good.

    all of it. the school, the donuts, the chalkboard!

    love the first day snapshots!

  10. Thanks for your thoughtful phone call this morning...that meant alot to me.

    Wishing you a school year of great delight... sounds like you've got it all down pat. ;)

  11. Wow. I'm so impressed, Jenn. You WILL have an awesome 10th year!

  12. I need to remind myself of the quote that is on your chalkboard from time to time. I am doing a subject a day to. This is only my 2nd real year of homeschooling. I would say 3 because I started in Pre-K but it was nothing to structured so I don't really count that. I tried the a few subjects a day part of last year and then switched to one subject a day. I love it. I am hoping to get a better routine this year. We are starting next Monday because their Dad started college back yesterday. Don't want to many changes at once. :)

  13. I love it when you find a schedule that works! We found ours a year and a half ago, and now that we're used to it, Day 1 just fell right into place. It was wonderful! Hope you have a wonderfully blessed 2011-12 year of homeschool!

  14. this made me smile with the memories, as
    i had a similar schedule. i called it calculated
    chaos. i was very thin in those days. :)
    thin and happy.

    now my kids tease me about all the things
    i made them do. my theory is they only
    tease about what they secrectly liked. it
    keeps me happy.

    way to go, mom!

  15. Love the chalk board and the schedule!
    Ours is not traditional for us though. Maybe when i have time I will post it soon. That is if I can quit hyperventilating over advanced biology and early American literature!

  16. nice blog u have. i am ur new follower

  17. I enjoyed *peeking* into your day Jenn. You write so engagingly. And the photos...well, you know what I think of those. :)

    Happy Start of the Year to you!


  18. thanks for sharing :)


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