What Our Homeschool Day Looks like

What Our Homeschool Day Looks like
I believe any form of schooling/education can work  and produce good individuals. There isn’t one right way for everyone, and it doesn’t matter how much we shelter or how much freedom we give to our children, they will still make their own decisions. Success in parenting is: having a relationship with our children and that our children know how to make a decision.
I’m more of an unschooler, in the sense that I want to instill in my kids a general love for learning and help them to learn about things they are interested in.
Recently, our daughter fell in love with butterflies. I spent the summer taking macro shots of butterflies and moths she found where ever we went. We got detailed books from the library about the life cycle of butterflies. I enjoy being spontaneous in our studies in this way.
I have learned to relax and understand that not everything clicks with everyone at the same time. For our daughter, who is 7, reading is just now starting to come easy and “click” for her. For our son, who is 5, he’s tracking right along and learning everything that she is learning.
For a long time I felt it was wrong to have children in different grade levels learning the same thing (which is why homeschooling seemed so daunting to me before now).
Now that I know that they will be ok, as long as they know how to learn and enjoy learning, nothing can stop them. I don’t need to be a drill sergeant, instead I get to be an observer and guide. How great is that?!
But I do want some structure and I enjoy having things laid out for me, so there isn’t a ton of prep work.
Classical Conversations has just started in our community and I am so thrilled to join up with this group! My kids already love music and setting memory work to music is an excellent idea.
This is the first year that CC has been in our area, I offered it as an opportunity for my older boys, but they have their next few years planned out and are taking some really cool classes at the local Career Center. Homeschooling, at this point, is not something they want to switch to, and that’s ok.
Classical Conversations doesn’t take a huge amount of our daily time. And even after our “school time” the songs end up being sung throughout the day and our daughter loves the hand motions. The community aspect is awesome for my little social butterfly and I love that they have a strong emphasis on public speaking.
On the days we don’t have co-op, our day looks like this:
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Chores/dishes/morning routines
Then the kids play until Paul (now 9 months old) goes down for a nap.
9:00 AM-ish Listen to all the Classical Conversations memory work and sing songs
9:20 AM Do a reading lesson from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. So far, we are all doing this together, hopefully it will continue that way the rest of the year, but if one takes off I will slow down for the other and make sure they don’t get frustrated or overwhelmed.
9:40 AM Read a chapter in Life of Fred. This is our math program and the kids absolutely LOVE it! They think Fred is hilarious and they beg to do more every day. I am so impressed with how much info is packed into this- months, days, seasons, algebra, geometry- and we’re just in the first book. They are learning at an amazing speed.
That’s it. The rest of the day is free! We read, play games, work in the garden, take pictures of butterflies, draw & paint, cook (more math!) and have a lot of independent play. I believe it is important for kids to pretend and play independently.

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About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, I go live in my FREE Facebook Groups every weekday- feel free to join me there: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. Cara on September 19, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Now I want to homeschool again 🙂 Sounds amazing!

    • Rachel on September 20, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      It is fun! 🙂

  2. Sage on September 23, 2014 at 3:33 am

    I’ve been doing some research on homeschooling and unschooling. I’m interested in both and a little hesitant about unschooling only because it’s such a foreign concept to me. My biggest concern is about high school level education, which is years away as my little one is only a toddler, but still it’s something I think about. Since you have older children, what has your experience been in homeschooling or unschooling them?

    • Rachel on September 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

      When my older boys were ready for school, I decided to attempt homeschooling. But they were all a year apart (4, 5 & 6 years) and I was trying to teach them all at different grade levels. I was overwhelmed and began to lag in teaching, so I decided to put them in public school.
      I had thought of a regular co-op, but never wanted to take a turn at teaching. (Classical Conversations pays their tutors, so the parents don’t have to tutor if they don’t want to.)
      If I had known about Classical Conversations, I would have jumped on it. I would still love it if my older boys wanted to join in it. I don’t feel like my boys are getting a great education at public school. The career center that they do many of their classes at is good, but the high school classes, it’s evident that they just have to learn enough to pass tests and then they dump all the information.
      I think the biggest thing I want to teach my kids is how to think. With public school they are taught what to think, not how to think.
      For myself, I want someone along side me, keeping me accountable and encouraging me in my teaching. So, I know I would be more hesitant to do it without that support.
      I was basically unschooled. And though I didn’t have the facts that many public schoolers had (history dates, wars, people, etc.) I had all the tools I needed to learn and when I got to the point where I passed up what my mom could teach- I just studied on my own. I was reading college textbooks when I was 16, because I wanted to and I had all the tools to understand/learn from them on my own.

  3. Dahlena on January 2, 2015 at 1:29 am

    I love the simplicity of your schedule! We do CC too, wish is fantastic. The downside is that sometimes I overwhelm myself thinking of all the other things I *should* be doing. So instead, I do nothing. This year is one of minimizing stuff, but I think it will also be one of minimizing my expectations. My daughter is 6, and is still picking up on reading. It was encouraging to hear your reminder that all kids don’t need to be right at “grade level.” I was homeschooled, and sometimes its easy to fall into the comparison trap. My parents struggled with homeschooling us, and I want to do it so much better for my kids – but the one thing they did do right was instill that love of learning. If I can keep that as my focus, maybe I won’t be so overwhelmed. =)

    • Rachel on January 2, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      It’s easy to compare, even with the other parents at CC- some of them really do a lot! I do have to remind myself frequently that we are using CC the way we want to right now, and it’s ok. I think it’s difficult with any “program” to keep using it, rather than allowing it to control you.

  4. Kiwi on January 26, 2015 at 11:47 am

    There’s one little point I miss – meeting many other kids with mixed backgrounds. School is a great place to find friends with other social status, religion, or heritage.

    • Rachel on January 26, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      I can understand that, I didn’t get much of that when I was growing up, but my children are certainly not hurting in that area. I think it’s more of the parent’s intention, in whether they wish to shelter their children or not.

  5. Aisha on April 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    This is cool. It seems so simple! (: Im just wondering what your routine looks like now. Are you older children still in public school? And how, if at all do you think things will change when more “subjects” are added in.
    Thank you!!

  6. Stacy on June 23, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    I LOVE that you do CC! I started a CC in our rural area after two years driving an hour to a CC Community! We love it! I have graduated 3 daughters and am now down to 3 CC students 14,11 and 8. I have been seeking to “minimalize” other areas of our life with CC Director on my plate. I am very passionate about CC, but find my plate often gets too full. I have always been a born organizer and clutter freak, but reading and following your blog encourage me to widdle it down further. I am not an unschooler, but more of a classical mom who LOVES, LOVES to read for myself and read to my children. Books are one are I have not minimalized well. I have chosen to rid myself of those books we don’t really love and find books that go along with our learning. I want resources available for my children throughout the CC year. It’s just so exciting to know you too are a CC family!

    • Rachel on June 27, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      🙂 Thanks Stacy!

  7. erica on September 1, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    I am really interested in how you organize your homeschool materials. Can’t get the mess under control!!!

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