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IPFS News Link • Education: Private Secular Schools and Home School

A week in the life of a home school family is probably not what you think

• the Daily Bell

Our week begins Sunday evening. I sit down with my two oldest children, ages 5 and 6, and talk with them about the upcoming week. We make a list of what each of them would like to accomplish and look at the calendar to see what outings we have planned. We look at the past week and decide what projects we want to carry into the next one. Depending on what we are working on I will plan outings that support their interests. 

Although no one week is exactly the same, here is a week in our life! 


This is co-op day.  Our co-op consists of a large group of homeschoolers who meet once a week for togetherness and learning. The kids were given a choice of classes and picked their favorite two. My 6 year old is singing and learning about animals and my 5 year old is taking art and learning all about machines. The baby stays with me and interacts with the other babies. We all benefit from this co-op and really enjoy going every week. 


Tuesday is almost always left open for projects or a deep dive into subjects of interest. We started off the day reading a pile of books. Insects are a huge point of interest and among their favorite books are The Big Book of Bugs and Bonkers About Beetles. After reading we spent a while watching documentaries on beetles, ants and butterflies. More books were put on hold at the local library to continue our studies and off we went to the library to play and to pick up our books. 


This was a busy morning of building train tracks and cities of magnatiles. During all of this play, the kids began adding up numbers. I was unsure of what they were counting but I got a pencil and paper and wrote down all of the numbers and we added them up together and talked about basic multiplication. They continued to add and multiply, figuring out how many wheels were on all of the trains on their track. The second half of the day was spent reading Night of the Ninjas out loud. Following this, my 6 year old wrote a letter back to her pen pal.


On Thursday, a bin full of toilet paper rolls was discovered by the kids.  The oldest wanted to create a zip line using the rolls and some rope. I helped the kids each secure lines in the living room, running through the rolls. I brought up the idea of having a competition to see if one roll could beat the other down the rope. We discussed gravity, force and whether more weight could make an object faster or slower. Each child constructed their rolls and tried over and over again to beat their own time. Later in the day we went to an animal class at the library and visited with another homeschooling family.


The kids saw how much paper and cardboard was in the recycling bin and wanted to find a way to use it. I took this opportunity to talk to them about the importance of reducing waste and reusing things instead of throwing them away. We decided to make paper from the recycles, went online to figure out how paper was made and set out to do it at home. This is an ongoing project as we keep adding more paper to the pile. The latter part of the day was spent visiting family

Much of our week is child-led and very fluid. There are some things, however, that are less flexible. Mealtimes, bedtimes and personal hygiene are set in our schedule. Screen time is limited. Having boundaries around these things helps life run more smoothly and gives our children stability.