A Day in the Life ~ Real Life Homeschool {Friday Q & A}

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What does the whole day look like (not just school)?  
My teen boys get themselves up and off to school, often before I even wake or around 7:30. This morning I have been up since 5, but I went to bed at 9pm right after our Passover service. I had oiled up with Lavender and Peace & Calming and was ready for bed early! Dylan fell asleep in the recliner in the living room and woke me up at 11pm coughing. I gave him a glass of water with lemon oil in it and a throat drop and then oiled his throat with Lemon and Purification and went back to bed, falling asleep listening to my Bible app.

I started listening to Mark chapter 1 when I woke at 5am, but decided to put Psalm 119 on my app so I could fall back asleep (one of my favorite chapters in the Bible). I was too awake, so I got up, took my vitamins/supplements, grabbed my morning yogurt (Triple Zero), and sat down to brainstorm what to write about for the Real Life Homeschooling blog hop. I'm tempted to just not do it. My camera battery died this week half way through my "week in the life." Confession: I'm a blogger, but I'm not a writer! I blog because it's easy to document my life. But, I don't blog because I am a writer.

I hear Dylan stirring in the living room. He lets me know that they have early out today, and that he's tired. I encourage him to make it through the day, with lots of fluids and then rest for the weekend.

Today is not a homeschool day. We finished early this week because last night began the Passover and tonight begins the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread - a 7 day festival to the Lord in which we learn spiritual lessons by doing physical things. Performing the task of deleavening our homes and avoiding leavening for a week reminds us to vigilantly watch for sinful thoughts and actions so we can avoid them. Of course, we will still sin. Our observance of the Days of Unleavened Bread helps us realize our crucial need for Jesus' help in overcoming our weaknesses, and this is reflected in the second aspect of how God commands that this feast be observed. By eating unleavened bread throughout the seven days, we focus on the "true bread from heaven" filling our lives with the unleavened bread of life, Jesus Christ.

Nathan is up and asking for a ride to school.

Dylan already called for a ride from a friend that lives down the street.

Luke and the younger kids are still sleeping.

Friday is my prep day. I prepare meals for the Sabbath, but to be honest, I have barely made an effort in this area lately. I have been keeping meals very simple on a daily basis. I am making more of an effort today since tonight is the first day of Unleavened Bread. However, to keep it simple, I bought a case of Matzah for the family and a box of gluten free unleavened crackers for me. To make it special, I have a boneless leg of lamb and rib eye steaks to grill. I'll make potatoes and buttered asparagus. I do not have a dessert planned, but will try to think of something simple. (I forgot about the asparagus and made a creamy corn casserole that I could stick in the oven).

My house downstairs is clean because I spent all day yesterday cleaning and deleavening before making it to Nathan's soccer game. Laundry is out of control, but that is normal in a family of 8.
Earlier this week, I had a talk with Luke because he doesn't think our life is normal. I assured him - I grew up in a family of 8, and THIS IS NORMAL!  He grew up in a small family whose house was always clean. He and his 2 sisters attended public school and his parents worked all day. Hello! An empty house stays clean! A homeschool house does not. Not only that, there is more wear and tear on a homeschool family's house because they are home more. I've especially noticed this. I've washed walls and trim so much that I'm wearing the paint off. We do a really deep clean twice a year - spring cleaning/deleavening and back to school cleaning - so I can start the year off with a fresh clean house, but throughout the year, it is hard to keep up with and I've accepted this as NORMAL.

I ended up taking Dylan to school because he missed his ride.

Malachi is up reading the Bible on the couch and Jordan is making his coffee. He has school then work today.

And I'm about to go make breakfast. It's 8:00am.

How do I plan my day? 

I pray for the Lord to order my day and I prioritize.
  • breakfast
  • clean up
  • school
  • lunch
  • finish school
  • free time
  • chores
  • blog, work online
  • soccer or activity
  • dinner
  • clean up
  • bed
On week days, meals, meeting the needs of my family, school, maintaining the house, my work, and soccer are a priority.  (Note: I did not say cleaning the house, but maintaining the house - since we deep clean once a week, this means picking up after ourselves, cleaning up after meals, and picking up stuff, in other words - general tidying up). 

Today, since it is prep day, I will focus on making sure the house stays clean, preparing food, and getting my fabric ironed and cut for a FIAR Quilt Swap I am participating in.

How do you find time to cook, clean, blog, plan school, etc. how do you balance it? 
I keep meals real simple. Even on Trim Healthy Mama, I don't make a lot of extra fancy meals that require a lot of prep time. I save my energy and creative cooking for school projects and special occasions.  
We deep clean once a week, and "spring clean" twice a year. Then throughout the week, we simply maintain. If we are having company, I make an extra effort to tidy up. And I like to tidy up before school starts because it drives me nuts to try to do school in a messy house.  
I have been working hard to get rid of clutter the past few months after realizing that most of our time cleaning was just dealing with STUFF. This has been ongoing for several years, but stuff always creeps in. Since we've gotten rid of a lot of stuff, and stopped buying a lot of stuff, it's been easier to keep the house clean. My next move is to minimize our clothing. 
My husband does most of the laundry. I do my own, help Elli with hers, and the boys are supposed to do their own, but Luke washes his and the boy's clothes, towels, and blankets. I usually do sheets and change bedding. He is strict about towels. Each of us has our own towel or two and for awhile he was hiding the extra towels for the downstairs bath so they wouldn't get used. I try to keep those separate so I have them when I need them now. Colored towels stay upstairs and cream colored towels stay in the downstairs bath. I keep a hamper for whites in the kitchen and try to run whites when it is full - my husband does the whites last and that is what I need the most, so I try to run those. Necessity is motivation! 
This all started my first year on the Crew. I was in a little over my head and he offered to help. After my year ended and I stepped down, I offered to stop blogging to do the laundry, but he said no. I still offer from time to time, but he maintains that blogging is a good outlet for me. 
My husband and children help out a lot. We all have assigned chores. Now that my older boys are in public school, they don't have as much time and are tired when they do. They just want to "chill" or do homework. Everyone has a dish night and I can usually get them to do that, but I can't get them to keep their room clean. 
To be honest, I often day dream of having more time to clean my house and do other hobbies I enjoy. I want to knit and sew a quilt. I want to get caught up on my Project Life albums. Every year for the last several years, I say to myself that this will be my last year of regular blogging. But one thing or another keeps me going.

It is 9:00 am. I made steak and eggs for breakfast (Luke and I shared a steak that I had planned for tonight). Elli and Bo just wandered down stairs. They were all snuggly and warm. Bo likes to snuggle in the morning so Elli crawled in bed with him to snuggle and take her time waking up.

Jordan came back home - no school today, oops!

I peek into my Young Living Virtual Office and am blessed to see a new member under one of my legs. I get so excited because I never EVER imagined I could do this, but God is doing this with me, so yay! Sharing my passion about oils has been rewarding, my oils are paid for, and I have enough to bless others and invest back into my business. In fact, I have a special going on right now that involves free coffee! :)

9:15 Luke says goodbye for the day and is heading off to work.  I can hear him talking to Jordan in the living room about trucks before he leaves. I talk to Jordan a bit before he leaves again.

Kids have scrambled upstairs to play. The kitchen needs attention and I tidy up the living room and wipe the table in the dining room.

Now, this is the time when I'd start school (this is generally around 9 or 10). Since there is no school today, I had planned to go iron my fabric then think about meals, but when I went upstairs I decided I needed to take a shower and get dressed for the day. :)

It's 10:30 and kids are happily playing and making lots of noise in the living room so I send them outside to play. It's 39 degrees but sunny.

They play outside for 30 minutes and are back in. In the meantime, I've been distracted. I replied to two text messages, started checking my email. Talked to Jordan and went digging for a postcard for him to send to a friend (I used to collect them). Then the kids start playing at the table and the next thing I know Bo is screaming bloody murder and my ears are ringing. Malachi grabbed his Playmobil guy, and Bo did not like that. Yikes. I put that fire out, then finish reading email (but not dealing with it). I need to do something to feel accomplished so I'm about to get off here and go iron fabric!

Well, it's 3:00 and I got my fabric ironed and my squares cut for Volume 3. That was hard! I messaged a friend and she called me to help, but I had already figured out one book. Then got to the next and was a 1/4 inch short of making my last square, so I ironed and cut the fat quarter that I originally bought for this row.

Boys came home from school about 2:15 then took off to hang out with friends for a couple hours.

Luke came home and was willing to help cook dinner, so I threw together a creamy corn casserole (frozen corn, butter, cream cheese and sour cream in a baking dish), made whipped butter jam thumb print cookies with Malachi, and boiled macaroni for crockpot mac and cheese for church the next day, then ran to the store to buy rotary cutter blades and a bigger cutting mat. I ran into my friend Kim and she had my Core B books in her van for when she saw me next, so I grabbed those and headed home. Luke was making french fries with the potatoes and corn casserole was done, but the lamb had not been started. Oops! He grilled that and we ate later than we planned. Jordan didn't hear us call him to dinner, so Luke thought he went somewhere. (Jordan has a lot of freedom, but unless he communicates with us, we don't save dinner for him or track him down). Well, he was upstairs in his bedroom with earphones in his ears and didn't hear us, so came down to eat after we were done.

I'm pretty sure I went to bed early this night too!

This week:

A Day in the Life ~ Real Life Homeschool {Monday}
A Day in the Life ~ Real Life Homeschool {Tuesday}...
A Day in the Life ~ Real Life Homeschool {Wed & Thurs}...
A Day in the Life ~ Real Life Homeschool {Friday Q & A}

For a trip down memory lane, our day in the life series in the fall of 2011:

Day in the Life: Monday
Day in the Life: Tuesday
Day in the Life: Wednesday
Day in the Life: Thursday - No School
Day in the Life: Friday

Day in the Life torturing over. :) I will resume my weekly blogging next Friday, but since we took a week off of our normal studies for Spring Break this week, I will take that time to get caught up on blogging and share our row of Corduroy! 

Thank you so much to those who have followed along and commented this week! It helps to know I'm not torturing all of my readers. 


  1. This is definitely not torture :) I sometimes wonder if my life is crazy, or different or normal. I try to do my best to not compare. Being who I was created to be is so important to me and something I try to teach my boys. It does help to see someone I already admire sharing what is going on in their family and school - that maybe I'm on the right track. I had to give up on a perfectly clean house after being home for a few years with my boys. My MIL always reminds me of the scripture that says where there are no oxen the stable is clean (or something like that lol!) My boys are creative and the only way to let them be is to let them make a mess sometimes. Your posts inspire me to share more of who we are. I have so much respect for you for doing so <3

  2. It's been a while for me to visit, but I love coming back and seeing the reality. Even with the rough days you're an inspiration.

  3. So glad that you haven't stopped blogging. Seriously, I always take time to read your blogs because they are so encouraging. Thanks and blessings, Christine

  4. Just recently found your blog. Looks great! We have a lot in common. We "found" our Hebrew roots about 5 years ago and try our best to follow Torah. We are in our 14th year of homeschooling, we have used the Charlotte Mason method for about 6 years now. We have 6 children, 3 of which are graduated, married, and out of our home. We have two batches of children after having a reversal 12 years later and being blessed with 3 more children! So our children are 27, 25, 22, 10, 9, & 7. We live off-grid on 14 acres, have a family milk cow, chickens, and a huge garden. Glad to meet ya :-)

    1. You should check out AnAmericanHomestead.com if you aren't familiar. They are Torah & friends of ours for about a decade. :)

      ~Jessica G.

  5. I love your blog and have really enjoyed your posts this week. I don't blog and try to limit my online time so I rarely comment, but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your posts. I was encouraged especially about the 'clean house' part. Homeschooling with 4 kids 7 yrs and under (including a 6 month old), in a small house with too much stuff, and the never ending laundry and I feel like I'm drowning. I will keep trying and getting rid of things, but it is different than working Mom-kids in school because we 'live' here everyday. Thank you for continuing to blog. -Sarah

  6. Thanks for sharing. A peek into your life is always a blessing.

    ~Jessica G.

  7. Hello Michelle, your blog and articles are wonderful! i have nominated your Blog for the Liebster Award, if you would like to accept it the instructions are here:http://kelscs.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/liebster-award.html?view=snapshot