A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler…Sheltering-in-Place

Monday, March 23, 2020

Day 4 of Shelter-in-Place

8:13am – I receive a text with a meme from an “unexpected” homeschooler friend, and I lol back. I then contemplate fulfilling one of my daily goals – writing, making art, or exercising since the kids are still asleep, but instead I check my email, read a couple blogs, scroll through my social media feeds, and the next thing I know it’s…

10am – The middle kid just woke up, but the other two are still snoozing. They usually don’t sleep in this late, but our routines have been flipped on their heads with the cancellation of various enrichment classes, weekly park days, and more, plus I’ve been letting them have more screen time than usual. That makes falling asleep a bit harder to do, which means a later wake-up for us all.

10:05am – The kid and I make a saltwater flush (warm water, lemon, and Himalayan salt) to start our day, and then coffee to really start my day. I make him a mocha with just a splash of coffee and some marshmallows on top. We have extra marshmallows because yesterday afternoon I made some treats with the leftover cereal. For whatever reason, my kids don’t like to finish cereal boxes and I hate throwing away food. #nowaste We then proceed to make him oatmeal for breakfast.

10:15am – The little kid is now awake and just came into the kitchen with a big smile. It brightens both of our mornings, especially since sometimes she wakes up crying for no apparent reason. Five minutes later the big kid waltzes into the room claiming he’s been awake this whole time, but didn’t want to tell us. He was probably reading. He reads at night to help him fall asleep, even though most nights he’s up way past midnight, and then wakes up in the morning to get a few more chapters in. I contemplate getting him an amber book light to help him fall asleep better.

10:25am – The big kid goes outside to play hopscotch on the sidewalk. I’ll call that his morning exercise. I’m thankful that we have big yards and live on the corner. Lots of area for the kids to play and not feel so cooped up during the shelter-in-place order. The middle kid locks his brother out because he thinks it’s funny. When the big kid finally gets inside a fight ensues, it gets physical and I have to break it up. One minute later they’re totally cool with each other and I realize I’m still learning about sibling dynamics. Only child here!

10:35am – I make ochazuke (but today I’m lazy and just use the instant stuff) for the big kid and fruit and sausage for the little one. Morning and lunchtime the kids can choose what to eat based on what’s available, but evenings they must eat whatever I make. I’m still drinking my coffee and looking up videos about sneezing, and the kids are finally all sitting at the table quietly eating. This will probably last 5 minutes, if even that.

11:00am – I break out the whiteboards, write our daily homeschool goals on one (whatever doesn’t happen just gets rolled over to the next day) and let the kids draw on the others. The big kid and I start a game of hangman. Afterwards he starts his daily independent work and I go and get ready for the day.

11:30am – The little one joins me in getting ready as I hear the older kids arguing. The big kid comes in and rats out his little brother. I go out to the kitchen to deal with the situation and find out that the big kid isn’t totally innocent and has barely done any work. They both lose their 1pm Minecraft PowerHour and I’m not too happy, because it means I don’t get any peaceful exercise and writing done.

12pm – The middle kid finally gets changed for the day. The toddler is starting to become whiny because I’m paying her brother more attention than her. The big kid is sad about lying and losing his afternoon tech time, and I am FINALLY ready for the day.

12:30pm – We had a late breakfast, so it’s not lunch time for us. The big kid is reading a chapter from Encyclopedia Brown and will be working on his typing, while the younger two are pretending the packing envelopes (I sell vintage clothes online, so there are a lot of envelopes and mailers) are bowls of soup. Mind you, they have a play kitchen with all the equipment they need, but I guess mailers are much more fun. I start planning our science lesson for the day. We are currently doing a 6 week unit studying the Animal Kingdom and are finally starting vertebrates today. I tend to backwards plan, which is a habit from my old teaching days, and plan daily either the night before or in the morning while the kids eat breakfast. Obviously, neither of those happened. Now the little kids are playing with Play-Doh and have probably left a mess in the other room. I begin working on my daily chores.

1pm – The kids had a snack and are now outside redoing their chalk art since it rained yesterday. I am still finishing up my daily chores and just realized I haven’t had breakfast yet. Oops! That seems to happen when I know we have no plans to leave the house, but that’s okay, because I much prefer lunch or dinner. I proceed to make myself some lunch and get some writing done before the kids come back in.

1:30pm – The kids slowly start milling in. The big kid is hungry and requested a grilled cheese sandwich. He is working on his printing while I make his lunch. The middle kid wants leftover pancakes from yesterday morning, and the little one eats whatever I’m eating, which today is a salad. Yesterday, we picked up a custom box of veggies I ordered online at the Farmer’s Market from one of our favorite local farmers. I’m going to miss this option when life gets back to normal. My secret weapon for getting all things done was getting my groceries delivered each week, but now it’s so hard to find a delivery time open that I’ve kinda given up. Once everyone’s lunch is set up, we watch a playlist I created of YouTube videos about jawless fish.

2pm – Everyone is done eating, we clean up, and then work on some art. We’ve been doing a combination of “Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems” and Step-by-Step drawing with Alisha Gratehouse at Masterpiece Society. We have a studio membership which gives us access to all of the lessons she and her daughter have created. I really like that she uses a variety of mediums and have lessons for varying topics and skill levels. While the kids are working on their drawings, I put together a few care packages for family that we’ll hopefully send out tomorrow.

3pm – I put the toddler down for a nap while the kids finish drawing pictures. I come back and draw airplanes with them. The middle kid is finished early and we go outside to play soccer, while the big kid colors his drawing. Once he’s done he comes outside to play with us.

3:45pm – I come inside to print up a diagram of a lamprey for our science journals and get some writing in. The boys start arguing outside, which makes concentrating difficult. I need a break, they need a break, but I’d really like to finish our science today; however, I know deep down that won’t happen. Oh well, we’ll just roll it over to first thing tomorrow, which is why looping your subjects is such a great tool. No need to stress about getting it all done. The kids come in to clean up their mess so they can begin their math assignments.

5pm – I’m done for the day, and the kids are ready to play some video games online with friends. I decide to get my exercise in and then read before I start dinner, but I end up scrolling through my social media feeds for at least 30 minutes…or maybe longer if I’m being totally honest. This SIP mandate has me wasting more time online than normal and that is starting to bug me, so I go and get dinner prepped and in the oven before I get a quick workout in. I’m all about doing things on the cheap and have been using the free workout videos on YouTube. Currently, I’m working through all the MadFit and Yoga with Adrienne videos. The little works out with me for 10 minutes before she realizes Pocoyo is on tv.

6:45pm – Dinner is almost ready (salmon and udon), the kids are FaceTiming their uncle while arguing with each other, and I am attempting to get a little more cleaning done. The husband is working 1.5 hrs away this week, so he will either be home late or stay the night there if he’s too tired. I’m ready to lay in bed and watch tv or read, but I know that won’t happen for a while. The kids will get a little more tech time after they finish dinner.

Playing Hangman and drawing on whiteboards

8:30pm – We are all cleaned up and ready for bed. I read aloud a chapter from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, tuck the big kids in, and go to bed with the little one. Since she woke up late AND had a late nap, it’s no surprise that she is not sleepy. She walks around the room and plays while listening to her bedtime playlist. Dolly Parton comes on and it feeds my soul. I feel a little better about staying up so late. I scroll through my social media feeds, read the news, look up the current COVID-19 stats for our county, and keep reminding the toddler it’s bedtime.

11:00pm – The toddler is finally asleep, soon after the middle kid sleep walks into my room and then proceeds to lay in bed. Fingers crossed he doesn’t have an accident. Then the big kid comes in to tell me more about the middle kid’s sleep walking antics. I laugh and then tell him to go to bed. I can still hear him turning pages in his book. I edit some pictures, finish writing this blog, and then put on Audible’s Sherlock Holmes narrated by Stephen Fry.