Let’s peek inside our homeschool day during our teens’ high school homeschool days Although a day’s rhythm will be different for each family, learning from other’s experiences will help you plan out your own schedule.
My typical day began around 6:30 so that I could be showered and dressed before the kids were up. This was essential to my sanity. Being ready for anything meant the day went more smoothly. So, I worked really hard to fight my real nature, and do what a ‘real morning person’ would do.
I expected the same early rising from our teens. They knew the time that they were expected to show up for breakfast, and I expected beds made and personal chores, like getting out of pajamas, done as soon as they got up. I made breakfast. Yeah, kinda not necessary, but as a former dietitian, kick starting the day with a hot breakfast was just so important to me when their brains were working super hard in high school. I did not do this in grade school, nor on days off school, but I had it in my head that this would help them think, so cook breakfast I did!
After some home chores and breakfast, it was our habit to pray a little and read a little together. We read history, literature, or maybe readings from elective subjects, anything from their studies that we could cross off their list and maybe spark some discussion. Beginning on this positive note before everyone went their merry way was one of the best scheduling decisions I ever made. It really set a great tone to our morning.
Everyone then went on to do their school work. This might be to the dedicated homeschool table for me to evaluate and guide, maybe to their own desk to jump right into mathematics, and maybe right to the piano. Math and piano were always the first subjects, unless there was a subject that was a particular weakness for a teen and it needed to go first. First subjects get maximum brain power, in my opinion, and I always secretly wished they could all go first!
And, let me add that we did our subjects in roughly the same order everyday during our typical high school homeschool days. One of my personal flaws is disorganization. I tend to work in a scattered way and not get much accomplished. Since I observed that our teens had this tendency, I was intentional from the beginning to work on this weakness.
Throughout the morning, everyone was scattered throughout the house at desks in the homeschool room, desks in their rooms, or the computer desk in the kitchen. Some subjects were online and others needed an introduction and/or supervision by me. Language arts were generally taught by me, or I hung close by in case help was needed.
I wasn’t going to be much help for any math beyond fractions, and even those were a stretch. But our oldest, who excelled at math in high school, still came to me for help with the most complex problems. He would carefully go over the trouble, writing it out on the dry erase board near my desk. I never had any idea what he was talking about, but I feigned interest and knowledge by nodding my head and occasionally saying, “Oh, I see…”. Ninety percent of the time, after a minute or two he would say, “I get it now,” and walk away. Occasionally he would decide to send an email to his online tutor, but it was important that I was available to help him find the best way to get over hurdles.
We came together for a break mid-morning and at lunch. Afternoon was the most variable time in our schedule. This varied through the years and even varied greatly each day of the week. Online classes, volunteer or paid work, tutoring sessions, going to hang out with friends, work on their high school project, etc all made each afternoon schedule pretty different.
Even when the most chaotic of days came up, I made a rough plan so that subjects that absolutely required daily practice like math, piano, and foreign language got done first, in case that is all the academic part of that day had room for.
Despite the afternoons being full of activity many days, we were able to have dinner together every evening. My husband felt that was the best benefit of homeschooling – family time together. When he was done with work, we were generally done with our work, too.
In the evenings, they worked on their personal high school project, their hobbies, or just hung out. We often took the time to read more together for history or literature. This is where the efficiency of homeschooling bears its fruit – little to no homework! I was selective about outsourcing subjects for this very reason. I made sure the work for those outsourced subjects was built into our day’s schedule so that the evenings were more free and relaxed.
This picture of our homeschool high school routine was unique to us. There are as many daily routines for homeschool high school days as there are families who homeschool. The opportunity to consider your own strengths, energy levels, and outside activities makes for a healthier family life, in my opinion. I hope this helps you craft your own schedule and enjoy your homeschool journey even more. All the best!