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« The first day of school at home! | Main | Can we play? »


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I'm not a homeschool mom, but I am a mom and a teacher... you now have a full-time job! I would think that one of the hurdles will be finding new routines. Good luck... I teach 4 days a week, so I am able to clean and grocery shop on Fridays. I also enlist help!


This will be our third year homeschooling. We typically spend 2 to 4 hours a day depending on the schedule but I try to have everything done by 1:30 and then my son has therapy two days a week in the afternoons. So, the flexibility is great. If we don't finish for the day then I'll have them work on something after dinner with Dad, usually a math sheet or reading.

As for housework. I unload the dishwasher in the morning so after every meal things can go right in and are not sitting around the kitchen. Then in the afternoon I straighten, vacuum and clean the bathrooms...this depends on the day, I do each floor on a different day. I also do a load of laundry pretty much every day and the kids need to have their shoes and rooms picked up before bed. I do shopping and errands one night a week, Mom's time away. For the most part this keeps things in working order.

We will be starting school next week and we do ease into to it. We start with 2 days, 3 days, 4 days and then by September we are on our full weekly schedule.

Best of luck to you and the girls this school year. My best advice, have fun and stay relaxed.

Kristi Chan

Hi! Congrats on your first day. I am a homeschool mom.(and I use Sonlight) Hang in there the time gets better as a rhythm sets in. Don't try to multitask- it gets too overwhelming. At least for me.
I try to get a few chores done in the morning while my kids work on workbook type stuff - I make a weekly list for them. (my 2nd grader and 4th grader, not my kinder kid) And then in the afternoon I do some more - what doesn't get accomplished housework wise I do on Saturdays. My children also have tasks that they are responsible for daily. That helps a lot.
One encouragement - remember that you are living in your house all day - most people are gone all day. Enjoy being at home with your kids - I LOVE IT!!!! This is my fifth year homeschooling.

Tiffany Morse

Well, I have only schooled one hear at home, but I have learned a thing or two that I would like to implement this year! One successful thing we did last year was cleaning the house together every morning before we sat down to learn...I found we all did awesome in a clean house and they are part of who make it happen! I have really taught and expected the kids to be an intrical part of the house hold chores and it really does make a huge difference!

As for how long do we home school each day?? Depends on each kiddo, I don't only watch to see if they get stuff done, but when they are on overload... I try to schedule a four day week so we can use Friday's as fun day, but if they don't complete what they need to then they work on Friday. They do love a four day week so I find that to be motivation!

I had an awesome lady remind me that we would have good days and bad days, good weeks and even bad weeks! Not to stress and keep adjusting as I learn my kids...

I love you Joanne you of all people will be so great at this! Just be you, you'll look different than everyone else while doing this and your girls will learn all they need to regardless!

Also, I appreciate your advise on multitasking!! It's a good word!


"When I'm typing or reading, my ears don't work." is going to be my new motto. I need to stop trying to multi-task because it never works out for me. Maybe then I'll get more done!


This is our first year, right now, I am aiming for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours in the morning (with multiple short breaks because we are doing kindergarten). Then she will have some time to read alone, and some time where we read in the afternoon together and I think we are getting plenty in. You and I have already emailed a bit on the cleaning, but I'm doing a little before we start in the morning and some in the evening before my husband comes home from work. The blessing of a small house means that it's fairly managable if I stay on top of it. :)


three to four hours is our max!!! The first six weeks are the worse. Than you find what is important and what is not. I just look at my older children and remind myself how fast the time goes by. Then I just relax and enjoy:) Fridays are fun days for us too.


We have always been done by lunch, so...3 hours of "lessons." of course they read in the afternoon and do other stuff. This year I will have 2 girls in school, like you so it's possible that the older one (4th grade) might have a thing or 2 to do after lunch. I hope not.

Housework---well. First of all, no one told me this--your house will always look MUCH MORE lived in since everyone is home all day. Make them use the same glass all day, it'll save you a ton of dishes. I do little things while they are on an independent part of the lesson. I do stuff in the afternoons. They have chores every afternoon too.

And, I've said this to 200 people I think, but check out for their planner. Only $4 right now. You can delegate a lot of what is on there and the 3 of you can keep up with that house together. :) Good luck!

Lori Anne

Hi Joanne,

I'm not a homeschool Mom, but I just had to say that I totally agree with your comments on multitasking. Why do I try to do it? I need to get better about one thing at a time to the finish line. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes less is more.


We have started our second year of homeschooling. I use Sonlight for our Geography and History.

As for how long our homeschool day is...Our state doesn't require a certain amount of hours like some states do. So we usually go about 3 hours a day. Some days more, some days a little less. We start by 9:30 and I also give my little one a 20 to 30 minute break during that 3 hour time period. The 3 hours doesn't include the time we take to go to the library or go on a field trip or go to a homeschool group. All that is in addtion to that 3 hours.

As for cleaning...I use her break time to do some small things. I dust, e-mail, do a load of laundry, make the grocery list...things like that. I do the main cleaning in the afternoon, after our school time is done and we've had lunch. Sometimes I do vaccuming and cleaning in the morning before we start our school day, but not as often.

I find I've had to become less stressed about my house. Not always an easy thing to do. But I love homeschooling my daughter and wouldn't trade that time for anything!

There are good days and bad days...and some days that are easier than others. Because I feel so blessed to be able to homeschool my little one, I can put up with a little extra dust:)

Enjoy this time and have fun!

Kim B.

I usually just pop in and read your blog but thought I could offer some encouragement to you about this topic. I have been home schooling since my oldest was 4, he is 19 1/2. I have graduated him and my oldest daughter. I have one senior at home and a seventh grader. Here is what I wish I did differently. I wish that I worried less about all the daily business of life and more about enjoying my kids. They grow up so fast and before you know it they are ready to be out on their own. Also, I wish that I did not compare myself so much to others, I oftenvjust end up feeling like a failure when I do. Ok that said as far as keeping the house work caught up. What works changes every single year. I tend to do some before and after school. Like someone already said remember 3 of you will be living home 24/7. Every time I try to get some done during the day I find that I lose my children and our day drags on and on. Several of my children are easily distracted and keeping them on task has been a challenge. We are a pastors family so distractions are a part of everyday life. I do, however, try to keep our home a place connectedness family wise and kepp everything moving on the school end of things. We limit how much those who are still schooling at home are involved in away from home activities. (Like music lessons, sports, ect.) We live in small town AZ and so there is not as much to do here as there is for you all to do, but we still have to be careful. So I think your ideas about not multitasking are great. Guard your time spent at home and be ultra choosy about what you do outside of the home. While the world tells us we need to be super busy and have our kids involved in everything. We also have a family night. It is mandatory and all of my kids who are living at home know this. Also dinner is a family event and again the kids are all expected to be there. Yes, we do make exception some times, but it is rare if when we are not all together for dinner. Even my older children will complain if we have a week where this does not happen as much as they think it should. We don't and they really don't want to be. Remember it is your choice what you do and don't do. In other words don't let the curriculum control you. Something I need to remind myself of every single year because I am one of those we will finish this entire book if it kills us. I work on not being that way but it is a struggle for me. Well I hope this helps a little.


Welcome to the world of homeschooling! It is one of the greatest joys and struggles of my life! We will begin year 7 next week. And I still don't think I've figured how to get everything done! I definitely think it helps if everyone does some house chores in the morning. We do quite a few on Saturday, too. Kids have to put away their own laundry. And the house will look lived in because you are all there all the time...learning is messy. But it's fun. I think you'll have a great that you'll always remember.


My friend does Sonlight also, there is a lot of reading. Her family has found it works well to do some of the reading as their 'bedtime' reading - the reading gets done, just not during regular 'school hours' but as part of their bedtime routine. Frees up a little time earlier in the day. She reads to them or they to her. Have fun on this new adventure!


Wow some great ideas. My solution to cleaning was a cleaning lady every two weeks. I don't get my nails done or even my hair cut much but that is best money spent for the health of our school. My kids are little (just 7, 5, and 3). So I get them to help where they can. I am throwing out the "laundry day idea" and going to two loads a day washed, dryed, and put away. My 7 year old puts his own clothes away too. School day so hard to tell with our many breaks for wiggly boys. I would say if you added it all up minus breaks and wiping the littlest's bottom... 3-4 hours. I am adding second child in PRE-K this year who does not have much much of his day will be keeping him on task. I got the Christmas box of manipulative for him. Somethings we don't do everyday like Language Arts. I know you will figure it out...give it time...adding one new cirrculum can be hard...this is all new this year to give yourself some credit.

Barbara Watkins

My children are grown now and they were homeschooled. During those homeschool years our schedule was very flexible but in general our school hours were from nine in the morning until noon. I felt that in those three hours we usually accomplished more than regular schooled students did in a seven or eight hour day because of having one teacher for two students and no time spent changing classes, waiting for the entire class to turn to a page, etc. Best wishes for happy homeschooling.

Lisa notes...

I needed this reminder.

I SO much struggle with wanting to multitask, even while doing school, :-( especially since we often use my laptop to do schoolwork (to check off lesson plans, look things up, etc.). It's just too easy to check e-mail while my daughter is working on a problem, etc.

But it's not good. I'm trying to be better about telling myself "NO" to the distractions, and just focusing on her.

Thanks for sharing!

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