What does a home educator do all day?

I’ve recently shared what my children’s days look like. So, I thought it would be interesting to follow up with a post on what it is that I do all day.

Monday

I got up to find my husband was already up with the kids (hooray). I looked in on Middly, who was hard at work and Eldest, who was reading in bed. Then I went downstairs. I admired Youngest’s duplo themepark, then made myself a cup of tea.
I took Youngest upstairs to get dressed. When I came back, my husband had made me toast. I ate that whilst reading my book.

Middly showed me his Minecraft house and I made vaguely approving noises. I dropped in on Eldest and encouraged him to consider getting up. 

I did some laundry. Youngest read his reading book to me. I helped Middly make his breakfast. I gathered some books that explained how batteries worked. I gave the books to Middly to help him write this week’s Science Club newsletter.

Youngest found his Songbirds workbook and I helped him do a few pages in that, occasionally spelling words for Middly.

I went upstairs to check on Eldest, then ran back down to break up a fight between Middly and Youngest.

I had a quick chat with my husband about work stuff (interrupted a couple of times to help Middly with the computer and Youngest with his drawing). Then I made salad for lunch.

We ate lunch together. Then my husband helped me get shoes and sweaters on all the children. I drove to the library.

I returned last week’s library books. I read your books to Youngest and discussed which books the older two were taking out. I helped Youngest take out his library books.

We had a walk in the park, then I drove back home and made the children a snack, and drank a cup of tea. I helped Eldest with his crystal growing project.

While all the boys were occupied with library books, I snuck in ten minutes quiet time. I used to have a regular routine, but these days it feels more like snatching tiny bits of unoccupied time.

I drove Eldest and Middly to my brother’s house and left them there to play Dungeons and Dragons.

Back home, I made brownies with Youngest. Then I read to him.

Then my husband and I took Youngest to the park for a play before we picked up the older boys.

Back home, I made nut roast for tea. I watched Harry Hill’s Tea Time with the boys. Then we all ate tea together. Eldest finished a workbook book today, so we made a fuss, and celebrated with brownies for pudding.

I sorted out the boys’ work for tomorrow and made sure that they have everything they’ll need. Then I watched TV and sorted laundry.

Tuesday

My husband brought me a cup of tea in bed this morning. 😊

I played a game with Youngest, which mainly involved pretending to sleep, so that was easy.

I helped Middly with his Punctuation work. Then I managed to read a bit of my book while I ate breakfast. I got Youngest dressed, then I helped Middly with some Biology that he was finding tricky.

Stopped in to discuss work  my husband.

Youngest turned on the PC and announced that he was going to type this own newsletter. So, I opened a new document and showed him how the return key and space-bar work.

I put on a pot of coffee. Then Middly asked for help with a maths puzzle. I gave him a clue to help him figure it out.

Youngest wanted to print his newsletter, so I showed him how to do that (I’m hoping that I don’t live to regret teaching him how to print, he goes through quite a lot of paper already). Middly showed me that he’s solved the maths puzzle, and I was suitably impressed.

I put on laundry and made pasta for lunch, then listened to Youngest read while lunch cooked.

After lunch, Middly and I messed around with multimeters, nails and LEDs, trying to finalise plans for tomorrow’s Science Club.

Middly got bored, but my husband came down and had a look with me. 

Then I drove Middly to his swimming lesson. While he swam, I read books to Youngest. Then I pretended to understand the swimming teacher’s tips about Middly’s technique (I can swim, but I am not at all polished, so Middly is already far better than me). As we drove home, I handed out snacks and told Middly all that his teacher had said and it made sense to Middly, so that was good.

Back home, I put on the TV then finished Science Club prep on my laptop. Finally, I sorted out the boys’ work for tomorrow.

Wednesday

Read to Youngest, watched Middly do a ‘play’ with Lego. Helped Eldest make a crossword using a website. 

My husband took the boys to McDonald’s for lunch, and I met them at Science Club. I talked a bit about atoms, electricity and acids. Then I handed out experiment sheets and the children made simple batteries out of water and cola. I walked around troubleshooting experiments and occasionally dragging Youngest out from under the tables. I talked more about how the cells worked, and challenged the older children to connect their cells up to make batteries that could power an LED. I sorted out a few troublesome experiments and stopped Middly drinking all the cola. I talked about static electricity and did a demo with a balloon and tissue paper. Then I admired the children’s static electricity works of art. Then I tidied the room, put all my equipment in the car and went to the park.

One of my favourite things about Science Club is getting a chance to chat to other home educators. It’s immensely reassuring and a lot of fun. I really love the group of people I see at Science Club.

My husband met up with us again and we went to visit my family. I drank tea, ate cake and talked nonsense.

Then we came home. My husband and I made a curry together. After tea, Eldest went out, and I baked a cake with Middly. 

Before bed, I found Youngest’s missing Ninja Turtles. 

Thursday

Got up early today, admired Middly’s magic tricks and made breakfast.

Then we went to Chessington Amusement Park for the day. I went on rides, took photos, and generally had a fantastic time. When we arrive at big places like this, I insist that everyone picks one ‘must do’ activity. Then I can be sure that we do at least one thing to please each of us. In the event, the queues were very short and it was easy to fit everything in. I chose a zoo ride that we could all go on together.

Eldest and Middly loved the big rides. Youngest was particularly excited by the baby monkey.

We came home very late and I carried a sleeping Youngest to bed.

Friday

Unsurprisingly, we got up late today.

Played Lego with a droopy Youngest. He had a bit of a temperature. I gave him some medicine and asked my husband to look after him when I took the older two out. I don’t often get the option of leaving a slightly unwell child at home, I was very glad of it today.

Helped Middly make a model train. Made a picnic for those of us going out and sorted out lunch for those staying home.

Took the big boys to a park. We met up with a group of friends. I am blessed to have a wonderful group of home ed friends, and one of them organised an archery lesson for the children today. I watched the archery, and even had a bit of a go, myself. 

We are our picnic together and went for a walk in the woods. 

Some of our friends came back to our house. I made coffee for the grownups and snacks for everyone. I supervised Middly and his friend, playing with the rats. 

I reminded Eldest about his tennis lesson and found his racket for him.

Middly, his friend expressed an interest starting a drama group. My friend and I talked about how we could get this sorted out for them. While I chatted, Youngest snuggled up on my lap and went to sleep.

My husband and I made tea together again. Over tea, Eldest said that he would like to start a family book club. We discussed that. He’s already selected a book, Cogheart, so we agreed to read that as a bedtime story, so that everyone will know it.

Saturday

My husband took the boys out for a treasure hunt. We’ve used Treasure Trails several times now. They’re a fun addition to a long walk and can liven up an area we already know.

I did the ironing, treated myself to a ready meal for lunch and finally got a few hours of writing done.

I feel like I ought to praise my husband for taking the boys out. He does this roughly every other weekend, and I do appreciate it. But, honestly, I don’t think that I could cope without these breaks. Having a day to work on my own projects is vital to me.

Sunday

This is our family day. Church in the morning, an easy lunch, then board games. We played Q-bitz and Brain Box games this week.

Our board game sessions are rarely entirely peaceful, but I think that they’re worthwhile.


Thoughts

This week, my husband was around a lot. He didn’t visit clients’ sites, so we saw a lot of him, which made this a very good week!

Looking back over what I do all day, I’m still not sure! I seem to spend a lot of time providing an audience for the boys. Youngest still does reading and writing next to me, but the older two are more independent. My main role in their learning seems to be planning and providing activities, then celebrating when they’re done. I find the emotional and behavioural stuff the most draining. Breaking up squabbles, soothing tantrums and trying to encourage politeness is an endless loop. I don’t think that’s exclusive to home educators, though!

Books

Like my boys, I usually have a few books on the go. At the moment, I’m reading Robin Hobb novels for escapist fiction, Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History for non-fiction and  An Introduction to Elementary Logic to challenge myself.

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