Before we moved out to the country, we had a big house in the historic district right in the middle of town. It wasn’t remodeled or all fixed up, but we had great space and we enjoyed having people over quite a bit. Everyone kind of knew that I wasn’t one of those hostesses that rolled out the red carpet or anything, but my most important concern was always making people feel at home. You know how you go over some people’s homes and they just make you kind of wish yours was nicer or that you were more organized? I used to always joke that my ministry was to make everyone else feel better about their houses and housekeeping!
Well it’s kind of the same with our homeschool. I don’t think our daily schedule will intimidate anyone and it might even make them feel better about all that they ARE getting done.
I can remember the first homeschool magazine that I ever saw. They had a large family on the cover with all the girls wearing denim jumpers and the brothers wearing coordinating button up shirts and khakis. Inside there was a column where people wrote about what a day was like at their house. Well the schedule that they had was so detailed and "perfect" that I just about couldn’t believe anyone really lived like that. I literally called one of my friends and said, "Can you believe this? Do you REALLY think some people have it all together?"
I guess that’s what I liked so much about TOS the first time I saw it, and it’s what makes me so happy to work for them. The magazine encourages me with what other people are doing in their homes without making me feel like a complete and total loser. I mean, I KNOW that some people are much more organized than I am and that some people are much more structured, but I like it when I feel like I can learn FROM them without having to BE like them.
So, without further ado, here’s a bit about a normal day at the Carter household.
Since I’m working full time from home, I usually do quite a bit of work late at night on the computer after everyone else has gone to bed so my husband actually gets our two oldest boys up in the morning and has them get started on their chores and breakfast while I catch a few extra zzzz’s. Joe, my oldest, is pretty much King of the Kitchen so he starts off the day straightening things in there, while Jake, my middle son, heads out to take care of the animals. Feeding all the critters around here is quite a task. The dogs have to be fed in the garage so that the chickens don’t eat their food. Usually the chickens and cats all follow him up to the barn while he feeds Billy the horse. Next he heads on over to the chickens to feed them and check for eggs. And he *hopes* that the chickens and guineas will be so busy with their food that they’ll stay out of the cat food. Notice a pattern here?
By the time I get up, the boys are pretty much on auto-pilot so I just check in with them and then check my email. Soon enough my 6 year old will join us and then I’ll do some school with him or his middle brother will pitch in. All this time the oldest one is either plunking away with his schoolwork on the computer or doing some handy fix-it task around the house.
And then because I am a totally spoiled momma, the boys usually fix lunch for all of us. I do more work on the computer, crack the whip to keep the boys going with their schoolwork, try to get someone to switch the laundry around, find something semi-educational to keep the 6 yr old busy while his brothers are still working, and chat with my husband on the phone. As the afternoon goes on, I’ll check on my middle son’s progress with his schoolwork, check in on the oldest to see how he’s doing, and then they’ll try to straighten the house a bit before their dad gets home.
Once dad gets home, all bets are off. (just kidding) Sometimes they’re still finishing up work. Sometimes they move on to doing stuff outside. But the part that is always the same is that they pretty much try to get right up under him to hear about how his day was, who he saw, and who he talked to.
And now while it’s still kind of cold outside, our evenings are pretty much spent inside either on the Internet (we all look like a bunch of nerds sitting around with our laptops) or watching TV.
That’s about it. We don’t do a bunch of outside activities, sports, or music lessons. We pretty much just hang out and live life together which keeps us PLENTY busy, but somehow learning seems to happen in the midst of it all!