Don’t you wish you could be a fly on the wall of homeschooling households around the world? To see what a day in the life looks like when homeschooling gifted kids – or any kids?

I do.

And, while no day will ever look the same as the last around here, I’m sharing an account of how a fairly typical day might look – the good, the bad, and the beautiful. Because, seriously… the gift of homeschooling is beautiful.

Even when it’s messy.

Or all over the place in an eclectic, interest-driven way, like ours.

So, make yourself comfortable in my cluttered family room, and watch the chaos unfold around you.

Here we go…

 

Homeschooling Gifted Kids Interest Based Eclectic Approach via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

7:00 a.m.

I hear Brian in the shower getting ready for work. Everyone else is sleeping. So I roll back over, pull the covers up, and fall asleep again.

I’ve said it before…I’m not a morning person.

I get hit in the head by a book {Logan has crawled into bed with me and a brought a stack of picture books to help her stay quiet until I wake up…ahem} and my startled cry wakes Isaac in the crib next to our bed. But I buy myself a bit more time by pulling him into a snuggle, give him the apple juice Brian left on my nightstand for this purpose, and settle Logan back into her books.

8:30 a.m.

They’ve had enough of me, and wander into the family room to play with wooden trains together. I stumble along soon after and grab some coffee {thank you Brian – again!}, and check my email, blog, and social media comments from a partially upright position on the couch.

 

Homeschooling Gifted Kids Interest Based Eclectic Approach via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

Molly joins us within a few minutes and takes Logan and Isaac into the kitchen for breakfast {thank goodness she’s a morning person} with Trevor joining them soon after.

 

Between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

I’m hopping in the shower and Trevor and Molly are devising ways to skip out on their work to spend their day in the attic building LEGO.

Since they missed their window, and I’m now showered and caffeinated, they’re out of luck and I send them off to complete their morning routine.

10:30 a.m.

We join together at the kitchen table for hot chocolate and Bible study. This year we’re diving into Grapevine Studies again, but trying out the Catechism books. I’m excited because while it’s the amazingly approachable and fun stick-figuring my kids love, it requires them to dig through the Bible for the answers.

They love this time together because Grapevine Studies are fun, and hot chocolate just makes everything awesome.

 

Homeschooling Gifted Kids Interest Based Eclectic Approach via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

11:00 a.m.

Trevor is done with Bible study and heads off to his new workstation in the family room where he is exploring computer coding using a new book from DK Publishing. He’ll do his math at some point and probably work on a stop-motion animation film, too. Molly finishes up her meticulously detailed, ummm…. stick figures. Eventually she’s done and pulls out math, handwriting, or her journal to work on independently while I work with my newest homeschooler, Logan. Isaac looks on, eating graham crackers, playing with matchbox cars, or splashing in a plastic tub with a little bit of water {whatever works}.

And he stays strapped into his clip on high chair at the table…for everyone’s safety and sanity.

Logan is working on Kindergarten Math from Singapore, and we do this together during this time. We may also play a new math game or work on some letter sounds or handwriting.

Molly wants to write books, so we work on a little bit of story development in her newest tale. Then she goes off to illustrate another book.

 

12:00 p.m.

Logan and I are done with her one-on-one time. She usually chooses to stay at the table and work through some workbooks I picked up while I make lunch. Logan really wants to be with people right now – preferably me – so she’d rather do a craft or workbook pages so she can stay in the same room with me.

Today I pulled out a Kiwi Crate box I’d gotten just for her. This one was a sample box that I’d been given to try out and review if I wanted to. She had so much fun, and the activities were so well thought out, that I’m buying her a subscription myself. If you’re looking for a fun learning activity for your preschooler or Kindergartner, Kiwi Crate is it. Ours came with all the materials to complete two farm crafts. The first, and the one she’s working on now, is making a set of felt farm animal finger puppets.

 

Homeschooling Gifted Kids Interest Based Eclectic Approach via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

You can sign up to receive a free sample crate too — you’ll just have to pay a few dollars for shipping. {I’ll be sharing more of our adventures with Kiwi Crate this year. Since I’m buying Logan a subscription, I might as well share the fun we’re having with it.}

The other kids are finishing up independent work while Isaac wanders and disrupts them, sometimes playing with his tot trays, sometimes ripping apart or drawing on their math.

 

1:30 p.m. {ish}

Theoretically, this should be my chance to check in on my email, and work a bit on any writing projects I have going on at the moment. We’re trying to have a daily quiet time when Isaac goes down for a nap. I can work, and the kids can rest or play with LEGO, read, or work on spool knitting, rubber band bracelets, or whatever creative pursuit they are currently hooked on.

But today isn’t working out for any of us.

Isaac won’t sleep, Logan wants to talk {and talk and talk and talk}, Molly can’t find anything to do, and Trevor only wants to annoy his sisters. He’s the only one completely successful with his plans, and has been sent to his room to free the rest of us from the snarkiness. And, of course it’s my fault that he’s bored and taunting them and has now lost his Kindle for the rest of the day.

So, I brew another pot of coffee, snag a Dove dark chocolate square from my stash, and put Liberty’s Kids on for everyone.

I need a break.

Instead of tackling my work to-do list like I should be at this time, I scroll through Pinterest, my Facebook page, and play on my new favorite app, Voxer. I’m sure my friends Dianna and Pam are tired of hearing from me.

 

3:00 p.m.

Everyone grabs a snack and we head outside to do some chalk art on the sidewalk. Our new favorite tutorial book is from Tricia over at Hodgepodge and is full of sharks – our sidewalk has looked like an aquarium for a few weeks now. We’ve gotten some of the neighbor kids hooked as well.

 

Shark Art Tutorials
 

Once our school year is in full-curriculum mode, we’ll do some science, history, or geography at this time depending on what loop we’re in. We’ll be looping some of our subjects – chunking them together in time periods instead of doing a bit if each every week. If you’re looking for ways to fit in all of your subjects, I highly recommend Pam Barnhill’s Plan Your Year Planning Kit. I’ve read it, and am going back through it now, listening to the Mp3s that come with it and printing out the included planning sheets. It’s changing the way I do things – for the better. Way better.

 

Plan Your Year Homeschool Planner
 

 

4:00 p.m.

The skies have clouded over, and my I’m-afraid-of-everything-including-my-own-shadow-right-now five year old has decided that it’s just too dangerous to stay outside any longer because there is a slight chance it could rain before midnight…

So, Trevor and Molly go off to play with the neighbors who come from all over the connecting streets lately {there are new kids every day that I need to go out and meet – we’re becoming a destination house} to have Nerf wars. Apparently word got out that we have a substantial armory of Nerf Rebelle bows and guns for the girls and giant Nerf machine guns, bows, pistols, and shotguns for the boys, along with Mashoonga padded sport swords and toy daggers. The bin is divvied up between sides, and the battle rages until dinner.

Sometimes Isaac joins in the fray as it’s a well-spoken rule on our property that if you’re playing there with our toys, you will respect kids of all ages – even the toddlers – and find a way to include them.

He’s usually a hostage. With a sword that he swings at everyone who gets too close.

Today, though, Logan is convinced of the imminent danger lurking in the clouds, and fears for her life, and since Isaac hasn’t napped, I throw plastic snow, tinsel, penguins, and marbles in the water table and drag it into the kitchen.

 

Homeschooling Gifted Kids Interest Based Eclectic Approach via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

They play for an hour and a half, and I make dinner and write a blog post.

 

5:30 p.m.

Dinner is almost ready, Brian is home, and I tell the kids to gather weapons and darts so that they can make it inside by 6:15-ish when I’d like to eat. The epic battle has littered our yard with toys, weapons, fairy wings and princess dresses, and Nerf darts. It’ll take awhile. Thankfully, all of the random kids that have shown up want to come play again, so they help my guys clean up.

Grumbling begins because I’m the meanest mom ever to make them come inside to eat the horrible grass-fed beef, steamed veggies, and buttered potatoes I chose for dinner. Macaroni and Cheese from a box would have been so much better.

 

7:00 p.m.

Brian does the dishes because he loves me…and I hate doing them. The kids are outside playing on the trampoline with a few kids that came back hoping for another war, but mean mommy said that they couldn’t bring out the weapons again until tomorrow because she doesn’t want to search for darts in the dark.

Isaac and Logan are outside, too. Apparently all danger has passed – or the lure of the kids couldn’t be ignored anymore.

I’m cleaning up from the day, and getting ready to start the evening craziness.

 

Homeschooling Gifted Kids Interest Based Eclectic Approach via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

8:00 p.m.

Someone bumped into someone, who said something mean to someone else, so the kids are all inside now, pouting. My stance — if you can’t get along with your family, you aren’t allowed to play with neighbors. Family comes first. Always.

I send Molly to the shower, Logan to the basement playroom with Isaac, and Trevor to practice his flute with Brian. And then I rotate Logan and Isaac in the bath until all three are scrubbed, have eaten snacks, and have their teeth brushed. Trevor heads to the shower, complaining, and Brian takes the girls and reads to them.

After about 463 reminders, Trevor has taken a shower, eaten a snack, brushed his teeth, and is reading on the couch.

 

Homeschooling Gifted Kids Interest Based Eclectic Approach via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

9:30 p.m.

The girls are asleep. Trevor is talking…and continues talking to anyone {even Isaac} who comes near enough to hear. Isaac has returned to a semi-nocturnal state lately as he has three molars coming in, and he’s gotten an I’m-over-tired-second-wind burst of energy. He’s currently dancing around the family room while I try {unsuccessfully} to work.

 

10:30 p.m.

Trevor heads to bed, Brian has been asleep for a few minutes, and I take Isaac, who has finally settled a bit, into the bedroom and lay down with him. He’s asleep within a few minutes.

I transfer him to his crib, and head to the kitchen with my computer. One of the things I miss most since moving to Teeny House is the office I used to have. I like to spread out my work, and do better when I can just pick up where I left off, but since Teeny House is, well, teeny…I need to restart everything each time I work.

I’m a night owl, so I work until late. Between now and sometime around 1:00 or 2:00 a.m., I’ll head to bed.

And then start all over again tomorrow.

Want to see some more “day in the life” posts? Head over to the link-up that the iHomeschool Network is hosting or another from The Gifted Homeschoolers ForumThere are bound to be moms who have it WAY more together than me, sharing what their typical day looks like.

What does YOUR day look like? Share in the comments.

Homeschooling Gifted Kids Interest Based Eclectic Approach via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

Colleen Kessler

Colleen is an explorer, tinkerer, educator, writer, creator, and a passionate advocate for the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children. She has a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in gifted studies, is a sought-after national speaker and educational consultant, and is the founder of the popular blog and podcast Raising Lifelong Learners, as well as Raising Poppies, a community of support for parents of gifted children. She lives in northeast Ohio with her four bright and quirky kiddos, patient husband, and ever-changing collection of small reptiles, mammals, and insects.

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