This marks my 9th year of homeschooling – whew! It’s crazy to think that my family has now been navigating this unconventional educational path for nearly a decade. Things have certainly changed a lot since those early years, especially as we’ve settled into a new season with a tween and a teen. Here is a peek into my homeschooling day in the life with a 12 and 14-year-old!
Honestly, I’ve spent a lot of time this year feeling like a lazy homeschooler.
I haven’t done nearly as much planning, copy-making, and gathering supplies as I have in years past.
This has a little to do with the age and stage of my children and mostly to do with the peace and wisdom that come with homeschooling for nine years.
I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that one.
now that I have a 12 and 14-year old, I’ve felt a big shift in our homeschooling rhythm this year.
I have transitioned from being the teacher to more of an
This is because my children are now at an age where they’ve taken on much of the responsibility for their education. They are increasingly independent and self-motivated.
They have certain subjects they know must be completed each day, and they have ample time to pursue their own interests as well.
This is such a beautiful thing!
It was also a little unnerving at the beginning of the school year, if I’m being completely honest.
I found myself wondering if I should be doing more.
If I was requiring too little.
If I was being lazy.
But overall, things are going pretty well this year.
It’s tough to come up with a “typical” day in the life because no two weekdays look the same. My daughter dances five days a week and my son does judo year-round as well as baseball in the spring. So afternoons and evenings are usually consumed with these activities.
But for the sake of simplicity, let’s just pretend it’s a typical Tuesday, OK?
here’s my homeschooling day in the life with a 12 and 14-year-old!
My alarm goes off at 7am. After brushing my teeth, getting dressed, and making my bed, I head to the living room. I get my coffee or tea going, light a candle, and have my morning quiet time. This looks like a bit of journaling, some stretching or foam rolling, and 10 minutes of meditation.
This morning quiet time is essential for my overall well-being.
It is MUCH easier to consistently prioritize this time, now that my children are older.
My daughter usually gets up around the same time and likes to get an early start on her school work. She enjoys the quiet mornings and opts to stay in her room and work independently.
My son has been sleeping in lately. These tween years and a recent growth spurt mean he’s usually up around 9:30 but he’ll sometimes sleep even later. Once he’s awake, he usually parks it in the living room or kitchen to start in on his independent work.
My kiddos know what is expected of them every day and they each have “Daily Responsibility” sheets with their tasks and responsibilities outlined. Some subjects are done (mostly) independently and I am always available to instruct, correct, encourage, and collaborate as needed.
We all eat breakfast and lunch when we’re hungry and these days, my kids do most of their own meal prep.
During this morning time of (mostly) independent work, I try to squeeze in a half-hour workout, feed the dog, do a couple of loads of laundry, and get a few other miscellaneous tasks done.
Again, our homeschooling days look much different at ages 12 and 14 compared to when my children were little. They definitely have more independence and autonomy!
Here’s a breakdown of the curriculum and materials we use for each subject.
In the early elementary years, we used Right Start Math and then eventually transitioned to Singapore Math. Both programs worked well for us but last year we decided we were interested in changing things up a bit.
We started using an online program called Live Online Math and we love it! The format is self-paced and we usually do one lesson a day, taking more time as needed. We especially love the notes templates which coincide with each lesson.
Both my son and daughter take an online writing class through a teacher who is located about an hour from us. It is taught on Monday mornings, in real-time, to a group of 12 kids. The Instructor teaches using the IEW, (Institute for Excellence in Writing) method and the focus is U.S. history. The kids spend the rest of the week on their writing assignments, which I help with on an as-needed basis.
Together, we take an online science class through Next Level Homeschool. This year we are doing Earth Sciences with Mary Middlebrook but we have also taken all of her Marine Biology courses as well as Harry Potter Genetics!
Mary is a phenomenal teacher and we’ve loved all of the science classes she teaches through Next Level Homeschool.
When it comes to history, we follow a VERY relaxed approach. In our early homeschooling years, we started with the classical method where we began with ancient civilizations, followed by middle ages, and then
The book, Give Your Child the World, by Jamie Martin, has been an incredible guide for our family and I have come to use it as our main reference when planning our history studies. I prefer leading with one of Jamie’s book recommendations that are related to the time period we’re studying. We either read aloud together or the
Then we dive into a little bit of related nonfiction. We’ll watch video clips and documentaries, read articles, biographies, autobiographies, and encyclopedias, and listen to podcasts.
My kids attend Japanese school Saturday mornings for three hours. They complete their homework throughout the week and my husband, who is a native speaker, is available to help them in the evenings after work.
They also do a little bit of memory work as well as 10-15 minutes a day of Spanish, using Duolingo. We keep this very low-key and mellow.
Time spent on schoolwork usually lasts about five hours, give or take depending on the day. Sometimes we’re fully dressed and alert and other days you’ll find us lounging on the couch in our pj’s.
After daily responsibilities are finished, everyone is free to pursue their own interests until it’s time to get ready for afternoon activities.
Around 2pm, my daughter gets ready for dance and my husband usually arrives home from work. He works long hours on M/W/F and T/Th are shorter days. He and my son spend some quality time together while my daughter and I head to dance. She spends the next few hours at her studio while I come back home to get some work done, do some blogging, and get dinner going.
My husband and son head out for judo around 5pm, where they each do classes back to back. I have dinner ready before I head out to pick my daughter up.
Once we’re all back at home it’s just after 8pm. We have a late dinner, (typical for our family) and then shower, watch a show or read, and head off to bed. I aim to have the kids in their rooms by 10pm and I try to be asleep by 11pm.
But we’re night owls and I hardly ever tell my kids to turn off the lights and go to bed when they’re reading a book.
This is one of the many reasons I’m so grateful for homeschooling. Knowing that my kiddos can sleep in makes late afternoon and evening activities possible because I know their sleep won’t be compromised.
my homeschooling day in the life definitely looks different depending on what day of the week it is.
Because This year, no two days look the same around here.
The tween and teen years are a roller coaster ride of hormones and emotions, for sure! But we are continuing to enjoy learning and growing alongside one another, just as we always have.
While our routine and rhythm definitely look different from our early homeschooling years, there is a beauty and richness that is taking place right now. I am so grateful to be able to witness it firsthand!
Thanks for letting me share this snapshot of my homeschooling day in the life with you. I’d LOVE to learn more about what YOUR homeschooling day in the life is like, so please feel free to reply in the comments.