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survival guide homeschool

My Survival Guide to Homeschooling and Home Life

I started homeschooling about 10 years ago when my son’s teacher told me she felt that he needed to be put on ADD medication. I felt she was overwhelmed and that my son was a 4 year old boy that didn’t have the capability or should even have to spend 8 hours in a class room. Soon after I started homeschooling him and his little sister. It has been the hardest and best decision I have ever made. Might I add, my son is the calmest one of my three kiddos now.

homeschoolingSince then, it has been a roller coaster ride of balancing school and family life. In the last 2 years we have returned our oldest two back to public school when they both entered middle school. So now we just have our Little Bit left at home doing school. All said and done though it is so worth the ride. We have a schedule, not that we keep it everyday, but it’s nice to know there is a foundation for what should be happening each day. That way if you stray, you have a guideline to help you get back there. Homeschooling is not just something what you do. It’s a lifestyle. You are constantly teaching and keeping your eyes open for learning opportunities in life. That’s what makes homeschooling so awesome!

survival guide homeschool

This is what a normal day looks like in our house or should I say what the schedule is SUPPOSED to be like in our house.

5:30 am. – Dad and Mom wake up ( yes A.M.! For me this is insanity!)

6:00 – Dad leaves for work

6:30 – Mom wakes up big sis who has returned to public school

6:30-7:15 – Mom drinks coffee and does Blog stuff while sis gets ready for school.

7:15-7:20 Mom takes sis to school.

7:30- 9:00 Wake up time and breakfast. Yes it takes this long. I am not a morning person and I’m half asleep till at least 9.

9-11 We do household chores

11-12 lunch and mom checks her emails

12-2:30ish – School

2:30-3:30 Watch educational shows or documentaries. (She loves Magic school bus)

3:30-4 – Free play while mom cleans up the house some more.

4-5:30 -Sis is home and doing homework next to mom while I do blog stuff and KK plays with friends, draws or whatever she wants.

5:30 -Mom starts dinner and cleans up the kitchen some more.

6:30 -Dad is usually home. We have dinner.

7 – We hang out, watch a movie, take showers, have a snack or whatever.

9 – Bed time. In our house this means we all go to our beds and chill. Kinda like “me” time. The kids can read or watch T.V., play on their Ipods or Ipads.

9:30 – KK’s lights out

10:30 -Pj’s lights out.

Usually about 11:30 Mom and Dad have lights out. If I’m lucky I will be asleep. I have insomnia so I never know.

Now this schedule varies when we have other things come up, like sickness, home school play dates, or family visits, even an unexpected day off for Dad. These days we just wing it. Sometimes these are the days I use pre-made packets for her to work on while I’m busy taking care of a sick kid or enjoying adult conversation with someone. They don’t take all day to do but give her just enough time to keep whatever she’s learning at the moment fresh in her mind. I get great free worksheets from schoolexpress and math-aids.

To help with our crazy schedule I also have a housecleaning schedule. I have allotted 2 hours for just housecleaning a day and that is because I have a kid, dogs, phone calls, and well life in general that loves to interrupt. It seems to happen every time I get in a good groove. On my fridge is this little list. It even has the kiddos chores on it so it’s all in one place. I do NOT clean my entire house everyday. I wish I was that awesome but someone stole my Super Mom cape.

I do just a few things everyday.

Monday – Dust house and clean my bedroom. I also have the kids straighten theirs.

Tuesday – I do the floors. Vacuum, sweep, mop all the floors in the house.

Wednesday – Laundry. I wash, fold, hang clothes and clean the laundry area.

Thursday – Clean kitchen surfaces. Top of fridge, microwave, deep clean stove. And organize something of your choice. I.E.: a closet, a drawer, movies, etc.

Friday – Bathrooms and wash bed sheets.

This schedule help keep my house from getting out of control and me from feeling overwhelmed about housework when something else comes up. I make sure that the kids have their chores as well or that our little is a helper. She loves wiping things down so usually on Thursdays she wipes down the dining table top and legs, then the chairs. If you have little ones you know how dirty the chairs can get.

She also helps me on Tuesdays when we scrub the floors. Yes, scrub. My opinion is that you can’t really get a floor clean with a mop. Mops are dirty to me. So we use fresh vinegar water and was rags and scrub our tile on our hands and knees. I know my floors are clean then. Just one of my pet peeves since I walk around bare foot a lot. This also teaches them routine as well as hard work to have this schedule. They know when something is going to get done and can be trained on how to do it every week till they no longer need supervision or help doing the chore.

Homeschooling in our house includes not only reading and writing skills but life skills. Something I have noticed so many young ones don’t have these days. Life skills not only help with common sense but with character too. All good parents want a child with respect for hard work and appreciation for what is done for them.

I am a strong believer that every family knows what is best for their family. If you choose to home school it will be hard and full of obstacles but I also know it has many rewards for all the hard work. You will see the difference in your children just as I do.

Chani Jameson

I'm a God loving, homeschooling, DIYing, blogger that has 3 great kiddos and an amazing husband.


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  • I agree not all kids are designed to sit in a classroom for 4 to 8 hours a day at a desk not able to move around. Kids are designed to move, not sit. So expecting them to do so is not realistic. We just sat in on a montessori parent observation for my son. There are no desks in the classrooms, everything is done on the floor so the kids can move around work with their hands and entire body. I loved it! I think it is an alternative option from regular public school. I would home school, but my day is much like yours, busy form sun up to son down keeping up with the house and blog/work that I’m only able to allocate maybe forty-five minutes of my time toward sitting down with my kids and practicing reading and writing skills. I think they need more time than I can give them. But I’m not apposed at all to homeschooling. I would just have to make sure it is my primary focus.

    • And that’s it right there Heather. You have to make it the main focus. My schedule is to make sure things get done and when they don’t for whatever reason, we have a schedule to get us back on track. We spend maybe 2 hours of full school work but honestly homeschooling is something we do all day. They learn measurements when they help me cook. They learn chemistry when we mix baking soda and vinegar together and watch the reaction when we clean our tubs. They have so many experiences through out the day in LIFE that can be turned into what I like to call mini lessons. Not to mention the common sense aspect of homeschooling which I feel public school is failing horribly at teaching. As I have always said if there is a will there is a way but also you should always do what is best for YOUR family. I like the idea of no desks in a classroom. That sounds like it would be a fun learning environment.

  • I would love to homeschool, but with two part time jobs and two blogs, it would not be possible at the moment. However, my daughter is the only one of our three in school at the moment, and it is a Waldorf inspired, outdoor education program. It’s perfect for her, being so nature based with a creative structure. I hear you on the cleaning thing. Weekends are deep cleaning days around here, and during the week it is ‘clean as needed’. My aunt had a sign on her fridge once that said, “This house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.” Hear, hear!

    • Nice saying! Smart aunt. I need that mentality. I unfortunately think I might be slightly OCD mixed with a little controlling. I will have to work on that maybe I could squeeze in a massage. The school your daughter is in sounds great. My little one would love a program like that but with animals.

  • I give you and all homeschoolers lots of credit. I never considered doing it for my kids. It must be hard work but very gratifying.

    • It took a while to get the schedule to this point. Just have to figure out what is important to you and your hubby to have done. I think it’s so good to include the kiddos in as much as we can. House work, yard work, organizing, anything around the house. The little loves to rake leaves and her big bro can mow and then both girls can pick up the clippings and BAM, my yard is done and they are proud of the work they have done. It’s so good for them. And it takes some off of you. The way we see it the kids are part of the household and that means they need to help with the household chores. I believe that this is part of their homeschooling and is just as important as any other subject.

  • I think that at 5:30am that is the only time I can get to myself. I actually get up at 4:40 so I can hit the gym first and on the days I don’t I feel more stressed. Good for you to take action and stay home so that your children can get what they need. Every family is different, but I love to see each parent making decisions based on their children.

    • I wish I was motivated enough to exercise that early but I’m doing good to make it to the coffee maker. LOL You do need time for yourself and I need to do better at that. I do believe every family is different and they should always make the best decision for their child and family as a whole.

  • I loved reading this, thanks for sharing. I went through the same thing and almost ended up homeschooling. We dealt with my son and his ADHD since kindergarten and then when he was in 3rd grade they wanted to hold him back. I had to fight tooth and nail to keep him moving onto 4th and to keep him off of meds. They wanted him medicated. I thought we would end up homeschooling but it worked out. I finally moved and got into a better district where they were more willing to help him – unmedicated. My 3 older one’s are in high school now but I still wonder if they will make it through or if I will pull them for other reasons.

    • I have a lot of opinions about ADD, learning disabilities, and other things that public school is so quick to medicate. I commend you for sticking to your guns about what you thought was best for your son. you should be proud of yourself. Hang in there. the older ones sound like they have made it this far so they have the ability to make it till the end. If you pull them there are a lot of options for them depending on their age from homeschooling to G.E.D.. Sounds like they have a supportive mom so I think they will be just fine. 🙂

  • I didn’t home school but I think every family should do what’s best for them. I think it takes a special person to be able to home school their kids. 🙂

    • I agree. Every family needs to do what is best for them. I say this in every post I do on homeschooling. It is a family choice. I do believe where there is a will there’s a way to home school but it needs to be the best thing for the family even if it’s not the easiest thing. All parents are special because we actually get to mold the future generation. Homeschooling is just a different way to do it but thank you so much for checking out my post! You are too kind.

  • Our girls returned to public school this year. One in HS and the other to MS. My son entered college this year. so my homeschool house is now quite quiet during the day. You have a great schedule. I wish I could be that organized.

    • Our older to just returned to Middle school but we still have the little one. And like I said above this schedule is so that when stuff hits the fan we have a routine to fall back on. It works best for us since my husband and I are ex military and like routine. I think it’s good for the kiddos to know what happening everyday. LOL My schedule may be organized but if you have a good way to organize my school closet and my pantry that would be awesome!

  • I am a homeschool mom, I have 5 kids. I try to keep the same schedule daily unless we have a field trip or playdate. We start school at 9:30/10:00 and work till lunch, break and then finish. Then I do house chores, etc.

    • That’s great! Having a schedule that works for your family is the best stress reliever ever. We didn’t always have this schedule and there were days I was stressed, kids were crazy, and the house was a wreck. We used to do school around 9 but it just seemed like KK did better later in the day. She’s like her mom, not a morning person.

  • Good suggestions and I am impressed by the schedule. I never really considered home schooling as I have trouble keeping to a schedule but with the current bout of testing, I have begun to consider it. Thank you for sharing how you’ve made it work for your family.

    • Traci. If you are considering it there are so many different lesson plans and schedules you can do that fit your family. I understand about the testing now that my two older ones are back in school. Not to mention other public school issues. I did months of research before I started and still had to change things occasionally through trial and error but in the end I think it was best for the kiddos.

  • Your dedication is amazing! As a mom of two kids, I honestly don’t think that I could do it. Good for you for trusting your gut and doing what is best for your family.

    • You are so sweet, Monica! I am blessed with a good support system. But there was a time I was alone in a new city (Houston), single , working, homeschooling, and doing it all on faith and coffee. I think it gets easier over time and there is a lot of trial and error involved when it comes to scheduling.

  • As a pre -k teacher before I had kids I had dreams of homeschooling–I did a lot of pre-school act ivies with my daughter and didn’t send her to any pre K before …I love the one on one learning time but I realized I wasn’t really going to be comfortable having two different ages to continue schooling them both. Another DREAM would be to take them both out of school for a year and travel all over the US in an RV and have them do some hands on learning of American History!

    • We traveled with my husband when he worked in the oil field. It was nice for the kids to see the other places and do things wit out having to wait till summer break. You should totally do it! We had a blast and would love to do it again without Dad working. I hope you get to do at least one year. What an experience it would be for them.

  • I am glad homeschooling is not popular here in the Philippines and for you -you got a good guide here that is helpful for those who have the similar situation like you- this is helpful

    • Thank you. It’s nice to hear from someone all the way from Philippines! This guide can help even parents in public school. Just customize it to fit your family. Thank you for your comment.

  • How old is your home schooled daughter?

    I home schooled my boys through 8th grade. The last few years, school work took a bit longer, but we did it like you. Later in the day, not first thing. We are not morning people, so household chores made more sense than schoolwork we all wanted to snooze through.

    I loved learning with my boys! I’m a history and geography buff now. I never liked either one in my school days!

  • I admire you for doing what was best for your kids and your family. If I ever am unhappy with our school I will not hesitate to pull my kids out to homeschool, but for now public school is working out and we are all happy.

    • It was not an easy choice and we have put our two older ones back in public school but I think homeschooling gave them a good foundation. I encourage families to do what’s best for them. It may be to just home school one child that need more one on one time or has a learning issue. But the most important thing is doing what’s best for them and you. Thanks for your kind words Jessica.

  • Yeah I think some children do better being home schooled, I never had the patience to homeschool but I did think about it once when I was having trouble getting Jes to go to school. I think those who do homeschool are bloody marvellous

    • LOL. It does require a lot of patience sometimes but being on a good routine makes it so much easier. I had a good friend that home schooled 8 of her kiddos that helped me a lot too in the beginning. Oh what an adjustment it was waking up so early when my husband changed jobs and my older ones went back to public school. I can understand not wanting to go. 🙂 Just hang in there! Thanks again for the comment.