My kids wake up when they wake up. They’re early risers naturally, so they are all up by 8. They eat breakfast and then head into the “classroom”. On the chalkboard are everyone’s assignments for the day. My oldest two sit down at their computers or with a textbook and get started. The younger ones and I go through the books we picked from the library a few days ago, and while everyone is occupied, I get their science materials ready, an experiment on electricity. One of the older children will do the soldering to show the younger ones what a circuit is and we talk about the flow of electricity. We spend some time brainstorming different ways to conserve electricity. The children get very excited talking about solar and wind energy, so we write those ideas down in the notebook we keep in our library tote. We will find some age appropriate books about the topic when we go back at the end of this week. After that, we have cultural arts. Today it is music, and we listen to Peter and the Wolf. The older children each receive a piece from it to practice for next week.  The younger children have to draw all the different characters for a quiz. I play various segments and they have to hold up which animal it represents. Next, we do the same and they have to identify the instrument.

We break for lunch and since it is a nice day, the kids run around in the yard for awhile. One of my children has been having trouble with multiplication tables, so we take the time to count the sections of sidewalk in front of our house, then multiply to out how many are on the street. We write down our answer on the driveway; later, we will take a walk and count it all to check our work. Once we are back inside, the kids all have a half hour of independent study—this is any subject they like and want to do an in-depth investigation on. At the end of the week, they present a report on their study to the rest of us. On Friday afternoons before we head to the library, the children give me their potential topic for the next week (because I’m obviously not going to let them do just anything) and we go over possible resources and activities. While they are working, I review the materials I need for tomorrow and get the last part of our day set up: any state required competency evaluations. Next, they do their mandated testing or handwriting practice. We talk about what is happening the next day—we have a co-op field trip to a nearby museum for a lecture on Egyptian history. The kids are very excited and decide they want to write their names in hieroglyphics, so we look that up and the kids try their best. We end the day making up our own symbol-based languages. We ran a little longer than usual, but it is hard to tell them to stop when they’re interested in learning about something!

We start school when we want, usually halfway through August because the kids are too hot and are indoors all day anyway. We take a week off in January for a family vacation and don’t have to worry about missing school or having our vacation spot being packed because we don’t operate on the county schedule. We don’t lose days due to bad weather; instead, we use the opportunity to learn more about how weather works. We don’t take long holiday breaks, so the kids are done with school by May. I submit my stuff to the county schoolboard, they sign off on it, and then we’re off for the summer. I thought homeschooling would be an overwhelming amount of work but it turns out that I love it. The positives make it so worth it. I love that the hours are flexible when we need them to be, the kids get to learn not just about the stuff they have to but the stuff they’re honestly interested in. I also like that our school year works around OUR calendar, not the other way around.