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A Day in the Life of A Techie Homeschool Family

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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 22
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: A Day in the Life of A Techie Homeschool Family Reply with quote

The following is a “typical” day in the not-so-typical life of our homeschooling family in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Our family consists of myself, (mom, homemaker, freelance writer, and confirmed techie), dear hubby (operations director of our local homeless shelter, and confirmed non-techie), and two sons, Andy (13, homeschooled since kindergarten, ultra-techie, with Tourette Syndrome) and Perry (11, homeschooled since 1st grade, mildly-techie, ultra-imaginative, with dyslexia and mild OCD).

I keep our homeschooling time on a schedule, mostly because Perry has some anxiety issues, and schedules and sameness seem to suit him. Otherwise, we would probably be much more “relaxed” schedule-wise, and go where the spirit leads, which is something I envy about those who follow an unschooling philosophy for homeschooling. Anyway, if our schedule seems a little rigid, I wanted you to know why.

7:00 Up and Adam (not sure exactly what that means), but it is what always comes out of my mouth when I wake the boys up in the morning. We have a small house, and our boys share one room, so wake-up call is very simple, with me turning on the overhead light and wishing good mornings to all.

7:15-7:30 Breakfast and second call to any sleepy-heads who have pulled the covers back up to their chins in morning defiance.

7:30-7:45 For me, this is morning prep-time to check on any lessons that I might need print-outs for, or to catch up on my emailing. For the boys, this is the most blessed 15 minutes of the morning, because absolutely nothing is expected of them, and they can get in a quick video game, piece of a cartoon, or a smidge of play with the dogs. Ah, blessed freedom.

7:45 Atilla the Mom announces chore time, and groans and moans ensue. Freedom is past, and slavery begins. Beds must be made, dogs fed, clothes put on (usually non-matching and backwards), and teeth brushed. The audacity of it all! Atilla the Mom insists on producing somewhat civiled human beings in spite of everything.

8:00-8:15 Morning Prayer. Our family is Episcopalian, so we start each homeschool day with Morning prayer from the Book of Common Prayer, followed by discussion of anything we feel is pressing, and often a play-by-play description of our dreams the night before. We have discovered a lot about ourselves by dissecting those dreams!

8:15-9:00 Perry has a daily ritual of journaling based on a given daily prompt using the Writer. He also uses the Writer for his daily keyboarding lesson and practice. He then does a Handwriting lesson from his workbook, arguing all the while, and finishes up with CNN Student News which we save daily on Tivo. We often discuss one of the headlines together, and have some interesting debates on current issues. Meanwhile, Andy checks his email, which usually contains feedback from his previous day’s lesson. Andy is doing a full-time distance ed program from 3DLearn, an online interactive virtual academy. He just started the program this year, and it is perfect for an ultra-techie! He then downloads his new lessons for the day, and begins his math, which is done through the Passkey Learning system. Today’s lesson is “Slope”, and he is quick to tell me he will need lots of help, so to keep myself free. (As if I would actually try to do something for myself during this critical time. Hmph.)

9:00-10:00 Perry signs into Time4Learning for his math lesson. We’ve been using Time4Learning for two years with Perry, and it has been a godsend! Perry has dyslexia and is a right-brained visual learner, so an interactive, multimedia homeschool curriculum has been the perfect answer to our curriculum dilemmas through the years. Today’s math lesson is multiplying fractions, and Perry works on his own through the lesson and accompanying worksheet, only calling me occasionally when he finds himself stuck. At 9:30, Andy gladly closes up shop at math, and grabs the Writer to do his own journaling and keyboarding. He then takes his turn at CNN Student News, and again I get to have my own version of Meet The Press with my other son, who certainly has different views than his more conservative little brother. True fun!

10:00-10:15 The slave-master lets her guard down for 15 minutes, and snack-time ensues. Usually this consists of 3.5 minutes of actual eating, and 11.5 minutes of video-game playing, instant messaging with other homeschool buddies who happen to be online, or internet surfing. Whatever they figure they can get away with while Atilla the Mom grabs her morning shower and last cup of coffee.

10:15-11:00 Whip in hand, Atilla informs the boys that homeschool again must ensue. Groans and moans follow. Today is Wednesday, which means World Geography for Perry. Using a curriculum that I pretty much designed from a couple books I picked up at homeschool book fairs, I have been working through the world with Perry for the last year. Our subject today is Rivers of the World, and we will be using our Interactive Globe, Rand McNally Atlas software, and a worksheet to examine the location and properties of the largest rivers on the globe. Andy, in the meantime, is working on the next two chapters of “The Westing Game”, his assigned book for 3Dlearn Language Arts. When his finished his chapters, he has to head to the computer and answer questions based on his reading, then upload them to the teacher.

11:00-12:00 Perry is back to Time4Learning for Language Arts, where he is elated to find out that his lesson one of his favorites - - an animated one by ‘Lego, Ergo, Sum’ about reading comprehension. He adores the humor of these lessons, and is actually disappointed when they are over. Andy is continuing working on a social studies project that pertains to his book, and he is doing research on immigrants to America before preparing a visual display about the subject in his display area at the school website.
This is my chance to do some house-cleaning, laundry, and lunch prep. Every Atilla is subject to some work, I suppose.

12:00-12:30 Lunch and more freedom. It’s winter, so no picnicking outside on the deck, but we still can watch the few birds at the feeder outside the window, and the squirrels attempting to steal their booty. Freedom for all. Life is good.

12:30-1:00 Silent reading time. Perry is reading “Holes,” with an accompanying audio-cassette, that he gets through the NC Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled. As a dyslexic, Perry qualifies to receive free audiotapes from the library, and thankfully, they have most of the books he wants to read on tape. Andy usually continues with the book he is reading for Language Arts, although sometimes he just cant resist pulling out one of his many programming books, and learning a little JAVA or CSS.

1:00-2:00 Atilla has put away her whip, and it is time for a little relaxed schooling now. This is the boys time to pick and choose what they want to do, as long as it has some educational value. Andy is doing digital photography as an elective for 3Dlearn, so many times we use this time to brush up on our picture-taking skills. Other times we find fun with some great educational websites, including,, or Sometimes we watch educational videos on (a worthwhile subscription for homeschoolers!), or something we have Tivoed on The History Channel or Animal Planet.

2:00-3:00 The balance to our techie-homeschool is our PE time, although we still occasionally use Nintendo’s Wii Sports for our workout. Today we are heading to the YMCA for their Youth Swim, and we remember that there is an outside world out there beyond the computer screen.

Thus ends the homeschool day of the tech-entrenched Jones family. If you have any questions about any of the curriculum, products, or websites I’ve mentioned in this article, or questions about how our children have survived their addiction to technology, please feel free to email me at or visit my website
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Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 735
Location: S.Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject: Re: A Day in the Life of A Techie Homeschool Family Reply with quote

Laughing I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your day! Thanks for sharing.

tsmama24 wrote:
Up and Adam (not sure exactly what that means)

I use this one, too. It's actually..."up and at 'em" but always come out sounding like "up and Adam" Wink
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Joined: 29 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the website links. I'll be checking into them.
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