Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Homeschool Day in the Life with 14 and 15 Year Old Teens

This is a day in my life as a homeschool mom. It is not an extraordinary day. Each day is different in our little homeschool. There is a rhythm to our weeks and we get more accomplished some days than others. This is a typical Tuesday for the most part. My son got less done than some days because he had an emotional day and had to process for a while which took away from book work. However, my job as a teacher and a parent is to turn out the most well adjusted adults that I can. I consider learning how to manage life, relationships and feelings to be way more important than book work. We are a special needs family. Three of our four children have multiple conditions. One of our children is so high end needs (behavior-wise) that she doesn't live in our home anymore. Our days are filled with a need for grace, faith and patience. Usually our days run pretty smoothly (by my standards), but rough patches crop up almost every day.

6:00 am ~ I hear the dog (Boomer) scratching at my disabled adult son's (Tim) door. The wind is whipping this morning, and Boomer wants to go to the bathroom and snuggle in my bed for a bit. I oblige him, and we all go back to sleep for 25 minutes until my husband's alarm goes off. We slowly pull ourselves out of bed and get ready for our day. Dear husband is off to work by 7:10 am.

7:00 am ~ I am fully awake now and start what I call my work to begin a successful day. It involves cleaning all of the light switches, door knobs, cell/house phones, remotes, keyboards and so on with Clorox wipes, starting the diffusers with Thieves essential oil and starting the laundry. Next, I get the rabbit (Phillip) out of his cage and set him up in the dining/kitchen area. He spends most of his day out and about, since he is litter box trained and a very social guy. Luckily, he gets along great with the dog. I clean the cage so it will be ready for him to return to as needed during the day. Lastly, I make tea and breakfast. This morning we are having English muffins with jam, organic chicken sausage and oranges. The kids will toast their muffins and collect their food from the kitchen as they awake.

8:00 am ~ The children are still asleep which is not unusual. I make a second attempt to wake my adult son since he needs to leave the house to attend his day program for  brain injured adults. He gets up and I lay out second son's supplements for the day. He takes about eight pills in the morning to help with digestion and a B12 deficiency. The kids straggle in and collect their breakfast and head off for a bit of media. Anne (14) watches a Blue Bloods show, and Dean (15) watches comedy shows on YouTube. I get distracted by Facebook and make Tim's bag lunch. I also give Phillip the bunny his antibiotics for a runny nose.

9:00 am ~ This is my first driving hour of the day. I take Tim to his day program and return home. I then gather up Dean and take him to his art class on the other side of town and return home to do school with Anne.

10:00 am to 12:00 pm ~ Anne is busy working on her presentation for Culture Club. We are presenting about Mexico this month. She is doing her project on the Day of the Dead. She made a sugar skull yesterday and paints it today. She then moves on to writing her report. I do laundry, clean the kitchen and pack up three packages from recent sales on eBay. I then head out to pick up Dean from art class.

12 pm to 2:30 pm ~ Dean settled into playing his guitar while I made lunch. Anne finished working on her Day of the Dead paper. After grilled cheese sandwiches and apple slices, Anne went off to do math and do a chapter in her English book in fictional writing. Dean started his math page on converting percents to fractions and decimals. Unfortunately, this turned into a meltdown. He was still upset about an argument we had yesterday and was generally feeling bad about having special needs. He had to process his feelings for a long time. By the time he had pulled himself together, we were both spent and didn't want to move on to our Understanding Shakespeare video. I decided to close school for the afternoon with a promise from Dean that we would resume school after dinner. Somewhere  during that crisis, Anne also managed to finish sewing the alterations on her skirt for dance class. Both children wrapped up with their chores. Dean cleaned the counters and rotated the dishwasher. Anne rotated the laundry and cleared off projects left on the table. 

2:30 pm to 4:00 pm ~ The kids were free while I went off to pick up Tim. I do spend a fair amount of time in the car ~ LOL. Tim had a good day at the program. He attended book club, did speed walking in the gym, cooked in the kitchen and attended a goodbye party for one of the staff members. I dropped off Tim at home and picked up Anne to take her to dance. Dean enjoyed talking with his friend on Skype. 

4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ~ I dropped Anne off at the dance studio. She will take three classes today and be a teacher assistant in a fourth class. Today she is taking modern, jazz and a rehearsal class for an upcoming performance. She is a teacher assistant in a Ballet III class. Dance is her life and she can be found at the studio for three to six hours each day, five to six days a week, depending on the day. I didn't get a picture of her today, so I am adding in one of our favorite shots taken this winter.
Image may contain: one or more people, shoes, tree and outdoor

While Anne was at dance, I took a 30 minute walk and then returned home to make dinner. Dear husband came home from work sick and went straight to bed. He made it through the day but looked positively green. I asked him to sleep in the guest room, so we could try to contain the germs. He slept through dinner and into the night. I served burritos tonight. After dinner, Dean and I resumed school. We started our next science experiment (a potato clock). We are comparing the energy of a potato clock and a lemon clock. Our lemon clock lasted an amazing 2 weeks and 2 days. We will see how long our potato clock provides energy to run the clock. Dean observed that the rods are more stable in the potato clock so that the clock doesn't turn on and off if you bump the counter, which happened a lot with the lemon. We also observed our long-term compost project and added more water to it.

Dean and I then watched a 25 minute video on the importance of Shakespeare. Dean was surprised to realize how many phrases and words he uses every day that can be attributed to Shakespeare. Dean went off to play with his rabbit and watch videos. I made a phone call to the caseworker for our 17 year old daughter who lives outside the home in a facility for special needs. I went off to the grocery store and to pick up Anne.

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ~ When Anne and I returned home, Dean was waiting for us to watch a funny meme video he had found on YouTube. We watched it and then played our Scattergories board game for about an hour. I was beyond ready for bed by then. The kids took showers while I gave the bunny his last antibiotic and put him to bed for the night. Lastly, I started the dishwasher, checked in with adult son, checked on my sleeping husband and tucked the teens into bed with kisses and hugs all around. I like and need to be the last one into bed to know that all my crew is safe and sound. I read for a few minutes before falling asleep.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Oh! You work so very hard, and I keep you in my prayers almost daily--if not actually daily. You are an inspiration and support to me as you share your days and weeks with transparency. Thank you.

  2. I was getting tired just reading about your typical day! I admire your energy, your wisdom in the choices you make regarding what is the most important thing in each situation you are faced with throughout the day, and your dedication to your family. You really are the backbone to your family, keeping everything going smoothly all day long. I loved hearing about your day.

  3. We have been diffusing oils also trying to make sure we ward off any bugs. My husband was sick a while ago and I slept on the couch. I really did not want it!

    Your days sound as busy as mine. I am off of school this month but start 2 more classes next month. Two master's classes (with papers) in 8 weeks if pretty busy, especially with everything else on my plate. I'll be happy to finally be done.

    Have a wonderful week!!