That title was just a wee bit click bait-y. After all, only four of my children are homeschooled at the moment. The oldest two have graduated! And the youngest (5), does just a little schoolwork for kicks and giggles. Two are in high school and totally self-sufficient in their education at this point. So, only two of them require time from me each day with their schoolwork. Work at home homeschooling mom of 7 is the title that will help more people find me in a Google search. So forgive me that. 😉
There’s still a lot that needs to be managed in the course of a day when you have a lot of kids at home and work from home too.
I was chatting with a gal just now who asked me what my typical day looks like. I realized I had done “day in the life” posts several times here in the past. And, they’re some of my most popular articles. But I had not done one since I started a new business back in April 2017. So, it’s time!
It’s also fortunate that for the last week and a half, I’ve been tracking my time. (After re-reading Your Money or Your Life (affiliate link) I decided to do this step. The point of the exercise is to calculate your REAL hourly wage. But a nice secondary benefit is that it helps me be FAR more productive when I know I have to write down what I’m doing!) Read more about tracking your time here.
A Day in the Life of a Work at Home, Homeschooling Mom of 7
6:00 – up and at ’em. I safeguard this precious early morning time when the house is quiet and nobody needs me yet! I write in a journal, read a good book, slowly sip an espresso brewed in my beloved Nespresso machine, and generally introvert. See: what the happiest moms do before breakfast.
7:00 – check messages on Facebook and email. I know most productivity experts advise against this. But, sometimes I have messages from customers and I can’t focus until they’re dealt with. (Side note: Gretchen Rubin does the same thing, and she’s one of my idols, and quite prolific and productive to boot.)
At this point I’m often posting content to social media. Then I eat breakfast. I like to reduce decision fatigue, and this means I’m pretty boring about breakfast! Oatmeal with fruit and Greek yogurt, most mornings.
8:00 – make breakfast for hubs and brew his coffee. Check the fridge to see what’s on the meal plan for dinner, defrost meat if needed. Kiss hubby and eldest son, 21, out the door.
At this point I’m dressed and typically listening to a podcast while I fold laundry. Then I exercise (this morning it was a “booty barre” routine on YouTube). Wash up, then put makeup on.
I put makeup on every day and I snap a couple of photos of myself (feels cringe-y typing that and believe me – if you had told me 5 years ago I would be posting selfies online, I would NEVER have believed you, as I literally had never taken one before 2017).
But, I’ve learned that from a marketing perspective, seeing my face builds credibility and trust with my audience. Business aside, I think having a little makeup on makes me a nicer person to be around. (See: the truth about low maintenance.) And you never know if the UPS man will be cute, and we get a lot of packages, so there’s that.
9:00 – kids are up so I make another breakfast for them. (Yes, my kids sleep late, ThankYouVeryMuch.) After breakfast and tidying up I read the littles a story and discuss, then a chapter of whatever read-aloud we’re working on.
Then we start on schoolwork. Math, grammar, history, a little science (some days)… I have a 9 year old and a 7 year old so this is still pretty hands on. Today with the 5 year old we did puzzles and games. He’s a little behind on fine motor skills (maybe due to his preemie status?) so I need to do this more.
Between subjects I give the little ones a break to run around and play and argue. The 7 year old has been doing LOTS of sewing and quilting so she gets long stretches to focus on that. Sometimes I have time to do a quick 15 minute work related task. Setting a timer and working fast is key.
12ish: Lunch time and clean up, throw in or reboot a load of laundry. Kid chores. Weather permitting, boot the kids outside to play for a bit. Finish up the schooling.
By this time (ha!) my three teenagers are fully awake, caffeinated and willing to engage in (a little) conversation, so I try to connect with them. They do chores and their schoolwork with little oversight from me. 18 year old son graduated last summer. He does food delivery, has a cellphone repair business and does eBay as well, so he stays pretty busy.
2 pm: Unless we’ve had a dentist appointment or had to run errands, the little ones are always done with schoolwork by this time of day. So, I typically allow the young kids to watch a little TV.
I might shoot a live video or send customer follow-up messages or do some other task that requires focus. Sometimes a random kiddo ends up in the video.
And in between, I’m doing all the usual mommin’ it up stuff. Reminding kids to do their chores, clean up messes, tackle a weekly chore that isn’t handled by the kids, cutting crusts off toast, reminding the 5 year old to wash his hands, reminding the teenagers to put their phones away and talk to me, folding laundry, cleaning up, etc.
I often lie down on the couch and close my eyes for 5 minutes in the late afternoon. All hail the power nap!
3:45 pm: I bought the kids monthly memberships to our local SkyZone and we go for an hour most days (they open at 4, hence the odd time). It’s been the most wonderful thing. I get a solid hour of work in while the kids jump their hearts out.
It’s always super productive time, and the kids get nice and worn out from all the exercise.
5:30: Back home. Cook dinner, typically with ear buds in, listening to something educational. FIRE (financial independence, retire early) podcasts mostly.
This way, I can’t hear the 9 year old making the 5 year old scream, a favorite pastime of hers. Send 9 year old to her room to read silently. Rethink the whole “I stopped drinking wine in 2019” thing.
While I cook, I chop extra veggies for snacks or future meals or tidy up the kitchen or clean out the fridge. The big girls might be helping me with dinner. I make a mental note to teach them more about cooking.
6:30: Eat dinner. Afterwards there’s usually couch time with the hubs. If it’s light out hubby and I do an after-dinner walk every night. (Darn you Daylight Savings Time!) If it’s pitch black we might watch a family show (lately something on National Geographic/Disney+), hubby makes popcorn.
9:30: I’m an old lady who loves her sleep, so I start getting ready for bed! I update my journal. I write gratitude lists, keep a food diary (tracking which foods trigger my LPR/silent reflux), and track various habits I’m working on.
And there you have it! How a work at home homeschooling mom of 7 does her days.
A lot of established habits and routines that make things flow pretty easily. I also try not to leave my house unless it’s necessary. Haha! The little girls do ballet once a week and we do story time or art at the library once a week. We get together with a friend about once a week. Our routine is pretty simple. And with two young adult drivers, I’m spared from doing most errands (thank goodness!).