A Day in the Life at Hodgepodge

Day in the life of an age range? Multiple Ages? On this last one of the Not Back to School Blog Hops, I offer a really, really long post…

Sometimes I think homeschooling has taught me more than the children. This season of my life is a constant refining by fire. I have so many chances to respond Biblically or to ask forgiveness and daily opportunity to live in His strength.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

I’ve shared about our days in different ways before. Talked about our habits as the bones of our days. Yet, our days are in a constant state of change based on the needs of the age range. (A very good reason to have established habits!) For example, back when I had all little ones, they’d all go to bed early and Hodgepodgedad and I would have some time to ourselves each night. Now, our little ones rise before the sun and the older ones stay up later with us.

If you are interested, I shared the 10 Parts of the Hodgepodge Homeschool Schedule. Yet I know if you were to talk to me a few months from now, something would have changed. However, right now, this is a day in the life of Hodgepodge.

Rise and Shine

Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory…

5:30 I am getting up before dawn so I can have a little time before the younger two sleepily slip down the back steps. I have my quiet time. I also squeeze in some blog writing because morning is my best time. Sometimes I share a Bible verse or part of an old Hymn on FB and Twitter. Spend moments publicizing any latest posts on Curriculum Choice, Habits for a Happy Home and Hodgepodge (our Southern Hodgepodge of sites).

6:30-7:00 the sun rises and so do the younger two. Somewhere in this time range. Juice, snuggle time…Somewhere in there I tuck some Love in a Lunch Box for Hodgepodgedad.  He takes a lunch to work most days. I also throw on a load of laundry, might get in a shower for me before he leaves. Either way, we walk him to the door and he writes window love letters. Middle Girl rises next somewhere in there and we all see Hodgepodgedad off to work. Children start in on quiet time and the…

Before 8:45 Guideline

This checklist I feel like I have pounded my readers over the head with, is our guideline. I talk about it all time here at Hodgepodge. We know it by heart and I follow it too. It helps us remember. And, if the Before 8:45 checklist is finished well and without complaining, maybe somebody might get some iPad time. Somewhere in here the older two get up and sit for long spans of time on the family room couches. They tend to sleep later like good teenagers – and because they’ve stayed up later with me and my husband the night before. I unload the dishwasher.

Morning Madness

Our homeschool day starts with the little ones first. I sit in this spot between the two. Usually, Middle Girl is completing her math right behind me at the desk. Roman numeral questions reach my ears while I am telling the story of Joshua with Bible Stories to Read or going through some, some more math stories with first grader. (Yesterday’s post, How to Start a Homeschool Routine explains more detail of what each of the younger two do on a typical school morning.)

Off in another part of the house, the eldest two are finishing up some part of their Before 8:45. As long as it is sometime before 9:45, I am okay. They have their planners filled in (since we had our family meeting sometime over the weekend and talked about the week) and are pretty much independent. Still need some overseeing. Still we discuss what they are doing throughout the day.

Back to the school room. Preschooler has finished up his Rod & Staff workbooks (he loves Samuel and Sarah!), Alphaphonics in about 15-20 minutes, so he hops down and heads off to his trucks or building materials. First grader and I then finish up any Saxon Math 1, Explode the Code and handwriting practice. Fifth grader is still working through Teaching Textbooks and asking questions.

Mama, can I have a cheese stick?

When first grader finishes, she goes and finds her brother. They might play an elaborate story. Or, if the weather is nice, head out in the backyard for a swing. They have some free time (used to be morning room time) while I oversee the older three completing their 3 Rs. The younger two join in again with our studies around lunch time.

Somewhere in here I probably call out Jurisdictions. Things have spread far and wide and I tend to get a little overwhelmed at that visual aspect, so I go and boost the laundry.

Sometime mid-morning, if everyone has completed math, we might do PE. Head to the neighborhood pool if it is pool season. Take a walk. Other days we might do this right after lunch and one more thing.

On this morning, Littlest Girl spies the nature grid I printed out. She heads out into the backyard by herself.

Around 11:30 or close to noon it’s time for lunch (I always need some ideas, so I am collecting inspiration on a Homeschool Lunch Pinterest board). While I’m fixing lunch, I might cook noodles for supper or dump all the ingredients for supper into the crock pot.

Afternoons All Together

One More Thing After Lunch. How to Fit in All the Extras and Survive. During and immediately after lunch is when we do all of our together learning. That overflowing stack I shared last Friday is now in it’s own basket for easy access. The basket sits at my feet, under the chair at the kitchen table.

Science for the younger grades, Manners Made Easy, English from the Roots Up, Harmony Fine Arts, Outdoor Hour Challenges, Tapestry of Grace, Visual Latin, A Child’s Geography…


There are also times during the week that we do these things.

  • the older two girls attend Drama Troupe
  • Middle Girl takes a piano lesson
  • we enjoy activities at church: Bible study, children’s choir, puppets, mission friends, youth group, discipleship

Living He loved me, dying He saved me…buried He carried my sins far away…Rising He justified freely forever…One day He’s coming… Oh glorious day!  ~ singing at the top of our lungs with the girls

Back at home I survey the spread over the rooms of the house. Time for jurisdictions again. Laundry is in a pile when I sit down on the couch for afternoon quiet time. Yesterday’s baskets of folded clothes get today’s clean clothes too. I ask everyone to think about what they want to do for quiet time. Do you older ones need to finish up some history reading?

Afternoon Quiet Time…Aaaahh

Around 2 or 2:30 Our longest standing habit. One we still have to work on. But if all stay separate and play or read quietly, it is such a blessing. And the rest of the day goes much more smoothly as we head into those crazy evening hours. Because if we each have a little quiet time by ourselves, we look forward to playing together again. I put my feet up. Make myself some iced coffee. Have some writing or online time.

There are always things to pick up after afternoon quiet time, like Middle Girl’s spread from making purses out of birdseed bags and duct tape.

3:30 Then, if afternoon quiet time goes well, we might watch a tv favorite – Martha Speaks – together. Next, the mad rush to pick up jurisdictions again so that everyone can have a turn on the computer or iPad. Eldest Boy is expected to take out the trash. Another takes out the recycles.

Shortly after 4:00 The Privilege of Computer Time.

Evenings at Hodgepodge

We blur into the supper time hour. Someone helps set the table. We pick up again in anticipation of Daddy’s arrival.

Supper with Hodgepodgedad. When we share about part of our day or he notices something written on the board, he adds by asking a question.

Can I wash the dishes? four-year-old says on 8/21. He loves to play in the water just like his brother did. Bring out the bath towels for the floor.

7:00 hour: Next, baths for the younger three. Hodgepodgedad helps the older two with any math they had trouble with. We gather on the couch for Leading Little Ones to God. Maybe the current Five in a Row book.

The littlest ones go down sometime around eight. Older ones might catch up on history reading.

Hodgepodgedad tucks in Lil’ Buddy and I sit next to Littlest Girl’s bed. She usually has something profound or prophetic to say. Or a deep doctrinal question to ask. We say prayers, sing a hymn and then I sing her favorite, Hush Little Baby, the bunny version by Sylvia Long, while I rub her back.

I get a little Middle Girl special time after the littles go down. We might draw a finish the picture, one of us reads a chapter from a book. Or we may just wearily lean our heads together and say prayers.

I head back down the stairs for time with the two big kids and Hodgepodgedad. We share a snack, a Nexflix selection, some computer time. Sometimes Hodgepodgedad and I go for an evening neighborhood walk.

 And I say again, at the end of the day – when the dishes are put away and the children are tucked in bed – truly what matters is each child’s relationship with the Lord. Raising children is a God-given privilege and, folks, the time is short.

Many thanks to our Friday hostesses!

10 Parts of Our Homeschool Schedule at Hodgepodge You might also be interested in the 10 Parts of our Homeschool Schedule. I invite you to subscribe to Hodgepodge so you won’t miss a homeschool post. Be sure to check out all the Day in the Life posts via the Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop at iHomeschool Network.



Another Hodgepodge day. Busy. Blessed.


  1. 1


    Love reading through your days. Our first few weeks back inthe full swing of things have been far from building habits. I wrote our schedule last week….and due to some personal things….the schedule and ‘habits’ had to be put aside. So, the flexibility of homeschool has been very helpful….but, like you…when my vision is impaired due to things being strewn through the house, the exhaustion caused from a lack of schedule…impacts me deeply. Your peaceful posts…keep me focused and praying that we will get on track soon!

    • 2


      Rebecca – you have surely had some sidetracks and handled them beautifully. I agree, the flexibility of homeschooling is a huge blessing! It’s not always so peaceful over here – the big thing lacking in this post is the NOISE!! (grins)

  2. 3


    Tricia – I get so many great ideas from you. What strikes me about this schedule is the LOVE that is put into it at every point and the TOGETHERNESS of your family.

    Thanks for sharing it in so much detail, and thank you for linking with Collage Friday!

    • 5


      Only in Him Phyllis! I just shared on my FB wall a few minutes ago (because I’m feeling old and creaky this morning) Psalm 92: 13-14: “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.” Thanks friend! As you know, it’s continuing education, a daily dose of chaos and (like you) my husband helps so much!

  3. 6

    Kellye says

    Thank you so much for sharing your day with so many details and being such an inspiration. As a homeschooling mom, I want to make sure that LOVE AND TOGETHERNESS is poured into each part of our day!!! Thank you for showing so well how that is done!! I am new to your blog, but am so thankful that I found it!!! Off to your archives I go!!! Thank you so much again!!!

  4. 8


    Typing it all out always makes it sound more busy than it feels when you are actually doing it. I think that is part of being a good mom…all those little things that get fit in and around the “must do’s”. You look like you are doing a great job at that.

    Neighborhood walks in the evening are the best…missing mine.

    Loved your post. :)

    • 9


      You said it better than I could – typing it all out makes it sound more busy than when you are doing it. Oh, yes, especially these evenings when it’s getting just a little bit cooler…

  5. 10


    I have been reading and re-reading a lot of your posts, especially since we are back in school this week. I need to really try harder and get back into routine. Your day sounds really great, really! I think my first step will be to add in the afternoon quiet time…then I need to tackle the “Afternoons all Together”. I think I will go back and re-read that post again tonight…I have a 10th grader so I am wondering how to “fit” her classes in too. Thanks for your posts…they are a blessing to me!

    • 11


      Oh dear homeschooling a high schooler… I’m still learning about that along with you. We’ve made the afternoons all together – One More Thing After Lunch – three or four more things after lunch for our high schooler and 8th grader :)

  6. 12


    Thank you for sharing a look into your day. My goal for our year is to have more routines…a better schedule. I enjoyed reading about yours. Much to think & ponder on.

  7. 13


    Thank you for the peek into your day!

    I love the “Jurisdictions” and “Before 8:45am Routine”! Might have to implement something similar in our homeschool. I have a bit of a variable thrown in though, daycare! Yep, I am crazy enough to homeschool and do in-home daycare. 😉 Still working on what will work for us, I do love your ideas though!

    Blessings on your homeschool!


  8. 14


    This is beautifully explained while weaving in the relational aspects of motherhood, which is really what we do as homeschoolers- it’s motherhood. And as I was writing my day in the life story, I felt that hard to express through my writing. So I stuck to the homeschool schedule type of explanation. People always talk about shifting roles and I get what they are talking about, but always have felt that the call to motherhood is inseparable from homeschooling. That inseparable nature really shines forth in this post. Thanks for telling Tricia.

  9. 15


    I love reading all your posts on schedules and helpful habits. Hooray for quiet time and before 8:45! They both have helped smooth out our day. (But I need to post a visual list for before 8:45 so I don’t have to be verbally reminding so much!) We love afternoons learning together, too.

    And Martha Speaks is well-loved in my home–it’s why our sweet dog is named Martha. :)

  10. 18

    Jennifer Jarrell says

    Thank you sooo much for the details you provide. We pulled out of public school in mid-October and are still figuring things out. I have a 4th grade girl and a 7th grade boy. I’m worried they will fall behind as we adjust to HS curriculum. Looking forward to establishing new routines and habits in 2013!

    • 19


      Jennifer – thank you for your sweet comment. How very exciting for your family – this new journey of homeschooling. It’s a daily blessing and a daily challenge and it is my passion to share and encourage. As far as worrying about falling behind – yes, give yourself time to adjust. Homeschooling is a new way of learning. But I know you will be so surprised at how much your children ARE learning and growing. How you can tailor the learning to their styles. It is a lifestyle rather than standards. Blessings to you!

  11. 20

    Heidi says

    Whew! Felt like I was there with you! I can just imagine your converstions with littlest girl in the evenings! She always has something to add and it usually either makes you think really hard or it brightens your day! As always…I love your photos!

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