Homeschool Question: What Do My Older Kids Do in School?

I started a series last week answering Homeschool Questions that I get asked again and again… the first question was “What do our little people do during school time?” I showed you what my three pre-schoolers got up to during a regular school day and this led to this weeks question? What do my older kids do during school? Before we get going we have five scholars at the moment and five Sonlight cores… we unashamedly love and adore Sonlight and have used it for our entire homeschool career: one in grade K, grade 1, grade 3, grade 5 and grade 7.


Now I know if you don’t homeschool or even if you are a beginner homeschooler your school can look a lot like school at home. And I think folks might have this image that my children sit at desks surrounded by educational charts memorizing important stuff. Well I can safely say that from our experience, after eight years of homeschooling, that our school tends further and further from that image. The only clue to homeschooling that we have is that our house is stuffed with books and there are endless scientific creations on every kitchen surface.

In theory I aim to cover five basics each day: Bible Study, History, Science, Math and Language Arts, and to be fair these things do tend to get done… We begin in the morning and work our way through… we all start together and I help the youngest scholar until he is finished… that takes about half an hour for grade K, then he is free and I move on to the next one. He will be finished all the work he can do on his own and ready for help, half an hour later he is done and so on up the chain of scholars!!! Now sometimes this goes smoothly and we are all completely done by lunchtime but most days “something” comes up and we get distracted by something and it may take a little longer, which is fine. We always rest and read stories after lunch and those folk that aren’t finished school usually finish up then, before we head out to play.

There are other things that I think are equally important, yet they don’t seem to be top of most curriculum outlines, I aim to cover a bit of these daily too: outdoor time, arting: creating and great artists, music: appreciating it and making it, exercise as a way of life, chores and cooking. I really like that my kids can finish there “official school day” pretty quickly and then get on to the school of life, discovering, exploring and learning.

So this is what happens on a regular homeschool day at our house:

  • Regular stuff: Like spelling…
  • DSC_0230

    And reading: DSC_0548

  • Music:
  • DSC_0227 And reading: DSC_0524

  • Research:
  • DSC_0859 And reading:



  • Cooking:
  • DSC_0911 And reading: DSC_0628

  • Arting:
  • DSC_0030

    And reading:


  • Math:
  • DSC_0073 And reading: DSC01276

  • Observing:
  • DSC_0071 And reading:


  • Things technical:
  • DSC_0021

    And reading:


  • And masterpieces:
  • DSC09866

    And reading:


  • Excersice:
  • DSC_0249

    And reading:


  • History:
  • DSC_0997

    And reading:


Never enough reading!!! I made a promise to myself, long before we had kids, that I would never tell a child to stop reading or use reading as a threat, you know: “If you don’t… then no books at bedtime…” Never. I have suggested they stop reading to eat but mostly the rule “Never wake a sleeping baby” has carried over to “Never disturb a reading child.” In our house that’s what school looks like around here: Piles of kids under piles of books!!!

Now keep on asking your homeschool questions… my contact box is brimming with questions and I am just going to tackle them week by week!!! If I don’t get back to you with an answer to your question immediately then it is because I think it is such a good question that I am saving it for a post!!!

18 Replies to “Homeschool Question: What Do My Older Kids Do in School?”

  1. It may seem mundane to you but I really enjoyed reading this! More and more I feel like I want to homeschool my boys because there is so much more to life than just reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. I would love to spend time with them cooking, gardening, doing crafts, and just reading for fun in addition to core subjects. As an adult now, I feel like school didn’t prepare me for life one bit, and I think I can do better for my kids! Thanks for writing about your days!

  2. HI Monica, Thanks for stopping by!!! I think everyone’s mundane is interesting to everyone else!!! I never thought to publish this but folks kept on asking!!! You are so right, traditional school gets done really fast probably because of the undivided attention but the school of life is where my kids are really learning and that takes all day!!! Have a fun weekend!!!

  3. HI KM, I wish you could come over to our school too. What a blast we would have!!! Hope you guys are having a fun fun fun weekend!!!

  4. I loved this! I fall in love with your blog more & more each day. I love these snippets – it encourages & inspires me to continue on this path, and it sparks my own creativity.

    Thanks for all that you do to keep this going for your readers!

  5. I absolutely love this! And totally agree with the reading – I love Sonlight, too for that very reason. “In our house that’s what school looks like around here: Piles of kids under piles of books!!!” I love that line!
    Just a question – do you have tv or videos on computer, etc? Just something I’ve never seen in any of your posts and wondering what your take on that is and how that affects reading.

  6. Hi Sofia!!! It is my pleasure!!! I totally love sharing, I am just so blessed to have readers who enjoy it!!! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a great weekend!!!

  7. Hi Leslie… We do have tv, it lives in a cupboard, I grew up without one and quite frankly never ever think to turn it on!!! It just isn’t part of our culture and my kids seem to find it quite hard to get enthralled like they do in a book. I starting writing this comment but it got long and longer winded!!! It is a great blog question and I will add it to the list!!! Have a fun week!!!

  8. Aaaah, thank you what a great post love the pictures…. where do you get your art prints from (like the beautiful on here that hood 3 was copying) …..

  9. That is a wonderful, laid back, and well rounded approach! My girl is only two but it seems like all we do around here is read too, with everything else in-between 🙂

  10. Hi stopping by from Simple Homeschool. I love your post. All the activities going on and my all time favorite… reading. I agree with your saying about never stop a child from reading. Thanks for sharing your day.

  11. HI Emmalina, thanks so much for stopping by – I have so enjoyed browsing my way through Simple Homeschool today!!! I have to say it sure looks cold in your part of the world!!! Have a fun weekend!!!

  12. Hay Anastasia, Nice to meet you!!! I am so enjoying Simple Homeschool today and all the wonderful links!!! It is so great to see all the different ways to homeschool!!! Hope you have a great weekend!!!

  13. Hay Rana, THanks for visiting… Simple Homeschool has been great today… lots of lovely schools to visit and all so very different!!! Hope you guys have a fun weekend!!!

  14. Thank you for your reflection! It looks more like my homeschool with 5 boys and 2 girls- all under 12. We are self proclaimed book-a-holics and love to do creative things such as your math picture.

  15. Hi Jeanette, Se7en kids under 12… our number eight was born just a couple of days after our oldest turned twelve… so definitely sounds like home!!! Thanks so much for visiting!!! And where would we be with out books!!! Hope you have a lovely week!!!

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