My Children’s Daily Homeschool Schedule

I was asked yesterday to share my children’s daily homeschool schedule, and I am happy to do so.

Dania with our third child, David, and our three youngest children–Daniel, Isaiah and Anna.

Before I get to the schedule, let me share some information about my family. My wife and I are 46 years old. We are both classicists and experienced teachers. We are self-employed and work from a home office. We have ten children, ages 21 to 6. We live on a quiet farm in rural North Carolina. We have been homeschooling for 21 years–as long as we have had children. At home, we currently have 7 children studying. Our 3 eldest children are in the Army Reserves, working and studying in college (ROTC).

Daily Schedule

Our current schedule is much simpler and more academic than our schedule used to be, when we were running a 45-acre farm with gardens, a meat market and a dairy. Having sold most of our property in 2020 to devote ourselves to our academic work, life is quiet and simple for us now, and our regular schedule is rarely interrupted.

My children go to bed between 10:30 and 11:00pm. They start waking up around 8:00am. My wife goes to bed when her work is finished each night, sometimes as early as 11:00pm, sometimes as late as 2:00am. She and the kids get all the sleep they need, and start waking up around 8:00-9:00am. We have no fixed wake up time, but things are pretty routine.

My wife gets up and puts coffee on, then everyone gets washed and dressed for the day. She and the kids start their formal school day between 9:00-10:00am with a cup of coffee or “coffee-milk” as my wife reads Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours and their daily Sacred Scripture readings. The kids are not served breakfast because they are taught that food must be earned by work. We don’t eat and then work, we work and then eat. This is very important to the moral life of the family.

We have a dedicated schoolroom in the house with desks for the kids and whiteboards on the wall, but usually they study together at the dining room table, in the center of the house. The kids then study until my wife is satisfied with the work they’ve accomplished in the morning. They take a break for lunch somewhere between 1:00-3:00pm, and eat a light lunch–a bowl of rice with vegetables, a bowl of oatmeal, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Then, they get back to their studies.

Their afternoon studies continue until 5:oopm. Sometimes, my wife will take some time to pray the Rosary with the children, sometimes Evening Prayer. At that time, they put their study materials away, do some household chores (take out trash, put away laundry, etc.) and they have recess–outside–until dark.

The kids play while my wife or our eldest daughter make dinner. They usually have several hours each day to get out and do things they like. They go fishing, play in the creek out back, play war with airsoft guns in the woods, ride bikes, play basketball, visit their grandparents (next door), lift weights, go for a run, do some farm work, work on cars/farm equipment, etc. They have their own interests. My wife and I also get some exercise during this time, working in the garden, doing some farm work, going for a run, taking a walk, whatever. (This is when I usually record my “walk talks“.)

When dinner’s ready, everyone comes in and gets washed up, and we sit down for a family meal. This is my only meal of the day, and my only time to sit and talk with the kids, so we make the most of it. Dinner is the same every week, and preparation requirements are minimal. We all sit down for dinner together and talk a bit, then clean up, and get back to work for the evening. (Evening Prayer used to be normal for us after dinner, but hasn’t been recently because of work. We’ll be returning to that shortly.)

Evening studies continue until 9:00pm. Sometimes, instead of their own studies, the kids help with work for the Classical Liberal Arts Academy. At 9:00pm, if the kids have behaved well during study time, they are allowed to spend an hour watching a movie or show together in the living room. Around 10:00pm, they are told to wrap up and they get to bed.

At that time, Dania closes down the house and turns lights off, then settles down with me in the office.

My schedule is set around my family’s schedule, allowing me to be with them comfortably for help with studies or discipline, but free to work without interruption most hours of the day. Our schedules overlap. I work everyday until 5:00am or so, then sleep until around 10:00am. I work in my office throughout the day with the door open, with Dania and the kids in and out as they have needs. When Dania gets to bed, I have silence and can do my most demanding work, make videos, etc.. I continue working until I can’t stay awake any longer, then sleep 4-5 hours.

Study Schedule

The daily schedule above provides for three daily study periods:

  • Morning Study (10:00am-lunch)
  • Afternoon Study (after lunch to 5:00pm)
  • Evening Study (after dunner to 9:00pm)

During each of the study periods above, the kids study the appropriate courses in each subject area. There is no formal schedule of lessons or tasks. The goal is simply to get done as much a you can every day and multiply that by the thousands of days you have for study.

Hope that’s helpful,
William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy