A Day in the Life: Older and Wiser Edition - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

Semper discentes—always learning together.
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A Day in the Life: Older and Wiser Edition

Today as we look forward to another glorious weekend on the Central Coast, we have a special Day in the Life from the Newman Family! I (Wei) have always been intrigued by long time SLOCA families. How do they do it and seem sane? How many cups of coffee do you need when you first start IEW’s? What is this SOxTPG* acronym? How do you fit it all in with athletics and music??? Today we have a post from the same family nearly a decade apart, and I hope that it inspires those who are, like me, still deep in the trenches.

Thank you Joy for sharing your present day with us and reminding us that whatever challenge we are facing in our home school day today, that it too will pass.

*Not a real SLOCA acronym

Joy and Cade Newman are a Track A and High School family. They have four kids: Ezra (LMS 5); Esther (9th); Abraham (10th); Eli (freshman at Cal Poly and SLOCAHS grad).

Photos by Joy Newman. From L to R: Abraham, Ezra, Eli and Esther.

I just read my older Day in the Life post and I am simultaneously laughing and exhausted thinking back to the days when I was deep in the trenches. I’m here as one example that you can do this! You can do home days with multiple kids at various levels! Your house will show some wear and tear through the years. YOU may show some wear and tear through the years, but I can honestly say, it is all worth it!

Today is Tuesday and my sophomore son is tutoring my 5th grader. Quick note about this: yes, I have a tutor and have used one for several years. My youngest child and I weren’t working well together during school time and so we opted for a tutor. I highly recommend this option if you can swing it. Tap into older siblings for grammar, spelling, Latin, math, anything! It can create a closeness between siblings and give you some margin. Would you believe that I actually miss being the home teacher because I do. But back to my Day in the Life—it’s a Tuesday morning. I have showered and dressed, made myself breakfast, run a couple of errands all while my kids are working. The high school kids are completely independent and I rarely help them with more than perhaps proofreading or quizzing them when asked.  I drop him off and run to the store to grab something for a last minute dinner as the Calpoly Freshman is dropping by. After practice, we head home and find the High Schoolers finishing up their work day. If the older kids had practice, I would have taken them in around the same time I took the 5th grader and we’d all wait around for the latest practice to finish. Having multiple kids in multiple sports at one time can be a driving juggle but carpooling is a big help. During dinner we all happen to discuss Gilgamesh and I even remember an interesting tidbit from the History Experience! After going through the Ancients multiple times at multiple levels there is always something new (or something I’ve forgotten and was reminded of).

Every day our children are growing and learning and moving toward independence. Maybe they are inching towards it, but they are going in that general direction. Take heart, fellow parents! You are doing an incredible thing! Partnering with teachers in your children’s education is no easy feat. One thing that helped me years ago was when my sister pointed out that this was my job. Doing school at home is a job and once I could categorize it and treat it that way, it made all the difference. No longer was I trying to fit it in amongst other things, it became THE thing that my days revolved around and it mentally simplified matters greatly for me. The days can be long–YES!. And the years are truly short. Please feel encouraged to keep on keepin’ on. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or want to chat. You’ve got this! (Fist bump).

~ Joy

Now for our original Day in the Life post from 9 years ago!

{clockwise starting at far left: Esther, Abraham, Eli, and Ezra – all photos by Joy Newman}

Today we get a taste of real life, folks. One of our SLOCA moms, Joy Newman, is sharing with us what a typical homeschooling day looks like in her busy household. We can all relate to moments of her day, so sit back and enjoy reading about the homeschooling adventures of a fellow mom! Cade and Joy Newman are a Track A family. They have four kids: Eli (Int. II), Abraham (Pri. I), Esther (K) and Ezra (2 yrs.)

Please note that I randomly picked a day to write about. More than adhering to strict routines, we strive for a predictable rhythm in our home days while attempting to keep the chaos to a minimum. Sometimes that is hard to do with a toddler running around! We also typically include Grammar, spelling and printing/cursive practice for both my older kids but did not do those home subjects this day. Including those subjects probably adds another 45 minutes to our day.

7AM – After some family time and “cold” breakfast or breakfast number one, the kids get started on their morning chores; Cade leaves for work.

7:30 – We leave for our park work-out.

8:10 – Back from the park, I make “hot” breakfast while the kids work on the roly-poly habitats that began on our walk home from the park.

8:45 – After eating and cleaning up breakfast, we read aloud together.

9:04 – Toddler gets a time-out for hitting.

9:10 – Another time out.

9:15 – While I shower and get dressed, the kids have free playtime and time to finish up their chores.

9:45 – Review recitation poem and quotes with my Intermediate, while my Kinder does her handwriting at the table next to us; My Primary student plays with the toddler.

10AM – Intermediate student plays with the toddler outside; Math with my Primary and then phonics with my Kindergartener.

10:20 – Intermediate starts math; Kinder starts her art project; Primary student plays with our toddler.

10:45 – We leave to run two necessary errands. *see note below

11:30 – We are home and I start lunch; toddler plays alone (yay!); Intermediate continues his math; Primary reviews his math facts using wrap-ups and flashcards; Kinder continues her art project.

11:45 – We take our lunch break.

12:15 – I send the kids outside to play on something with wheels, while I clean up lunch and wish I had some Cake Batter Oreos; I check email.





12:45 – The toddler is down for his nap after some books and his bottle; I straighten up a little while letting the kids play outside a little longer.

1PM – Kinder takes books into her room for “quiet time” while my Intermediate and Primary students read our history and literature: Abe Lincoln, Ft. Sumter, Brer Rabbit, Elijah of Buxton. I begin with their shared readings and then move on to the Primary readings so that my Primary student has the option to listen to the Intermediate readings or do something else.

2PM – I may or may not have fallen asleep during our reading time, which could explain why the next time I looked at the clock, it was 2:45 and my Intermediate student was reading Elijah on his own and my Primary was quietly playing.

3PM – We discuss our reading and add to the Primary journal.

3:30 – Work on recitation poems with Primary and Kinder.

3:40 – Both nappers are awake and the kids go outside to play; A messy house is a sign of a full day, right?

* I typically do not leave the house in the middle of a home day, unless it is an unavoidable appointment or very necessary errand. I find that running errands just takes too much time.

Thanks for sharing your day with us, Joy! What fun to take a peek into your homeschooling world. Moms, we hope you enjoyed reading about a day in Joy’s life – maybe you got some ideas, or maybe you are encouraged to know that we all have similar moments of delight and challenges on this journey of learning alongside our children. If you have something to add, please leave a comment below!

9 thoughts on “A Day in the Life: Older and Wiser Edition”

  1. I love reading these “say in the life”!
    Some families I may be familiar with others not, but always enjoy each family’s honesty about their imperfect perfect school day!

  2. As a mom of a freshman (who’s been at SLOCA since kinder) – I too can look back and say it was definitely all worth it! I too had to come to the realization that this was my primary job and that helped me internally take the pressure off wearing too many hats. The time really does go by so fast. SLOCA life has been the best decision we’ve made. Thanks for the wonderful post!

  3. I love this as I remember the original post. I agree that partnering with teacher’s in our kids education was amazing and made the journey so much easier (for one, Mr. Newman :-)) Thanks for the update, Joy! Miss you all. . .

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