I'm talking with a sweet friend of mine, Wendy Robertson of Ladybug Daydreams (what a cute name) today. Wendy is a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew this year with me I've really enjoyed getting to know her. I think you will too.
Kemi: Wendy can you tell us a little bit about your children's ages and grades?
Wendy: I have three sons: “Seahawk” is 11 and in 5th grade; “Munchkin” is 8 and in 3rd grade; and “Small Fry” is 2 ½. They are all home educated.
Kemi: What homeschooling method do you use with your children?
Wendy: We’re very eclectic. As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, this works really well because we have the opportunity to try out tons of different curriculums.
My boys and I are at odds a little bit because they like either a Charlotte Mason method (reading living books – or more specifically, having me read living books to them) or unit studies. I like having something to show for the work we’re doing and the things they’re learning, so I tend to lean toward “official” curriculum with worksheets.
I try to balance both of our desires in our schooling.
Kemi: Wendy your homeschool sounds very interesting, can you give us a peek into your typical homeschool day?
We tend to sleep in. I get up at 8:30 and prefer to enjoy some quiet time before I wake the boys up around 9:30.
They eat breakfast (usually cereal) and we dive into the day.
We do our core subjects in the morning: grammar, math, reading, literature, and history. This is all done pretty quick normally – under 3 hours.
I send the big boys to play with their little brother and keep him occupied while I prepare lunch.
My husband works from home about half the days, so oftentimes we have a full meal for lunch.
After we finish eating, it’s chore time (emptying the dishwasher for my oldest, clearing the table and tidying the living room for my middle son, cleaning their bedroom for both, and washing the lunch dishes for me).
Hubby goes back to work right after eating. We reconvene after chores to do our unit study work.
Currently we’re working on a unit about Small Mammals. This usually involves a lot of reading about their topic and preparing a report and/or presentation.
At 3:00, the baby (toddler) goes down for a nap, and if we’ve finished all the schoolwork, I send the big boys to go play with their friends.
I typically work on whatever project I’ve got going. If my husband’s not using the computer during this time (we only have one), sometimes I’ll work on blog stuff or try to get in an instant messaging chat with my good friend who lives in England. (The 8-hour time difference makes this hard.)
At 5:00, I wake the little one up from nap and get him a snack while I start fixing dinner.
We typically eat around 6, and after that is family time. Sometimes that means a board game, sometimes a TV show, and sometimes a family movie. Family movies are always accompanied by popcorn (stove popped, not microwave).
We try to get the boys to bed by 8:30, but it’s usually closer to 9:30. Then hubby and I relax together until we go to bed around 11 or midnight.
Kemi: That sounds like a very productive day. And a good one. We love to see where all this homeschooling happens. Can you give us a peek into your homeschool room?
Wendy: We don’t have a room specifically for schooling. That all happens in our living room and dining room, so I don’t have a picture of it specifically.
Kemi: So Wendy Homemaking Organized is all about homemaking or the details of home. We love to find out how others keep their homes. Even though what you've already told us lets us know you run your home well can you tell us about your own homekeeping and how you manage to fit it in with homeschool?
Wendy: There are a few different ways I go about this. First, and most importantly, is that we do our best to keep a fairly minimalist point of view regarding our possessions. We simply don’t have that much stuff to keep track of (the kids’ toys being the possible exception). When you don’t have a ton of stuff cluttering up your home, you don’t have to spend as much time tidying.
Second, we expect everyone to help out. The kids are responsible for keeping their areas (bedroom and a playroom) tidy. This is in addition to their schooling and “regular” chores. We really do work as a team, and that helps a lot.
Looking at the phrase “cares of a home” a little bit differently, I try to help alleviate the “costs” of me not working by embracing my stay-at-home-mom position and making things from scratch rather than buying them. About two years ago, I started making laundry soap, dishwasher detergent, and tortillas. These three things alone have saved us a ton of money. We also use cloth diapers with Small Fry (except overnight); both of the older boys were disposable babies. While cloth diapers are more expensive in the beginning, they save a ton of money in the long run. Plus, I made my own cloth diapers, so even though some of those fabrics were pretty expensive, it was still cheaper than buying premade cloth diapers.
Kemi: Well Wendy you're already pretty busy but do you happen to also work at home or have a home business?
Wendy: My husband is self-employed as both an author and a graphic designer (Kemi: oooohhhhh). I help him with the graphic design business. He does book layouts for self-published authors, and I’m in charge of the “copy editing” part of the business. This means that when we get an author’s “book” (we see it in the Word document phase), I’m the one who makes sure the grammar, punctuation, tense, etc… is all correct before going into layout (which means turning the document, along with the digital illustrations, into a book) and then print.
Kemi: Wow! That's a dream job for homeschoolers and sounds like a lovely setup! Wendy do you also have any crafts or hobbies that you would like to share?
Wendy: I like quilting. I love crocheting, especially small projects like hats. In fact, that’s what my blog originally started out as: a place to share my crafts. I haven’t made any quilts in a while, but here’s a link to a recent crochet post on my blog: A Plethora of Crocheted Hats
Note: Wendy is also starting a short story series on her blog. Check out the first installment of Check Yes or No (P.S. – I've read the whole story and it's a great read 🙂
Wendy is a homeschooling mom of three great boys, ages 11, 8, and 2. She loves making things, especially quilts and crochet projects. She blogs about exploring simplicity in a family setting, crafting, and homeschooling at Ladybug Daydreams.