A Day in the Life of a Homeschooling Writer

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooling Writer

  • This site uses affiliate links. Purchasing through these links does not cost you anything additional, but gives us a small referral fee.
  • This is a recreational blog. Although I've done my best to ensure the safety of each activity, clarity of directions, and accuracy of my educational activities; I can in NO way be held liable for your personal use of my material. Please use common sense.
See all disclosures here.
A Day in the Life of Another Mom Series
Today we’ve got Danika sharing about her day as a homeschooling writer!  If you’ve missed any of our ongoing series “A Day in the Life of Another Mom” take a peak and read back. Isn’t it great to be a fly on the wall of someone else’s kitchen wall and see that we ALL have days like that!

Good Morning!

I start my mornings at 4am. I'm not sure why anyone use the expression "bright and early", because at 4am it's really dark both outside and inside. I usually like to work on manuscripts while it's quiet because I can write large chunks at a time.
At 5am, my husband sticks his head in my office door before he heads to our family room to pray and read. I wake the kids at 6am and everyone sits down for breakfast together after they've dressed. We usually have some form of protein, a carb and some fruit. My husband always makes a big pot of peppermint tea, which I appreciate immensely. After breakfast the boys brush their teeth, help with laundry and dishes, and head upstairs to play with their LEGOs, marble set, or train track while they listen to Adventures in Odyssey or Jonathan Park. I jump on my stationary bike for a half hour. That's where I read the latest children's book I'm reviewing or check blogs and magazines for great articles to include on my weekly blog post, Web Wanderings. I feed the rabbit, get ready for the day, write a little more, and prepare for school.

Our Homeschool Day

We run a pretty structured day here in the Cooley house. My oldest two are adults, so it's just the two middle grade boys and me. Homeschool begins at 8am and ends at 3:30pm. We take breaks from 10am to 10:30am (snack and free time) and from 12pm to 1pm (lunch and free time). The boys usually begin with literature, math and language arts. Those are pretty self-contained activities. I blog, read the Bible, make Bible Road Trip notebooking pages and work on magazine articles while they're reading and writing. The boys deconstruct the couches so they can read from inside cushion fortresses.
Math Work
We try to head outside during their morning break. After our break, I read from our science book while they take notes in their notebooking journals. I often stop reading to help them determine what is important to write down. We work on Bible Road Trip, reading two chapters of the Bible in a round robin fashion and then notebooking about what they've read. For lunch, we have leftovers or I make something from scratch. Again, we try to have a carb, a vegetable and a protein. Because the lunch break is an hour, the boys generally end up with a half hour to play or read. On nice days, they play football or jump on the trampoline. They also love to play chess or cards. And they love to wrestle. We usually end up with wrestling in there somewhere. It's not my favorite activity, but I dislike chasing the boys around the house yelling, "Don't wrestle!" even more than I dislike the wrestling itself. I do chores during this break, because the laundry never seems to do itself and my floor can always stand a good sweeping. Plus, the couches always need to be re-assembled. Every once-in-a-while, I abandon chores and write some more. Deadlines always trump dust. My husband seems to understand as long as there's food and clean clothes available.
Reading Literature


After the lunch break, the boys and I reconvene for history, devotions, Latin and Greek. I read aloud for at least an hour each day while the boys draw or build. We have a new rabbit, and often we bring him into our library so that he can run around and practice jumping. It's pretty comical. He just figured out he can jump about 2 1/2 feet straight up in the air. Greek tends to be the class that we lose if we're short on time. That's because the Cyrillic alphabet makes my brain ache. A couple of days a week, we have standing play or gym dates with homeschooling friends in the late afternoon. Those days, we wrap up a little early.


From 3:30pm to 4:30pm, we run errands, play games, head out to the garden, ride bikes... whatever we want. I start dinner at 430, and the boys play, pick up their rooms, and take out the trash until we eat. Lately, my ten-year-old has been asking to help with the dinner prep. He's a great sous chef. We have dinner when my husband arrives home.


Evenings are usually pretty busy. There's soccer, basketball, life group and AWANA. We're usually home by about 8pm and we pray and read Scripture together before the boys head off to bed. I work a fair number of evenings, but I try to close my eyes by 11pm at the latest. After all, 4am comes dark and early.
Author Photo 150x150 Danika Cooley is a children’s writer with a love for God’s Word, history, wisdom and small people. She blogs over at Thinking Kids. To help you disciple your children, Danika is writing a free 3-year Bible survey curriculum for grades 1-12 called Bible Road Trip. There are even free notebooking pages to accompany the studies each week. You can learn more about Danika’s work at DanikaCooley.com. She also tweets, pins, and facebooks.

What is your day like?
Would you like to contribute to A Day in the Life of Another Mom? We’d love to read about your day! This series will be ongoing as long as there are people willing to give us all a glimpse into their lives. If you would like to share A Day in Your Life please email me your day to  123homeschool4me (at) gmail.com. Feel free to include picture (s). I will let you know promptly when it will be posted. (If you have a blog please let me know as I will include a link to your blog in the post.)


  1. You lost me once I read 4 am, okay, now I'm going to go back and read the rest of the post......

    You can run errands in an hour time frame? I am impressed, it feels like to me, we need at least an hour to get that done.

  2. Ticia, I certainly don't grocery shop in an hour! Just the short, little stuff like running into the library to pick up reserved books. :)

    ~ Danika