Spend a Homeschool Day at The Giles Frontier

By Holly Giles | homeschooling

homeschool day at the giles frontier

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Our homeschool day

What you don’t see in the photo above is a hawk, off to the left,  that just flew up with his morning snack! This is our real-life homeschool day in our own backyard. This is a day from nearly the beginning of our homeschool journey. From this, you can see how far we have come, and what we have learned in the last fifteen years.

Most days here on the Frontier begin between 6 and 7 am, depending.  I try to arise before anyone for a little quiet time. For instance, I enjoy reading a devotional and just mentally preparing myself for another day of mischief and mayhem. Actually, I mean joyous learning.

 Grayson and Grant wake up hungry. Hopefully, if I have my act together, which is not too often, I cook my grandma’s famous oatmeal or have muffins ready, if not, cereal it is.   Grayson has learned to make excellent scrambled eggs, and some days he gets to make sure everyone in the house gets fed.
learning to read

The morning

Chores begin before school, then dressed and ready for our circle time by 8:30.  Our circle time is prayer, reading books for fun and on subjects, we are covering this week. Hopefully, before then I have thought about dinner. This morning I have chickens in the crockpot, whoo hoo, I planned ahead! 

If not, it could possibly be cereal or my “famous” refrigerator casserole, yikes! My husband loves that one. About now is when I realize I have a cup of coffee somewhere. The boys are doing their work in their boxes. Grant is working on LA and gluing everything to the table. Grayson working on math. 

I use my own version of homeschool workboxes.  They each have individual work and some to do with me.  We do broader subjects together like read-alouds, Apologia Science and Geography. Geography is our main focus this week. They have busy work to keep them occupied while I work with the other one. Sometimes that works.

organizing our homeschool


learning about continents in our homeschool day

East America

While I have some of their focus, we do writing and discussions. A pencil usually drops on the floor about 20 times during writing. Then, Grant does spelling with bottle cap letters and a sensory bin. Next, we are talking continents on this particular homeschool day.   I had them cut the shapes out of construction paper, and they were supposed to lay them out according to our blanket map. 

 Grant, of course, chose to dance with his continents instead.  Then he asked where East America was…

So, this was a good time for a morning break and a cup of coffee, that I still hadn’t found. Hopefully, I can come back inspired to finish out this homeschool day on a positive note. Or at least make Grant understand there is not an East America.

chores during our homeschool day

Math snacks

Grant worked on a little math with the snack instructions I gave him.  15 grapes plus 5 vanilla wafers = ? However, this was the only math we got done today! I am now looking forward to my break time. I usually would like to go lie down in my bed. Perhaps take 20 deep breaths and tell myself to press on.  However, the laundry was piled too high for me to get through the door.
grant finding a rock on a nature walk


grayson finds a feather on a nature walk

Go outside

I followed the boys outside instead and enjoyed the treasures they found on their morning break.  Grant chased frogs, and Grayson found an owl feather.  Pretty cool.

Most of the time, it takes longer to rally the boys inside to continue their lessons. My Mom lives next door and sometimes she is outside and talks to the boys, or they ask Randy, their grandpa, 50 questions about golf and trapping squirrels. There is always work to be done in our yard and garden. But the heat is preventing us from that distraction.

 Back inside, Grayson is hiding from having to recite a poem to me and work on division problems.  Our house is too small to be hiding long. So, I made a second cup of coffee because I still haven’t found the first. 

 Grant needs to read me a story to work on his phonics.  He usually slips out of the schoolroom when no one is looking.  Sometimes we find him in the hallway with every instrument possible.  Even cymbals between his toes.

I consider this music appreciation in our homeschool day, don’t you?  I wrote it down in my log for the day.
He is a character if you haven’t figured that out already.
grant banging a tambourine during our homeschool day
grant glaring at me during a homeschool day


By lunch, they are tired of me taking photos and I get a glare over soup.  He is usually such a ham, not sure what sparked the attitude. For lunch, we try to alternate a variety of food.  I fix it some days. Other days the boys are in the kitchen whipping something up.  I find that I forget to eat lunch most of the time. Then I end up scavenging for turkey meat, supper leftovers, or a banana.
Two or three days a week we listen to Your Story Hour, Sugar Creek Gang, or other books on tape for about 30 minutes.  It gives me a chance to return calls, check messages, and do paperwork. I have a property management business, so I work in between schooling the boys.
grayson collecting eggs from the chicken coop


Afternoon chores are done when lunch is finished.  Grayson usually checks the hens to see all is well and gathers any eggs laid in the morning.  Both boys will do cleaning-type chores that rotate during the week at this time of the day unless we are out of the house.
If lessons have not been completed, we work on getting them done.  We might have more group activities together. Or have free time to play or work on their own projects (mischief and mayhem) outdoors. Sometimes I might be overwhelmed and call off the rest of the school day. Perhaps to hide in the bathroom for a quick prayer and pep talk.
Our schedule is very flexible.  We love field trips, visiting with friends, and going to area outdoor activities in cooler weather.  Grayson’s occupational therapist comes once a week, and sometimes we have Drs. appointments.
My in-laws live close by and love having the boys over once a week. They enjoy hanging out or cooking something up in Papa’s garage.  We are blessed with an involved family.
grayson watching hawks in the backyard


Contrary to my remarks, I am thankful to be schooling my boys at home. My goal in writing is, to be honest about our days.  None are perfect, and many are hard,  but our goal is the end result. Godly men with love and respect in their hearts.  I don’t know about you, but I find schooling at home is a lesson in life for me.  God has used it to shape and mold my patience, understanding, and love toward being a wife, mother, and friend. 
 This was a mild homeschool day on the Giles Frontier. No loose chickens running in the road as animal control drives by. Or arrows shooting across the yard and hitting a window. There wasn’t acorn surfing, door slamming, or hissy fits (by me or the children).  Check back with us another day.
early years at the giles frontier homeschool.


About the Author

Holly Giles is a wife, mother, and storyteller. As an author and Florida Master Naturalist, she writes about heritage homemaking skills, motherhood, and why Florida offers the best hidden natural gems to explore as a family.