Homeschool and Self-Care: an Interview with Jessica

By Assistant Editor Erica

jessica on homeschool and self care

A while ago, we interviewed Jessica about her style secrets (she rocks a floral hat like none other!), and today we are lucky to hear from her again, this time about her life as a mother, yogi, adventurer, and homeschooler. She has three children, Malina (8), Mateo (5), and Lion (2), and we get to peek a little bit into her packed life today. Keep reading to find out about the freedom they get from homeschooling, the balancing act between having a schedule and being flexible, and the time to herself that makes the entire thing possible…

jessica on homeschool and self care

1. Why did you decide to homeschool?

For the most part, it started with the idea of freedom.  The freedom to let my kids “be kids”as long as possible – to climb trees, to swim on a week night, to sleep in if they need to, to play and learn simultaneously.  Freedom for them to create and express; to feel confident in their own skin and in their own skills. Freedom for our family to make memories not just on weekends and summer vacations, but daily and endlessly.

I found that when my daughter was going to school that our time together was crunched, and I didn’t like the feeling I was having that I was rushing our days. I had a friend that was homeschooling, and her example and life was so intriguing to me. I felt inspired and excited every time I talked with her. She was taking the untraveled path, and I was fascinated with it.

We took the jump, and we started camping in the middle of the week. We put a stronger emphasis on play and reading, and felt that they were growing and progressing. They didn’t need to know what level reading they were, just that they were learning more words, reading more pages, writing and expressing themselves through different mediums. We were in a state of wonder and it felt magical and right for us.

jessica on homeschool and self care

2.  What does a typical day look like?

8:00-9:00 Wake up, breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, make beds, morning chores

9:00-9:20  Yoga/meditation exercises, family prayer, mantra.

9:30-10:00 Malina does her math lesson while I usually lay out a few activities for the boys to do that will keep them busy.

10:00-11:00 Malina does a writing assignment – this could be a journal entry, grammar lesson, blog post, creative writing.

11:00-11:20 I read to the kids, and then we discuss characters, talk about what’s happening in the story and how they are feeling about it.

11:20-12:00 Malina has 20 min of reading time on her own and then 20 mins of piano practice. I clean up breakfast mess, prep lunch, throw some laundry in, hang with the boys.

12:00-end of day We have lunch as a family, and then the baby naps while the kids have free play or do homework for our co-op classes. I’ll also use this time to get work done, lesson plan, etc.

Also, we spend a lot of time outside of the house, and each day is something different:

Monday: Home day/piano lessons

Tuesday: Nature looms class in which we hike, connect with nature, and become familiar with the trees, animals, plants, and areas around us. I attend this class with my kids, and I like that we are all learning together.

Wednesday: Co-Op Social Studies, Science, and Art for my older two and playtime for my two-year-old. We rent out a space with 20 other families that has classrooms, playgrounds, and space for us to teach, so they can be in more of a school environment.

Thursday: Sienna Ranch, amazing outdoor science class for the older two where they learn how to build a fire, take care of farm animals, cook outside, make tea from plants in the wild, build shelter, etc.

Friday: Home day- our normal schedule listed above. However, once a month we try to make this a field trip day, such as attending museums or art exhibits or going on a city adventure.

homeschool and self care

3. How do you decide what to teach?

This is a gut thing for me. What do I want them to learn? What will help them grow, broaden their understanding, what’s happening in the world that I want them to have compassion for. This is really the best part of homeschool – freedom to teach them what I as a parent thinks she or he needs the most!

homeschool and self care

4. What do you enjoy the most about homeschooling?

As mothers, you know your kids better than anyone else knows your kids, including themselves, and with homeschooling, you get to know them in another way, to have another facet in your relationship. I get the “ah-ha” moments when they learn something new, which are the paydays that make up for the rough times. I also get an extra line of communication with my kids, like when they have a random thought, question, or fear, they can communicate it to me instantly. On the flip side, I also get more of the bad and the ugly of my kids, and that goes both ways. My kids sees me at my worst and learn that life is hard from me.

5. How do you find balance as a simultaneous teacher and mother?

If it feels too hard, we just don’t do it. Pushing through usually leads to the breakdowns and the times when you can’t deal. When we need a break, we stretch, dance it out, read on a blanket outside, or bake muffins and call it math. 

homeschool and self care

6. How do you make time for yourself?

This has been the biggest challenge for me. I have had some days where I have hit rock bottom, and I lock myself in my room and hide under my covers. Or my husband comes home and I walk out as he’s walking in and I say “see you never.” But you find your passion and you make time for it. You make yourself important because you are the glue, the power, the brains behind this master plan. I like to wake up an hour before everyone else so I have a quiet house to myself. I do yoga, meditate, read a good book, or run. Sometimes I will get a baby-sitter for a few hours after school ends to get work done, and one night a week my husband comes home early and takes care of the kids. I leave and have a girls’ night or read a good book in a coffee shop. I recently signed up for yoga teacher training! Just like you schedule time for piano lessons, you schedule time for yourself. 

homeschool and self care

7. What’s your advice for parents considering homeschool?

You won’t regret a year of giving it all to your kiddos. I know moms that have done it for a semester and loved it, but then put their kids back in school the following year. Doing it for a year doesn’t mean you have to do it forever. I can say I honestly don’t know how long I will do this. If I ever feel like it’s getting in the way of me being their mom, the most important role, then I will put them back in. But you won’t regret the adventures, the freedom, the reading together, the late nights. It’s a beautiful struggle.
homeschool and self care


That’s awesome!! I’m really considering homeschooling next year and reads like this give me courage and passion to try!!

Jessica has always been an inspiration, and her amazingly kind, smart and funny kids are definitely a measure how well she and her hubby make it work. Love to Jess and to you, Liz!

“A beautiful struggle.”

What wise and lovely words from such an inspiring mother and woman! I hope to have the courage to do this for at least one year.

It is prohibited here in Spain. So, they go to school till 2pm (am no fan of onesize fits all state education, but at least they are learning a second and third language and making friends and so on) then all afternoon is ours for ‘other ways to learn’.
They help me in the house, garden, kitchen, with the chickens and ducks; we take long walks, enjoy nature, play, read and write, chat.

I love how beautiful and real these insights are. From a new homeschooling mama (as in only 6 days in!) thanks so much for sharing Jessica!

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