A Day in the Life of Kimberly Tank: A Homeschooling Photographer

A Day in the Life of Kimberly Tank: A Homeschooling Photographer

I completed my first personal project, a Project 52, in 2014, which was also the year I really started working to build up my business. The more my business grew, the less I was picking up my camera for personal photos on a daily basis. After that first project, though, I was hooked on personal projects and wanted to make sure I made the time to continue to document my own family. Each year I plan a personal project or two (sometimes three), which really helps me not only to focus on documenting my own family, but also to really dig in and practice a skill or play and be creative with my photography.
Last year I hired fellow NAPCP member and NAPCP Ambassador Willy Wilson of Life Unstill Photography to document a day in the life of my family so that I could be in most of the photos (header image courtesy of Willy Wilson, Life Unstill Photography). It was my birthday/Mother’s Day present and I’m so so glad we did it. I love having these everyday photos with me in them. This year we officially started homeschooling and I wanted to try documenting a regular day in my life to show what a day in the life of a homeschooling photographer looks like. Getting in front of the camera for this one was a little more challenging. I was ready to mess with a tripod and timer for some of them, which I did, but my son, who’s 6, ended up taking some great photos of me that I’ve also included.
I can’t say that this is a typical day for us because every day is different. We have a weekly routine and a flexible daily routine, but every day looks different. The day I chose to document was the day my son has piano lessons. For this day of the week, this is pretty typical.

I try to start my day with yoga at least 3 times a week. I’m not an early riser by nature (I’m more of a night owl), so sometimes I can do this before my son wakes up and sometimes he gets his breakfast or plays a little while I do yoga. He will occasionally join me if I end up doing it later in the day instead of first thing in the morning.

My son is in charge of feeding the dogs in the morning and I get my morning tea ready. Then we sit down to eat breakfast with our homeschool stack for the day. I’ve found, for us, it works best to do most of our table work while we’re at the table for breakfast if we can. I often start by reading aloud and then we work on reading and word study.

My goal is usually to try and at least get reading and math done at the table but I also like to give choice in what we do, so this morning we moved from reading to science. We’ve been working through an Earth Science unit so we were demonstrating seismic waves. We needed a six foot rope so we used a dog leash and our dog thought we were going for a walk, haha!

Next, we moved to the living room so my son could swing on our door swing while I read from some books about history. Many kids actually absorb information read to them better if they are doing something else while they listen, especially boys, so I don’t require that he sits next to me quietly while I read to him.

We didn’t have time to finish everything in our pile before we needed to head out, so we’ll come back to finish later. We head off to the library to pick out new books and pick up requests that have come in to supplement the topics we’re learning about. My son loves checking out the books on his own with his own card.

After the library, we head to the music studio in town for piano lessons. While my son does his lesson, I get a little time to read a book. We head from there to my chiropractor’s office for my adjustment and then back home.

We grab a late lunch and I do some meal prep if needed. My husband gets home sometime in the early afternoon most days (he goes in super early) and will work on his college classes while we finish up our homeschool day. (Note: My son was taking the photos of me meal prepping when my husband came home and insisted he needed a photo of us kissing, which he says is his favorite!)

If the weather is nice, we’ll do some stuff outside if we can. This day, we finish up with math outside while we eat a snack. Then my son will play outside (or sometimes inside), while I sit down and get some work done. On this day, I added a new page to my website for commercial photography, emailed session reminders, and worked on a blog post.

It’s time to make dinner. Since getting to shore duty, my husband has slowly taken over cooking dinner most days, which is so amazing. I head out to the garden to pick some greens to have with dinner. The weather is gorgeous, so we eat outside.

After dinner, we head to the ball field to do t-ball pictures, which I do just for my son’s team. Back at home, it’s time to get ready for bed. My husband and I tag team helping my son get ready for bed and reading to him, depending on how tired we are and how much work I need to do that evening. My husband typically goes to bed early because he gets up early in the morning and I stay up after everyone is in bed to get editing done. Usually once a week and on weekends, he’ll stay up with me so we have some alone time together and we plan regular date nights, too. Finding a balance with this and our varying schedules is a challenge but we embrace this season of life we’re in and we know all too soon, our son will be grown and we’ll have tons of alone time again.

Thank you for following along with my day!

Kimberly Tank
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