A Day in the Life of The Tanner Family at Missionary Acres – Part 1: Mornings

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While we were on deputation, one question frequently came up: What will you be doing at Missionary Acres?

To help answer that in a little more detail, we thought it’d be fun to share a Day in the Life of post. And while we had every intention of walking you through a whole day at once, this post got to be too long.

So we decided to break it up into three different chunks, morning, afternoon, and evening. Here’s the first part, focused on our mornings.

Good Morning!

This year, the kids are in charge of getting breakfast on the table. Jeffrey, Ellie, and Sydney each have two mornings where they cook. Then one day, Simon and Brynna work together to get the morning meal prepared.

Making this change freed Lisa up to get the little boys (and Owen) dressed, and do any last-minute prep-work for the school day.

While breakfast is being prepared, the other kids work on their morning chores. These include:

  • Getting dressed
  • Brushing hair
  • Making the bed
  • Doing a quick tidy on the bedroom
  • Doing one bathroom chore

Once their chores are done, the kids can pick an activity from our morning basket. This is a collection of small puzzles, felt board sets, books, and other quiet activities that the kids can do independently while they wait for breakfast.

When breakfast is ready, they quickly pick up their activity and put it back in the basket for another day. Then, everyone gets a plate and goes to sit down. Right now, we’re in a small temporary housing at Missionary Acres, so the table isn’t large enough for all of us. But, we find a spot to sit in the dining room/living room area and enjoy breakfast together.

Then, Bryan heads to work around the property, and the rest of the family moves into table chores.

Working at Missionary Acres

During the morning, Bryan stays busy working on building projects, maintenance projects, or helping with repairs of the current homes. Since we’re still working on raising our full support, he also might spend the morning working on scheduling meetings, preparing sermons for those meetings, or other deputation related paperwork.

This day, he worked on updating our deputation materials and making plans for an upcoming road trip. He’ll be attending pastor conferences in three states in the coming weeks, and wanted to make sure everything was ready to go.

One of the things he created was a new contact card, which utilizes a QR code. Here’s what it looks like:

While Bryan works, the rest of the family gets busy with the day’s tasks.

Table Chores

Table chores follow each meal. Each of the capable kids has a chore or two to help kitchen cleanup go more smoothly. These are the jobs this year:

  • Put food away
  • Clear table
  • Wipe table
  • Wipe chairs
  • Wash dishes
  • Dry dishes and put them away
  • Sweep floor
  • Wipe counters

Once table chores are done, it’s time to start our homeschool day.

Homeschooling Time

We start our homeschool time off with a quick family opening. We pick a special helper, who gets to update the calendar, check the weather, and be a general helper for school time. They also get to hold our American flag for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Then, we talk about our Plan of the Day and move straight into Bible Time.

Bible Time

We start our Bible time with a sword drill, so the kids can become more familiar with where different books are located in the Bible. Then, we move into our Bible study. We’re currently finishing up an A-Z study of the Bible from The Daily Grace Company. When we’re done with that, we’re doing a missionary study from (affiliate link) => Not Consumed.

After our study, we sing our hymn of the month (in September it’s The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago.) Then, our child of the day (not to be confused with the special helper – we have assigned a day of the week to seven of the kids, and they get special privileges and responsibilities on their day…) gets to pick another hymn to sing. We’ve been memorizing one a month since 2013, so there are quite a few we know now. It’s always fun to practice old ones.

Then, we read a chapter of the Bible together. We’re working our way through, and are currently in Job. All of the readers in the house read a few verses, and this has been a great way to learn more about God’s word, AND practice reading skills.

We wrap up Bible time by counting our blessings (the person of the day gets to pick our blessing challenge then we go youngest to oldest sharing.) Then, we share any prayer requests, and a couple of people pray. Then we dive into the rest of our learning.

My Father’s World Curriculum

This year, we knew we wanted a more streamlined curriculum to use, so we weren’t trying to piece things together while we adjusted to life here in Missouri. So, after much prayerful consideration, we opted to go with My Father’s World. It’s just easier to have it all prepared during this crazy season of life!

This year, Tyler and Bryson are in preschool. Brynna and Simon are working together on the 1st grade curriculum, and Sydney, Ellie, and Jeffrey are working through Exploring Countries and Cultures. We’re so thankful to have a new curriculum to work through!


It doesn’t take long to tackle the little boys’ school, so we make it a point to do it first if possible. Otherwise, it tends to get missed. One of their favorite parts of the day is the surprise bins. They get to play quietly with one of the special bins we put together. The sensory bins are their favorites!

1st Grade

Simon and Brynna are working hard on phonics and decoding longer words. They’re learning all about place value, studying Proverbs, and practicing their drawing skills.

They’re also working hard on staying focused for longer periods of time. Putting together bigger puzzles (this one is 100 pieces) has been a great activity for free playtime and quiet time. Brynna especially likes doing puzzles.

Here’s Simon showing off the ladybug he made from play-dough. We’re learning about God’s world this year, and bugs are some of the first creatures we’re studying.

4th, 6th, and 7th Grade

Jeff, Ellie, and Sydney are studying the world this year. Living on Missionary Acres, this is the perfect topic! We’re going to learn about different countries and cultures, including many of the places that the dear saints here served at. We’ll be learning more about France, Japan, and Chad, along with many other countries.

As we study these places, we’ll also be doing a deep dive into missions, studying missionaries of the past, and some present-day servants of God as well. It’s going to be a great year.

And as an added blessing, one of the dear folks here at Missionary Acres is helping to teach Sydney and Ellie math this year. They go over to her house for a couple of hours, four days a week. During this time, she not only helps with math, but also some of their other schoolwork. It’s a blessing for them to have a quieter environment to do some of their studies.

Earning Screen Time

This year, the kids have to have active playtime for an hour each day to earn half an hour of screen time. They’ve been taking plenty of walks around Missionary Acres. Jump roping is also a family favorite.

Typically, the kids go out in pairs or small groups when it’s someone else’s turn for school. That way, they aren’t all sitting around waiting for their turn.

Book Basket Time

The kids also have to spend 15 minutes reading each morning. We go to the library in Poplar Bluff about once a week, and pick up any books we’ve requested a hold for. Typically these relate to our studies.

Then, the kids can pick a book from the basket (or a couple) to read or look at for their time.

Some of our favorites so far have been:

Material World: A Global Family Portrait

50 Cities of the USA

Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds: 100 New Ways to See the World

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

We’re looking forward to reading some fun books about the world this year!

School Clean Up

By the time everyone cycles through their learning, reading, outside time, and art, it’s almost time for lunch. Everyone helps to clean up, because by this time, the dining room table we’re using for school in our small temporary house is overloaded and super messy.

By working together, we get everything put back away before the food comes out. Then, we take a break for lunch with Daddy.

An Afternoon with the Tanners

Since this post is getting long, as mentioned above, we’re going to split it up. Next month, you’ll see how we spend a typical afternoon.

Thanks so much for spending some time with us! We’re thankful to be able to serve the Lord here at Missionary Acres.


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