Disclaimer: This post includes all the boring details of our day and then some! I write this for the benefit of my own family in years to come, so we can catch a glimpse of what our homeschool days were like when they are nothing but a distant memory.
I love reading posts on other homeschool blogs about the nitty gritty details of a family’s day and how they do things. So I thought I’d hop on that bandwagon. In fact, I think I should write a post like this at least annually to give an ever changing snapshot of how we make this homeschool life work as the seasons change. So here is the breakdown of our day today…
6:20am – PJ’s alarm goes off. I woke up at 6:15am and feel cheated of those last five minutes of blissful sleep, but alas, it is time to begin the day. I roll over and grab my iPad and proceed to do my daily Bible reading. This year I am reading chronologically through the Bible using George Guthrie’s Reading God’s Story. I proceed to double the font size in my kindle app so my blurry eyes can actually read the text.
7:15am – PJ rolls out of bed to bundle up and take the dog for his morning walk, and I head to the livingroom for some alone time. This is one of my favourite parts of the day. I sit, curled up in a blanket with my devotional book The Cloud of Witness, my commonplace book, my iPad, and my school planning binder. I read the inspiring, sometimes convicting, quotes from The Cloud of Witness for that day, spend some time in prayer, record my gift I am giving thanks for in my favourite pages in my planner, and look over our school plans for the day in a prayerful attitude. By this time PJ and Lancelot are back from their jaunt around the neighbourhood and the kids have started to emerge from their bedrooms.
7:50am – I unroll my exercise mat and proceed to do a twelve minute stretching routine that just helps me limber up for my day. I use a workout app on my iPad. My favourite routine right now is called (and I kid you not) “Stretchy Time.” I’m sure if our blinds happen to be open and any neighbours can actually see me, they probably have the same looks on their faces as my kids usually do as they watch me. What is that lady in her fleece pyjamas doing in the middle of her livingroom anyway??! After those few minutes of “loving movement” as Fly Lady would call it, I head into the kitchen to unload the dishwasher, and get breakfast going. It’s a particularly nice start to the day if my girls have remembered to set the table for breakfast the night before. After PJ comes out, ready for the day, we trade off. He takes over in the kitchen and I go get cleaned up and dressed for the day. And, yes, I make sure to make my bed every morning. Fly Lady would be proud! (except Sunday…that’s my bed-making and laundry-washing “sabbath”)
8:15am – We sit down as a family. Kids are dressed (and their beds are supposed to be made by this point too). This morning we have fried eggs and toast. Every Thursday we have friend eggs and toast! I’m sure my kids keep track of the days of the week by what we have for breakfast. Oh, you call it “Wednesday”? I thought it was called “Oatmeal Day”!
8:30am – After PJ finishes his last gulp of O.J. he moves into a quick Bible lesson with the kids around the breakfast table. We just recently started the book Long Story Short by Marty Machowski. It is fantastic…right at the level we need for the ages of our kids. There are 78 weeks worth of lessons in there too, so this will keep us going for awhile. I think I snagged it off Amazon.ca when the kindle version was on sale for a buck or two. Again, the iPad comes in handy here.
9:00am – Daddy heads to work. The kids take their chore packs and get to work, rotating between getting chores done, having bathroom time, and practicing their recorder and piano. Little Mister wanders around, helping to sort laundry, watching his big sisters brush their teeth, playing with the soapy bubbles as Mommy washes up the breakfast dishes, or pushing buttons on my night table as I try to brush my teeth. I usually have a few minutes here where I can fold laundry from the day before or run the vacuum quickly over the living areas…that sort of thing. This morning it is vacuuming. And it’s a good thing – toast for breakfast means crumbs galore!
9:30am – We are ready to tackle Circle Time! Our Memory Work today includes this term’s poetry choice, Wishing by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. We are just past the halfway point of term 2 so we know the poem by heart now and don’t need to open our memory work binder. That makes it a bit easier to have my hands free for Little Mister. With the success of yesterday’s play dough in amusing Little Mister I figured I’d try painting with Q-tips and tempera paint today. Aside from him initially thinking his tray of paint daubs are a snack, he finally gets the hang of it, but then starts screaming at Belle for using his paints when I’m only about two paragraphs into The Little Duke reading we are trying to get through. I had forgotten how fastidious he can be sometimes about messiness on his hands, and our reading gets interrupted multiple times as I have to wipe his fingers off. This is not working the magic I thought it would. We finally finish chapter 9 of The Little Duke, and I’m hoping Little Mister will just be content to colour or play with his toys for a bit. Nothing doing!! Not today! Today is one of those “thorny” days where our school soundtrack is the sound of a crying two year old. I decide to postpone our reading from An Island Story (our British history book) for later in the day or later in the week.
The rest of the morning is a bit of a blur to be honest. Amid Little Mister’s screaming and crying, I somehow get Belle to fill in her daily calendar and practice writing and saying some numbers and phonograms while Boo works on a couple of math pages. Then I dictate Boo’s next spelling list from Reading Lessons Through Literature and listen to her read the accompanying story. Boo also reads her passage from Genesis 24 aloud to me, and she quietly reads to herself a chapter from Fifty Famous Stories Retold and narrates that to me. C-Bear practices awhile on Dance Mat Typing, adds another root word to her album of Greek and Latin roots, and reads and narrates a chapter from The Storybook of Science. She has read about evaporation and condensation today and sets up a little experiment with a glass of ice cold water on a dessert plate.
10:30am – Snack Time! Finally we discover the pause button on the aforementioned soundtrack! He is actually happy as long as we keep filling his bowl with cheesies. And, no, we don’t normally have such unhealthy morning snacks as cheesies, but we are headed on vacation the day after tomorrow and our cupboards are bare. I didn’t grocery shop this week and am trying to use up what we have on hand…which at the moment is a big bag of cheesies Boo had been given on her birthday. Little Mister is happy at any rate. And our home has returned to a noise level where you can actually hear yourself think. As the kids munch on their treat I grab The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie the Pooh and read about a half dozen poems from When We Were Very Young. This is more from Belle’s reading list, but the older girls are just as delighted. Having been in public school for the first couple of years, they missed out on some of those read alouds we would have done in the early years.
11:00am – After snack time Boo and Belle (and thankfully Little Mister too) head downstairs to the toy room to play for a bit. I do some prepared dictation with C-Bear from her English Lessons Through Literature. Thankfully her math is a review page so no tears today! Actually she has just finished up a long chapter on long division and prime numbers and factors and fractional parts, and she did fantastic with it. I am so proud of her. Those Times Tales really paid off. Knowing her times tables by heart has made division so much easier. After our vacation next week she will start a chapter on Geometry which I think she will find enjoyable.
11:45am – Daddy will be home soon for lunch, but we haven’t made it to our art lesson for today. It’s a quick and easy project (and their bellies are full of cheesies, remember) so I decide to plow ahead. It’s our first foray into the medium of chalk pastels, and even though messy, they are a big hit!
12:15pm – Daddy is home and is graciously heating up leftovers for him and I to eat for lunch…and opening a can of chicken noodle soup for the kids (which meets with rave reviews!) while we clean up from our art lesson.
1:00pm – Daddy heads back to the office. All four children head to the toy room for awhile, and I get down to business doing up the girls’ checklists for tomorrow and planning worship for the next couple of Sundays in time for the bulletin to be printed this afternoon.
1:50pm – Little Mister is in need of a diaper change. It’s time for his nap anyway so I take him to his room. We have a little cuddle in the rocking chair while listening to his Twila Paris lullabies. After a song or two I settle him in his crib with his soother, a stack of board books, and a few cozy covers. Meanwhile the girls are busy downstairs preparing for a surprise. They have plans to put on a concert tonight. Daddy and I are in for a treat. I head to my room for an hour of rest. After a half hour nap I spend some time reading from a book I picked up at the library from the “for sale” shelf. It’s a collection of 50 famous letters and correspondences that have shaped our world. Today I read a letter from Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo, a letter from Kuyuk Khan to the Pope threatening an attack on Europe by the Mongols, a letter from St. Jerome that he penned upon hearing about the fall of Rome to the Barbarians, a letter from Christopher Columbus as he heads back to Spain after his first voyage to the new world, and a letter from some scoundrel of a conquistador bragging about his capture of the Inca King in Peru and the slaughter of thousands of the King’s unarmed men. The book gives a bit of background and context for each letter with pictures of pertinent artifacts or maps or artwork. It’s a really neat book…one that I will grab at different times during our study of different events through history.
3:00pm – The girls head outside to play with fellow homeschoolers we are lucky enough to live across the street from (at least for the next couple of months…until they move out of province…BOO! HOO!). Little Mister is still quiet so I pick up the iPad and start typing this post.
4:50pm – I start on supper…a simple supper tonight of parmesan noodles, frozen peas, and fried steak. I usually like to listen to a podcast while I cook. Tonight it’s the latest episode of The Mason Jar. PJ comes home shortly thereafter and helps me get supper on the table.
6:30pm – The concert starts. Our tickets are punched as we make our way to our seats. There’s dancing, singing, and even a skit that ends with a funny twist. It’s really quite entertaining…despite Little Mister’s lapse into his uncooperative mood of earlier this morning. I’m pretty sure he really just wants that pink guitar!
6:50pm – Time to tidy up. The girls have their work cut out for them tonight, but thankfully they proceed without complaint. I have a homeschool support group meeting tonight. We’re watching a documentary together and my half of the alphabet is on for snacks so I proceed to pop some popcorn. A quick wardrobe change (but really, if there’s one group of people who would understand my sweatpants and messy bun at the end of the day, wouldn’t it be my fellow homeschool moms?) and off I go, leaving Daddy reading a bedtime story to the kids on the couch. They are finally getting to those chapters from An Island Story we had to put on hold earlier today. I wish I could stick around to learn all about the origin of the title “Prince of Wales” and the seizure of the Stone of Destiny. Exciting stuff!
Phew! I warned you it would be a long post. If you’ve made it this far, I’m sorry I don’t have some sort of prize to give you!
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