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First Day of School

August 23, 2010

Today we’re sharing “A Day in the Life” for the Not Back-to-School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter Online.  Click over to read more homeschoolers’ days.

Today was our first day of school after about an 8-week break where I hardly thought about school, so I was not quite sure what to expect.  I’m coordinating three official scholars this year, a crawling baby, and a DH who’s home two of our school days.  Generally, even when Daddy’s home, we hope to spend our mornings on more formal schoolwork with afternoons left free for housework, quiet time, exploration, errands, field trips, and playing with Dad. 

I’m determined to get up earlier this year and get a head start on the day before everyone else.  This is always the challenge though as I’m the non-morning person in the household, but my goal is to get up when E first wakes up to nurse.  Somedays that is at 6:30 a.m., somedays it’s more like 5:30.  Bleh… But I’m determined.  I am really in need of some quiet time and scripture study at this end of the day. 


6:something or other  I nursed E and tried to wake up while fighting the urge to stay in bed for another hour.

7:15  Finally climbed out of bed after A came in to say good morning and I had to tell him he was wearing his little brother’s new shirt.  “Yours is the blue one.”  “Oh yeah, I forgot!”

7:17  Opened all the windows to let in the unseasonably cool morning air and came out to the music room to find A getting a head start on math.  He was excited to begin! 

He was also quite chatty while I was trying to read my scriptures.  I remember Susan Wise Bauer (last year at the homeschool convention) saying that her mother was off duty before 8 a.m.  You couldn’t ask her any questions, if you needed something you had to get it yourself.  That sounds like a fabulous idea.  I don’t like rolling out of bed and having to converse right off the bat.

7:44  E woke up and I let him roll around on the living room floor while I finished up my chapter.  I’m not sure how much I got out of it, but that’s earlier than I’ve read my scriptures in ages and at least I tried, right?

8:00  Everyone was up, DH included.  I took a shower while they took the garbage cans out to the street.  DH finished up washing some dishes, and A cooked breakfast after complaining that it felt like winter outside.  I thought it felt heavenly.

8:30  Breakfast: Oatmeal and applesauce for the baby, hot wheat cereal for everyone else.

9:00  Hair was combed and we took first day pictures…

then said prayer and pledge.  Normally we would do scriptures next, but DH wanted to get outside to work on the sprinkler pipe he’s replacing so he, C, and D watched Prima Latina lesson 1 first.  A wanted to watch too, so we all sat in on it.  Then we read scriptures, we’re beginning a study of the Doctrine and Covenants this year and we talked about all the exciting doctrine we get to study this year.  We also talked about all the other things we’re excited to learn about this year.  C can’t wait to study World War II, A is excited for math and the Civil War.  D is excited for math. 

We then read through our new memory scripture and poem, and sang the hymn we’re working on. 

9:55  Here’s where everything I had written down went to pieces.  I wanted to get some of the all together stuff done first but D wanted to do math, not FIAR.  C wanted to read history and A wanted to do grammar instead.  I got D started on math and then A, C and I read Grammar Island together.  I think we’re really going to like it. 

10:05  E was acting tired so I put him in his crib and he appeared to go to sleep very easily.  I sat down to Grammar Island again and he started crying. 

10:10  C picked up a Boxcar children mystery and A worked on his cursive while I snuggled E a bit more before he went right out. 

10:15  A wanted to read more grammar.  “This is fun, Mom!”  Grammar is fun, who knew?

10:35  We read The Finest Horse in Town, D’s new Five in a Row book.  I had intended to talk about Maine for geography, but D wanted to read about Horse Heroes instead.  Now I must find a book or video about the Lippizaners.  A continued to work on his cursive.

11:05  I read Story of the World chapter one about Queen Victoria and the Great Exhibition Hall while they colored.  Then they did the mapwork which is much more involved and requires more labelling than last year.  They like it though.  Anything that involves more writing is good in my book.

11:35  DH came inside to shower while A and I attempted the outline of SOTW in the Activity Guide.  He did really well finding the supporting ideas.  I’m not sure that we’ll do this for every chapter, but he could always use more writing practice.  Then he started some Latin review exercises I made up for him while I supervised C and D’s copywork and C did the first exercise in Singapore math 2A.  He’s not thrilled about math but it was easy today, thank goodness. 

D declined doing a reading lesson, promising he’ll do one tomorrow.  This child certainly has his own ideas about the way things should go.  I’m still working on a routine for who does what when so everyone can get the one on one help they need and hopefully not need it all at the same time.  I can only be stretched in so many directions at once.

12:05  Just as we were marvelling that E was still asleep, he started crying.  I nursed him while we called it a day and everyone cleaned up and got socks and shoes on.  Then we went to Lamb’s for lunch.  Somehow that’s become a first day of school tradition.  We offered three suggestions for lunch and in unison they all cried, “Lamb’s!”  You don’t mess with tradition.  The restaurant was fairly packed, being a favorite downtown business lunch spot, and I’m sure people watching us walk in were thinking, “Oh, great, they’re bringing four little boys in here–what are they thinking?”  But the boys were extremely well-behaved (I was even a little surprised!) and lunch was yummy.  E ate his lunch in his stroller and except for sneezing yam all over himself and DH’s pant leg, had a great time as well.  One man remarked on the good looking crew I had there.  🙂

1:30  DH was so impressed with their behavior that after lunch he told them we’d go get cookies at Gateway (not sure if we were trying to see how much money we could spend today or what, I would gladly have baked cookies instead but he didn’t ask me first) and since we were downtown he waited for me to go in Deseret Book and get the book we need for scripture study this year (which I’m positive I bought once but cannot find anywhere.) 

2:40 We got home and E was asleep in the car.  I woke him up hoping it wouldn’t mess up a good afternoon nap and nursed him yet again.  C finished his mystery and all the boys went outside to play in the mud help DH work on the sprinklers.  I watched E explore on the floor and tried to read the newspaper, but I was so tired my eyes couldn’t focus.

3:45  Dh and the boys went to fly paper airplanes outside and E was starting to fuss so I tried putting him down again.  No such luck. 

4:00 Our home teacher came over (for church, nothing to do with homeschool) and after he left DH took one look at me and told me to go to sleep, which I did promptly.  I assume he finally got E down for another nap as well as E woke up just after I woke up and DH left for work. 

6:00  After A put together the history experiment showing how the sun never set on the British Empire, we just had sandwiches for dinner, the boys read their scriptures, and now they’re watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I’m not sure how they talked me into a movie night on the first day of school, but with DH working tonight, and considering we really had a great day I figured why not. 


I really need to figure out a system so they don’t all need me at the same time.   I felt like I was being pulled in three different directions at once this morning so that needs to change.  E was actually very cooperative and I was so grateful he took such a long morning nap. I’m still not sure we can fit all of our bookwork into the morning hours, but that’s my goal. 

Normally we will just be at home for lunch and do our house cleaning after.  We’ve been combining our efforts and doing family work together lately and the effect on the house is much greater and surprisingly they’re doing more work and complaining less than when I just assigned jobs.  We also forgot piano practice today, but overall I’m pleased with what we accomplished today.  Hopefully I won’t be so exhausted tomorrow!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2010 8:23 am

    WOW! Just reading about your day makes me tired! Glad you were able to get a nap in. (Oh, and I love that you always take your first day of school pictures. What a great way to be able to see how much everyone has changed in a year.)

  2. Grandma permalink
    August 24, 2010 4:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing your first day of school. The picture of all my cute grandsons was great. You boys are going to learn so much.

    Lots of love,

  3. August 24, 2010 8:58 pm

    Great first day! It is really crazy, trying to juggle that many kids each doing something different.
    We sort of started school on Monday. My kids insisted, since all the other kids around us were starting. We stuck just to a few subjects but I can already tell it is going to be an adventure.

    Good Luck with the rest of the week. Hopefully E will take good long naps and you will get to squeeze one in some days too.

  4. August 26, 2010 9:15 am

    Hi, I just linked up Day in the Life post at Heart of the Matter. As I was browsing the pictures of other link-ups, I recognized you! I grew up in the VV 2nd ward, I’m LaVon Marshall’s daughter (I don’t know if you remember either one of us?) Anyway, I just wanted to say “hi” and commend you for homeschooling 4 boys! I only have 2 and find it quite the challenge. Anyway, take care!

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