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A real day in the life

August 21, 2011

For the last week of the Not Back-to-School Blog Hop, we’re sharing “Day in the Life” posts.  I could share our ideal–if the planets were to align and everything happened according to plan–sort of days, but seeing how those never happen, I’ll share what actually happened last Thursday.  It’ll probably be much more entertaining…and real.

6:something a.m.  E woke up way too early, came in to nurse, then didn’t want to go back to sleep.

7:05  D is the next one up, so I put him to work watching his little brother while I try to get a few more minutes of rest.  It doesn’t last long so I’m up anyway.  I browse email and the internet for a little bit while the boys play.

7:40  A gets up and starts practicing the piano

7:50  I get breakfast going.

8:10  Everyone is up and dressed and eating breakfast before one last swim lesson this season.

9:00  We’re at the pool where the boys have a great time and I’m happy when it’s over so I no longer have to keep a busy 19-month-old from climbing into the water too. (And I know 9 a.m. is not really that early, but I’m so over having to be up and dressed and out of the house every day at a certain time.  This is why I love homeschool, we can take mornings at our own pace.  If we did public school and had to do this always, I think I’d be a stressed out nut!)

9:45  We’re home from swimming and changing clothes.

10:00  Prayer, then Old Testament study time together and memory work (just a scripture and a poem today.)  This next week I’m going to add in 15 minutes of personal scripture study for everyone at the beginning.  We did this last year and it made such a difference in our day.

10:45  Everyone pulls out math and I sit in the middle of the living room floor playing with E where I’m available for questions and help.  Everyone picks the order in which to work on their individual work until lunchtime. If I’m lucky, all three won’t need me at the same time, but then that is a great way to practice patience and waiting their turn!  I gave up on a timed schedule some time ago.  The boys all have weekly checklists and somehow we get to most if not all their subjects in a given week.

11:17  C is done with math after much handholding on my part, and we read a few pages of Grammar Island together, then I dictate sentences from Writing with Ease to him.  E’s done with toys so he’s now standing up to the kitchen sink playing in the water.

11:27  After dawdling, D has also finished math and moved onto WWE copywork.

11:35  I finish correcting A’s math and then do a short grammar lesson with D.

11:38  D gets a reading lesson with me on soft C and G sounds, then he is free to play with toys as his individual work is done.  (Come to think of it, he’s already played with toys quite a bit.  He’s a pro at getting distracted by whatever I put out for E to play with.)

11:45  A begins Latin.

11:47  C finally finishes dictation (and is very excited because it’s about Paul Revere and we’ll be seeing the Old North Church in a few weeks!)

and gets a quiz on his Latin vocabulary words before doing a word search in Ludere Latine.

12:00 p.m.  E is done with water play and decides to bang on the piano instead which greatly annoys A.

12:03  C finishes Latin and works on a line of cursive (which needs much more practice since we haven’t written in cursive all summer.)

12:10  I check A’s Latin and make sure he understands the difference between 3rd person plural and singular endings.

12:15  I make lunch (cheese melted on bread and grapes) and we eat.

12:43  E falls asleep…so I take his picture, then miraculously I’m able to get him to stay asleep after transferring him to his crib.

12:50  I finish my lunch and decide to look at the newspaper which I haven’t read in about a week and a half–basically since we started school.  After lunch we get back to work.  I think if I only had one student, we might be able to finish work before lunch, but it’s just not possible with three students at three different levels plus one toddler in the mix, so we plan on utilizing that one precious naptime for our together subjects like history, science, art, and geography (usually two subjects a day.)

1:10  I read Grammar Town with A.

1:20  A starts science and needs a leaf to identify.  The other two want to be in on this too, so they all traipse outside to find an unknown leaf on our street, then use an online dichotomous key to identify it.  C and D have success (after another run outside to see if the leaves are opposite or alternate) and identify their locust leaves.  A has no such luck.  I don’t know what the tree growing in front of our house is, but I know it’s not what the dichotomous key was telling us.

1:46 A goes back outside for a maple leaf and we correctly identify it with the dichotomous key.  Then they all label the Divisions of Life and start memorizing it–kingdom, phylum, class, etc.

2:10 A begins his Writing with Skill assignment and C starts piano practice.

2:17 E is up from his nap.  Already?

2:40ish A is finished with writing so we start an art lesson.  D doesn’t want to participate and I don’t want to push it so he plays and E gets strapped into his high chair after clunking D on the head with a train.  The art lesson doesn’t go well (curriculum’s not a good fit) but we persevere and by 3:20 have drawn some basic shapes and worked on drawing cubes with a lesson in perspective.  No one is in a happy mood so I send them outside.

3:42  I realize C never did finish his piano practice after E woke up, so I call him back in to do his last piece.  He’s not thrilled but does come back in quickly.


After that, I quit keeping track of what we did, but the boys played outside, I entertained the toddler, and never did get to any of the cleaning projects I’m in the middle of.  I was incredibly tired and not in the best mood.  I forget how much mental energy it takes to homeschool these boys.  E wasn’t in the happiest mood either until I suggested making dinner together.  He loves to help cook.

When DH came home from work, he said he’d gotten a babysitter and would I like to go see Captain America?  Why yes, yes I would.

We ate dinner together and cleaned up the kitchen together.  We have a really great rotating system of kitchen jobs.  It’s only taken us about two years to get it to work consistently.  Now it’s time to come up with something for the rest of the housework (the bane of my existence.)  (Maybe now that swimming is over, we can use some of that extra time in the morning to clean up the house after breakfast.  I need some kind of plan in place before September as life will get a little crazier when I have one night of teaching cello students, one night of symphony rehearsal,  and cub scouts and Kindermusik class for D start up again.)

We had family prayer and the boys did their personal scripture study and went to bed (they all needed it) and somewhere in there I squeezed in some personal scripture reading.  Ideally I’d quit being a night owl and go to bed earlier so I could get up earlier for more quiet (and quality) study time in the mornings, but that’s my constant battle with myself.  I know what I need to do…I just need to do it,  and that’s all I’m going to say!

Thanks for reading, and hop on over to Heart of the Matter for more homeschoolers’ days.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2011 11:41 pm

    Sounds like a busy but productive day!

  2. August 22, 2011 6:19 am

    Thanks so much for sharing. It is great to hear about your day.

  3. August 22, 2011 8:15 am

    I thought I was busy! I’m amazed at how much you get done :). I’m going to have to try the playing with water in the sink idea for my toddler. I’m running out of ideas to keep him entertained.

  4. August 22, 2011 9:33 pm

    I just *love* reading this kind of posts. I find them both inspiring and reassuring at the same time. I should do one. Probably not this week, though. There’s nothing normal about this week.

  5. August 23, 2011 10:38 am

    Thanks for the real schedule! As a previous poster said- inspiring and reassuring. It gives me more ideas… BTW please explain your kitchen schedule. My kids are constantly upset that we have to clean the dishes and kitchen.

    • cellista permalink*
      August 23, 2011 11:35 am

      I wish we didn’t have to do it every day too!

      But here’s what’s working for us. They each have a different job and on Sundays we switch so if they hate that particular job, they only have to suffer through it once a month, for one week! That puts it in perspective a little. 🙂 The original three jobs were: set/clear table, sweep, and wipe down counters and stovetop.

      We have since added wash dishes so Mom isn’t always doing them (we don’t have a dishwasher) and so now Mom/Dad is in the rotation as well. Whichever parent isn’t doing the parent job helps the child who is washing dishes.

      We do tend to get in each other’s way, but it’s much more fun to work together and clean the kitchen quickly.

  6. August 23, 2011 6:38 pm

    Wow! You have a lot going on right now. Good for you for still being sane! Came to visit after you checked out my blog–thanks for stopping by!

  7. August 24, 2011 5:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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