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First day of school

August 21, 2012

This post is linked up to the Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop.  Click on over to see other homeschoolers’ days.

I should probably wait to do a day-in-the-life post until I have things figured out.  Today was rather chaotic.  But I don’t know that I’ll ever have a perfect routine figured out, so here’s reality instead.


7:ish  My alarm goes off.  I do not want to get up.  I stayed up too late last night to see DH, who had been at work 30 of the previous 48 hours.  Plus I was still working on my mile-long to-do list when he got home.  Busy week last week (which is a post for another day.)

7:41  D comes in to say that he’s already dressed because he slept with his new shirt right next to his pillow and that he’s also already finished a page of handwriting.  Yes, the 7-year-old has more get-up-and-go than I do.  I decide to skip a shower this morning and just get dressed.  I’m ready to tackle the mountain of dirty dishes in the kitchen until I remember why they are still dirty (well, besides the fact we have no dishwasher.) Something is up with the plumbing this weekend and we have only a very tiny trickle of water coming out of the faucet which is no good for anything.  DH promises to fix it today.  I wash a pan for cereal in the tub.

8:00  I start some laundry.  I would have gotten children started piano practicing already, except that DH (who has the day off today) has a project that must be completed before he can really truly be off, and is working at the table in the music room.  A takes time out from reading the comics to cook some steel-cut oats for breakfast while I get E changed and dressed.  C and D are perched on the arms of a chair reading.  C picked up Morpurgo’s Beowulf  “because it looked interesting.”

8:24  Breakfast.  E does not want to stay on his own chair.

9:02  Ready to go!  Daddy says prayer with us then heads off to work to finish his project in peace.  Smart choice.  We just hope he doesn’t get stuck there for the entire day.  We try to take a first day of school picture in our new shirts.  E is screaming about something or other. Attempt #1 doesn’t go well.

Then, success!  (Or at least he’s no longer lying on the floor screaming.)

9:30ish  After answering many  “Are we doing writing today?” “Will we get to geography?”  “When will we be done?”  kinds of questions, I point out that they do have new checklists waiting for them on the table with their new crayons if they’d care to look.  (We try to do bookwork from 9-12ish, then another hour or two after lunch depending on the day.  We used to save our messy projects and experiments for naptime, but the 2-year-old no longer naps, so who knows how things will work out this year.)

I herd everyone back out to the living room for scriptures, but of course we must take a break to watch the garbage truck come by, a highlight of every Monday morning.

Then our neighbor knocks on our door and I try to answer her questions.

Finally, we begin our introduction to the New Testament, which is our scripture course of study for the year.  Then on to memory work–we read through and discuss Matthew 6:24, our first memory scripture, then review the Articles of Faith, “A Book” by Emily Dickinson which we memorized last year, and finally read through “The Goops” together, which comes from D’s grammar book, although we’re all going to memorize it.  We need a little help with our manners and this is a good start.  Later on we’ll start working on The Etiquette Factory’s program.  E is not terribly happy through most of this and wants my full attention.  He’s finally learned to say, “Mom,” but it’s not so cute when he’s yelling it at me.

10:15  I realize we should probably take time out to do some personal scripture study for 15 minutes.

10:35 A begins a math review, I get C started on his math,  and D is in the bedroom playing. I decide he can just stay there for a little while so I can read about cows with E.  We’ve already changed our plans from Before Five in a Row with him to the preschool curriculum at  Suddenly D is out with his math and everyone needs my help at once.  We never do quite finish the original book on cows, but E is happy now and helps me hang his learning poster on the living room door.  He colors a picture of a cow with his new crayons and I periodically help the other three with math.  Then we read Sandra Boynton’s  Are You a Cow? about four times.  I think it’s the new favorite board book and it makes E giggle.

11:20  A and C review their Latin vocabulary cards (since they’re both starting in the middle where we left off in June) while I do a reading lesson with D.  He reviews the last lesson on one-syllable words and only gets tripped up by the fact that the words were, there, and here don’t rhyme.

11:30  A and C open up their new Killgallon sentence building book and we learn about chunking.  They then have fun the rest of the day saying sentences in odd and peculiar chunks and laughing about it.  I read through the first few pages of Grammar Voyage with A, then do two quick grammar lessons with C.

12:20 p.m.  I stick the laundry in the dryer and tell everyone to get socks and shoes on so we can go dog-walking.  We hunt all over for E’s two shoes and by 12:30 are out the door.

1:10  Back home and starting lunch.  One of the boys is hunting for something under the kitchen sink and discovers a dead mouse on a sticky trap, which would explain why I thought it smelled like something died in the kitchen a few weeks ago.  It doesn’t smell now though, so we shut the cupboard door back up and leave it for DH to deal with.  Then I get a phone call from a friend asking if she can drop by in 20 minutes to look at some homeschool books.  I wolf down the rest of my sandwich, hunt for the Five in a Row manuals (among other things) she wants to look at, and do a quick clean of the living and music rooms while the boys finish their lunch.  Normally we go out for lunch on our first day of school, but honestly, we just took them out to eat last Wednesday on our anniversary and there are some other fun things coming up soon so lunch at home it is.

1:30  Waiting for friend . . .

1:40 Still waiting . . .

1:50  The boys are finished with lunch and are playing in the bedroom, except for A who comes out to practice piano just as friend shows up.  I send A back to the bedroom.

2:00  My friend is gone, so I call everyone back out and back to work, but their minds are now on playing and we have a hard time sitting still for explanations of what is expected for science this year.

2:10  We put in a history video from Schlessinger, on the history of the middle ages (not my original plan for the day but it’s what seems best at this point in time.)  E even sits quietly on the couch and watches.  DH comes home somewhere in here and everybody is happy about that.

2:35  A goes back to piano practice,

C and D get the new job chart for the week and pick a job to do in their weekly zone before playing.  E goes to hang out with Daddy instead of me.

3:00  I sit down to write this post until DH is missing me and asks me to come sit in the kitchen with him while he eats lunch.  After A finishes piano, C begins, and then while DH works on the plumbing, I look at some names on Familysearch that my Dad told me he added.  My late night is beginning to catch up to me and sitting here at the computer sounds more appealing than working on cleaning out the basement right now, which was my original plan for the afternoon.

3:30 C is finished with piano and all four boys go outside to play.

4:30ish DH is off the phone telling me the wrench (really just a little $2 plastic part) he needs to help him repair the sink is on backorder and shouldn’t get here for 7-10 days.  I can’t go 7-10 days without a kitchen sink, so he goes to buy a new faucet set (which includes the little plastic wrench) instead which he can install in our rental house after we use it to fix our own sink.  I convince him the 2-year-old would love to go to the store with him.

Sometime after that the boys want to watch Clone Wars.  I tell them no, I don’t want to hear the Star Wars music one more time this week.

5:00  I finally get up and resolve to do something more productive, so make about 15 trips up and down the basement stairs hauling stuff out to the recycle can, mostly old magazines.  Why have we been hanging on to them?  That’s the million dollar question.  C comes back in to ask if they can play at the neighbor’s house.  I say yes.

5:23  I start water boiling for dinner and start washing some dishes in the tub.

5:40 DH is back from Lowe’s with a very sleepy 2-year-old who may or may not go to sleep on the couch.  He can’t decide.  I go back out to the kitchen to finish dinner.

5:50 I gather clean dishes from the bathroom and vaguely recall hearing the front door open.  I go to the living room.  No toddler on the couch. I run outside to find him looking for his brothers.  We knock on the neighbor’s door and call them home to dinner.  DH has fixed the sink and shows me all the gunk that was blocking our faucet.  Disgusting.

6:01  We sit down to dinner as a family for the first time since Friday.

6:34  We have cookies that A baked yesterday for dessert.  E thinks it’s really funny to try and sneak Daddy’s when he’s not watching.  He’s developing quite the sense of humor.  We start cleaning up the kitchen; everyone has a different job (which rotates weekly.)  Dad offers to sweep the floor for me so I can sit down and supposedly get back to this post.  I get distracted by other things on the computer plus all the papers and books from the day that are still out on the music room table.

7:15  A is still washing dishes, C has talked Daddy into looking up Star Wars toys on the internet so he can drool over them, and E is quietly playing with bricks which begs the question, “Why can’t he play like this in the middle of the morning???”

7:17  A is finished with the dishes and telling us how much money we owe him for babysitting, then we head out for a walk around the block together.  E would rather pull the wagon than ride in it, at least for a block and a half.

7:39  Home again for family home evening, during which DH gives each one of us a father’s blessing for the beginning of the school year.

8:30 The boys are in bed and DH and I sit down to watch the second half of Gettysburg which we began last Thursday night.  I decide to ignore all the dirty pans which are still in the sink.  Now that we have a faucet that works, washing them tomorrow will be no problem at all!


Originally I wanted to have a fun and fabulous new . . . something to start off the school year in an exciting way, but today was not it.  It is good to be back in a school routine though.  Now I just need to figure out my toddler.  While not terrible by any means, he is temperamental (and still doesn’t talk much) and I need to figure out how to balance his needs with educating the other three.  I need time to think on these things.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2012 8:31 am

    It always amazes me when posts like this point out how scattered our days are as Homeschooling wives and mothers. We have to balance all the usual household stuff and squeeze in the schoolwork too.

    I too am still working on figuring out what to do with Molly during school time. She will usually sit through any book I read aloud but when I need to be helping kids with Math or Writing then she tends to cry and beg for food or otherwise find something to make a mess with. She does like to color so she usually does a little of that and I always print out a copy of whatever map or coloring sheet the kids are doing for her as well and that usually makes her happy for a bit and I guess she feel included in our work. Mostly she just causes mayhem and distractions. I really don’t know how I am going to fit in any actual preschool type things with her. Not that I am even thinking of doing so yet. Mostly she just gets book read to her. Each of the kids have to read her one book every day. It is one of the things on their chore chart.

    Good luck on the rest of the school week.

  2. sparklingadventures permalink
    August 27, 2012 8:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing your day. We’re unschoolers in Australia and love hearing about other homeschoolers’ lives and meeting them as we travel!

  3. August 27, 2012 9:47 pm

    Hi! Good to see another parent who didn’t finish the Latin… and is picking it up again this year. Gettin’ real. 🙂

  4. August 28, 2012 6:17 am

    I love to see a description of a real day! Thank you for this.

    I absolutely love the first photo. We’ve got a few like that here too. Maybe you can save it to show at your youngest’s wedding.

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