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First Day of School

August 20, 2013

Linked up to the “Not” Back-to-School Blog Hop: Day in the Life.

I don’t know why I always try to complete a day-in-the-life post while dealing with the craziness of the first day of school and a new routine.  Maybe it’s so I can look back on it later and rejoice that life has calmed down somewhat–assuming we start to work more efficiently and stop being so interested in what everyone else around us is doing that we forget to do our own work!

So today, ready or not, we began a new school year.  And as always, it was a little crazy.

6:37 a.m.  For some strange reason, especially after a not very good night’s sleep, I was wide awake and couldn’t go back to sleep.  Not wanting to get up though (it takes me a while to get going in the morning, especially when pregnant) I laid in bed and checked my email and read a couple articles online on my phone while listening to everyone else get up eventually.

Between 7 and 8:00  All the boys got up and got dressed.  D was especially excited and came in to show me that he had already completed the first lesson in his new math book by 7:40.  A and C rode their bikes around the block a few times and D went once on his scooter.  E crawled in bed with me and got a huge kick out of my reaction to his freezing cold feet on my bare legs.

7:50 I finally crawled out of bed and got dressed.

8:00 Daddy surprised us with a box of donuts from our favorite donut shop to go along with breakfast before heading to work.  Great idea!  Let’s get a sugar rush to start the day off right!  (Sugar rush and a Zofran pill for Mommy.)

8:30  is the time at which A should be starting math in order to finish everything that needs to be done before lunch.  We generally work on individual bookwork before lunch and then do together subjects (history, science, music, art) after lunch.  I’ve tried and tried to figure out who does what when in the mornings so that I can help everyone individually as needed, but I can’t make it work.  There doesn’t appear to be enough of me to go around, so this morning was a trial run to see what might happen with four students this year.

8:35 A is finally done with breakfast and is combing his hair.  We said prayer together and then E, surprisingly, wanted his picture taken.  I guess we’d talked up taking pictures in their new shirts enough that he wanted to do it.  So we did it.  And we didn’t have any screaming toddler on the floor pictures like last year.


While I took individual pictures of the other three, he settled down to sort fuzzies into a muffin tin by color.  He’s been looking forward to this for over a week since I bought them and told him he couldn’t open the package until school started.


8:50 A got to work on Math–Singapore 6B (which I was finally able to retrieve from our storage unit last Saturday.  Nothing like last minute scrambling!)  C and D are also ready to work, but both want to do Latin.  D put his dvd on in the living room while I sent C with my laptop to my bedroom to watch his first lesson.  E read The ABC Bunny, his Before Five in a Row book, with me.  Since Monday is garbage day, E had to get up repeatedly throughout the morning and run to the living room window every time he heard a “hobbage” truck go by.

9:30 We pulled out scriptures and everybody studied 15 mintues on their own before coming together to begin our study of the Book of Mormon, or rather to continue as we never finished it last time.  We ended up in the book of Alma somewhere, so that’s where we’re starting again.  We reviewed the “Books in the Book of Mormon” song and worked on a memory verse:

Alma 37:35: “O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.” 

10:30 We started a weather chart with E and put a “sunny” card on for Monday.  Then I started the “bounce between 4 kids” game.  C got started on his math, D pulled out his new cursive book (which we discovered has lines way too small and he couldn’t remember how to form half the letters anyway, so we’re already on to Plan B there. . .), while A and I began reading his Magic Lens grammar book.

10:50 A moved on to his Latin while I had to review place value with C (who really should have been doing math daily for the past 2 1/2 months).  Apparently masks help with math:


11:05 D got to work on the first few pages of his Building Thinking Skills book where we realized he had no idea what a pentagon was.   A definition then lead to looking at pictures of the Pentagon on my phone (since A was still watching Latin on my laptop) which of course included pictures from Sept. 11th, so we had a little review of that as well.

11:25  C and I began reading his grammar book while D picked up a Star Wars book to read.  And I think E disappeared with my phone to explore the new preschool apps I downloaded a few free-app-Fridays ago.  (I definitely need to wean him off all the technology that has helped me survive this summer with morning sickness and a 3-year-old.  That will probably be a trial so we won’t go cold turkey today!)  After I sent C off to agonize over the pretest (It’s just a pretest!  It’s ok if you don’t know everything on it yet!)

11:40  D really doesn’t like grammar so we started at the end of the book just to be different this year and learned what a dictionary is and did a quick lesson on how to alphabetize.

11:50  We started watching the student supplement dvd in my IEW writing course which I didn’t even realize was included.  It’s short, but he talks to the student and I think this will be a fun change (if writing can be fun at this house for these people.)

12:25 p.m.  I realized we needed to find a stopping point in the video.  The boys voted to go walk the dog now and eat lunch after.  While I waited for them to walk around the block, my mother called so I had a nice talk with her.

12:50  Back home, A started to cook scrambled eggs for sandwiches (protein that was so missing at breakfast) while I got stew  into the crockpot to be ready for dinner.  (Because stew is just what you want on a hot August day.  Actually I was so busy finishing my prep work for school and buying food for our church Primary activity on Saturday that I never got around to actual grocery shopping for us, and this was the one thing I could think of in a pinch to throw in the crockpot.)

1:30  D does his piano practice and in between helping him figure out where to put his hands for his new songs, I helped C with 5 pages in his new Building Thinking Skills book, while reminding A to please quite dawdling and finish eating.

2:10  We had a giant giggle fit (I have no idea what started it, but it infected me too!) while trying to explain new expectations for C in history this year, then we read chapter one in Story of the World volume 3 and taped together new timelines for C and D.  Somewhere during the morning E had dumped Lego trains all over the living room floor.  He wanted to sort fuzzies again and when I told him he needed to pick up trains first, he told me that, “there’s room right here,” pointing to the only empty space on the floor.  We really need to instill the habit of picking up one toy before moving on to another.  He just doesn’t get it, despite all my best efforts.

2:56  We put history away and pulled out our new science program, The Elements.  They are excited and like all the cartoony drawings and the comparison to a kitchen.  We examined six different recipes to see what ingredients were common between them and also read labels on several different household items to find certain elements.  I think we’ll really enjoy this program, short though it is, but I still have quite a few games and activities to make copies of so we can prepare.  That was another item I wasn’t able to pull out of storage until Saturday.  Reading recipes:

3:41  I am done for the day, in more ways than one!  I rescued E, who was trying to spread cream cheese on an entire package of Ritz crackers.  Rather, I rescued the cheese, made some snacks for the boys, then went to lie on my bed.  16 weeks pregnant and I’m still feeling crummy.  But I had energy enough to read some letter A books to E.

4:00  C began piano practice while A worked on a word puzzle.

4:30  C and D went outside to play with the neighbors.  I was just about asleep when 10 minutes later, E came running in saying, “I found my shoes!  Will you put dem on for me?”  He went out the back door and I had a vague sense that his brothers were no longer in the back, so I interrupted A who was practicing the piano, and sent him outside to keep an eye on E so I could rest.

It’s kind of fuzzy from here on out.  I was so tired.  DH came home from work around 5:15.  Around 6:00 the boys were back inside–A went back to playing Beethoven and DH was helping C make biscuits for dinner.  I could tell they needed my help so I finally dragged myself off my bed and we ate dinner around 6:45 which was really too late for me.  Dinner was good, but I still wasn’t feeling all that great so went back to lie down.  While the boys cleaned up the kitchen after dinner, DH had to go buy an emergency screw for his glasses because he was this close to losing the lens.  E fell asleep in the car on the way home so went straight to bed.  Then DH got a call about picking up a go-kart from someone in our stake so he had me drop A, C, and him off and they would walk it home.  Why we need a go-kart, I have no idea.  We’re actually supposed to be decluttering and getting rid of stuff, not accumulating more.

And somehow that counted as family home evening for the night.  Not what I had envisioned, but I had no energy left for anything else.  I think the boys were tired too, they went to bed without a fuss.  Lots of mental energy was expended by all today!  Some years we start the school year slow and ramp it up over a couple weeks, but this year I just decided to jump into it all at once.  We have several planned breaks coming up, and then of course, there’s a new baby coming, so this school year will just be weird!  So it begins.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    August 20, 2013 9:01 am

    You boys look sharp! It makes me tired just hearing how much you did. Have a great year.

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