Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Day In The Life

As I wrote earlier, we began homeschooling the kindergartner this week. It was a hectic week with some of my kids home sick. But thankfully, Curt was in town. For the sake of posterity, I decided to keep a running account of one of our days. I share it here just to give a glimpse of what our days look like. I had intended to post this earlier in the week, but the week got away from me!

Ok, so here's an ordinary day at our house:

5:30 am: wake up to Curt's alarm. Lay awake thinking for about an hour. Drift back to sleep wishing I had the motivation to just get up and get a jump on the day.

7:25 am: Eyes pop open. We're late! We overslept! I run out to the den to find the kids packing their own lunches and Curt answering emails via his cell phone. (Did I mention that he spilled tea on his computer and had to get a new one-- so we have been back to a one computer family for about a week-- again?) They seem to have everything under control so I flop back down on my bed, and soon am joined by the kindergartner (who doesn't have to go to school he happily reminds me) and the two year old, who is up extremely early for her.

7:45 am: I slice banana bread for breakfast for the 2yo and help the two children who are well enough to go to school today get out the door with daddy. (The high schooler is already gone-- he leaves at 6:45 am, bless his heart.) So, if you are counting, today I have three at home and three at school. My friend phones to say that she and her daughter are coming over and will bring McDonalds for our lunch. She takes my order for a salad. I feel very healthy for not choosing a quarter pounder and fries.

8:00 am: Make a cup of coffee and eat the small piece of banana bread the 2yo left on her plate. This usually passes for breakfast for me! I check and answer a few emails and read a few blogs while I sip my coffee. The 8yo is home sick today and wanders in to find me watching a ventriloquist video on my friend Amy's blog. We get so fascinated that we watch all the videos on YouTube we can find on him. Since we didn't watch America's Got Talent, we then have to go to the website to find out if he won. He did!! Hooray!

9:00 am: Tell 8yo she can play Webkinz while I instruct the 5yo to watch SuperWhy on PBS. I have included this beginning phonics tv program in our school day each day. If you haven't checked it out, you should. The 2yo, I have noticed, loves it too! They are both mesmerized for thirty whole minutes. Thirty minutes, people. Do you know what I can do with thirty whole minutes?? I wash the breakfast dishes, fold a load of clothes, start a load of clothes, take some Ibuprofen for a dull, nagging headache I have, drink an Emergen-C (with all the sickness going around I am taking at least one each day), jot down some notes for this entry, tidy the house for my friend's visit, and write up a new menu plan for the write on/wipe off board on the refrigerator.

9:45 am: The 2yo is very fussy and seems sleepy, so I put her to bed. Since she has been sick, her sleep has been affected-- so I figure an extra nap can't hurt. I know it wouldn't hurt me if I were her! After she is in bed, I go over my master to-do list, adding and crossing off things for the week. I pull out our school books for the day and make sight words card based on the page he is doing in his sight word workbook for the day. (Just index cards with those words written on it in magic marker.) I review our plans for school that I made over the weekend, just to familiarize myself with what I have to do.

10:00 am: Have circle time to start our school day. (Note: This is much later than I want to start, but I am easing into this.) We read from Leading Little Ones To God, go over the memory verse from the reading, practice skip counting by two's, five's and ten's, and go over the sight word cards I made. The 8yo joins us.

10:15 am: I assign a few pages in his Number Skills K-1 workbook (got it at the Dollar Store for-- you guessed it-- $1.00!), his Sight Words workbook (basically handwriting practice), and Explode The Code Book One. While he is working, I get a shower, check emails, and get dressed.

11:00 am: He is done with his assignments. I check over his work and start making their lunches. (I am eating with my friend when she comes.) They eat sandwiches and chips while I take a phone call from Curt. When they finish up, I mop the floor and clean up from lunch.

11:35 am: We all gather on the couch for reading time. We read Emily's Everyday Manners and Emily's Magic Words to introduce the ongoing study of manners we will be doing this year. We also go over a list of manners in the book 365 Manners Kids Should Know. I like this book because each day they introduce a concept, then have an activity you can do with your kids. We will not use it in order, nor will we cover all the sections. I just thumb through it til I find something I think we need to work on. We also do Can You Find Me? which he really enjoys doing. He doesn't want to stop!

12:00 pm: I pronounce us done with reading time and instruct them to work in their art books (He uses "Baby Lambs" art and the 8yo pulls out her copy of "Little Annie's Book of Art and Manners.") While they are working, I make a poster for the fridge of the manners rules we just read. (This was the suggested activity for this entry.) This poster becomes a conversation point for the rest of the week. The 8yo particularly enjoys "catching" people who are breaking the rules and marching over to the refrigerator to point out their transgressions according to the poster. We dub her "The Manners Police" based on a Full House episode when Michelle does the same thing.

12:20 pm: My friend calls to say that they are running late. We pick up the house a bit more while we wait. The 8yo has read about a relay game where you race holding cottonballs in spoons in her Little Annie's book, so she gathers supplies and creates a relay course so they can do that with my friend's little girl while they are here. The 2yo wakes up from her very long nap.

12:45 pm: My friend arrives. We eat lunch while the kids play. We talk. I make us coffee and our "quick visit" stretches to two and a half hours. My son arrives home from high school and chats with my friend a bit, as she has not seen him in awhile.

3:15 pm: My friend leaves and we jump in the car to get the kids from school.

3:45 pm: We arrive home and discuss the various plans, projects and updates from the older kids. I field several sibling disagreements and assign the 11yo to make peanut butter crackers as a snack for everyone while I check emails and take a phone call from my mom. After I am done, I start the chore process-- they each have a list they must complete before they go off and play after school. This is how we keep our house clean as it really is true that "many hands make light work."

5:00 pm: I start frozen pizzas for dinner. Curt was supposed to be out of town so this is the meal I had planned in his absence, but alas he did not end up going. He will not be impressed when he walks in! But I am not flexible with my meals once I have planned them and bought everything. So, he will adjust for one night. When he is home I usually do make nice meals. When he is gone, I make much more "kid friendly" (read: easy) food.

5:30 pm: Curt arrives home from work early-- hooray! We are all so glad to see him-- especially me! He helps me process the pizzas through the oven as we can only cook one at a time and we have four pizzas to get through. After dinner, he does a family devotion at the table. We are sloooowly working our way through Training Hearts, Teaching Minds. With his travel schedule, this is very hit or miss. But the point is to at least get to it once or twice a week. At this rate, it might take us three years to get through the book! Voddie Baucham's seminars have inspired us to teach the Catechism and this book walks you through it in very manageable short sections.

6:30 pm: We spend the rest of the evening with homework, some tv time for those who have done chores and finished homework, computer time for those same folks, and bedtime stories. Curt and I talk a lot, then get the two youngest to bed and run a quick errand to the grocery, the video store and to Chick Fil A for sweet teas for both of us! We fall into bed, exhausted, around 10:30 and read til we fall asleep.

And that's a day at our house! Thanks for sharing it with me!
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Valerie said...

Ok, you get Waaay too much accomplished in one day! Now I feel like a slacker (with crunchy floors :-)) I am so very much looking forward to the day when our kids are old enough to leave at home alone. Not that I don't appreciate the moment, want them to grow up too fast, and all that jazz, but it would be nice to just run over to the store and CFA without the entourage.

And I'm glad to see you're enjoying the homeschool thing again!

Wrinkled Shirt Ministries said...

Shewww, I'm just getting my day started and now I'm already exhausted after reading this. Thanks for always sharing your life with us. It is entertaining and encouraging!
Paula G. <><

Anonymous said...

Wow... i'm exhausted just reading this!!! Your husband sure is a lucky guy. I mean not only are you gorgeous, but you're so efficient too. Did I mention that you're gorgeous????


Curt, um I mean anonymous admirer.