Monday, February 25, 2013

One Little Day

The days are flying by.  I can hardly believe we're already cruising toward the third month of 2013!  Or that before long, my oldest two children will officially be done with third grade, my middle child done with kindergarten, and the four year old will know that I no longer have a reason to not do 'real school' with her.

I don't know what this 'real school' that she speaks of is about.  It's not like I don't throw all kinds of stuff at her.  Apparently it doesn't comply with her sense of 'real school'.

Before the year gets away from me, I wanted to write out how our typical day looks.  I keep looking back at last year and wondering how we made it through, what with having a baby in the house and me trying to potty train Anna.  I personally feel like it's a victory that schooling actually happened!

One of the major perks of homeschooling is that I don't have to get up before the sun and coax my children into readiness by 7AM.  Or earlier!  I have one friend who puts her kids on the bus at 6:30.  Y'all, I don't see that hour very often.  The alarm clock at our house doesn't even go off until 7:15 and I am over feeling guilty about that.  We pack enough into a day that I have no qualms about 'sleeping in'.

The older two kids start moving around 7:30.  Thomas and Sarah Grace are responsible for getting themselves dressed, eating their breakfast, doing their morning chores, and getting a start on their independent work without me having to say a single word to them. 

Unless, of course, it's a pajama day.  When it's cold out, it's just understood that on Thursdays, putting on real clothes is totally optional.  The rest of their morning routine holds, though.

Elizabeth and Anna have a tendency to sleep in a little more, but they usually make it down around 8 to have their breakfast and then I send them back upstairs to get ready for the day and make their beds.  It can sometimes be two hours (or more) before I see them again because they are prone to simply stay in their room and play.

Daniel is left to sleep as long as he'd like.  My philosophy has always been that you don't wake a sleeping baby.  Especially my sleeping babies!  He is usually making noise by 8 or 830 and he gets to eat and be dressed in pretty short order.

Thomas and Sarah Grace emerge from the school room about 8:30 and wander about until 9 or so when we go back to the school room for me to check what they've been working on.  We naturally roll into anything that they need me for and I work with just the older two for about half an hour while Daniel wanders around bringing me anything that's not nailed down to the floor.  'Hewuh doh, Mama.'


Once we finish up this round of school, we scatter for a few minutes while I flip laundry and think about lunch plans.  Somebody practices piano during this time and the other kids get the laundry put away before we plop Daniel in the pack and play to watch Baby Einstein or Eebee Baby.

When Daniel is settled in, the rest of us troop back into the school room.  Anna sits at her little student desk and works on her work, Thomas and Sarah Grace settle into math, and Elizabeth and I spend a few minutes on phonics with Elizabeth.

It's about 10-ish now and at this point, I usually sit down in my seat in the school room and catch up on blogs, research, banking, whatever needs my attention.  If I leave the room, my sweet children last 43 seconds before the giggling starts.  Some days, I issue a threat reminder from wherever I am about how I need to get something done elsewhere, but for the most part, I just stay parked with them for about an hour.


Daniel's show is 30 minutes long, but on a good day, he'll play quietly in that pack and play for another 30 minutes.  On a typical day, I get him up before the screeching commences and he comes to join us in the school room and plays with math manipulatives.  Or one of his siblings finishes up their work and carries him off to the reading nook with a handful of books.

Most days, Thomas and Sarah Grace work right up until our 11:30-ish lunch.  Elizabeth and Anna are done with their school room part of the school day and Daniel is done being nice for the morning, so one of them helps me get lunch ready and the other tries her best to keep Daniel distracted.  Once everyone has something in their bellies, the kids clean up from lunch and I take off with Daniel and Anna for a few minutes of whatever makes them happy that day.  Reading is always a favorite.

At 1PM, Elizabeth, Anna, and Daniel all go off for naps.  It will be 2-3 hours before I see Anna and Daniel has been known to sleep until 4 or later.  Elizabeth usually sleeps for 30-45 minutes before she joins us back downstairs.  We work on her reading when she gets up and her official schooling for the day is over.

While the younger kids nap, Thomas and Sarah Grace tie up any left over work from the morning and are supposed to study spelling and work on their Bible memory.  Once they have checked off everything on their assignment sheet for the day, they are free to go outside, use a screen-time ticket, or play with their toys inside.


As for me, my second wind kicks in about 4 and I manage to 'get something done' before Joshua gets home.  We try to eat dinner around 6-6:30 and then the kids clean up the dining room and stack the dishes.  Joshua or I do a final wipe down in the kitchen and we're done for the day.  That last hour leading up to bed time is filled with anything from reading to wrestling and occasionally even school with Daddy.

We try to have everyone prayed up, tucked in, and lights out between 8 and 8:30.  Some nights it's much closer to 9, but that works fine too.  So long as Joshua and I have a little bit of time for just us after the kids go down!

And there you have it.  A typical school day with my 8 year old, 7 year old, 5 year old, 4 year old, and 22 month old.  It's hectic and busy and loud and hard and fun and tiring and fulfilling and so much more.

And it's good, y'all. So good. 

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