A Day in the Life

A Day in the life

 Do you ever wonder what homeschool looks like in others’ homes?  I do.  So I wrote this post to show you a day in the life of our family.

I made this schedule while I was on bedrest.   It was a crazy schedule.  Impossible in fact.  I kind of expected that, but a girl can wish.   I have simplified that schedule and I now I have a single checklist with what I want to get done each day.  It’s actually quite efficient.  On a good day, that is.  If Bear ends up wasting time and getting angry at her math, then the checklist is pretty useless, too.  However, whatever ends up not getting done, gets done over the weekend.  Not because I have perfectionist ideals and expectations for her, but because if she were at school and chose to daydream her time there away (would she stomp her feet at the teacher over math?), the teacher would send home the work to be completed.

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6:00 am.  I wake up, read the Divine Office app, check emails, write the skeleton of this post, to which I will come back and edit (the first edit being son’s tantrum at breakfast).

The kids wake up between 7 and 8:00.  Today it is almost 8 by the time I hear feet on the stairs.  My son throws a tantrum over his breakfast (I won’t let him add oatmeal to his homemade granola, which incidentally is made of oatmeal) and he gets room time until he calms down.  Note that I have to carry him to his room, screaming and kicking. He comes back downstairs to scream at me some more.  I carry him back upstairs kicking and screaming.  It takes a good 15 minutes for him to calm down.  I decide to infuse myself with some more of Divine Office to get myself back to a calm place while my husband talks with tantrum boy.   Oh, and I drink another cuppa caffeine, too and edit this section of the post. Then, finally, we eat breakfast while I read Long Story Short, Hymns for a Kid’s Heart, and More Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls.  It’s 8:52 am.

I send the kids to get dressed and brush their teeth, while I quickly glance at emails one last time. It takes me asking them four times. I follow behind them, glancing at all the toys the kids left on the playroom floor last night, which I forgot to remind them to clean up before going to bed.  I make a mental note to remind them to do it at snack time. (I forgot again.  It will have to be after gymnastics.)

I round up the kids and get started on the checklist.  It’s 9:15. Bear works on figuring out  a MCT sentence (labeling parts of speech, parts of sentence, prepositional phrases, and clauses).

J-jo and I start his All About Reading Lesson. Like I have mentioned before, we love All About Reading. It was a hard decision spending the money on this program, but when I consider what we would be paying for private school, the cost of AAR pales in comparison.  He is so happy with this program.  He looks forward to it, is making excellent progress, loves the games involved and eagerly does two lessons per day (most of the time).  I love that it includes lessons on alliteration and onomatopoeia within the reading comprehension questions.  

We even like the fluency pages (we used to not prefer them very much).

And the reading comprehension exercises.

Bear is done the sentence.  She moves on to reading a chapter of Life of Fred.  It’s a gymnastics day, so she does Fred, because it’s the math of least resistance for us and she does it joyfully.  As a result, she can go through three chapters in the time it would take to do 5 warm up questions in Saxon.  I am still working on AAR level 2 with J-jo.  He’s now reading me the story from the reader.

Bear is working out the questions from the end of a chapter in her math notebook.   J-jo and I come sit at the table to start his math lesson.  We alternate between Rightstart B and Singapore 1.  He prefers Singapore, but I like the way RS is more hands-on.  We’re working on coins today. It’s a short lesson.  He finally gets that a nickel is five cents, but he’s not into the word problem questions about Jane putting five cents in her pocket and now she has ten cents, so how many cents did she have in there initially. I demonstrate on the abacus and he gets the right answer. The rest of the problems seem easier and he gets them easily.

Bear is done math so I alternate giving her spelling words while helping J-jo with his copywork.  Writing is his least preferred thing and he often ends up not doing it because he’s 4 and I can still scribe for him for a few years yet, but some days he is a willing participant and on those days, he does his writing.  His program is the IEW PAL Writing.  He is in section B of the book and copying simple sentences. I only have him copy each sentence once. He also read “The Tower” to me from The Beginner’s Bible (we have the original version by Karen Henley).

We’re all hungry (10:45am) so we trudge downstairs for some muffins.  I am requested to read some poetry and I also read a book on Ireland for our upcoming Passport Club. I read a few more books – from Heart of Dakota’s Bigger Hearts for His Glory.  We read the week’s poem and proverbs. I make an apple pie smoothie for a protein boost. There’s half a cup of white beans in there and the kids don’t have a clue 🙂

There’s a few more things to finish so we go back upstairs.  I do First Language Lessons with Bear.  She should have done this on Friday, but Friday was a very hard homeschooling day because it was a Saxon math day and Bear refused to do it and spent lots of time in her room that day.  We caught up on work on Saturday (her logical consequence for getting nothing done on Friday) but I left FLL for Monday.  I am not loving FLL so much now that we are in book 3.  We’ll be using only Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts in the fall.

Bear reads The Story of the World (Book 3), writes a narration and does the map for the chapter.  She also does some Spanish copywork. J-jo is done and has gone off to play in his room across the hall.  I hear him making dragon sounds and he’s making his Playmobil talk about spying on something.  I love hearing him play.

Story of the World feels like it is taking forever! It’s 12:45 and time for lunch. I reheat spaghetti from last night’s dinner. The sauce is full of vegetables and the kids eat it up!   They go play.  They have an hour until we leave for gymnastics.  Her other friends on the team don’t really get play time in between school and their 3:00 class, but Bear seems to forget that and bemoans that she only gets an hour to play.  We’ve done three hours of school and we are done, except for the memory work which we will do in the car on the way to gymnastics.

On the drive to gymnastics (45 minutes), Bear works on memory work on the iPad using the CC cycle 2 app.  Why can’t they add the song for the history timeline on the app?  We work on Latin today.

Gymnastics is two hours.  J-jo has a class for an hour in the middle of Bear’s class.

On the drive home, we listen to The King of the Golden City.  It’s my favorite audio book right now.  It’s an allegory that’s rich in lessons about not listening to self and how to prepare yourself for the King’s golden city.

My husband is making burgers tonight, but I need to buy buns, so we run into the supermarket on the way home.

After dinner the kids bathe. We pray a decade of the rosary, add our own praises and requests and then J-jo gets read to by my husband, while Bear listens to Little Women on Youtube (it’s an audiobook, not the movie).  I sit and pet her head for a bit and then head downstairs to finish dishes and try to write more posts.

It’s been a very good day, in spite of the rough start with the tantrum in the morning.  It will be interesting to see how tomorrow pans out.  It’s a Saxon Math day and Bear’s likely to be a bear about it (pun intended).  

As I finish editing this post on Tuesday afternoon, I want to let you know how different Tuesday was from Monday. It was such a convoluted, school-all-over-the-day kind of day that I will post about THAT Day in the Life tomorrow so you can see how widely our school hours can vary in our household from day to day. Someone mentioned how it appears that I have an “uncannily meticulous structure,” but I really, truly don’t as you will see tomorrow. (Click on the image to read about it).

Another Day in the life

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8 Responses

  1. Pink Princesses King
    Pink Princesses King at |

    Structured Math lessons are resisted at our household too. I finally realized that my daughter does not need as much practice as the curriculum requires. I read through a couple of lessons, figure out the games needed to teach the concept and work on it without the book with her. We loosely follow RS with my 7 year old, by the way. LoF is loved here too. The problem with this is that it needs a lot of 1 on 1 time with me.

    We did not like FLL 3 either. My daughter hated the diagramming, so we are currently not doing anything special for language other than tons of reading for pleasure and some MadLibs here and there.

    Reply to Pink Princesses King
  2. MaggieAnnie
    MaggieAnnie at |

    Ahhh the tantrum..we started our day with one (or three) as well!

    Nothing like a little honesty:)

    You are patient mom to start again and then again!

    I always over schedule with complicated plans things look doable when it is quiet. I always come back to that checklist too.

    Reply to MaggieAnnie
  3. Melissa Droegemuelle
    Melissa Droegemuelle at |

    Thank you for sharing. We have the CC audio CDs, and I'd be interested to hear how you would compare the app to the CDs. If it wasn't so darn expensive, I'd probably buy it in a snap.

    Reply to Melissa Droegemuelle
  4. Claire Allen
    Claire Allen at |

    My daughter enjoyed Story of the World also. I think it's also important to get this subject from a Catholic perspective, and for that I purchased 'Our Catholic Legacy' Volume I and II from Seton. These two volumes give a complete overview of History from 1st through 12th grade. Both I and my daughter find them a real delight to read through!! The beautiful catholic art and large prints of famous and beautiful paintings throughout the books add to the joy of reading. I found the first chapter, the introduction to history, a particularly wonderful chapter! I don't think any Catholic children should be without these wonderful supplemental History Volumes! 🙂 We have a copy of The Beginners Bible too! God Bless! ~ Claire

    Reply to Claire Allen