I have three kids and this is our first year homeschooling, though we have known we were going to do it since our oldest was born. Olivia is five. John will be four in March and Thomas just turned one.
7:15 I come to the realization that the baby is talking in his bed, so I know I need to start waking up. I very, very rarely get an entire night of sleep. The baby likes to nurse in the early morning and I had also been up twice with the three-year-old. He is now snuggled up to me and also stirring.
7:30-9:45 I am trying to get back on the Flylady bandwagon, so start the day by getting dressed and making my bed. Everyone is pretty happy so I can get that done. I rustle up a breakfast of eggs and toast while the kids play. We eat, complete our morning chores, and get everyone dressed. The kids have their own morning chores -- Olivia swishes and swipes the kid bathroom and John has to feed the dogs. Both help to make their beds and start the laundry. In between, they run about and play.
About 9:15 I sit down and nurse Thomas and put him down for his morning nap while the kids watch an episode of The Backyardigans. I use the quiet nursing time to pray, then finish getting dressed. Meanwhile that baby is loudly not napping, so I get him back up. Morning nap is sometimes hit or miss. I fear this is going by the wayside, and that will change our school routine for sure as that is normally when we go to the school room and work in our reading, math, and handwriting curricula.
9:45-10:15 The big kids and I sit on the couch for morning prayers while Thomas putters about the room. We start with a story from our children's Bible. John chooses the one where Peter finds money in the fish to pay the tax collectors. They have really been resisting sitting for prayers lately, so we have taken to singing them. The like that much better and chime in with their own intentions. After prayers we do our memory work. We use the Simply Charlotte Mason memory system, but we use it for practical information like address and phone numbers, and poetry as well as scripture.
10:15 Get out the door to the library for story time. Gather shoes, jackets, books, diaper bag, purse, keys, etc.
10:30-12:15 Story time at the library. Our children's librarian is a grandmother and absolutely fantastic. She lets the kids do their thing and follows their interests. Today she puts out items and shows kids how to make mosaics, reads three picture books, and serves everyone cookies and juice (as many as they want if I don't keep a close watch). She even goes and digs out a Popsicle because John asks for one.
12:15-1:30 Home again for a lunch of grilled cheese and quick quesadillas, fruit, and pretzels. I clean the kitchen, swap out the laundry and the kids go off to their rooms for a few minutes of quiet play while I lay the baby down for his nap finally.
1:30-2:30 The big kids and I gather again in the living room to read. We read two chapters from My Father's Dragon and then I ask them to pick two books from our book basket. We end up reading one about spiders and one about volcanoes that we got from the library. Olivia asks if she can make her own spider and spider web. I told her that she could later in the afternoon and we discussed ways that she could do it. This means that I would be scrapping our Five in a Row unit studies for the day -- something I really wasn't crazy about doing, but I wanted to give her the opportunity to work on her own interests and projects too.
After the discussion we spent a few minutes playing math and reading games on the living room floor. We played a game of continent memory (home made) and then laid out the continent cards to make our own map, talking about where each continent is in relation to the others. Olivia and I also played a game of Find the Pairs and Find the Tens Memory from Right Start Math Card Games. John and I did a quick three-part lesson on seeing the quantities one, two, and three using my fingers. He can count the quantities, but I want him to be able to see them. After that Olivia and I played a reading game using flashcards of some sight words and recent words from her Progressive Phonics reading lessons. We lay out the cards in a circle and each took a counter. After rolling a die we move our counter around the circle. If you can read the word you land on, then you get to keep it. I make a couple of mistakes to even up the game, but Olivia has to catch my errors.
2:30-3:30 I send the kids off to my bedroom to watch some TV while I workout in the living room. They choose to re-watch the episode of The Backyardagains from the morning, and then I choose The Magic School Bus Blows its Top as an extension of the volcano book.
3:30 - 6:00 Thomas is awake so he starts to wander about and get into things. I get the kids set up to work on their spider projects by putting out paints and paper. We have a false start with yarn and glue for the web and switch to clear contact paper for web-making. I had envisioned baking something in the kitchen while they worked on this project, but they need more help than I expected. Frustratingly, Olivia tries to quit after making about half a web, but I (ahem) encourage her to continue by showing her the picture of the web in the spider book. She does. At this point I am feeling a bit frustrated that we passed over the planned unit study for this, but remind myself that their interests are just as valid as mine.
|The finished spiders. Note that John still has a death grip on the bubbles.|
I notice the dishwasher is already full, so run it while I get salads made and the table set. The kids and I go ahead and sit down before Matt gets there. He comes in about 5:15 and eats a quick dinner before going off to the school room for a conference call for the National Guard. The kids are clamoring for their bath because the library lady gave them some bubbles to bring home. I hurriedly stack the dishes since I have to wait for the dishwasher anyway.
6:00 - 7:30 I throw all three kids into the tub and then amuse them for at least 15 minutes by blowing bubbles. We do lots of little ones and then see how big we can make them. After that everyone is out and dressed. We tidy rooms and brush teeth and are just about to read when Dad's conference call ends (yay!). He takes over reading to Olivia (John leaves in a huff since Dad won't let him play the Leapster while he reads). They finish up My Father's Dragon (I am a bit jealous since I had read the rest of it, but Matt gave me the synopsis later). I nurse and rock Thomas and get him ready for bed while doing my evening prayers. Once he is down, I go sit in John's room and read until he is asleep. Finally everyone is down for the night.
I go back to the kitchen and unload and reload the dishwasher, sweep the floor, and prep the coffee maker for in the morning.
7:30-10:45 I get my own bubble bath and and continue my book. Then I curl up next to Matt in our room with the laptop and catch up on some email, blog, and reading for an online class I am taking about goal setting. Later we have a snack and watch an episode of "Castle." About 10:00 John comes into the room for the first time that night. I let him curl up in my spot for a few minutes. Matt goes on to sleep, and I read a bit more before moving John back to his bed and finally turning out the light myself.