When I first started homeschooling, I would devour any article, essay or blog post that would start with, "Here's what a typical day in our life is like...". I either left feeling challenged with a new way to try something, overwhelmed by the amount someone else was able to accomplish or amazed that so many interruptions didn't drive that family crazy! They helped me keep my boat on an even keel.
I am ready to write one of my own. Not because I have it all figured out and certainly NOT because I think we do it so well everyone should know. Now I can rest in how we manage in our own unique style. It is not perfect -- I am learning how to do it better every day, but maybe someone out there is like I was and just needs to know that it is possible to accomplish -- even with life's interruptions.
So here it is -- one of our days:
6:30am Walk around the house waking up all the children and stop off to start a pot of coffee. On a good day I have already been up and had some quiet time with the Lord and the coffee is done. Lately, I am in need of improvement.
As soon as the children are assembled we have family devotions. We start with prayer requests and a prayer time and then we start our Bible Cd's. We have been following a reading plan that takes us through the Bible chronologically and we just play the next segment. Afterwards, we discuss we have just read. This morning the kids look bleary eyed and Dad and I do most of the talking -- we are in Leviticus.
The children are excused, I start breakfast and they start cleaning up. They are supposed to dress, make beds, brush teeth and straighten their rooms up. However, this time is often punctuated with "What is for breakfast?" and "Did you really brush your teeth?"
I call a hearty "BREAKFAST" and they all appear. I dash out to make myself presentable for the day and Jerome and I sit to have breakfast and a cup of coffee.
8:30am School begins.
Wisdom booklet time lasts until 9:15. All the kids are around the ping pong table and we read from our ATI Curriculum booklets. We usually go around the table reading a paragraph or so and discussing as we go. This morning it is on Geology and the terms are a little rough. I just read on myself. I have one son that always keeps his head down. I really like to see his face when I am teaching. We have been working on this for years, literally. At least now I can get him to sit upright in a chair and actually SEE his head. Now, I would like to start seeing his face. To, yet another reminder of "Braydon, head." He holds up a crudely drawn sign with a smiley face on it.
9:15 Wisdom Booklet over we head to scheduled time. Math until 10, 10-1030 grammar, 1030 -11:00 history, 11:00-11:30 science, 11:30-12:00 reading. Everyone working in their own textbook. I sit at the teacher table and teach Kindergarten to my youngest. Kindergarten is part teaching Wokelle and answering questions from any child with questions on their work. So I might be counting pencils with Wokelle and turn to check the angles on an isosceles triangle.
When Kindergarten is over, I grade the papers the older kids have already turned in. Today was awesome, everybody had been graded for Math and Grammar before I went up to prepare lunch. Kids papers can be so entertaining. I usually have fashion models and princesses drawn on some -- after which they tell me they can't believe they didn't finish more work! One kid takes grammar assignments with a little humor. Today for different types of sentences he tried to hold a theme:
Imperative sentence: Bob be cool.
Declarative sentence: Bob is cool.
Interrogative Sentence: Is Bob cool?
Exclamatory Sentence: Bob's cool!
That's creativity in my book!!
11:00 - I head up for Lunch Preparation. Jerome leaves for work on second shift so lunch is our main meal. Usually I turn on my laptop to "Mom's Lunchtime Seminar" (Something from the Internet like Focus on the Family.) Today I plan on grocery shopping so I am making a list and checking coupons in the middle of cooking.
Again, there is a constant stream of chatter with all that I do -- millions of school questions, work questions, and what's for lunch questions. AND the every day fuss about who is going out to check the mail and who checked it last. Someone is usually playing the piano, guitar or something. It's noisy.
After lunch the kids are charged with cleaning the kitchen and today I take a cup of coffee to the bedroom to read for minute. Loved it. Off to do more grading.
1:30 Teacher tutor time. Riane and I work together to help the kids finish up, run flashcards or whatever. Today is Friday and she is not available, this is her day to bake for Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. I miss my partner, but we do get finished.
3:00 AMISH HOURS. Jerome has asked us not to run any large appliances from 3:00 - 6:00 as it is peak hours for electricity and could affect our rates. We have come to call this time of day Amish Hours. I start and turn off the washer twice -- forgetting the time.
I MUST get to the store today. No one wants to tag along, so I am going solo. Before I leave I have to do the Mom thing and discipline some errant children. My least favorite part, but I assign them to rooms and head out the door. I spend my time doing my quirky coupon/sale matching. I ordered coupons at the beginning of the week to match this sale -- so I am buying things like 8 boxes of Kleenex and 8 boxes of granola bars -- it pans out -- I saved 45% this week. I even snagged some fancy SOBE water for free.
I approach the driveway and can see Wokelle and Ricky jumping up and down mouths running, but I can't hear them. As soon as I open the van door they thrust their arms in my face and say "Look Shower Curtain Rings!" Indeed they are wearing one ring each on their wrist. Gotta be a story there, but it is time to unload.
Everyone helps with the unloading and put away, while I ponder what I am going to feed them. We have got to move if we are going to get the Friday night movie in. Grilled cheese it is.
During dinner I hear the story. Ricky and Wokelle were "helping" Riane clean her room. They found some random shower curtain rings left from an old craft project. I guess nothing else looked too exciting in that girl room and so they latched on to these as treasures. I understand that jumping up and down on her bed ended in an "you are overstaying your welcome" announcement.
Dinner done and the kids are working on the last quick round up of the house so that we can get movie night underway. Many are suspect of movie night -- Riane has won the prize of picking the family movie by memorizing her wisdom booklet information. She picked a BBC production of Little Dorrit. I don't know how it is going to go myself, but I have decided to try putting locs in Mary's hair. This requires mini braids on her whole head. I figure this is two hours of prime braiding time. I have one kid that did not properly do school work today. He spends the first 15 minutes of movie time finishing his folder. The movie turns out to be awesome and everyone loved it. After two hours of braiding I am approaching the halfway mark -- ugh!
Movie done we have some last minute snacks, kisses all around and we are off to bed.