NOT Back to School – A Day in the Life
This week on the Blog Hop, the topic is A Day in the Life of our home school!
The following represents a pretty honest account of our typical day…
The kids start thumping around and throwing open our bedroom door every five minutes to make various announcements – “I have to PEE!” and “I’m HUNGRY!”
I put my pillow over my head, then plant my foot in Jim’s back and shove him out of bed. He gets everyone dressed and chucks food down their beaks while I hang onto every last possible second of sleep. I know what you are thinking – he’s swell and I’m not. It’s okay, luckily I’m fine with that. He does laundry too.
I stagger down the stairs and head directly for the coffee pot. Jim refills his mug, kisses everyone and heads to his office in the basement, where mysterious computer geekery happens. The kids follow me around, peppering me with questions until I threaten to put a baby gate up in the doorway so I can drink my coffee in peace. I check my email and cruise the internets for an hour or so, occasionally hollering settle down! and NO! you can’t have the hammer! in the direction of the playroom.
I drag myself away from the computer and herd everyone into the school room.
Big begins his morning negotiating session. “No, not Ma-ath! Math is the WORST. How about if I pick, then you pick?” and “how about if I skip all theseones?” and “Little gets to play with bugs? I want to play with bugs TOO” and so on and so forth. Mostly, I find this amusing. It’s interesting to see his powers of persuasion developing. We usually compromise, with my conditions being something like, “okay, but if you whine even ONCE, you have to go back and do them all.” At some point he realized I would not negotiate with him if he didn’t hold up his end of the deal, and he now honors his agreements like a little gentleman.
9:02am – Noon
We begin with Handwriting Practice, then I let him choose between Math and Reading/Phonics. After that, it’s his turn to pick, then mine, and so on until our work is done. In the past I kept a 4 day school schedule, so I could keep a day for paying bills and shoveling out the kitchen. It was too stressful for him, so we moved to a 5 day schedule, limiting ourselves to 3 or 4 subjects a day. Math, Reading, and Spelling are on Mon/Wed/Fri; and Geography, Science, and Vocabulary are on T/Th. Handwriting Practice is daily. Yay for being an understanding schoolwork scheduler, Boo for no time to bill-pay or kitchen-shovel.
So mornings are filled with schoolwork, intermingled with lots of “wait your turn” “lower your voice” “pay attention” “quit doing that” “get off the floor” “where did you get that?” “quit making that noise” etc, etc, etc.
Actually, there is quite a bit of “quit making that noise!” now that I think about it.
Some days he buckles down and gets all his work done by lunch, and some days he needs lots of play breaks and snack breaks.
Some days we get absorbed in chemistry and our weekly experiments go on all afternoon, and some days Someone has eaten all the marshmallows we were going to use for molcule-building and I have to be evasive about why we can’t do our project.
Some days I spend a lot of time either comforting him when he’s struggling or sternly telling him to quit whining and get with it. I call that Character Training and tell myself it’s just as important as book work, so I don’t get too discouraged at how behind we are falling.
Some days I have to make bread or go to the grocery store or pay bills or lie on the couch with a bag of chips and the remote (not really, but doesn’t that sound great?), and school gets minimized or pushed to the next day altogether.
Jim comes up and helps make lunch for the kids. He fills me in on the latest thing Microsoft is doing to mess up his life, and I ask him if skip-counting by fives really seems that important.
After we finish schoolwork, they do the things kids do and I do the things mommies do, sometimes getting exasperated and saying things like where did you get that hammer? and how about watching Word World and being quiet for a few minutes? Jim comes home around 5, and they wrestle with Daddy or read aloud; and I take a break before starting in on dinnertime, bathtime, and bedtime.
Eventually, about 13 hours after the day began, it’s time to sink into the couch and relax with some teevee.
And get ready to do it all again tomorrow.
I love to peek in other people’s windows, so link over to the Blog Hop and tell about your Day-in-the-Life!