The day begins at 5:30 but I usually doze for another ten minutes. This morning I walked forty minutes then hit the shower. After dressing I spend a few minutes reading from the Alliance homework. I’m a week or so behind on my studies. Currently we are reading from John Holt and trusting in children’s desire to learn…unschooling in other words. Interesting stuff, anyway. I record my thought in my paper scatterbook and spend some time in practicing stillness. At seven I go to get the kids up only to find everyone is already downstairs!
I let the cat outside.
Oldest is preparing breakfast for Littlest and Middle Boy is loading the dishwasher. I’m sorta wondering who these imposter children belong to. Sparkles already finished her breakfast and some math. She is on Khan Academy trying to work through some computer programming and is very frustrated. Monday through Thursday the kids have to work through Khan Academy’s math courses. On Friday they are allowed to explore any topic they please. I’m surprised by Sparkles choice of computer science. I give her a few words of encouragement and put on some hot water to make my morning tea. Oldest heads out to the
garage to check on the bunnies and clean their cage. Afterwards he works on his Medieval Village in his Minecraft game.
I let the cat back in.
I decide to skip my smoothie this morning since me finger and wrist joints ache too much to fuss with frozen foods. I’ll just have some yogurt later. I finish reading a chapter from my current book. The spiritual discussions are insightful but I do not enjoy the green-save-the-earth soap box lectures.
The cat goes outside again.
At eight we start our schooling routine beginning with our morning basket time. The kids usually cuddle up with their favorite blankets and listen while I read aloud. Boots (our cat) uses read aloud time to stalk her prey…my children’s toes and fingers. Occasionally she pounces on someone’s head. Littlest grabs his favorite Biscuit book and reads to us. He knows most of the words by heart now. After finishing his read aloud he fetches Just So Stories. Littlest is my self appointed book fetcher. We read another chapter in King of Shadows which is the first book in our Shakespeare studies.
Not a conventional choice but I couldn’t resist a time traveling boy actor meets Shakespeare! Our other books are on Chaucer, pilgrimages, dinosaurs and an Archeology Today article on preserving Nero’s palace. It takes us two hours to get through our reading and discussions.
I let the cat back outside wondering who let her in…I get a whole chorus of “not me”…
At ten we move to the school room for table time. Oldest sets Littlest up on the Wii so he can play his dance game while I get the crew started on the days assignments. The kids work on their copywork that I already have posted on the board. Since today is warm I gather the bunnies out
of the garage and take them to their outdoor play pen. I make myself another cup of green tea and give out the day’s dictation sentences. Our passage was heavy with quotations and I was fairly pleased with my crew’s accuracy. The kids spend the next bit of time working on their illustrations from their Just So Stories class. Sparkles
finished hers yesterday so she goes to the computer to finish her math lesson.
Sparkles opens the door for her kitty.
I get a cup of yogurt and tell Littlest to shut down his game and come to the school room for a few lessons. He works on a couple of pages from a preschool workbook and three
pages from his new math curriculum. He is super excited to have his very own math. He loves the manipulatives though he doesn’t seem to need them…yet. By now Middle Boy is working on his math pages and Oldest brings me his math quiz to grade. He’s already starving and heads to the kitchen for “second breakfast”. He then begins working on his paper on John Ball and the peasant revolt. Littlest is finished with his work and starts putting everything away. He helps himself to a spoonful of my yogurt then sets up his Pixie Cubes game. Middle Boy’s pages are ready for grading now and once we work through his
mistake he heads to the computer for his Khan Academy time. I finally find a moment to finish my yogurt.
Oldest starts preparing lunch for everyone…pasta with butter, olive oil, garlic and pepper. I cut up some apples for everyone and take the core and peels to the bunnies. After lunch Oldest starts his first lesson of pre-algebra with MathUSee. He is
using this for a future review. The lesson is easy for him and he asks if he can just take the test tomorrow. We enter negotiations and I tell him he has to do several word problems. (By the next day I change my mind and let him do the honors page and then the exam.) Everyone rotates working on chores and piano practice.
Next is half an hour of quiet reading. The kids choose their books for this time. Sometimes I read during this time but usually clean up the kitchen and decide on dinner. Today is leftover night so I read a few more pages in my book.
On Friday afternoon we watch a documentary and then play a
board game or two. We watch an episode of Planet Earth from BBC. The kids then play a few games while Littlest plays with his Batman toys. I go to the kitchen to make King Alfred cakes. The recipe was in our audio book study guide for The Dragon and the Raven. Basically it is a scone recipe and I’m fairly certain it isn’t authentic. I make it anyway. While they are baking I do a quick
search and find out what sort of cake King Alfred would have really burned…something like an oatmeal griddle cake.
At three we clean up the board games and the kids are now free to play video games. I go upstairs for some alone time. I read a few devotionals and try to just quiet my mind for a while. After the anxiety of last week I realize that I need just a little peace and
quiet or I start to unravel. My goal is to practice mindfulness for just five minutes. I haven’t succeeded yet. Today was no exception since I took a fifteen minute nap. I push my heavy reading aside and indulge in my Doctor Who novel instead.
Littlest comes in my room just after four to let me know my quiet time is over.
I usually start prepping dinner at this time. Just as I come downstairs our little neighbor lets herself in. She’s more whirlwind than child and makes herself at home. She plays with the bunnies for a bit and then disappears upstairs to play with the kids until it is time for her to return home. I really like that kid. I finally get a chance to check my email and then prep for tomorrow’s schooling.
There you have it…a day in the life of a homeschooling family.