Thursday, April 03, 2008

a day in the life

Theresa at LaPaz Home Learning, Faith at Dumb Ox Academy, and Leonie at Living without School have all shared a “Day in the Life”. Do you remember the book Patchwork of Days? I used to love browsing through it as a new homeschooler and seeing the rich variety of other lives. My days look pretty much similar to each other in that we do things in the same order, but of course every day is different too.

Anyway, here is a sort of generic typical day in our house.

Everyone gets out of bed; Aidan,, 8, is the earliest and wakes me up. “Time to get up, Mom!” He has a morning routine I start him on — take off nighttime pullups, throw them away, put on regular clothes, put on socks (he drags his left foot a bit and the socks protect his skin). This gives me a few moments to brace myself to get up. I always make my rising time a morning offering — it’s one of the hardest things I do all day!

Sometimes Aidan watches a short video (Pokemon, his favorite, or Veggietales) if everyone else is still asleep. In the meantime I — go downstairs, start the fire, start the coffee, think about breakfast, put a load of laundry in, straighten a bit, and scour the sink. I make breakfast for Aidan. Then I check my blog feed and my email while I have some coffee, and plan the day a bit.

By this time Aidan is down and the rest of the children come out around this time too. Sean, 15, goes straight to his Greek and his reading — he is reading Children of the New Forest, The Boy Scientist, Makers of the Americas (a history book) among a couple of others. Kieron, 12, goes to fix breakfast if I haven’t made it. Clare, just turned 18, gets up and starts lifting weights. Paddy, 5, comes down a bit later and cuddles and then wants to eat. Aidan has his second breakfast — he appears to eat almost all day though he remains small and slender for his age.

I read to Kieron — our new book is the Book of Pirates. Before the Easter Break he would then read some history with me and I would give him a short research project, but recently we haven’t gotten around to it.

Then Sean does Grammar and Algebra. He usually needs my help for those so Kieron has a list of activities he can pick from — reading science books, doing an art or science project, taking the little ones outside, etc. He also has his snack during this time.

Then I set up some computer work for Sean to do — usually some reviews and drills in math and Spanish and a writing project. Kieron does the computer drills too, and sometimes the little ones get their turn at Starfall or Letter Match Quia.

During these morning hours the little ones are theoretically choosing activities from our shelf — a letter box, a bead board, puzzles, various activity books. Aidan loves playdough and has been immersed in cutting out playdough shapes recently.

Sean works independently and when he is done, he goes off and does his chores. I finish working with Kieron — this is the time when I work with him on math, word study, grammar, and we discuss religion.

So we are generally finished at noon just a bit before and after. The afternoons are much more open-ended. Mondays we go to the library and market; Tuesdays and Thursdays Aidan has therapy in town; Wednesdays Sean goes to learn football drills from his uncle down in town; Friday we have our homeschool meeting and Stations of the Cross. Clare practices the violin, piano, or singing; Sean lifts weights ; they sometimes play video games, and the readers do quite a bit of reading.

In the evenings Kevin usually watches a movie with the older kids while I read to the younger ones and get them settled in bed.

That’s our day!

My current challenge is that there doesn’t seem to be enough going on to fill the time. I know that is partly because of us all being sick and all the medical and dental and therapy appointments (so that I lack energy to do interesting things with the kids) but am looking for ways to fix that.