And so, without further ado, I present...
My Thursday, January 19, 2012
4:45 AM - I do not, unfortunately, get up to head to the Y as I'd planned and as used to be my habit. That's a crazy time for a non-morning person such as myself, but I liked my life (and my thighs!) a lot better when I did it. I've got to figure out how to get back in that groove.
6:30 - I finally roll out of bed...shower...and don my "uniform" (a.k.a., yoga pants - though I refuse to do actual yoga because of its basis in Hinduism/Buddhism - and a big comfy sweatshirt...because I'm always cold anyway, but more so in January in Wisconsin). Unlike Kathy, I'm not posting a picture of myself here...because of said lapse in getting regular workouts lately!
6:45 - I prep the house for the arrival of Anna and Leah, the girls I babysit, mainly by setting up four strategically-placed gates so that 11-month old Leah can have free reign to safely crawl and toddle about.
6:50 - I plop onto the couch to "rest my eyes" and catch a bit of FOX News. Yep, FOX...and I won't apologize for it.
7:05 - Rachel and Abigail come downstairs, and I get to grab a quick cuddle with each. Jeff heads off to work.
7:20 - I get up for good and make a quick check of my email while Abigail asks if she can start a poster. Yes, the child wants poster board before breakfast because, like my husband, she is a morning person.
7:35 - Anna and Leah arrive with their daddy. When they come with their mom, they arrive around 7:15, but they get a few extra minutes at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays when dad's the chauffeur. Rachel is curled up on a couch, reading one of the four or five books she has going at any given time.
7:45 - With Leah happily settled in with some toys (she's a very easy-going baby!), I prep breakfast - lemon poppyseed quick break, banana slices, milk, and each girl's choice of protein - and then read our devotional (one on a series about the fruit of the Spirit from The One Year Mother Daughter Devo) and pop in the CD with our current hymn-study selection - "The Fruit of the Spirit" by Stephen Elkins - while all three girls eat.
8:20 - Rachel and Abigail finish their morning chores as laid out on their "Do-It Door" and do some personal Bible reading. Then all three big girls are free to play while I tend to Leah (cereal, morning bottle, diaper change).
8:35 - I start baking what will amount to 72 chocolate chip cookies - not from scratch, just Toll House. But let me be clear that even that level of baking is not a regular occurrence around here, because I am most definitely not "Suzy Homemaker!" Not that I don't want to be. But, as I explained a few months ago, homemaking doesn't come naturally to me. I do often pop in the next day's (boxed) quick bread at this time of day, but cookie-baking is most definitely the exception - not even close to the rule.
8:45 - Leah goes down for her morning nap earlier than usual - and without her almost habitual "exploding" morning diaper - affording me the luxury of grabbing a quick breakfast for myself.
9:20 - I call Anna down for her main independent lesson time with me: her first day with a new math book, Addition the Fun Way, as well as handwriting practice (she's just started learning her lowercase letters), a quick visit with Ziggy, our All About Reading mascot whom she adores, and counting the cookies for me. I prefer to begin at 9:00, but today's later start is not atypical.
9:50 - We call the other girls down and have our daily group time. Thursday is one of our science days, and today we read and talk about seeds using our new God's Design for Life: The World of Plants text and a couple of library books. We also set up a germination experiment we'll monitor for the next couple of weeks.
10:40 - The girls all grab a snack (a few of my "homemade" cookies!) and head upstairs to play. I plan to get Leah up, but she's still sleeping - very unusual for her. I check my email, but don't have time to respond to anything.
10:55 - We launch into the girls' workboxes, which I load up each night with a variety of activities (math, literature, and spelling pretty much every day and then four or five other "assignments" according to lesson plans I map out at the beginning of each month), and I alternate between Rachel and Abigail in terms of "work with mom" tasks. Anna has her own workboxes, which I fill each night to keep her busy and learning at the same time, but she can choose to do them or play in our playroom or with Leah. Today, since Leah is still asleep (in the playroom!), she does a few boxes. Rachel and Abigail's tasks seem to take much longer than usual.
11:15 - Everyone is occupied, so I tackle the mountain of dishes that almost always fills my kitchen sink. How do abiotic plates and cups and utensils reproduce like rabbits?
11:45 - After checking in on everyone's (still slow!) progress, I start the oven for lunch. Leah finally wakes up, and I'm excited to see that she still hasn't "exploded" her diaper. Anna and Leah play together - Anna loves spending time with her baby sister! - and I want to take a minute to check email but am interrupted by a telemarketer call.
12:25 PM - I finally get lunch on the table, almost half an hour later than usual - today we have "breakfast for lunch" (waffles, sausages, mandarin oranges, milk) - and do two chapters from our lunchtime read-aloud (currently The Children's Homer) while the girls eat.
12:50 - Given how slowly everything has gone and our plans for the afternoon, I make the girls' spelling, literature, and Spanish assignments "disappear." I rarely do that, but having the freedom to make on-the-fly adjustments is one of so many beauties about home education. Of course, the girls are thrilled and then happily finish their math while I start the dishwasher. Anna wipes the table for me and then sits with Leah as she takes her "lunch bottle."
1:00 - Rachel and Abigail start piano practice - 20 minutes each. They're working to "perfect" songs from last week's lesson with their new teacher (whom they really enjoy), so I don't need to help directly as I often do. Instead, I grab something for my own lunch, throw on some make-up, do my hair, and jot a note to take on our afternoon outing.
1:45 - I change Leah's diaper. Still no poop...so I wonder what it'll be like when it finally arrives!
1:50 - The girls don coats and boots, and we venture out to church to deliver most of the cookies I baked. We're in the midst of a significant church crisis, and the Lord had prompted me earlier in the week to encourage the office staff with this small gesture. We don't usually have outings or run errands on Thursdays...but I love that I can do this sort of thing when necessary.
3:00 - We arrive home from church, and the three big girls get a snack. Leah had fallen asleep on the way home so I wrangle her out of her jacket and hat and tuck her into her pack 'n' play; I know she's tired because she barely opens an eye.
3:15 - The girls play upstairs, and I finally have a few minutes to really check email and browse a bit on Facebook. I also turn on the TV - Dr. Phil because the topic isn't wholly inappropriate - and learn when the 4:00 news starts that we should expect wind chills of -20 to -30 for Friday morning. I wonder if the public schools - including Anna and Leah's mom - will have a two-hour delay as a result, and then chuckle, thinking of a friend in Alaska who'd probably think me wimpy for labeling -20 as "cold."
4:10 - I wake Leah, change her diaper (no poop yet again!), and coax her to drink a small bottle so she'll be ready to go home.
4:30 - Anna and Leah's dad arrives - mom almost always does pick up, but she has parent-teacher conferences today - and my girls launch into a task they've assigned themselves lately: racing to see if they can clean up all the baby toys and put away the baby gates before the little ones actually leave. I've been purposing to praise them profusely because I love that they initiated this; it's a huge help at the end of busy days!
4:35 - The girls ask to watch a movie - they're allowed one "rest time movie" each day - and choose an animated version of Hercules. I don't think I can really count it as "school," but maybe almost since we'll soon begin covering the Greeks in our history curriculum.
4:40 - Jeff gets home after biking to work (a mile away), and we spend a few minutes catching up on our days.
5:00 - I start dinner - Dinty Moore beef stew and rice, of all things (but the rice is brown!). I usually cook much healthier dinners, but my time is limited today because I have worship team rehearsal at church. And - as is too often the case - I had forgotten to thaw the meat for a real dinner anyway. For better or worse, Jeff and the girls all love Dinty Moore, though, so at least they'll fill their bellies.
5:20 - We eat dinner on the fly - me while I listen to a song I'll be taking the lead on for worship team and the girls and Jeff watching the end of Hercules. Just as I've gotten out of the habit of early-morning Y runs, so, too, we've been too lax about eating at the table together. Another area in which to make major adjustments soon!
5:40 - After running through the song - it's in a great key for me...yeah! - I enter the girls' school activities into the Word document grids I've created for that purpose...not because I have to keep official records for my state but because I like to keep track. I also get a start on prepping for Friday.
6:10 - I leave for worship team rehearsal at church. This isn't an every-week occurrence - but it is two times a month most of the time. This week, I'm singing; other weeks I run the lights and video equipment.
8:30 - After rehearsal, I stop at Target and Walgreens. We always seem to need something at one location or the other! I notice how much the temperature has dropped in just two hours' time.
9:15 - I get home and head up to check on Rachel. She often has a hard time getting to sleep, but it helps her to know she can expect me to come up for a minute around this time every night.
9:35 - I finish preparing the girls' workboxes and other activities for Friday.
10:15 - I check emails once more, answering a few posts from The Homeschool Lounge, which - along with Facebook and blogs I follow - is my main internet hangout.
10:50 - I shut down my laptop and turn on FOX once more to unwind. I often doze off here and have to rouse myself to go up to bed later...or sometimes I just end up sleeping on the couch. Not ideal, of course, and it makes my husband sad...so that's another thing to work on.
Other than the baking and visit to church, the day really was pretty typical of my Thursdays. Leah doesn't usually sleep as much as she did that day - she's often awake for six of her nine hours here - but she's so good-natured and playful that we get a lot done even when she's awake. And the girls did take longer on their academics than usual; we're almost always done with everything (without needing to make assignments "disappear") by about 2:00, though that would not have been the case this day if I'd not made adjustments. But the length and activity level of the whole day was typical so I guess someone looking to figure out "just what those homeschoolers do all day" could get from this a fairly accurate picture of at least one day in the life of one family.
In case you were curious...