So, in case you were wondering, take a peek at a current sample day around here:
5:00 AM - Much to my chagrin, my alarm does not go off as it was set to do! I'm not a morning person, and it's difficult for me to get up this early. But I had really wanted to usher in February with an early-morning workout at the Y. Once I get there, I love exercising. However, I don't wake up until...
6:30 - when the phone starts ringing, startling me awake. And, when I realize my husband has just gone into the bathroom, I bolt out of bed, race through the dark hallway praying I won't trip headlong over any toys, and scurry down the stairs, hoping to catch the caller before it goes to voice mail. After all, such an early-morning call must be important. And it is in a way - it's my husband's sister calling to wish him a happy birthday - but 15 hours later I still wish she'd waited to call him at work. I'd wanted an early workout, but not that type of adrenaline!
7:00 - After handing the phone to my husband, I'd headed back upstairs to hunker down under the blankets for a few more minutes. But, when he comes up to say good-bye (leaving early to get birthday doughnuts for his co-workers), I force myself up and faithfully make the bed - a new habit for me since the start of this year (I know, I know...but I've never claimed to be "Susie Homemaker!"). My 10-year old, Abigail, gets up about then, too - right on schedule for her - and we settle in for our morning cuddle-time routine, joined as always by our sweet, fragile old cat, Clawde (the tan and white kitty pictured here with his "baby sister," Sapphire).
7:40 - Abigail starts putting together the girls' breakfast - banana quick bread, nuts, milk, and fruit - while I take a shower. Until recently, I'd made their breakfasts each day and we often did devotions while they ate. But, not being a morning person myself, I've really enjoyed the fact that they like taking ownership of their breakfasts now. That helps me start my day more slowly. (And, no, it's not unusual to find a couple of cats on the table at any given time.)
The Homeschool Lounge (THL), and make a quick scan of Facebook. The girls take showers this morning in anticipation of a special event this evening - our homeschool association's annual Father-Daughter Valentine Dance - and then tackle their morning chores and do personal devotions.
8:15 - Leah, the sweet toddler girl for whom I'm privileged to babysit, arrives for the day. She's probably the most easy-going child I've ever met, and she immediately runs off to the playroom to find her special baby doll. I ask if she'd like to watch Sesame Street, and she grins. She doesn't sit in front of it for the whole time it's on - in fact, my daughters pay more attention to it when they come downstairs than she does - but she likes Elmo and a couple other puppets. She doesn't get to watch much else when she's here because of the girls' lessons, and we don't turn it on every day, so I feel no guilt about indulging her now and then.
Teaching Textbooks. I figure I'd better (finally) grab some breakfast before we really get going.
10:30 - Rachel wraps up math right about when Abigail and I finish, so we break for snack. In good weather, the girls often go outside for 15 minutes, but today the high is about -10 (yep, negative 10 for a high!) so they go to play upstairs. Leah enjoys Cheerios and pears, and then it's time for a diaper change.
The Mystery of History, Volume 2). Today we wrap up a week's worth of lessons by putting up some timeline pieces - for St. Patrick, Attila the Hun, and the Fall of the Western Roman Empire. Then the girls each draft a paragraph about one of the week's main topics. I started this task last November, after we'd successfully worked through several months of the Institute for Excellence in Writing's Student Writing Intensive A (IEW), and it's one of the best things we've ever done. I don't make them write about all the topics; instead, I let each one choose from among the week's three lessons (they can choose the same one if they'd like because I know each will approach it differently) and have them each use IEW techniques to compose a detailed paragraph. Much to my surprise given that they'd been used to writing only brief one-sentence summaries before, they've embraced this weekly assignment. And they're producing really great pieces!
spelling, grammar, and Amish reader corrections with me in one fell swoop, and Rachel works on her literature project. That's another aspect of our literature studies: each time one of the girls finishes a book, she makes a creative project and uses it to share an oral book report with the family. Rachel's working on some paper dolls and detailed backdrops for The Meanest Doll in the World by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin.
12:45 - Abigail finishes while Rachel and I work together, so she starts to gather lunch fixings and helps Leah clean up some toys. Then I make an executive decision to have our science group time over lunch. We usually do devotions then - a story from a toddler Bible for Leah, a short reading from the Apologia worldview series, and a section from Catherine Vos's story Bible - and I don't feel good about skipping that. But we have a couple of special projects to do in the afternoon so I'm feeling pressed for time. And at least our science curriculum, the Answers in Genesis God's Design series, is Christ-centered. So I quickly change Leah's diaper before her mom arrives. We pause our discussion about fossils at 1:00 to send her on her way, but then get right back to it.
3:40 - I'd rather skip the chore - cleaning the basement bathroom - but I ran out of time to do it last week, so I can't justify that. I deep-cleaned it a few weeks ago, though, so it doesn't take much time or effort. I feel good about having been diligent.
4:15 - The printer's delivery person arrives with my order. Then it's time for the girls to get ready for the dance. They both want me to curl their hair and ask for some of my "big earrings." When my husband gets home from work, they give him their cards, and then he gets himself ready, too.
Tomorrow will be pretty open-ended - I will get to the Y and maybe do an extra long workout, and then I'll grocery shop. The girls and my husband will likely make their weekly trip to the library - my husband has an "assignment" to gather some King Arthur resources for next week - but not much else is on the docket during the day. In the evening, we're hosting one of our interim pastors for dessert, and I'm really looking forward to spending time with him.
As for today, it was as typical as any homeschooler's "day in the life" can be. We like to follow a general daily routine, but it does vary from day to day, depending on our outside activities. For example, we have piano lessons on Monday afternoons, art class on Thursday afternoons, and we usually have musical rehearsal on Fridays. And I also care for a baby - Olivia - on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which certainly affects our scheduling. We also don't do every "subject" every day, and I'm willing to make adjustments - as I did a little today - when things go longer than I'd expected. But that's one of the many beauties of home learning: we get to make the rules and call the shots according to what works best for us on any given day and through any season of life. I really wouldn't have it any other way...
just in case you were wondering.