Peek inside our day.
It is 2 o’ clock and I just sat down with my fourth cup of coffee for the day, but who’s counting right? I am squeezing some work in while the young kiddos have quiet time. I am praying my Kindergartener takes a nap, but those have become far and in between. Instead, she is happy to play or read by herself in her room during quiet time.
What is quiet time you may be asking? Maybe it is a foreign concept to you. To me, it is a life-saver. Quiet time is when everyone goes to their perspective places and nap or rest. Except for the 14-year-old, because I’m mean and have her do school work during this time.
This is the time that I can rest, or work on my writing. I can pay bills or do other household chores that I would rather put off, if I’m being honest. Like put away laundry. Who enjoys putting away laundry?? Not me. That could be why there is a basket of my clothes sitting in our bedroom, going on a week and a half. A basket of my girl’s clothes sitting on top of the dryer and a basket of socks sitting upstairs in the hallway. It drives my husband batty. I never claimed to be the most organized person when he met me.
But I digress.
Quiet time is important to me because it is the one time during our busy day that I get a breather. It is also the time that the kids get a break from one another and get to recharge their small bodies. Trust me they need it. I need it. I’m a huge advocate for rest. And early bedtime. I mean, have you ever tried to drive a car when it is running out of gas? It’s nearly impossible. It slows down, flashes a sign at you that says HEY I NEED GAS! Okay, so that’s not what it actually says, unless it’s some new fancy car that I have never heard of but that is the basic gist. I actually ran out of gas once, right on the highway. That was embarrassing. But in my defense the gauge was not working and I thought I actually had gas.
Kids are like cars.
Their energy is their gas. When it is running low, it’s not a pretty sight and honestly it’s not good for them. They get cranky, especially my kids. They become unfocused. The children who have strong emotions may find themselves becoming emotional at every little thing. My children have strong emotions. So quiet time is just as much for them as it is for me. I enjoy peaceful days, don’t we all?
have been told that my house is so peaceful, more times than I can count.
I usually look at the person and say are you crazy? There are five children here most days, and I often feel like I am running around with my head cut off. Have you ever tried homeschooling an eighth grader and a Kindergartener and a Preschooler? With two toddlers running around? It’s not easy. It sure is fun though. It makes my days so interesting and chaotic. This is why I believe peace is something that comes from within. It’s not created by perfect kids who are not rowdy or whiny. Because, trust me, I hear my fair share of whining on a day-to-day basis. Peace is about love and kindness. Calmness. But I digress… AGAIN. That is another post for another day.
What does our home school day look like?
Well to be honest, every day is different. So this is not necessarily what it looks like every single day. However, this is what it looked like TODAY. It is also what it looks like the majority of the time. I home school my sister. Who is in 8th grade. I home school my Kindergartener. I also home school my niece who is in Preschool. She does not come to my house every single day. That is one reason why Our home school day does not always look this way. I also try to do some sort of “Tot schooling” with the two youngest ones, ages 1 and 2. I often end up thinking to myself, who am I kidding, these girls could care less what color blue is or what sound a cow makes. So I usually end up turning on Minnie for them so I can focus on the big girls.
I typically try to wake up between 4:30—5 am. But today I hit snooze so many times and ended up waking up around 5:50. When I get up I will do my devotions and prayer. After that time, I will try to tackle some basic chores. I try to keep these chores the same every morning so that it becomes routine. If I don’t do these for a few days, my household tends to suffer. I will throw in a load of laundry. Unload/Load dishwasher. Sweep the floors in the laundry room, bathroom and kitchen.
After that I sit down and write-up what the Eighth grader needs to do today along with her homework.
She will typically arrive around 7 am. But today she didn’t come until about 7:50 with my nieces. See, even today didn’t start out like a “typical” day. She will grab breakfast when she gets here. Then she will head upstairs to her work area and start on whatever independent work she can do. Since she has a list of what she needs to get done, she does not need to stop and ask me what she needs to do next. This is nice for me because it keeps her undistracted and me focused on working with the younger ones. She will get a break about two hours later, then back upstairs she goes to work on some more of her work. She will typically work for four hours in the morning. Then she will take a break for lunch.
During the morning my girls usually wake up at 7 am and my nieces will get here around 7:45 am, unless their Mom goes to work later in the day. Today they were here at normal time. My girls however, slept until 8. I swear I think they are going through growth spurts. Sleeping in is not in the vocabulary. My Kindergartener has been getting herself dressed and making her bed every morning. I have been rejoicing every morning because it is such a life saver for me. She has processing sensory disorder and getting dressed has been difficult for the past year. However, lately she has come really far, and now that she knows what type of clothes feel comfortable on her, she feels more comfortable picking them out herself.
So the younger girls will eat breakfast together, then we will start on school work.
Today they begged me to play with play-doh first, so I allowed them to play for about an hour and a half with play-doh. I think imaginative play is such an important part of learning. Not to mention the tactile stimulation they are receiving from it. I have never met children other than my own that could play with play-doh as long as these girls do. After playing with the play-doh, we did our morning basket.
Our morning basket consists right now of devotions, a story book that typically has to do with what we are learning that week and our chapter book. Today we just did our devotions and our chapter book. Our chapter book right now is Charlotte’s Web. My five-year old loves it! She is a huge fan of Templeton. I can’t say I am surprised. I don’t know why she likes him so much though. She usually leans towards liking the outspoken characters who are true to themselves. We all sit on the floor on a blanket, including the baby, and read the books. I am going to be adding more activities to our morning basket next year. Right now, I don’t want to overwhelm them to much or me. I lay blocks out for the babies to play with during reading time. The big girls usually play with them too, but surprisingly they listen so much better when they have something to do with their hands.
After our morning basket, we delved into the Preschool lesson.
I use My Father’s World for both Preschool and Kindergarten. I LOVE it. It has a Charlotte Mason approach and is not overwhelming for their ages. Today they learned about King Solomon and David. They made crowns to wear. After making their crowns they finished up their “About me” books. Earlier this week they drew faces that were supposed to look like theirs. They counted how many eyes, ears, noses, and mouths they had, and I wrote it for them. Today we traced their hands and feet and counted their toes. The Preschooler is working on the number 5. It is a review for my Kindergartener, but she enjoys doing school with her cousin and I think the review is often good.
About me books.
After the crafts, they built a temple, like the one from the bible. Then they practiced sharing with one another.
Practice being kind and sharing.
After the Preschoolers lesson was over, she looked at a seek and find book while I worked with my Kindergartener. During this time the Eighth grader is still working independently. The 1-year-old is playing with the blocks. My 2-year-old gave up a long time ago and begged me to turn PJ Masks on. I tried to distract her with coloring, which lasted about 10 minutes, then she was done. I will be honest with you. She is my most difficult child to home school with. Very clingy and into EVERYTHING. I know “they” say to give the toddlers plenty of education toys to play with during home school. But she is just not interested. Who are “they” anyway? So I turn the cartoons on for a good amount of time during school. She is happy, I am happy, and the students are not distracted. I say it is a win for everyone involved. Even the cartoon program is getting viewership out of it, so they are winning too.
My Kindergartener is working on the letter C this week.
Since today was the last day of her lesson for the week, she worked on her drawing page and cut and paste page. She enjoyed the drawing page because the kid is so creative. She loves to draw. She had to draw four different things that started with the letter C and then write the letter c below. She didn’t receive any help from me and was able to think of the items herself. Sounding words out in her head is pretty easy for her. Sounding them out on a piece of paper, is a different story. Which brings us to her cut and paste page. The cut and paste page today was full sentences to read. This, I would say, is her weakest area right now. It is also the area where she grows the most bored and distracted and where Mommy gets the most impatient. I am working on it and think I keep my impatience in check pretty well.
Working on the drawing page.
She sounded out the words and tried to read the sentences. Sentences like A cat can sit. A cat can not add. She did okay. However, this activity took her the longest. It probably took around 25 minutes and I had to help her a great deal. But every kid learns differently and at their own pace. After this activity we quickly did her calendar and 100 days of school chart. Then we called it a day because I saw she was becoming restless. There was another painting activity planned for the day but I just scrapped that and told the girls to go play. It was lunch time by that time anyway. That’s one thing I love about home school. I don’t have to check off just a bunch of to do activities every day. Each child learns differently as I have said. If that means stopping school for the day when they are becoming restless, then okay.
After lunch the girls go down for quiet/nap time and I help the 14-year-old with any questions she has and review her work. She then continues to work until about 3 o’clock and I have about an hour to myself to rest or work on something.
It’s a busy day almost every day. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love seeing my kiddos learning new concepts and ideas. I enjoy watching them think and figure things out.
Today my Kindergartener asked me “Mommy do you enjoy teaching me?” I said “I sure do kiddo.” She replied with “Good, because I love that you are my teacher.”
She sure knows how to make my heart full and day bright.