Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Day in the Life...March 2014

Every time I have ever considered doing this, I have not for some reason or another. Either the day ended up not being "typical" or I got too busy to record the day or it was a terrible day, etc. I decided that waiting for a "normal" day may never happen...So here it is. A Day in the Life...

                                        

8:08 wake up. Well, not on my own.  A little one climbed in to snuggle. After a few minutes I force myself up, check email and FB, do my quiet time and get ready for the day.

8:55 Call J, get her dressed, brush her teeth and maybe be slightly loud enough in the kids bathroom to wake the sleeping E. C is up, dressed, room is cleaned and he is playing quietly in his room. Love that kid.

8:58 Remind E that her room is a wreck and shouldn't ever look like that.

9:00 Start Breakfast. Strange multitasking -- scramble eggs while cutting C's fingernails over the kitchen garbage.

9:11 Call from the husband-- "Morning, are you downstairs?" (yup, checking up on me-- trying to start the day downstairs by 9!) ;)

9:20 Eat breakfast.

9:30 Bible. Read from Egermeier's Bible story book about Moses and the Burning bush, catechism questions from Big Truths for Little Kids, and character cards from We Choose Virtues. E: Mom, what is rowdy? C: Are we rowdy? Me: Ummmm....yes? ;)

9:55 Table chores (C is on vacuuming, and E is on wiping the table this week. J pushes in the kitchen chairs.)

10:00 "5 Minute pick-up" Everyone picks up everything they can and put it away for the duration of 5 minutes. I clean the kitchen.

10:05 E practices piano. C starts on handwriting -- copying words. J: Can I play an activity? (she has certain toys and games she can only play during school time). I tell her in a few minutes when I am done cleaning up from breakfast. The shiny new Sonlight catalog is sitting on the island taunting me...

10:06 Looking out the glass door, J declares it is great weather to go camping. (There are black clouds and a storm is brewing.) C- "You know what I don't like about camping? Packing." Me "focus C. J, leave C alone to do his school work.

10:08 More discussion about camping. Me "C, focus. J, shhhh!"

10:10 Camping talk continues. OK, need to take the kids camping apparently. Me "C, focus. J, shhhh!"  Give J a job to do. J: "Mommy, can you get me an activity?"

10:11 C "I am almost finished with this book! Oh wait, maybe not." Me: "C, focus. don't flip pages, stay on the one you are on."

10:20 I finally get J an "activity" (Memory) and join C at the table. I ask C to pick 3 letters on his page he thinks he should redo. Handwriting is completed and we move onto math.

10:30 E finishes piano and joins us at the table. C "E, I am already on my 3rd thing!" Me: "C, focus!"

10:31  E "oooh, I like this handwriting page! I get to color!" C "Lucky! that's easy!" Me: "Focus!"

10:40 E moves onto spelling. She is working on Lesson 18 of Rod and Staff 4.
I say "Focus, please" at least 40 more times.

10:48 J: "Mommy, can you get me another activity?" Of course she wants one that is not opened yet- Zingo Numbers. I pass that shiny Sonlight catalog on the counter again...

10:53 C finishes math. We start reading. All About Reading Phonogram flashcards. After 2 cards, C yells "WAIT!" and leaves the table for a drink of water. C bounces on the bench while answering and calls out the sounds in voices. He will need a break soon. He's answering in opera now...

11:10 E declares she can't do anymore spelling on her own. I ask her to move onto math while I continue working with C.

11:19 spent the last 10 minutes finishing reading with C while helping J clean up the activity that she decided she didn't want to do.

11:20 off to the the couch so C can read a book to me. He is reviewing and reading easy books for confidence and fluency since we just completed All About Reading 3. He is currently reading Mouse Tales.

11:25 J joins us on the couch in my lap, and C reads to us both.

11:30 J and C go take a break. I face a sad E who is frustrated and needs help.

11:44 Finish spelling with E (she had to finish yesterday's as well) and help with math

11:58 Have a chat with E about attitude. Threaten the rest of the day in her room if she can't get it together.

12:10 E's math is finished. Call C back to the table to continue.
C thinks he is a fly and the glass door is a fly trap, and flings himself onto it. Whatintheworld?!? Send E off to read. Negotiate that she can read one chapter now and one while waiting for her sister at gymnastics. C gets distracted and starts playing the pencil drums. E walks around and after being unable to find a quiet place comes back for direction. I send her to the back porch. C shares how he really wants a real drum set. I help E who disconnected the lock on the glass door. C is back to drumming.

12:15 I do a Writing with Ease lesson with C.

12:20 I ask C to write his name and date on the paper which sparks him to go change the block calendar and bring it to the table to copy.

12:21 I remind C that only the M in March is capitalized, I erase the A-R-C-H and he writes it again-- in lower case.

12:22 I bang my toe on a chair and squeal to which C giggles and J rushes out to see what happened. C is back to drumming.

12:23 First Language Lessons with C. C marches around the table while quoting Mr. Nobody. J pipes in from the other room to join in the recitation.

12:26 Ask Caden to put his drumstick err pencil down.

12:32 Finish language. While I get out spelling, C starts drumming again. This time with 2 "drumsticks." I confiscate the unnecessary "drumstick."

12:35 Erase a messy word -- the pencil he has doesn't have a good eraser, I am forced to return the other "drumstick--" with a warning for its use.

12:38 E finishes her reading and comes in. I instruct her to begin her writing.

12:42 C jumps up to leave the table. When I ask where he is going he says to the bathroom. I ask him to come back and finish the word I just called out. He does, begrudgingly, while dancing around.

12:44 Me "did you wash your hands" C nods. Me  "with soap?" He shakes his head, and I point back to the bathroom.

12:45 Back to spelling. E needs to do a narration and asks if she can tell it to herself. I offer her my phone to do it as a voice recording that I can check later. C is now performing a concert on the bench. "Focus."

12:52 J comes in with some pieces for her magnetic dolls house and screws, I ask her to put them on the counter for another day. She is now singing in the kitchen.

12:53 E: "J!" J turned out the light in the dining room while E was in there. J assures her it was the Tickle Monster. C says she is like the Boy who Cried Wolf.

12:59 I let spelling take too long so we could "finish the step." I am now frustrated and he asks to go play to which I agree. E comes in to see how much she needs to do. I work on writing with her.

1:04 E is still staring blankly at the page and I threaten bodily harm.

1:05 I inform her that her time is running out and if she does not complete her school work before we have to leave she will not be going to gymnastics today. <insert weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth>.

1:08 I ask the littles to play a little quieter.

1:14 E finishes writing. I start making lunch. C and E clean off the kitchen table. I ask J to clean up the Legos. I pass that Sonlight catalog again...it taunts me.

Is it seriously only 1:15???

1:20 J comes in crying because C stepped on her. I ask, "Why were you lying on the floor? I thought you were cleaning up the Legos?" She informs me that C told her to lie on the ground and he then proceeded to step on her. I call for C. C comes in with his head down proclaiming he is the "worst." We have a chat about mean choices and he is told after school he will spend some time in his bed before free play. He apologizes to J.

1:25 sitting down to lunch. J "I thought we were going to have something fast like peanut butter and jelly?" Me: "This is what we are having if you want to eat." I use lunch time to get online for a few minutes. I consider taking the Sonlight catalog and hiding in the bathroom, but instead I set up the laptop for science.

1:40 E and C do table chores and I take J to read a book and put her down for a nap. I go to put up a load of laundry only to realize the load of towels has been in the wash too long and needs to be rerun.

1:45 E and C get started on science. I come down after a few minutes of cuddling with J and help them with the experiments. My fingers are now red from food dye.

2:10 We finish and clean up from science. I direct the kids to clean up the few toys left out from the pre-lunch clean up.

2:13 Settle on the couch with our current read aloud: The Story of Eli Whitney.

2:14 J starts crying. I go up to check on her. She heard a noise. I assured her it was just the washing machine or the bathroom fan. She insists it was the sound of a flip flop. I cuddle her for a minute. She is still scared. I pray with her and kiss her goodnight.

2:18 Back to the couch to read.

2:35 finished two chapters. C is sent for quiet time to read in his bed. E goes to gather her things for gymnastics this afternoon, change, and play for a few minutes. I finish cleaning the kitchen.

2:42 I finally sit down with the Sonlight catalog. Get distracted by email and FB.

3:00 Tell C and E to clean up and get ready to go

3:05 Wake J to go to gymnastics.

3:10 Attempt to leave the house. E "What do I have for break (for tonight at gym)?" Me: "You can have a granola bar." C "I want a granola bar! Can I have a granola bar???" J "I want a granola bar! Can I have a granola bar???" E "What can I have for snack now?"  Me: "Have a couple of pretzels." C "I want a pretzels! Can I have a pretzels???" J: "I want a pretzels! Can I have a pretzels???"

3:15 snacks procured and we are now late for gymnastics. On the way to gym we listen to the States and Capitals CD.

3:35 At gym E and C each do 10 minutes of Xtramath.org and E reads a second chapter finishing her book. C then plays for the remainder of the time and E stands around annoying me who is FINALLY getting to look at that Sonlight catalog.

4:45 Finish gym, have a chat about behavior at the gym with J, leave E for her practice (5:00-8:30) and head to pick up my new glasses.

5:50 Home. Finally. I start dinner, and send C to take a shower.

6:00 Put the pasta on, set my phone timer and race upstairs to give J a shower. Finally get a chance to switch those towels in the dryer and get a load of laundry up.

6:12 Back down to work on dinner. C and J play upstairs.

6:30 eat dinner and clean up (kids do table chores and I clean the kitchen).

6:50 J asks to play a "game" because I didn't get a chance to do "school" with her this morning. I agree. We do All About Reading Pre-Level lesson "E" and a page in Handwriting Without Tears Preschool book.

7:10  She doesn't want to be done so we do some counting on the abacus.

7:17 J is distracted by C who has set up Candy Land at the table. I am free while they play. Woohoo! Time to crash on the couch and do some blogging.

7:45 Have the kids clean up and head to ready for bed.

8:00 Bedtime for the two littles! I work on some emails...

9:00 E and hubby get home, eat dinner

9:20 Send a very tired gymnast upstairs to get ready for bed.

9:36 R prays and sings with E

Done. Done. Done. 

I get to sit and continue planning curriculum for next year . . . or maybe read a book! I have laundry to fold and things to clean...but yeah, no, thanks.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Break- a character reality check

We are on spring break, and it has been an eye opening experience.

My husband is out of the country, and while it certainly is so much easier at my children's current ages than it has been the last few years... temporary single parenting still isn't "easy."

One of the major reasons we homeschool is to build Christian worldview and godly character in our children. As homeschoolers we are faced with our children's character flaws, personality quirks, and attitudes, day in and day out. Being around our kids all day can often be overwhelming and the tendency to overlook becomes a challenge. Public and private school friends, the physical time you have to identify and address those character flaws is less. As Christian parents we have a huge responsibility.

Whether you send your children to school or homeschool, routine and busyness often forces us to push forward to the next thing and often rush right over that character issue that should have stopped us dead in our tracks.

Spring Break is a pause, a comma in the routine. We get to spend time with our kids, to enjoy them -- or not.

By Wednesday of this week, as I walked into church, I changed up the routine and dropped off my youngest at nursery first. Why? I was done. I wasn't sure she would physically survive walking upstairs and back down ...or maybe I wouldn't. As I said to one of the volunteers, "all of my buttons are broken. Nothing left to push. All broken." 

Deep breath.

With my husband out of town and no school routine, I decided we would embrace spring break and try to do a fun activity every day.

On Monday after a trip to Sky Zone (a trampoline park) and a lunch at Outback, I almost lost my mind when my kids yell from the back "Ice cream! Can we go there?!?"

My kids are great kids...but they can be selfish, ungrateful, greedy . . . just like any kid. But just because all kids  (and adults!) possess these traits, does not make it ok. In fact, it is sin.

But honestly, I am often too busy to even see so many character issues in my kids, let alone take the time necessary to correct them. Character training is hard work. And time consuming. And often painful.

Spring break and other changes in the routine allow us a window into the character of our kids -- a character reality check.




It's Friday, and you know what? I like my kids more today than I did on Monday. It's been a little bit of character boot camp around here, but there is less screaming...less fighting...more gratefulness. And for that, I am grateful. We still have lots of work to do, but I am embracing opportunities.

Next week brings back the routine, and I look forward to that, but I am thankful for pauses that allow us to enjoy our children-- truly enjoy them-- and allow us to take the time to assess how we can help them be more like Christ. Embrace every opportunity to invest in the character of your children.
                                       
There was an error in this gadget
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...