A sample day

School has been slow going, as well as this post. I’ve been trying to write this now for days. It’s is absolutely amazing how full your day is when you are a mom, and how busy you get. I don’t know how homeschoolers stay on task, because it is so easy to choose to do something else! But I know that is also the joy of homeschooling, you can take breaks as needed. I just can imagine I would always find something else to do!

I wanted to share a sample day with you – this day was from two weeks ago. Every day is a little different in school work, but the routine is the same for this month.

6:30 wake up, feed baby, and sit on the sofa for as long as possible

7:00 get dressed, pick up around home, and get the bacon started. Also start the coffee and hot tea. Pull 1.5 cups of blueberries out of the freezer for breakfast.

7:10 The toddler wakes up and has a stinky diaper, change him and bring him to the playroom next to the kitchen. Check the bacon. He whines and wants to be held. Play with him for a few minutes and redirect him to some toys so that I can cook breakfast.

7:30 make sure diaper bags are packed and ready to go, be sure to give children hugs and direction as they wake up and start the day, including to get dressed and put their clothes away. Set the breakfast table.

7:50 cook the 8 eggs that we eat every morning.

8:00 sit down for breakfast together and pray for our meal

8:20 read the children a bible story while they eat (they eat breakfast so slowly)

8:30 questions on the bible story; try to compel the children to finish breakfast by reminding them there will be no snacks unless they finish all their breakfast (I’d rather not have to threaten them, but then they wouldn’t eat at all, how it is, they finish their food and then ask for a snack 5 minutes later and tell me that they are hungry)

8:35  get the 3 month old dressed for the day, and dress and shoe the toddler. Change one last stinky diaper for the morning.

8:40 load and leave for day care. In the car I spend time talking about the day with the children – usually we discuss the weather and any activities we have planned.

9:05 return home from day care with Petra (4.5 yrs) and Jasper (3.5 yrs) to start the school day

9:10 school starts with prayer, pledge of allegiance and verse recitation. also remind them of our vocabulary words for the week (wince, twinge, and plunge – these are words Petra had to read last week in her OPGTR lesson)

9:20  it was a beautiful day and the children wanted to be outdoors and were full of energy, so we headed out to the backyard to work on math and time telling. I brought out the Melissa and Doug clock and piled the numbers upside down next to it. The children had to draw a number, tell me the number, run around the blanket that many times, and then make the clock read to that hour. So if they drew a 4, they told me it was a 4, ran around 4 times, and then made the clock read 4:00. They loved it.

9:45 we are working on geography and I am attempting at pulling together geography, literature, and science into a planned sequence. We are starting by studying the basics of the earth and maps. I pulled out the world book to look the maps. We reviewed the map of the earth, identifying land and water, the 7 continents, and where we live as well. We talked about the equator, warm and cold, the compass rose, and the map legend. We also identified where grandparents live and talked about how long it takes to drive to their homes. It takes 10 hours to drive to grandpa’s house even those it is only about 1/2 an inch away on the map!

9:55 the children had 15 minutes of play time on the swings and outside while I went inside to pull together the rest of our morning’s activities

10:15 I call in the children and they come right away; we reviewed french animal names using an I-phone french flashcard app. I have found a few apps with audio clips so we can hear what the word sounds like (because I can not even begin to read it correctly), then we practice the word.

10.:30 I read a few pages of Bambi and implore Jasper to sit still and not chew his nails.

10:45  Next we worked on some  introductory spelling/phonics. My children pulled letter tiles from a stack, told me the letter, the sound of the letter, a word that started with that sound, and matched it to a board. This was right at Jasper’s level and he loved it and did great. Petra decided this was a good time to play dumb and stalled us for a while. She suddenly couldn’t identify a lowercase “i” and also didn’t know the sound “a” makes.  For someone reading level 3 readers I was a little astonished. Maybe she was bored and thought it would be more fun to play stupid. After two rounds in time out she suddenly knew everything and was ready to participate. (I expect her best at all times, and I have to regularly work on not getting frustrated or impatient with her when she pretends not to know something that I know she knows!)

11:05 next we worked on handwriting, reading and Petra also worked on narration. First, I had Petra sitting at the table reading a Little Bear story by herself while Jasper worked on his handwriting by tracing pages from a Kumon workbook.  Petra loves reading Little Bear and will read every Little Bear story in the book if I let her. After Petra finished reading the story, she began to complete her narration page by writing down her name, the date, and the title of the book. While she was doing this, Jasper practiced writing letters by himself on the white board. He is so pleased with himself (and we are proud of him too) because he just began to be able to do this. He loves to write on the board now and is asking to do it. Petra was taking a very long time writing down her name, date, and the title “Little Bear” so I worked on reading some with Jasper. After she finished writing, I sent Jasper outside to play some more while Petra narrated the story to me. Her narrations at this time are very, very detailed. She feels the need to tell me word for word what happened in the story and will try to recite as much of it as she remembers. I encourage for her to tell me in her own words and I write down what she says. Today this entire activity is taking way too long because Petra does not stay on task and I just want to stop (for instance she can write her name in a few seconds but today it took 5 mintues)…but I don’t and we brave it out. Petra is thrilled with her work when we are done and joins Jasper outside.

School is officially done for the day!

11:30 I go check on my husband who is writing his dissertation in his downstairs office. We exchange a few words. Then I head up, do some dishes, work on some laundry, etc.

11:45 I start preparing lunch – which almost always consists of big salads and leftovers.

12:00 we all sit down outside on a blanket for a picnic lunch. Its relaxing and it is wonderful to have this time with my family.

12:30 the children and I take our lunch dishes up to the kitchen. They run back out to play, while I load the dishwasher.

12:45 I head to work; petra and jasper have a few more minutes of play time and my husband takes over the child care duties for the rest of the afternoon.

1:00 petra and jasper go down for a nap; petra lays there awake and sings to herself, while jasper crashes fast to sleep.

3:00 petra is due at gymnastics for her biweekly class.

4:30 thomas picks up the babies from daycare.

5:15 we are all home, hugs are given all around, and its time I start preparing dinner. What am I going to make??! The children play outside with neighbors. While the toddler and infant want my attention while I cook.

5:45 aggh! Dinner is ready but the baby is hungry. Time to feed her instead.

6:00 dinner, verse recitation, and generally we talk about our day.

6:45 walk around the block, babies in stroller – Jasper wants to ride his bike.

7:00 dance to KLove. baby girl is tired and needs to go down for the night. I see if I can get her to eat again before bedtime. Change her clothes and set her down for the night.  And it’s time for the toddlers/preschoolers to get ready for bed also.  Also time for books,  baths for all the children, and any other activities we hoped to accomplish that day.

8:00 we still haven’t sat down to read for the night. So I grab some books and the children argue over which ones they want to read for the night. They can never agree on a book, purposely.

8:30 tuck all our babies in bed and say prayers. Give lots of hugs and kisses and listen to the gazillion requests for additional hugs, kisses, water, more prayers, etc.

8:35 clean the dishes and pick up the house, grab any laundry that needs to be folded.

9:00 sit down and fold laundry while watching an episode of battelstar gallatica on netflix. remind the children they are suppose to be in bed and not tiptoeing down the hall. make stacks of laundry for each child that they can put away in the morning.

10:00 take a shower and get ready for bed.

10:10 do I have enough energy to write on the blog? or do I go straight to bed? When am I going to clean the bathrooms? vaccum? or mop??

Update:  AND I forgot to mention I will be up at least 2 more times during the middle of the night – at least once or twice for baby feedings, and maybe again to settle another child. Sleep ends up being maybe 5 hours here and there….and its been that way for almost 5 years now. I’m getting used to it.

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2 thoughts on “A sample day

  1. Just out of curiousity (I’m always paranoid that people will take my comments as judgement when they are anything but), what led to the decision to put the toddler and baby to daycare when you and your husband are at home? Or was this an unusual day and he just happened to be home?
    Seems like a great school day! Glad you found a rhythm that works for you, we are still working on this.

    1. That is a great question! And we have a very good reason. The baby and toddler are foster care children. It is strongly encouraged/required to have them in day care. We had a nanny until January, but then due to finances we stopped her employment. We hired a nanny years ago because Jasper’s allergies were too severe to be in a day care center when he was in foster care. In March we had the baby and toddler enrolled in day care (the state subsidizes day care for foster care children). While it is not my first choice, and I would never choose it on my own, I will freely admit it does make our day time hours much easier – our 1 year old is into everything. But most importantly it provides protection to us as foster parents. Every day there is someone else who sees the child so that if/when any allegations of abuse arrive – we have a second opinion from caregivers who see the children every day. Day care was recently a blessing for this exact reason. We had a complaint that our toddler had a black eye. It was a blessing from above that we had just enrolled him in day care and so the workers could vouch for us that there was never a bruise. In addition, we were fortunate that the case manager also saw him the same day and also didn’t see a bruise. We were protected on all sides. When and if any of our current foster children are adopted, we will remove them from day care and bring them home for the day. After going through abuse allegations, I would highly recommend all foster parents utilize day care merely for the protection it provides.

      I have recently met a few mothers who enroll their children in Voluntary PreK in Florida, and also in Kindergarten – and then home school 1st-12th grade. They do this so that they can focus on studies with their older children and they like this method. While it appears that we are doing something similar, it is not really by the same choice. Our family dynamics change and fluctuate to accommodate our needs – the number of children we have, and their ages.

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