It’s almost time to wake the little girls so we can head out on a field trip. We’re going to see the Kingsport Ballet Nutcracker! I’m traveling somewhere else today too.
Paige from the blog Simple Thoughts asked me to guest post on the details of ‘what i do in a day’. I sent the post to her and it’s filled with a host of (perhaps unimportant) details on the daily grind of a homeschooling mom. I can’t imagine that anyone would be interested to read it except that I read every ‘day in the life’ post I could read before I started homeschooling. I hope it helps someone, somewhere, somehow because for some reason, it took me for. ev. er. to write.
Paige is so kind. You’ll love her. She sent me an email this morning thanking me for the post and then she went on to be an encouragement me. To tell me that she saw ‘sacrifice’ in my day. I can’t explain to you why but I started sobbing. Big crocodile tears. Somehow, as God always does, he blesses the one who is suppose to be *blessing* others.
So when you go visit Paige today, know this. She reaches out with the love of Christ and uses her words to bless. To speak life. To bear burdens.
I want to be that kind of friend. And that kind of mom. Thank you Ms. Paige.
I’m posting this daily schedule of ‘how to homeschool’ here as well, for easy access to my readers.
Someone asks you to guest post about your daily routine and you’ll have a string of badly ordered days.
You’ll stay in your yoga pants all day, yell at the dogs and your children, and then eat at McDonalds.
And then with every sentence you type, the little smarmy voice in your head will say,
“You’re a liar. That’s not how your day went AT ALL little missy.”
Back off smarmy girl, this is my post and this is my day. I’ll tell this story any way I please.
I’m an optimist. The glass is half full. Of champagne. With a big juicy cherry on top.
Okay so back to my daily routine.
Despite the fact that I’m an artsy free spirit type, I do need a schedule.
Here’s the one we use for most of our days. It’s not rigid but it gives us a place to start. I have the template saved in my computer and then I just change the details daily. I print these off each morning so that the girls and I know what we need to get done.
So without further adieu and hopefully with no interruptions from smarmy girl, here’s the daily grind.
4:30a I wake up sans alarm because I have in fact turned into my father. I can’t sleep late. EVER. One of my goals for my 4oth year was to ‘sleep til 7’ and it’s never gonna happen. I’m writing this post to you on Saturday morning and I woke up at 4am raring to go. What time will I be waking when I’m 50? 60? I’m guessing 2:30 or 3. So I don’t fight it. I make the most of my early morning time . I’m currently reading the Bible through so I try to always start the day with reading and quiet time. Then I read/answer emails, write blog posts, edit pictures, read a few blogs, listen to Issues Etc while I do kitchen chores and laundry, eat raisin bran and drink latte(s), and make lists of things that need to get done, etc etc etc.
7:30a Usually the littles are beginning to stir. On our best days, I make homeade waffles while Emme makes bacon. Smarmy girl would like to insert that frozen waffles are more common. The girls always ask/beg/plead with me to read to them while they eat. It’s like their own dinner theater. Except with breakfast. And no actors. And me in yoga pants with bed head.
8:15 ish Prayer/Bible/ Memory
We begin our school day. I call roll, we say the pledge of allegiance and then Elea puts an apple on my desk. No wait, that’s all wrong. But we do start our day pretty consistently with a prayer from the Lutheran Prayer Book and then the girls read a psalm aloud. And for some added help with multiplication, this month we’re reading every 3rd psalm. We just finished a study of the Old Testament, which took a year and a half and now we’re back to the New Testament and the life of Jesus. Promptly after Bible, we have memory period. I’ve written about the value of memorization before, but basically we memorize poems, scripture, lists of science or history facts one line at a time and then say them over and over until we know them. We’ve memorized about 20 pieces so far this year including a couple of very long projects like Psalm 104 and the Lord’s Prayer portion of Luther’s Small Catechism. These girls are memorizing fools. Smarmy girl would like you to know that I don’t memorize things nearly as fast or as thoroughly as the littles do.
Occasionally, we all agree that the only way to make it through the day is to start with art. On those days, smiles abound.
More often than not, we start like every other school in the world, with spelling and reading and math and weeping and gnashing of teeth.
9:15 ish (give or take an hour) Independent-ish Work
The girls work for about an hour independently doing spelling, handwriting, writing and piano practice. I run around like a banshee trying to make beds, clear cobwebs, start dinner, make phone calls, and whathaveyou. If Stevie’s lucky like he was this week, I start the best beef stew ever. We won’t discuss what happens if he’s not lucky.
If there’s time, this is when I attend to personal hygeine. We all hope and pray there’s time.
10:15 ish Literature/Read Aloud/History
The girls each read to me (aloud) a page or two from their literature books and then continue reading (usually a chapter a day depending on the book) while I read with the other one. Then I read aloud to them from Shakespeare or whatever other book we’re reading at the time. Right now we’re reading the Indian in the Cupboard series, which we all love. I love this time of day. We sit on the sofa, sometimes they knit or craft or play legos while I read. Sometimes they dance and turn cartwheels. Reading good books is one of life’s true joys and I’m thankful to have this opportunity with them everyday.
We are doing much better with math this year, for those who’ve followed our progress. We use the dive CD’s that are available with Saxon and the girls enjoy having someone else teach them for a change. I prep for lunch while they work.
12:00 Lunch with Dad
Everyday for lunch, we are lucky to have Stevie come home and join us. We greet him as if it’s been days since we’ve seen him. And on the very rare occasion that he doesn’t make it, the girls pout and make frowny faces. They kinda like their daddy. I’m kinda struck on him too.
12:30-1:30 Latin with Ms. Susan
Cue the Hallelujah chorus. Do you have any idea how wonderful it is to have someone, whom you love and adore, come to your house every other day to teach your children latin? It’s some kind of wonderful. And to add strawberry buttercream icing to the cake, that means I have an hour ‘off’. On the good days, I whip up a craft or two, continue with the good-dinner making, or read. On the bad days, I lock myself in my room and rock back and forth and google psychiatric conditions. Smarmy girl likes to diagnose me. What does she know? She hasn’t practiced medicine in years.
1:30-2 ish or 2:30 ish depending on whether or not we have dance. Quiet Time
This is the sacred hour at our house where no one is allowed to talk to me.
If you have children that you spend a hefty amount of time with, I would highly recommend this sacred hour. You will like them better after this hour. I tend to choose activities that nourish my spirit. I sew or cook or listen to podcasts or music or read your wonderful blogs or spray paint things. Chocolate and coffee may or may not be involved.
2:30-3:30 Grammar and Science
We do grammar everyday and science 3-4 days a week. We did a wonderful bird unit this year in science that has made us all nearly obsessed with the birds that visit our feeders. Stevie is a bird man and teaches us about new birds all the time. Recently we’ve seen a pileated woodpecker, an osprey, a nuthatch and lots of songbirds.
4:00-6 ish Dance
I have aspirations of doing lots of exercise and errands while the girls are at dance–which sometimes happens. Often, I end up sitting in the dance studio, knitting or reading or chatting with friends. Sometimes I run errands or go desperately searching for coffee. And then it’s back home for dinner and and vegging out on the sofa with the family.
After dinner, the girls wrestle with their dad and beg him to watch Pawn Stars. If he says no, they ask for American Pickers. If he says no to that, they ask for Swamp People. We watch quality tv around here.
I read to them after prayers for as long as my little eyes will remain open. I got up at 4am. Have mercy.
After I leave, I hear Emme reading aloud to her sister as they desperately try to finish the chapter that I was too sleeping for.
The sound of that is quite possibly my favorite part of the day.
9:30-10 I retire to my chambers and collapse into a coma.
Next day, rinse and repeat.
P.S. Most days, I don’t get done all I want. I wish I had read more, crafted more, smiled more, loved more. Maybe it looks more productive than it is but if there’s one key that I’ve found to getting lots done in a day, it’s staying home. Try staying home five whole days in a row and you’ll be amazed what you’ll find to do!
This is our schedule M-Th. But on Fridays—oh for the love of Fridays—-we do reading, writing, ‘rithmetic and then spend the rest of the day on arts and crafts.
Which means we adore Fridays.
I leave you with a little video journal. Thanks for having me Paige!