Wednesday, February 05, 2014

A day in our homeschool...

Thought it would be fun to do a "typical day in the life of a homeschooler" on my own site. A blog I often enjoy called Simple Homeschool has a series that invites homeschooling parents to share their days. Since I doubt I'll be invited, I decided to just do it on my own blog. The difficult part about sharing a "typical day" is that no day is ever quite like the next! So how about we say that this is a description of a somewhat-typical Wednesday in February, and leave it at that. Of course, as I say that, I realize that I truly have no idea what today will actually hold in store for us, which is, actually, really freaking typical.

5:30 am. Alarm beeps. Normally, this is where my husband, Patrick, would wake up to go shake our eldest awake for high school. Justin was homeschooled from 4th through 8th grade and went back to public this year. It's been an adjustment for us all, with the biggest change being that Justin has to wake up at an ungodly hour. Seeing as how Patrick is ice fishing in Minnesota with his father this week, the wake up call duty fell upon my shoulders. I stumbled into his room, turned on the light, shook him and made sure he was alive before scurrying back into my heated blanket cocoon. I then remembered to check my emails before he left, just to be sure that the 4+ inches of snow that fell overnight wouldn't cancel school. It didn't and he left on his own steam without any further interaction from dear old mom. Ahhh... teenagers!

7:30 am. I headed downstairs to let the dog out and grab some coffee. Sure enough, the snow was in enormous drifts and my somewhat shortish dog had to plow through several of them to find the absolute perfect spot in which to pee. I spent a good 10 minutes watching as she would bound about, looking like an antelope instead of a scraggly terrier mix. Once she finally came inside, I had to clean the snow from her hair, TWICE, as she couldn't seem to remember to do #1 AND #2 in the same excursion.

By now, it's 8:30 and the younger two are still asleep. THANK GOD. I have to check a few emails and force myself to wash the massive pile of dishes that accumulated after yesterday. (Every Tuesday, we attend a co-op for homeschooling families. My kids have tons of friends there and do science, PE, literature and geography classes. My daughter then has a 3 hour gymnastics class in the evening and all of this means that we are not home for very long on Tuesdays. Add that to the fact that I haven't had a dishwasher in 10 years and you will understand why there are so many dishes awaiting my assistance on every Wednesday morning).

9:00 am. Ok, I lied. I didn't check emails. I screwed around on the shiny, shiny internet and now my 11 year old is awake and I still haven't washed a single dish. This day may actually end up being pretty darn typical, after all...

10:15 am. Just finished all but one very stubborn pan with baked on potatoes. Gonna let that soak while the kids finish up their screen time. I did manage to trick Evan into a little science lesson when I asked him to read this website on how to measure snowfall (because my hands were wet from the dishes!). I was mainly wondering how we measure the volume of the snow instead of the inches that have fallen. I mean, the big, fluffy flakes take up more space but have less mass as a group because of the air between the crystals, right? Isn't that right? A foot of teeny, tiny, hard flakes must have more water volume than a foot of fluff. IT MUST. I need to prove this theory...someday. Right now, I am just impressed that I haven't broken up a single argument yet. Not. ONE. It must be because I am documenting our day for all of you lovely readers. Going to start another load of laundry before the kids finish their time and start on school books....

10:39 am. I spoke too soon. 8 year old is crying because her brother isn't "being nice" in her opinion and I didn't even yell. I am quite proud of myself.

10:40 am. 11 year old has gathered his school books and is settling down to do independent study. 8 year old is up in her room crying and getting dressed. I am watching the snow start to fall...again...and having another cup of reheated coffee while I contemplate life.

10:56 am. 8 year old is quietly reading her social studies book about Omaha Native Americans. It should be noted that she is still in her zebra-print footie jammies and has a very disgruntled look about her face. She is clearly upset with her lot in life.

11:51 am. 11 year old did well until he realized he had to do a creative story for his literature class. He has now rebelled and is in his room until he can work without yelling or being unreasonable. Ah, pre-teens. Good times. In better news, daughter has made her way through spelling, math and social studies. We are going to read about Benjamin Franklin for a bit, finish a lesson in her science book and then review some flashcards on multiplication facts and the States. Right after she pours herself another bowl of cereal, that is... And it's still snowing.

1:07 pm. After much hysterics, 11 year old wrote what is actually a HILARIOUS remake of Little Red Riding Hood. I mean, I am cracking up over here! He has problems keeping his hands up with his mind, so I
typed while he dictated. This usually works well with him for essays and stories and encourages him in knowing that he IS creative and smart. On that note, I have to get out of these pajama pants myself so I can drive him to GameStop to pick up a video game with his Christmas gift card. Maybe if I put on tall boots and a long coat, no one will notice?

1:54 pm. Opted to just spray on extra perfume on and declare today a grungy day, especially since I had to shovel a crapload of snow before we could even get out of the driveway. Helps that husband won't be home and I have no where to go tonight! School work is all done and 11 yr old is happy about his new game, 8 year old is doing handstands in the hallway. I have some emails for my LTYM show to check on and dinner to start. I think it's gonna be a meatloaf and mashed potatoes night!

2:45 pm. 14 year old is home from high school. Came in covered in snow and eager to make a croque madame which is a French sandwich, apparently. (He's taking a cooking class and a French class as a Freshman). I told him to knock himself out. This should be interesting.

3:45 pm. Pretty good sandwiches. Tres bien.

4:30 pm. Picked up 8 yr old's friend from across town. They're playing a board game, teen is on computer, pre-teen is playing new video game and I am gearing up to go stick my hands into a bowl of raw meat. Yum. My feet are frozen, there is a MOUNTAIN of (clean) unfolded laundry on the floor and even more snow to shovel.

6:00 pm. Damn, I make a mean meatloaf. Even managed to have a 15 minute conversation with my 14 year old about a game he really enjoys! It's difficult to get him to interact a whole lot these days, and with him out of the house every day till 2:30, we don't see nearly as much of him as I was used to. It's an adjustment, to be sure.

7:48 pm. Friend is back at her house. Kids are all playing games or reading book. Need to make sure they all get showers before bed; for the younger ones, around 10:00 or so. No set wake up time means no set bedtime. We're pretty breezy about it and it works for us. Justin still has homework but he is pretty responsible about getting it finished without any intervention, so there are no worries on my end about him. I am getting some loose ends tied up for LTYM and then I am going to get under that heated blanket as early as I can. I notice that I never did get that pan with the potatoes washed but think that it will most likely hold just fine until tomorrow morning...

And there you go. A Wednesday in our homeschool life. Not perfect but pretty decent. No nature-stuff or field trips, but what do you expect in February in Illinois? I think tomorrow will include Corinne baking banana bread and Evan designing a chart for chores. Maybe we'll throw a little in as a charity/learning experience and I'd like to finally get them started on the site. Every day is different while similar and I find that we have a pretty good rhythm going on (most days). Can't wait for the snow to knock it off so we can get downtown to one of the free days at the Field Museum and maybe Brookfield Zoo, too. We're ready for spring!
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