Some of my most favorite posts to read are day in the life posts. I think that is also why I enjoy vlogs so much – I love to see the simple, everyday occurrences. I like to be able to glean little bits of information here and there in order to make my days run more smoothly – or at least that is the attempt!
I had big plans this year. I wanted to do another day in the life vlog like I did last year.
Unfortunately, that did not happen. It reminded me of one of the top reasons we homeschool – flexibility. If you would like to see my post from last year, head here.
I am most definitely an early riser. I wasn’t always that way, but sometime after having my second child I realized that if I didn’t get up early, I would not be as good of a mother as I could be.
I rarely wake with an alarm these days, and tend to sleep exactly seven hours before I wake up – so whenever I go to bed, I tend to wake up exactly seven hours later. Weird, but it is the way it goes. In another life I would get up at 4am, and I probably still do that a couple times each week, but for some reason my littlest decides that when I wake up, she also should wake up. So, I have been getting up closer to 6am as of late.
Most of the time I will get a good 20 minutes before someone else is awake. This gives me a few minutes to get my coffee, brush my teeth and get my mind ready for the day. If it is a day that I am up a couple hours before everyone, I read my Bible, do scripture writing in my journal, and then I try to write for a while.
The kids are almost always up by 7am, and two out of three need breakfast immediately. My middle guy is the late sleeper, and will sometimes sleep in until 8:30 or so, especially recently because he has been sick with a fever, which is absolutely no fun!
Our breakfasts are very basic, either oatmeal with frozen blueberries and sliced banana, egg burritos, or peanut butter toast. We are not very fancy here, but it is a good start to their day.
My breakfast of choice is coffee…always coffee.
The kids have free play time until 9am, when I start school with everyone. They will usually play with LEGO, build something in their room, work on a book they are reading, or watch PBS kids. The past week with fevers it has been PBS kids…I’m glad that the programming is educational, because when anyone is sick it tends to throw everything else off!
At 9am I try to do our circle time. I am not as reliable about this as I would like to be, but sometimes Lucy is otherwise occupied (she is my youngest) and when she is occupied, I try to jump right into the school that takes a lot more of my attention.
A new thing that I am working on since January is to have dedicated school time, instead of trying to multi-task (check e-mails, do laundry, put dishes away, work on my blog) while the kids are working on something. Even when they are fully capable of working on something independently, they tend to slow down and their minds wander, or they sneak off to play while I am not looking.
Now we have dedicated school time from 9am-11am. And surprisingly we get almost everything accomplished during that time!
When Jack is working on school we go through three things for him – Singapore Math 1B, HandwritingWithout Tears My Printing Book and he will read a chapter of a book. Currently he is reading The Hardy Boys Secret Files Collection. He will read a chapter and then he has to come and tell me three important things that he read. It seems to be working quite well. Also, he is super speedy so that he can get to his “more important” work of making stop motion videos, drawing video game scenes, playing with his LEGOs, or building something with his snapcircuits.
I count all of the “other” as school as well, but I am usually trying to let him get as much free play and self-directed learning as possible. He will be seven at the end of the summer, and that is when it will start to become more real for him. We don’t do seat work every day, mainly three days a week. He is almost always present for when I am doing read-alouds though, and that comprises a large part of our schooling.
Now, Emma, being eight, does a little bit more school work, as in every day. But, her diligence pays off. We are about 6 weeks out from finishing the school year, which is uncanny to me. We do school all year long, but sometimes I forget what all those extra days lead up to in the summer, breaks at different times during the regular public school year.
We try to start with the harder subjects. It seems easier to get those out of the way first, although sometimes she does not want to do those subjects at all – mainly math. She is currently working through Singapore 3B. We really like this curriculum; I think that it gives an excellent grasp on math. I have heard a lot of people recommend Teaching Textbooks as soon as you can get your kids into that program, but it hasn’t appealed to me yet. We are planning on continuing with Singapore Math in a few months with the next set of books, 4A & 4B.
Then we have spelling. We have been using Sequential Spelling Book 1 this year, and I really like it. Although, it definitely can get a little stressful doing 25 words every day, but they do build on each other, and I have seen her confidence grow with her free writing.
Once Math and Spelling are out of the way it is time for a snack and some Cosmic Kids Yoga. This is something my kids have been doing for several years, and everyone loves it. Lucy included. She will often get one of the kids’ yoga mats and say it is time to do yoga – very cute coming from a 2 year old.
After our little break Emma will finish up her “seat work” which is her cursive as well as whichever book she is reading at the moment. Then it is onto read alouds.
We are actually all done now with our Sonlight Core D books for the first year of American History. Now the kids will pick a book off the shelf and we will read that. Jack has been asking for me to read him Lassie and Emma has been enjoying the Mandie series, which is a series that I read when I was a kid, actually they are the same books I had when I was a kid.
At this point everyone is hungry again (are my kids the only ones who eat just about every hour?!), and I start to make lunch. The kids are then able to have free play. I forgot to mention that Lucy is decidedly good during this time. I do have to spread my time between helping Emma and making sure Lucy is not climbing onto the tv stand, but for the most part it works out well.
After lunch it is time for quiet time, rest time, nap time, anything where there is dedicated time that the children are up in their rooms, and Lucy is sleeping.
For a very long time I used this time as a way to catch up on *everything else* that goes on (chores, blog work, more chores, de-cluttering), but when I hit a wall at the end of last year, and decided that my word of the year would be margin, I started to take this time as self-care time. It is a time where I can read, write, sit, think, knit. It is really just a time where I practice self-care. I need it, I deserve it, and I finally gave myself permission to take that time.
It would be nice if it were an uninterrupted amount of time, but the kids are usually up and down the stairs asking me a question about Minecraft, or something else, but as long as Lucy sleeps, Emma, Jack and I will have this quiet time.
We encourage a lot of free play, a lot of drawing, and music. Overall it is a much more relaxed schedule than it used to be, but it is working well for us this year. The kids seem to be enjoying it more, and that is the most important thing in my book!
Now, to get back to my three sick kiddos and new puppy!
Do you take time for self-care during your homeschool days?