Friday, February 3, 2012

Our Day of Homeschooling (with a 7, 5 and 2-year old)

Now that we've been homeschooling for a couple of months and we have a little routine down, I thought I'd share a day in our life.  Remember that Kaylin's still going to p.m. Kindergarten, but we include her in many parts of our morning schooling. Our day will probably be tweaked a dozen times before we settle into a comfortable rhythm, but this is how today went.  First is the Cliff's Notes version, then below is the detailed version, for those who are interested.

7am - Breakfast and morning chores.
8:30am - Begin school while Jason plays on the floor, I rotate his toys every 15 minutes.
10am - Snacktime.
10:30am - More school.
11:30am - Lunch, then Kaylin goes to Kindergarten.
12pm - Jason's nap, Ryan finishes his schoolwork and reads.
1:30pm - Quiet time.
3pm - Jason wakes up from nap time, Kaylin gets off the bus and the kids have a snack, then free time.
5pm - Dinner.
6:30pm - Mike comes home from work and eats.  Kids get ready for bed.
7pm - Storytime.
7:30pm - Bedtime for the kids.
10pm - Bedtime for Mike and me.

Now who wants the less-than-fascinating details???

6:30am - Sticking to my monthly goal of getting up early every day in February, I slowly climb out of bed. (yes, this is early for me, especially since I was sick yesterday)  I put in my contacts and brush my teeth and hair. That's it so far...I'm smokin' hot in my PJs this morning. At least that's what I tell myself!

6:45am - I make the bed, then check emails. I find this note taped to a book on my desk. I added a note back to Kaylin at the bottom and put it by her bedroom door.

7:00am - I hear Jason and Ryan giggling in their room; get them up and dressed.

7:15am - The boys and I eat breakfast with Mike. We discuss a family "safe word" after a disturbing experience yesterday afternoon; a guy (we don't know if it was an older kid or an adult) offered Ryan and Kaylin candy while they were playing alone at the park near our house. (I'm seriously unsettled about this was probably harmless, but I've kind of been freaking out about it.)

7:30am - Kaylin comes downstairs, Mike leaves for work. We review Kaylin's spelling words while she eats: up, us, quit, quick, quilt and queen.

7:45am - Jason begins sticking his hands in his cereal bowl, so I get him washed up and out of the highchair.  I put him in the playroom, setting the timer for 20 minutes while we get our kitchen chores done.  I fold some towels from the dryer and put a new load of laundry in the washer.

8:00am - Ryan finishes breakfast, clears his place, wipes off the table and loads the dishwasher.  Kaylin finishes eating during this time and vacuums under the kitchen table. (it is especially disgusting today) Before Jason's 20 minutes is over, he comes out of the playroom asking for a drink, to go to the bathroom, and hands me a cup from yesterday...each time saying, "All done playroom?" but returning willingly when I remind him that the timer hasn't gone off yet.
8:05am - The timer dings and I help Jason pick up the playroom.  The big kids realize they didn't make their bed and head upstairs to make sure their chore cards are all done.

8:30am - We all head up to the school room.

8:45am - Saxon Math Meeting - reviewed the date and weather while Jason plays on his black yoga mat with a train puzzle. I set the timer for 15 minutes to remember to rotate Jason's toy (for his short attention span).

9:00am - Ryan helps Jason pick up the train while I work on shapes with Kaylin: trapezoid, parallelogram and hexagon.  I give Jason the mega-Legos to play with while I go over addition flashcards with Ryan to increase his speed.
(Ryan looks bored, but this is his "thinking" expression)
9:15am - The boys pick up the Legos, then play with Tinkertoys while I read our grammar lesson.  Jason continually destroys what Ryan builds, so I put him in his crib with a book for 10 minutes.  Kaylin works on an alphabet puzzle to keep her hands busy while she listens.
9:45am - Break for snack time. I go downstairs to cut up apples and I move the laundry to the dryer while I'm down there.

10:00am - The kids play Simon Says (practicing left and right) then take turns jumping on the mini trampoline to get their wiggles out.
Simon said, "Do jumping jacks."
10:15am - Set Jason up with Play Pegs on his black mat and the big kids practice their handwriting while I read the history lesson. (we learned about pharaohs, Egyptian pyramids and the Great Sphinx)  Somehow Jason hurts his foot and ends up in tears, so I let him snuggle his blanket on my lap while listening to the lesson.
10:45am - Jason takes a Bubble Guppies break.  I help Kaylin with her Phonics workbook while Ryan writes in his Reflection Journal.  The big kids have officially lost momentum. Ryan finishes before Kaylin, so I send him downstairs to make sandwiches. (I'm calling this "Home Ec" for today.)

11:15am - Lunch...perfect timing. I review Kaylin's spelling words with her one more time because today is her spelling test.

11:45am - Ryan walks Kaylin to the bus stop for Kindergarten while I unload the dishwasher and fold the clothes in the dryer.

12:15pm - Put Jason down for a nap; the boys were playing so well together that I let Jason stay up a bit longer than usual. Ryan works on his Math U See workbook and his spelling lesson on the other side of my desk while I work on the computer.
Yes, I realize Ryan's haircut is crooked. Going back to get it fixed ASAP!

1:30pm - Ryan and I both have some quiet time. Instead of resting, Ryan decides to clean Kaylin's room for her. This kid never fails to amaze me lately.

2:15pm - Ryan reads Oliver Twist while I make a couple of phone calls.

3:00pm - Jason gets up from his nap, Ryan goes to the bus stop to get Kaylin. I give the big kids permission to play at the park while Jason and I have a snack.

3:45pm - I realize that I didn't defrost the meat for my meal plan dinner tonight.  Call Mike to ask if he's up to going out to eat...?  I have a coupon for a place near his office.  He agrees. Yippee!

4:30pm - Jason and I join the big kids outside with a few other neighbor kids.  I talk to a neighbor friend for a while, warning her about the weird candy man at the park yesterday. She suggests I file a police report.

5:00pm - Suddenly, someone notices that my neighbor friend's 6 year old daughter is missing. All of the kids split up to look for her and my neighbor takes off in her van.

5:15pm - 6 year old is found, 3 blocks away with a friend. (*sigh of relief*) I pile the kids into the car to meet Mike for dinner.

5:45pm - Dinner detour #1: Mike notices that my restaurant of choice isn't very family friendly. Lots of drinking and smoking...too much of a bar atmosphere for our kids.

6:00pm - Dinner detour #2: There's a 45 minute wait and the natives are getting restless.  Head back to our side of town.

6:30pm - Successfully sit down to dinner. The server tells us that our kids are the most polite kids she's ever served. As a mom, I am beaming.

7:45pm - Drive home and am somehow talked into making cookies for dessert. Eh, life's short. Plus, I have dough balls all made in the freezer. And I'm craving a sweet treat.

8:30pm - Cookies are consumed, teeth are brushed, kids are tucked into bed.

9:00pm - Mike and I start watching a movie. Bad will I ever wake up "early" tomorrow?!?!

11:00pm - Mike gets in bed while I finish typing this post. I am. an idiot. What am I thinking going to bed at 11pm when I purposed to wake up early every day this month???

That's my day in a nutshell. The End.

Sidenote: Mike's still a little leery of the whole homeschooling thing, so this will be good for him to see what we do in a typical day. I see so many little successes throughout the week, but it's hard for him to see the same accomplishments when he's working so many hours. Ryan is so much sweeter with his brother and sister these days and that brings me joy beyond measure.  Not to mention that he's thriving in his former areas of weakness, the tone of our home is so much calmer, my patience level with the kids has increased 10-fold and there's very little rushing around or school-related stress anymore.  Today was a great day. A productive day. A pleasant day. I feel like singing Kum-By-Ya!

And now, I message from Ryan Gosling to me:

If you'd like to see more personalized homeschooling messages from "Ryan Gosling," check out this blog.
I didn't get out of my PJs until I was forced to go outside and monitor Jason playing in the front yard. Sick? Kind of. Wrong? Yes. A comfortable way to spend a lazy Friday? Absolutely. But I got all prettied up for our dinner out, so that has to count for something...
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DutchMac said...

I wouldn't panic too much about the candy thing, and certainly not to the extent about a police report. I know the 'worst first' type of thinking is the easiest thing to do, but the overwhelmingly likely scenario is that it was some perfectly nice human being who had a few spare M&Ms and was being kind to your children. As long as THEY know how to behave, I don't think you need to worry yourself. There are more wonderful people in the world than psychos!

As for your day....I wish I was that productive. I keep getting distracted, though. Hey, maybe it's ME who has the ADD and not you! ;-)

Seriously, though, I'm so glad you're so very happy with your decision and that it seems to be working for you guys. Hooray! A success at all levels!


(I just realized I ended each and every paragraph in a very excited manner, and I wonder what my AP English teachers would have to say about that.......)

Heathahlee said...

Okay, I did a little "Awwww!" when I read that about Ryan cleaning Kaylin's room during his quiet time. You are doing something right, Momma! :)

And I do what you did (about staying up late) all the time, KNOWING I have to get up early. But my books just keep calling my name... ;)

Julie said...

My favorite part of this post?! Seeing how homeschooling has "increased your patience 10-fold!" Love when we set out to teach, enrich and nurture and then learn so much more in the journey. Also love that Kaylin left you that note. It says so much more... :) You do it ALL and document along the way. Awesome. My other favorite part? That the server noticed how polite the kids were. THOSE moments = paychecks! And Mommas need those on occasion. Great post. No doubt encouraging to others who may or may not HS. :) Go, Katie!

Martha A. said...

Wow!!! you have the kind of homeschooling day I envy!!! Good job!

Amy said...

My husband will not let me home school he is totally against it no matter how hard I try! I have been able to convince him to send our daughter to a Private school next year when she start kindergarden. The schools wehre we live made so many cuts they don't even have music or art anymore. She will be going to a Catholic school even though at this time we are not catholic. I have seen a change in her when she started pre-school not a good one either. She is advanced and also comes home everyday to say she is bored but she enjoys playing with other kids. Which is on of the reason he won't let me home school.

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