Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Homeschool Day in the Life with a 5- & 1- year old

At the beginning of this year, I transitioned from being a special education teacher for children age birth to five to a (mostly) full time stay at home mom of two.

I decided to pursue home-schooling with five-year old sister using the Oak Meadow Kindergarten curriculum and 23-month old brother has been happy to come along for the ride.

In order to quite literally put food on the table, I continue to accept occasional substitute teaching jobs and recently began leading a weekly parent education class.  

I planned on our 'day in the life' being one where I spent half the day at home and half the day at work, but we all know that our days don't always go exactly (or at all) as we planned:

6:50 a.m.
I've been up since my husband's alarm went off a half hour ago, but it's still not easy to pull myself out of bed.  I am scheduled to work a substitute gig the second half of the day, so I can't get away with skipping a shower today.  

When I get downstairs, I hear brother in his room chatting to himself.  We look at a book together and then I sit him down at the kitchen table with something to drink before I head to the shower that my husband just vacated. 

After getting out of the shower, I pop into sister's room who is now awake and requesting my presence.  We chat for a few minutes then I head upstairs to get dressed.

7:30 a.m. 
I get breakfast plates ready for everyone and check my online accounts on my phone in between.  

My husband comes downstairs to announce he isn't feeling well and is going to stay home from his job as a school-based speech language pathologist.  He heads upstairs to the quiet of our bedroom and I send a message to cancel with our friend who was going to watch the kids for me this afternoon.  
I sit down to eat and sister announces that she is going to do "her chores" which consist of making her bed, tidying her room, and getting dressed.  Brother and I finish our breakfast and he helps me clear the table afterwards, an emerging (and welcome) contribution on his part.  Now for a cup of coffee.

8:20 a.m.
I set out to find some felt for today's morning project.  I'm striking out until I find an unfamiliar piece of orange cloth that my husband identities as a cleaning agent from the dollar store.  Perfect for last minute crafting.  

We've implemented a two show rule on Netflix per day and sister request one now, having finished her morning tasks.

8:45 a.m.
Sister announces that she is "ready for school!".  We start each of our homeschool days with circle time.  This currently includes candle lighting, verses, songs, calendar, counting sticks, and today, a review of this week's story, "The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies".

Yesterday, sister drew our letter of the week- E- in the shape if bunny ears.  Today, I invite her to draw an E and a pair of ears (she opted for tiger's) on felt,

cut them out,

and glue them in her lesson book.

Proudly showing off the finished product.

Sister does some free drawing (though she points out that the earth she drew starts with E) and brother plays multiple rounds of the ever entertaining "fill and dump".

I get a call that the family I was going to do an evaluation with this afternoon has cancelled so I won't be heading out to work after all.  I consider calling it quits for making this a "day in the life" now that things are not going as expected, but I've committed and besides, that's life!
9:45 a.m.
The kids have a quick snack and sister decides she'd like to make her 2nd and final show choice today.  This time, she picks one she thinks brother will like: trucks are involved. 

10:15 a.m.
It's our music day so we spend some time learning finger plays and songs before putting on the CD that came with our curriculum.  

Once the music slows down, brother sits with me to so some drawing and sister starts working on a maze, her new favorite pastime.  

I walk outside to get the mail and  although it's raining, nay- pouring, I'm grateful for a few minutes of quiet outdoors.  

Sister asks me to help her finish her maze, then we trade with Daddy and find our way from start to finish.  

I let sister know she received a letter from her new pen pal and we read through it together.  She dictates a response to me but puts off her copy work in favor of more maze-making, enlisting Daddy's expert assistance.

11:30 a.m.
I work on getting lunch ready and a spontaneous dance party in the kitchen erupts to some Latin infused tunes on the radio.  We all enjoy a rare weekday lunch at home together. 

12:15 p.m.
Brother is ready for a nap.  So is Daddy.  After reading a book with me, sister is too.  I settle in on the couch and spend some time with one of my current reads, "Raising Your Spirited Child".  

I go back and forth between manically doing projects during nap time and using it as an opportunity for my own rest and relaxation.  Once I sense the rest of the house is asleep, I figure I should try and follow suit.

2:15 p.m.
I rouse from some semblance of slumber.  Not wanting to wake anyone, I spend a few minutes surfing the web on my phone.  Then sister is up and she and I do a puzzle together.  Not long after, we hear that brother has woken up.  He usually takes some time to adjust after a nap, so I sit with him in the rocking chair and sister sings him some of his favorite songs.

We head to the kitchen for a snack and Daddy comes downstairs and joins us.  We work on a list of groceries that sister and I can pick up when we go into town for her play rehearsal.  She is in a children's theatre production of "The Adventures of Beatrix Potter and Friends", which turned out to be a perfect fit with our curriculum since it heavily features Potter's stories in it's language arts lessons.  The experience is also a great outlet for sister's outgoing and energetic personality.

Alas, the time has come for me to change out of my second skin fleece sweats. 
3:15 p.m.
Sister and I head out and make a stop at our local co-op.  Sister helps to fit all our items in a child sized shopping cart and takes on the important job of writing the number on our bulk bin purchase.

I tell her she can pick out a couple of treats for her brother who is having a birthday next week and she does so without asking for anything for herself.  I'm impressed.

4:00 p.m.
I get sister settled at rehearsal before running to make copies at my work office.  Then I zoom over to the hospital for my weekly allergy shots- not my favorite part of the day, especially the 30 minute waiting period.  I use the time to get started on this blog post, which makes me feel a bit like I'm time traveling.

5:00 p.m.
I get back to rehearsal and the kids are finishing up a snack break.  Sister is coloring in her Brain Quest activity book which we've brought along to help occupy her during the down time.  I get out my paperwork to organize and review for tomorrow morning's parenting class.

Sister doesn't get the chance to go on stage again but she will be rehearsing every week day this week and next leading up to opening night so we are gearing up for many hours spent both on and back-stage.

6:00 p.m.
On our car ride home, I remember that we didn't do one of this week's suggested music activities: learning our phone number to a song.  I had read somewhere that "Frere Jacques" works well, so we sing it together a few times before sister successfully repeats it in her own.

6:20 p.m.
Dinner is ready when we get home.  Daddy and I start on cleanup together before he is asked to join play time leaving me to finish up on my own.  Again, I don't mind the few minutes of quiet to myself.  It's what my introverted self needs sprinkled throughout the day.
After some rough and tumble aka Daddy-style play, it's time for pajamas.  The kids take turns reading one book with me (sister picks one of my very favorites, "Stellaluna") and one with Daddy, brush their teeth, and get tucked in with a goodnight song. 

7:45 p.m.
Our grownup pre-bedtime routine usually comes in the form of a show or two on Netflix and chocolate.  Sometimes books.  Sometimes popcorn.  Always chocolate.

9:15 p.m.
Lights out. 

Goodnight, moon.

Thanks for sharing the day with us!

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  1. It's great how you rolled with whatever came up in your day. You are obviously a committed and caring mommy. You have a lovely family. Thanks for sharing your day.

  2. Thank you for the kind words, Camie! I am continually working to strengthen my "rolling with it" skills :)

  3. I find it amazing how much longer my days look when I write them all out like that. Not that they usually breeze by or anything. But it is satisfying to look back and say, "My goodness! We accomplish a lot in a day, don't we?" Thanks for sharing.

  4. I still look back and think what did we "do"? But the learning is constant if not always quantifiable. And most importantly, we are having fun- together!

  5. Loved this look at your day:) Beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Jenn! I appreciate you stopping by :)