Week 18: Per Diem
I started this blog as a way to share my homeschooling journey with others. I realized I have yet to write what a typical day looks like, mainly because there is definitely a “settling in” period when you transition from outsourced schooling to home schooling. So here goes…
I usually get up at 5:30, with no alarm. That’s just when my writing wakes me up, while I’m devoted to my most recent book project. I sit with a cup of tea and type at the computer for about 2.5 hours, until, at eight, I do a quick email run down and then head upstairs to change out of my bathrobe and get ready for the day.
The kids usually wake up between 6 and 8, the little ones sometimes 8:30. When Daddy’s home, they get to bed later than when he’s not, so today, Biwa is up at 7:30, and he’s allowed to watch cartoons until 8 AM. After 8, there is no more television. That is actually incentive enough to get him up extra early sometimes! By eight twenty, Biwa is eating breakfast and the other two have wandered down to the kitchen, searching for some nourishment. Kevin is Breakfastman, so he is helping them with eggs and cereal while I get dressed.
At nine AM, I like to start the day. We begin with a short run-down of some Latin words at the kitchen table. Today isn’t the lesson day, just a review, which goes quickly, and we are off into other subjects quite quickly. Biwa wanders into my office to do spelling, with headphones and a study DVD. He takes a spelling test every day, advancing to the next test only after completing two of the same, two days in a row, with no mistakes. Shane and I get started with his “SN-V” stuff, (subject noun – verb,) or Shurley Grammar, as it’s more widely known. He loves it, and although it is hard to get him committed (there are so many other more interesting things to do!) once he is seated, he is thrilled to be able to identify all the words and their jobs in the three daily sentences, and learn the new vocabulary as well. We go through a lesson today about writing a two-point expository paragraph and he is surprisingly eager to start it: My Favorite Colors. In just under 45 minutes, we are done.
I turn his math book to the next two pages for him to complete, sending him off with a kiss on the cheek.
I call for Tavia. She has reading every day, but as I call her, the phone rings and I have to take it. Saved by the bell!
After my phone call, I wrangle Tavia and we sit to do the little bit of reading she has. She is just getting her letter sounds down, so reading is quite a struggle for her, but she is making progress and even she can see it. After about ten minutes, she starts complaining about being too hot. Her attention is shot. I gently insist on finishing the page, though, which we get through with my extra help, and then she asks sweetly, “Mommy, can I take a break now?” Of course she can!
Biwa finds me still at the kitchen table, for his grammar. “Mom, it’s time to do grammar.” I have to take care of something with my assistant in the office, but I’m back in less than ten minutes and I find Biwa sitting, imagining some war happening on the kitchen table between his Lego warriors. “Okay. Let’s get started, please!” he greets me.
Today is a lesson on quotation marks, so after the daily sentence parsing, I read through the lesson with him, go over the practice section so he knows what to do, and set him free.
Now I have a chance to catch up on the emails I’ve been ignoring, but not for long, because Shane is having trouble with the last page of math problems. That takes no time at all to sort out – he was stuck on the name Tonya in the word problems! He finishes that page as I dig out the reading book we are working in. He’s got two pages of reading lessons. While he is starting that, Biwa practices his piano. Shane sneaks over to the piano when reading is finished, and Biwa comes back to do some history: Christopher Columbus, which mainly involves reading. I read aloud to him, plus he has two chapters to read in his book about the explorer.
I call out “What do you want for lunch?” to the other two while Biwa finishes the history reading by himself.
Usually, we watch lunch at the TV with educational videos we get at the library. Today, I have the History Channel’s “Alexander the Great” on instead. Both Biwa and I are fascinated to learn about this iconic historical figure, but this subject is not really for the little ones, thought it can’t hurt for them to see it. They lose interest as soon as they finish eating, though, and head outside to find grasshoppers and snakes.
Biwa finishes up his Bible work and math after lunch. He still has reading, but I send him outside to shoot hoops for a while. In the afternoon, we head out for two karate classes. Biwa has recently advance into orange belt, so the boys are no longer in the same class, but because Biwa finished his work all before 1:30, he gets to play phone games at karate while Shane takes his class. And Tavia has a play date there with her BFF, the younger sister of one of Shane’s classmates.
When we get home, it’s time for some chores. First, Shane must unload the dishwasher. Tavia helps with forks and spoons, as he puts it. He corrected his grandmother the other day for calling it “cutlery.” Biwa gets to load it back up again while I make dinner. He has learned well and loads it perfectly. I’m so proud!
After dinner today we decide to play mancala, a strategy game with marbles, on the new iPad. I love this game, although Biwa thrashes me soundly. Then we do a round of Shoots and Ladders, so Tavia can join in. Soon, it’s off to bed. For me, too. I’m exhausted, but happy!