Monday, December 6, 2010

Just Another 24 Hours in the Homeschooling Life

Mary Grace put forth a challenge to record a day of our homeschooling lives.  Join in the fun if you like.  Here's mine....

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The day begins (kind of) around 3:30 or 4:00 am when Miriam wakes up crying, then screaming.  She's 18 months and still wakes up once a night to nurse.  This frequency increases when we're away (like we were over Thanksgiving) so this week was when I decided she needed to be broken of this sleep-interrupting habit.  While Jamey is the one that goes over to comfort her, as always, it's the Momma who hears her fuss turned scream each time he leaves and has to re-awaken him (he falls asleep when his head hits the pillow) to ask him to go back over.  All this to say, it was a good hour of listening to fussing turn screaming until all was quiet and I fell back asleep. (I'm happy to report that after a few nights of training, she's sleeping through the night- and so am I!)

Around 7:00 am, Sadie wakes me up, asking for breakfast.  I lay in bed a good ten minutes until I can will myself up and dressed.  Sadie plays with Miriam in her crib until I can get to her.  Sam has gone downstairs.  Somebody ate a yogurt without asking around this time that I find later (empty) hidden in the bathroom trash.  I nurse and change Miriam and we head downstairs, passing all the suitcases that sit in the hallway yet unpacked.

There is no breakfast.  I start to mix up baked oatmeal only to find there is not enough brown sugar.  I attempt to use stevia powder while everyone is fussing at me that they are hungry.  While it's baking, I dice up and brown venison for the crock pot.  We eat the oatmeal and heap crushed strawberries on top because the stevia version is less than stellar.  Edible, but not very good.  I should have thought that one through a bit more.

Clean up kids and commence to putting together dinner in the crock pot. This takes longer than expected and is interrupted by Miriam falling off the bench (twice) and me needing to take out to the chickens a bunch of turned vegetables from the crisper.  The phone rings at the exact moment a neighbor stops by to drop something off.  Way too many dishes get washed and, finally, the kitchen is in order.  I have no idea what time that was.

We all head into the school room to listen to the CD of Christmas songs the kids are to be learning for the offertory that Sunday.  I open the CD player to find a bunch of salt in it.  Thus begins about an hour long inquisition as I try to determine who the culprit is.  I turn the CD player upside down.  I shake it.  I vacuum it.  I blow in it.  CDs will not play.  I just bought this CD player this fall and while it wasn't expensive, we do not have money to throw around.  I lose it and begin crying.  Like a baby.  The day before one of the children was too impatient with the DVD player and broke that.

A friend stops by to drop something off.  I hope she cannot tell how upset I am at the moment about the CD player incident.  Finally, under the threat of no TV until the guilty party confesses, someone fesses up and is punished.

We practice our songs without the CD.

The kids watch PBS for a half hour while I fix lunch.  We eat lunch.  I clean up.  Sam is put to work completing his handwriting and spelling (he's read ahead in his independent reading, so he doesn't have to do that today).  I check email with an 18-month old on my lap.

I nurse Miriam and lay her down for her nap.  Sam and I check handwriting, quiz his spelling, do language arts (research on Marco Polo), and Math (which includes a quiz, learning about perimeter and area and reviewing multiplication).  Sadie is playing with plastic people and dancing around the kitchen to Christmas music.  Sam reads the Bible passage out loud and practices the poem he's memorizing (Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson) while I trim Sadie's hang nail and apply a band aid.  I read Sam and Sadie history, two Aesop's fables and several sections of science (how reptiles and amphibians are different, aquatic amphibians, etc.).  I quiz Sam on Science.  They make sea snakes out of clay to add to their ocean boxes (dioramas).  We have no read aloud chapter to do today because we read ahead last week. 

Sam and Sadie want to make Christmas trees out of paper, so I set them up with supplies and rearrange bookshelves to make a better spot for their ocean boxes to sit on display.  They spy that it's time for afternoon TV, drop what they're doing and disappear into the living room.  I put away school books, try not to think about the mounds of laundry sitting on the floor of the laundry room and jump in the shower before Miriam wakes up and after giving Sam and Sadie the "do not open the door for anyone- not even Daddy because he has a key" talk.  In the shower I imagine what it must be like not to homeschool.

After the shower, I check my email, banish both children to couches with books when they cannot resolve an argument turned fight.  Miriam is awake.  I get her up, thankful that I have supper already taken care of.  Jamey calls to say he'll be late.  Lovely.

I set the table expecting to have to eat without Jamey.  I decide to add dumplings to the top of the stew.  I read Miriam a couple books and referee disputes.  Jamey gets home a bit earlier than he thought (Praise God!).  Sam and I listen to his geography songs while the dumplings finish cooking since we forgot to earlier in the day.

We eat dinner and the kids don't complain too much.  Miriam actually eats some vegetables.  I finish eating and have just enough time to change, pick up a few groceries and get to my Tuesday night class at 7pm. (I love this class (and will tell you more about it soon) and am so sad that it's almost over.)

I get home around 10:00 pm.  Jamey and I talk about our day for about 10 minutes.  He falls asleep on the couch next to me and I unwind while watching The Office reruns and check my email.

My head hits the pillow around 11:30 pm and I vow that the next day I will not allow any of our children to damage any of our remaining electronics.

Just another 24 hours in the homeschooling life. Pin It


  1. What a day! Thanks for sharing it. I think I sometimes have this vision in my head of how a day goes for those who homeschool & I imagine that everything must flow completely smoothly without any bumps at all. I don't know why I think this...I just do.

    I could completely relate to your day! The CD incident sounds like something that would happen in my house..including momma losing it and beginning to cry.

    Anyway, I hope you have a blessed day today!

  2. Thanks for posting this! I am missing homeschooling! We are a month into the public school adventure (for reasons Im still not sure were the best), and reading your account of a day just makes me miss teaching my son even more! Its great to hear that someone else has similar problems (my kids are 6, 4 and 16 months) during the day, and similar breastfeeding issues ( still waking to nurse ever few hours).

  3. Woah!! Makes me wonder how my mom did it, homeschooling 8 kids for up to 10 years! I started public school in high school and then my parents decided to enroll the younger kids as well.
    I was a teacher for 7 years but I think teaching my own kids, 24 hours a day, would be harder than 30 fourth graders!

  4. Highly entertaining. Makes my life feel more normal.

  5. You packed a lot more than home schooling into that 24 hours. I've always thought being an at-home mom was the HARDEST job in the world while at the same time earning one no salary and in many instances, no credit, support or prestige. Add home schooling on top of that . . . I don't think I could have done it. But then, considering the state of our society and most schools today, I probably would be sorely tempted to try it.

    Kudos to you, m'dear. And don't feel bad about breaking down in tears. It keeps you from exploding . . . or imploding. One or the other. Maybe both. ;o)

  6. This is very timely...I am praying, much more seriously, about home school for Ian. Pray with me, won't you? xo

    I'm off to read more accounts of the days...

    (Do you know of any good blogs or sites that talk about homeschooling junior high aged kids? I see TONS about the little guys...but not much about the older kids.)

  7. Sounds a bit like my days, minus the homeschooling. Except there's 4 little boys, ages 4, 3, almost 2, and 13 months. We understand about broken electronics, laundry mountains, temper tantrums, squabbles and disputes, extremely picky eaters, and wanting to nurse every hour 24-7. Hang in there my dear. You're doing a great job!

  8. Thank You so much for sharing!!! I had a really bad weekend myself and this makes me feel so normal now...I got the bright idea since my husband had to work over Friday night then I would bake Christmas cookies with my 4 boys(ages 9,7,3,2)you know this would be a wonderful Christmas memory.....Well we went to the local Dollar Store and bought us all Christmas apron so we would be dressed to the part of a chef...I had them all an assigned position in the kitchen. My 9 yr was the one who measured everything out ( with my help of course) my 8yr old mixed the ingredients, my 3 yr old was to ONLY melt the butter while the 2 yr old danced around the kitchen in his new candy cane apron...things were going good when I started to smell this awful smell...I immediatley thought I had left something in the oven and turned the oven on....that is when my 3 yr old pulled my $300+ camera out of the microwave....It was ruined and stunk....I just stood there and cried...He is my most destructive child...Last year he put something in our new Wii and broke it...I now something is wrong with my printer.....
    Thanks for sharing cause this helped me to know I am not alone with the destructive children :)
    Holly from TN

  9. I love hearing about other people's days! Thank you. You are so busy and you make me feel so normal too, even though I'm not a homeschool mother.

  10. I just found your blog and was drawn to the homeschooling article because this last year was our last year of homeschooling since we started in 1984!! It's strange not to have a student to teach! Your day sounds much like very day we had for all those years. I'm very satisfied with my new lifestyle and have moved on to enjoying time spent with grandkids! It takes an enormous amount of energy to do what you are I seem to have a hard time finding these days! Always remember that every moment is an investment with a GREAT return!


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