A daily tally

Mary, Mary
Quite contrary
How does your garden grow?

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Homeschool parent
Homeschool parent
How does your school day go?

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We are starting to hit our groove, so I thought I would share our day’s events. . .for those days that are going so poorly I need a reminder that we can do it all.

We aren’t doing Latin this week, due to a funky schedule; but otherwise everything is par for the course.

I know I have covered the fact that in the morning I need to have quiet, “me” time.  About one hour, wherein I check my email, and drink my coffee, and have my morning chat with my Facebook buddy.

By the way, I love those chats, because she always asks what I plan to do that day. . .and somehow saying it to another makes it more likely to get done.  So, even the couple of days I can’t chat with her, I’ll pretend I am just so my day starts off on the right foot.

Kinda like lucky underwear. . .but not.  😉

The last couple of days, I’ve been struggling to get out of bed!  So, we’ve been running kinda late as I haven’t been getting up till 0720-ish.  (We don’t normally start our school day till 0900.)

So, by the time my quiet hour was over it was nearing 0830.  The kids have all been up having their quiet time (which, honestly, is not so quiet), and I gather them so we can all have breakfast.  I actually made breakfast yesterday.  (I am not a breakfast kind of gal so that is significant.)  However, today we stuck with the standby of cereal.

Upon which the table was cleared and math was set upon the table.  Speed drill first thing.

At this point, let me just say that I think the value of speed drills are completely overlooked by most people.  And I’m not just referring to their value in math facts.  No, more like their value in TIME.  Give a child who has never done a speed drill before a page and tell them they have a minute to complete it and watch them wilt!  (In my experience, the ensuing meltdown will generally last twice the time of the actual speed drill.) However, one who has been inundated with these drills will get to work, and is fairly calm. And the value of this skill cannot be underestimated (think standardized test).

Once the speed drill was done I set the boys to work on their lesson, and then went to work in the kitchen.  Somehow, this morning it looked as if someone had participated in some great bake-off and left all the mess.  (Sadly, that was me, yesterday. . .)

After the dishwasher was loaded and some space made in the sink I ran upstairs in order to take care of my morning preparations.  I’m a plain Jane sort of gal, so we’re talking getting clean and clothed, bed made, teeth brushed.  In the midst of that one child came up and said he had finished math.  I set him to work on typing.  Then, I hopped online to look up something about a Greek philosopher. . .promptly forgot what it was that I was looking for though, and a quick perusal didn’t jog my memory, so I went back downstairs.

I love typing!  I mean for the kids to learn.  They take a 15 minute turn on the computer, and they learn to type.  It took them about 3 weeks to learn all the keys, and now it’s merely speed and muscle memory.  And, it is one subject where I’m completely hands-off.

The other child finishes, and so he’s put on penmanship.  Then, they switch.

It is has been brought to my notice that days go so much smoother if we have a writing exercise (like math) separated by a non-writing exercise.  So, I try to work it that way, but the penmanship page is a single worksheet, and with typing as the carrot, the kids rarely complain if they are the one that has to do the sheet directly after math.  While they are doing these subjects, I’m checking their math.  Of the 50 or so problems that they do, they generally miss less than 5, and every problem they miss they have to redo correctly.  (The other day, for reasons that still dumbfound me, one of my guys missed 27!  Ooof!  That was a great fun!)

Math corrected, we go to read our American history reader which, for the next two days, is Om-Kas-Toe.  The boys are totally loving the story!

Then, it is lunch time.  While I fix lunch, one munchkin squirrels himself away to read and the other is stuck unloading the dishwasher, much to his great “delight”.

Do you realize how rich I would be if I could get a nickel for every complaint I hear in my home?

After lunch is done, the boys are back on math.  (We are not where I want to be, so we are doubling up.)  I spend the time completely cleaning the kitchen of all remnants of yesterday’s activities. . .and the boys finished their math work in a mere 20 minutes!  Still trying to figure that one out, but I did check their work and neither of them missed a single item.

As I was still doing the dishes at the time, I told them to go play.

Being a mother has made me realize how much my Mom was probably aware of that I thought she was clueless of (at the time).  Kids just have no idea how well their voices carry.  So, I was able to hear, yet again, one of my offspring “bully” the other.

*sigh*  Somehow I seem to be raising a physical bully.  I don’t know how this has happened, but it is causing me some serious anguish.  Maybe it was because I was up to my elbows in dishwater, or maybe because I have finally gotten fed up with it, but I called the bullied child to my side.

Now, you need to know this child has been so good about turning the other cheek.  I mean, his tolerance level is REALLY high.  However, and it may be due to the fumes of the dirty dishwater, it dawned on me that sometimes the bully needs to *see* that the person is indeed choosing to turn the other cheek; rather than to continue thinking that the person being bullied is “weak” in some way.

“Son, listen to me close now, for I am going to give you something that you may only have once.  I am giving you a “pass”, for one time only, that should your brother bully you again, you may knock him on his butt and you will not get in trouble for it.”

Of course, this was backed up with all sorts of caveats like, “You may not push said brother down the stairs,” and “This only counts when he is being a bully.”  But, yeah, I just gave my kid permission to smack down the “school” bully.

Ah, school administrators across the country are now sighing in relief with the knowledge that I homeschool.

Dishes finally done, we went on with our work:  grammar (done orally), reading and spelling (spelling on the computer), and ending with two chapters of Heidi for our geography course.

Somewhere in there, I managed to start laundry, and work on some of my geography coursework for the co-op.

And our school day ended at 1500. . . .well, sort of.

I sent the boys out to play, and they had a great time playing in the “sandbox” that is essentially nonexistent (as it was taken away a month ago), so there is just this meager pile of sand that remains.  Yet, they had a great time making a mess of it all.  I started dinner, and managed to make a complete mess of the kitchen again, and did another two loads of laundry, then, it was time to eat and a quick clean-up after that so that I could cut the boys’ hair.

For the record, unlike homeschooling wherein I believed I could do better than those with 4-year teaching degrees, I do not believe I can do better than a barber with his training and experience.  However, I can do “good enough” and I’m cheap, so that is what the boys are stuck with.  But, honestly, I’ll be happy to never cut hair again.  I always feel like a porcupine afterward.  Or maybe Sasquatch. . .

Then, because we weren’t truly done with school the boys did their science assignment (something about building muscles), and worked on learning geography terms, and finally to bed.

Which now has me sitting here, completing this post, with a beautifully clean kitchen, 3 loads of laundry finished and put away, and an entire day of school complete.  It is 2137.

Now, I could work on my shark dissection work that needs to be done by Friday or. . .

My dear Facebook buddy was not online this morning; what’s left unsaid is left undone.

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