Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Day In The Life: Homeschool Thursday

Here's  "A Day In the Life" entry for one of our homeschool days. Lucky for you or maybe not so's Homeschool Thursday. I also did this for a "Day In the Life" entry on my photography blog. I got to practice with my DSLR and a small point-and-shoot. I started to edit 2 photos and realized that was going to take way more time that I wanted. So all of them (except for 2) are straight-out-of-camera. They were cropped to fit in the little bloggy boards. Not exactly how I would have cropped them, but it works. Blog boards are better than putting one hundred pictures in a post. Way better. Way better for me and even way better for you if you happen to be reading this post.
So...introducing Homeschool Thursday.

Friday might have been more entertaining. We had science lab (the 5 senses), visited the botanical gardens with some wonderful friends, and went swimming. But this "Day In the Life" gets Thursday and that's the way it is.

6am: My husband's alarm goes off because he's driving to work today. When he bikes, the alarm goes off at 5:30am. I get up and pack him his breakfast and lunch. Then I retrieve the cat from the garage. This morning I find that she has left me a lovely gift of poo right in the doorstep, instead of her litter box that is a foot away. I throw her out on the back porch and clean up. Biker Boy leaves for work.

6:20: Five minutes later than usual (darn cat) and I'm reading my morning devotion. Dayweb1 6:30: 10 minutes of computer time. Quickly check email and add some things to my Amazon cart. Some "real" Bibles for the kids. Not those condensed kiddy story ones. These are children's Bibles, but they have all the verses of the Old and New Testament. They kids are so excited! And oh...6:38am...Hello Chewy! My little girl is up early.

6:40am: 10 minutes of Quick Solution Pilates. The dog tries to join me on my "mat." I use a fleece blanket. He's much more flexible than I am. 6:52: I get dressed and ready before the kids' alarms go off. Dayweb2 7am: The alarms go off. The boy is sleeping on his bedding on the floor. During chore time on the previous day I had him strip his loft of the bedding. But mommy neglected to do anything about clean sheets on the bed until it was too late. I also neglected to tell the boy to put the sheets in the washer, my fault....I told him to throw them on the floor and I forgot. The boy was more than happy to camp on his floor for a night. And he didn't want to get up.

7:15: Coffee!! Mmm...I have my one cup of coffee. A little half and half whizzed up with my special whizzer and then topped with Dunkin' Donuts ground coffee. My morning treat.

 7:20am: Breakfast. Toast and berries for one child. Cereal and berries for the other. Greek yogurt mixed with chia seeds, oatmeal, and berries for me. And my coffee! Dayweb3 7:40am: The kids have gotten out the Legos (after brushing their teeth, you'll see that at least one child neglected his hair. One little girl goes through quite a few hairstyles in one day, see if you can count how many!). I prep for the day.

7:55am: The dog is always the first one to the classroom. Dayweb4 8am: Our day begins with checking in and reading a devotion. Dayweb5 8:10am: We work on our RoadTrip USA from Confessions of a Homeschooler. The kids can't wait to get to the actual states next week (which would actually be this week as I write this). Dayweb6 8:30am: Reading time. Scooter gets comfy on his floor bed and reads to me. Chewy gets comfortable on her bed and has self-selected reading time. The dog chooses to listen to Scooter today. He tends to follow us around. Dayweb7 9am: Recess. It runs a little longer today because I decide to water some of my plants. I feed the hummingbirds, snap a few photos of the kids, and then water my squashes and melons. The kids play on the trampoline the entire time. They were dragging each other around on a cape for "carriage" rides. Dayweb8 9:30am: Back to work. Both kids take their spelling tests. Chewy gets 100% and Scooter gets 2 of his 5 challenge words wrong. But still an 88%. Chewy works on her handwriting and her xtra-math. Dayweb9 10am: Snack and story time. We all have snacks and usually tea. (The kids have herbal peppermint and I have green.) A fruit and nut mix is our usual go-to snack. I read the kids some stories from "In Grandma's Attic." It's a great book. Now we're on to "Little House in the Big Woods."

10:25am: When we get back to the school room the dog gets a wee bit excited when he spots another dog out in front of our house. We can' t hear each other over his loud barking and yipping. Dayweb10 10:30: We work on Picasso from the Famous Artist Series from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

10:55am: Science time. My favorite since I was a science teacher. We have a short lesson on the senses of smell and taste. There is a small activity involving smelly markers that the kids get a big kick out of. They can hardly wait for our lab day. Dayweb11 11:30am: Science took a little longer than usual, but we were having fun. We now work on English. Today we learned about the Dictionary.

11:45am: Math time. Scooter does his xtra math and then Teaching Textbooks. Chewy and I work on Horizons and then Spanish. (We are trying the free app Duolingo). Scooter gets done before us and chooses a Ranger Rick magazine to read. Dayweb12 12:10: We're mostly done! We eat leftovers for lunch.

2:45: We clean up from lunch and the kids get ready to play some more.

1pm: The kids are into Legos. I work on uploading a photo book to My Publisher and finally get the laundry started. Dayweb13 2pm: Scooter works on his Spanish on the tablet. Then it's back to playing. I have a train set at my feet as I check email. The Legos are put away and the Power Scouts come out. Dayweb14 2:45pm: Then the kids do their 15-minute clean up. For 15 minutes they have to do whatever chores I deem necessary at the time. (This is in addition to normal chores). Today it's unloading the dishwasher and putting random things away for me.

3pm: Time to pick up toys! I'm pretty sure there's a squabble about who picks up, but it gets settled somehow. I remember laundry needs to go in the dryer. Dayweb15 3:30pm: Scooter has decided to redeem ten of his good school behavior and chore dollars (fake family money) to watch 30 minutes of Tweety Bird. The kids are getting good at saving their money, adding it up, and subtracting it. Mommy and Daddy get paid when kids whine or don't do as they're told. I start prepping dinner. I love hearing the kids laugh as they watch Tweety.

4pm: Daddy is home and dinner is ready to start cooking.

4:15pm: We're eating early tonight. Chicken fajitas with home-fried tortillas, home-made salsa, and mango pieces on the side. Dinner involves telling Daddy what happened during the day. At least I I can prod the children as necessary with leading questions. Dayweb16 4:45: All cleaned up from dinner. Sheets get back on the loft quickly. We change, pack up, and hit the road by 5pm.

5:30: We arrive at our destination. The local ski hill. We ride with a group on the ski hill. We actually don't "ride" with the group the whole time since our children are the only children there and everyone else is an adult and faster on the uphill. We do see the others though. Chewy rides on a trail-a-bike behind Biker Boy. Scooter rides his own bike and has become quite an amazing mountain biker. I ride my own bike and wish I could ride the chairlift down. We climb and climb and climb and then go back down. I like the up part. Everyone else in my family likes the down part. Any hey, I actually hand the tiny camera over once. I'm in one photo. I was present for the day. (I guess there's a reflection photo of me up above. It's a reflection of me in the tablet. I use the Homeschool Helper App on the tablet to keep track of our school day.)

7:15pm: We hit a new local ice cream shop not too far away. We actually did a U-turn to go back to it. We were going to go home to have ice cream, but then saw a guy standing near the street with an Ice Cream sign. So we decided to turn around, try out the new place, and support a local business. Two thumbs up from the kids. Dayweb17 7:45pm: Home. Chewy goes to bed after a shower. Scooter gets cleaned up, reads a bit, and is in bed at 8:45. Biker Boy and I are in bed before 10. We watch the news at 9, mostly for the weather and the weather guy's video of the day. Then we clean up and hit the sheets. (After throwing the cat back in the garage.) Feeling old now.

We sleep and another day begins!

Did you finish your day with ice cream?

I'm sharing this over at iHomeschoolNetwork for the "Day-in-the-Life" Week.  If you stumbled across my blog from there...WELCOME!!  If you leave a comment I'll do my best to make my way over to your area sometime.  And thanks for peeking in!


  1. What a beautiful day! I'm glad I stumbled upon it. You now have another dedicated follower :)

    1. You're too kind! Thank you! :) I hope you have a beautiful day!

  2. Can you provide more detailed information about your family dollar 'game'. I am intrigued that the children give some back for whining etc... I would love to start this at our home. Thank you, Michelle

    1. It's something we came up with together as a family. I printed out homemade dollar bills and quarters on card stock. The kids each have an envelope where they keep their "money" and they keep those envelopes in their drawer in the homeschool room. My husband and I have an envelope with the extra "money" and the money the kids pay us. Our envelope contains the "give and take" list. As a family we decided how much it takes to get a reward and how much we take away. The kids each get a dollar if they have excellent behavior during school, 50 cents if it's satisfactory, and they owe us a dollar if it's unsatisfactory (happened once this year.). We have little sticks the kids made to move to green (excellent), yellow (satisfactory, given a warning) and red (unsatisfactory for disobeying, being disrespectful, etc.). The kids also get a dollar for doing chores above and beyond normal chores (those are just part of being in the family). We'll ask the kids to scoop the dog poop and crush the cans for a dollar. They get a dollar if they wash, fold and put away their own clothes. We got tired of all the "awws" and little whines when the kids didn't like something. They get 25 cents taken away for a small whine and sometimes it escalates into additional quarters being taken away. We make them get their quarters and pay us. We're trying to teach them to politely disagree and state their reasons for being discontent, rather than whining. It's a big work in progress. They also lose money for not listening. The kids each lost 25cents this morning because they didn't brush their teeth when I told them to and I had tell them again. The kids can save their money for rewards. We all decided on what the rewards could be (because we want the kids to be eager to work for them) and my husband and I decided the value of each reward. We don't watch much TV, so that's one. Movies are another. Computer time and video game time are another reward we decided on. Getting to pick a treat or go someplace special are two others. This is what works for us now, I'm sure it's not the perfect solution and it wouldn't work for everyone. But we're happy with how it's slowly improving the whines and it's been great for money lessons and saving. The kids get excited as they count their money while saving for a reward with their "fake" money. We do the tithing, saving, and spending bit with their real money. Hope you find something that works for you! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment.

  3. So glad to hear that someone else sometimes forgets laundry and to make sure clean sheets are back on the beds!

    1. I'm not the only one?! Thank goodness. And I forget laundry more than I want to admit! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Love your photo collages! Your kiddos are cute... thanks for sharing!


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