Today was my daughter's first day of school, so it's a "new routine" day for all of us.
My 11-year-old daughter, by choice, goes to our church's private school. That leaves me with three boys at home: my 10 year old son, who schools through a virtual public school, my 4-year-old who I am teaching preschool to this year, and my two-year-old, who's tagging along. We are a mixed bunch, that's for sure.
Here's what our day looked like:
6 to 7:15 A.M.
I wake up just before my alarm goes off at 6. I wake up the older kids and the littles follow soon after. We all get ready for the day and grab breakfast from the freezer (I prepare various breakfast foods in bulk and freeze for easy mornings). Katelyn grabs her lunch out of the fridge and adds reusable ice cubes. I put today's laundry load into the washer. We're out of the door at 7:15 to drive Katelyn to school.
I park the van around the back of the school by the room that I use for church nursery so that I can pull out an unused bassinet before the school day starts and the room gets used for Bible and Math. Katelyn unloads her school supplies from the trunk. I quickly fill the space with the bassinet. Close the trunk and the boys and I head to the restroom for a quick bathroom break before going into the church. The student body files in and Pastor starts the first day of school off with pledges and chapel.
I am so excited this school year because our Pastor is pushing to place an even greater on prayer, spiritual development and the teaching of our doctrine. One of the things that he is doing is making the regular all-school morning prayer time into "chapel"-prayer and a thought. This is a wonderful opportunity for our children to hear words of knowledge from their pastor on a daily basis. Priceless. As soon as it was announced that he would be doing morning prayer this way I determined in my heart that I would take Tyler and the littles every morning that we can go. So, we participate this morning. The littles get a bit antsy, but it's the time is a blessing. I just love how Pastor invites all of the children to kneel and pray and he LEADS them in prayer, just for a short time, perfect for their ages. It is wonderful.
We get home and Tyler unloads the dishwasher while I put the laundry into the dryer and get some cooked beans out of the freezer to thaw for dinner. Then we all take a computer break. I realize that I forgot to schedule today's weekly lesson plans to post, so I quickly put them up on the blog.
I grab today's Preschool folder and materials and head for the living room. I ask Jason to pull the cat books out of the library basket. I've gotten into a habit of propping the books up on the sofa for the boys to look at while we do Preschool. I won't actually read them until Storytime, but it's makes a good visual. I set everything out and call the boys to the library.
Time for school! My Type A self can't believe that we don't start school until 10, but over time I've come to realize that this is what works for us. I used to send Tyler to do his schoolwork as soon as Katelyn left for school (back when she had a ride), but he wasn't ready that early. Now that we take Katelyn to school and don't get home until 9:15 and then we all need a break, 10 just seems to work best.
Our routine had been to start with pledge, but we said pledges with the school during chapel today, so I direct the boys to the Alphabet Chart where we sing the ABCs. I quiz Jason on what letters we've learned so far (hmmm, he's mixing up the sounds) and introduce the letter C.
I set out Tyler's folder next to the computer. This contains his "List of Things to do today" that I type up for him which breaks each piece of his school day down into bites. Then, I direct the littles to the living room.
Tyler gives his daily grumbles, but sits down and logs onto the school website.
The littles and I pull out a cat sorting game, which the boys thoroughly enjoy. I point out how the cats all look different, with different colors and markings and try to make a connection with how people all look different and what a great and creative God we have. Not sure how much they understood, but they often surprise me with random comments later, so we'll see.
Next we make a paper bag cat puppet. The kids love it as they get glue everywhere! I rein in my perfectionist tendencies and allow the boys to put their cats' whiskers onto the nose areas whichever way they want to.
Finally, we do the cat printables that I've prepared. Jason puts together the puzzle like a master, along with the patterns page. Justin glues randomly and happily. Lastly is a tracing page. Jason traces, Justin colors the pictures.
In the middle of all of this, Tyler calls out for help with his science worksheet. None of the given words fit the definition. I suggest that he go through and scratch out the words already used so that he can narrow down his choices, then look up the definitions of the remaining words. He grumbles, but finishes the worksheet.
Later he calls out "What does this mean?" and shows me his Language Arts page about Settings and Details. So I explain that to him and set him to work writing down the details. Back to the living room.
Preheat the oven for chicken nuggets.
Preschool is done and the chicken nuggets are ready. The boys eat their lunch. I look in the fridge to see what needs to be eaten by me: leftover hot dogs.
Even though Tyler can take a break now, he choose to finish his schoolwork as he's almost done.
After straightening up the living room, the littles play with their cat puppets and I load the dishwasher. I also put a load of towels into the washer.
Tyler comes in and announces that he finished all of his schoolwork before Katelyn even has her lunch break! That's clearly a positive reason for homeschooling in Tyler's book.
Time for Storytime!!! I'm always excited because this means that naptime is next! Tyler begs me to read If You Give a Cat a Cupcake first, so I comply. What a silly book.
We also read Splish, Splash, Splat! and Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Are You Going to Sleep? Justin's ready to sleep. Jason's tired, but he'll fight it with everything in him.
Lay the littles down and set the timer for 1 hour. Justin falls asleep quickly, but Jason...well, let's just say he doesn't sleep and leave it at that. He is a terrible sleeper, has been since day one. And very strong-willed. Sigh.
While the littles take their nap, Tyler plays on one computer and I work on the other. Since today is Monday, my home-prep assignment is to work on prepping for next week's Preschool. I pull up the lesson plan and fire up the printer. Oooo, we're really low on toner, so I only print the first two days. This will get us through until payday when I can buy more ink.
I move to a work station and finish all the cutting, etc of the lessons.
Transfer the towels to the dryer. Put the dry clothes in a basket on my bed for later.
Jason is up from his "nap" and he and Tyler are playing on the computer. I sit down with a book for 15 minutes and take a break.
Break time is over. I make a double batch of cookies while the boys play in the living room, building forts or something with their bed stuffs. Justin wanders in.
Jim calls and says that he and Katelyn are on their way home. I send the boys on a "straighten up" mission, which includes folding the towels while I fold the clothes.
I greet Katelyn at the door with a big hug. She needs some down time, so the littles watch me and Tyler play a 30 minute Spongebob Monopoly game. I wish it was cooler so we could go to the park. One more month.
I send Katelyn to do her homework and I work on dinner. Boys are busy doing something or other.
We sit down to dinner. Katelyn tells me all about the first day of school and I tell Jim all about chapel-time (clearly I'm loving this!). The littles get in some unauthorized sensory play with their carrots and ranch dressing.
Tyler unloads the dishwasher, Katelyn makes her lunch for tomorrow and I put leftovers away as we all talk. Then I head to the computer while Katelyn cleans the kitchen and Tyler takes a bath.
I give the littles a bath. After the bath, they work on their imaginative skills by dumping all of the little pink sugar packets into my stock pots and stirring them up. They were "making breakfast burritos". Oh, and working on their scooping and spooning skills, too.
Tyler prints out a coloring page of Bowser Jr and colors for awhile. Katelyn goes to finish her homework. I putter.
I tell the kids to clean up all of the packet mess off the floor. They can leave it inside the pots on top of the coffee table, but it must be off the floor.
Time to sing songs and pray! I start to sing "Everybody Will Be Happy Over There". Tyler asks what "over there" is and if there will be "nummies" there, which leads to a discussion about Heaven and what it will be like. We sing "Soon and Very Soon" and read the story of the Shepherds being told of Christ's birth. I pray aloud and thank God for a wonderful first day of school. We end with our traditional "Jesus Loves Me/Jesus Loves the Little Children."
Bedtime!!! I put the littles to bed, although Justin fusses because he wants to keep making breakfast burritos.
I encourage the older kids to head to bed, but their clocks are still on summer schedule, so it will be a few nights adjusting yet.
I get on the computer to finish this post, then work on The Preschool Plan. I will work until 9:30, then I will go pray and then head to bed.
And that's our day.
This post is part of iHomeschool Network's Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop. This week hundreds of bloggers are linking up a "day-in-the-life" of their homeschool.