I’ve done “a day in the life” type posts before, but one of the things about the way we homeschool is that no one day is the same. They’re often all completely different. So I thought I’d try to do a week in the life post with a random week – last week. It was a hectic one. Two days off school, which is rare for us. Plenty of play time with friends. Temperatures that kept us indoors.
I slept way too late despite having gone to bed early. I have zero energy lately. Vitamin deficiency? Who knows.
We squeeze in a couple of hours of school in the morning despite that. We do a bit of logic, a bit of math, and the kids have their reading time and piano practice. I manage to get dressed and rush us out the door to co-op, where we all watch the inauguration together, then the kids play really loudly while the parents talk about our upcoming robots unit. We all feel out of our depth in trying to figure out what to do and have swung all over the map from Lego Wedo to Raspberry Pi. We finish up with an all co-op meeting to talk about any issues that needed discussing. That’s how we end all the units this year.
When we get home, the kids find their way into projects they’re working on. Mushroom finishes building a habitat for his hexbug out of cardboard and BalletBoy makes a mess of some sort for no apparent reason.
We read at bedtime, then Mushroom goes to write at his “writing desk” that he set up in his room and BalletBoy decides to have a small fit about a movie project because he was overtired. I close him into his room until he’s ready to be tucked in.
Science is canceled, so we spend a slow school morning. We read about genetics, which hilariously leads to a long explanation of how gay and lesbian couples get children. Adorably, the kids have never realized there might be a biological impediment to all the gay and lesbian couples they’ve seen with kids getting those kids.
Piano practice and ballet stretches happen. I peek at the Kindle and see that Mushroom is more than a third of the way through his January book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, which is a relief since he got way behind on his required reading and had to read his whole December book in January. Mushroom also effectively finishes Miquon Yellow. There are a few scattered pages undone, but I think it’s basically finished and he’s already done parts of Purple. Actually, Mushroom has a good day all around. He also finishes another lesson in All About Spelling, though he’s still kind of in the flying through things phase of the program.
We watch Mythbusters while eating spaghetti and meatballs for lunch. Adam and Jamie swim in syrup.
I take BalletBoy to the store. Mushroom spends the afternoon writing. Turkey fried rice for dinner and the kids are very observant about the peas (genetics study again). Then BalletBoy and I have a special, dressed up date to see Ballet Canada perform Alice in Wonderland at the Kennedy Center. Best ballet I’ve seen in ages and totally worth keeping him up late and paying a fortune for seats.
School in the morning. BalletBoy is teary and out of sorts and had to be sent upstairs twice. Ugh. Obviously it’s because he’s tired, but trying telling him that!
BalletBoy has a party that he planned, so I make him clean up for it. The Husband kindly vacuums, which is rare for him (he’s more of a tidier) and Mushroom helps by tidying up the basement. BalletBoy’s party is a “Baby Party.” He invited friends to come play with their baby dolls and made everyone cake and lemonade. The cake, despite his having mismeasured the amount of oil on the box, is edible and I pulled out the egg yolk that he accidentally baked into it. Box cake mixes are very forgiving to young bakers. He slices the lemons and mixes the lemonade himself, meaning that the top glasses are sour and the bottom ones are overly sweet.
Kids show up, eat cake, and play hide and seek with the babies. The two year-old at the party is apparently the best seeker. She’s so good that the other kids keep coming up to complain about her.
As soon as the party ends, we head to piano lessons. Usually, the kids swap and stay in the car with me to do some school. We set out a blanket in the back and pretend it’s a tiny room. BalletBoy makes it through, but it’s just frigid, so I end up inside with Mushroom, where we have to be quiet during the lesson, so he reads his book instead of doing spelling like I planned.
Home, dinner, bed. We’re reading George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt at bedtime. It’s not very well-written, but the science is interesting and the kids enjoy it.
Hey! It snowed! I reach a hand out the front door, but it’s not enough or the right consistency to play in. When coupled with the upper teens temperatures, I ask the kids if they wanted to go play in it but they decline.
Long school day that doesn’t end until around three in the afternoon. We introduce Russia, a large area of land which we have thus far skipped over and over whenever it came up. When Napoleon invaded it in our studies last week, I’m pretty sure the kids were surprised to find out anything was there worth invading. Anyway, while it’s not always age appropriate, you can’t really deny John Green, so we also watch the Crash Course video that goes with early Russia. I kinda love that it refutes Story of the World’s version of events.
We manage to check off a lot from our weekly school list. And we play a bunch of games, though mostly silly ones, including Lego Hobbit, which has a serious design flaw in that the Legos all break apart when you remove the board from the box. Mushroom learns how to multiply multi-digit numbers and kept going with exponents in Miquon Purple. BalletBoy whinges about some Singapore Challenging Word Problems. We watch another Mythbusters while eating lunch, a clue that the day was relaxed.
In the afternoon, we read more about genetics and do written narrations that aren’t very good. I think we’ll do a second one on this subject. It was a little complex.
The Husband wakes up and watches old Simpsons with the kids then I whisk BalletBoy off to ballet. I hate that his class is from 6:00-7:00. Mushroom stays home alone and I pick up Nando’s as a treat for dinner. Yum… South African fast food. Story, bed. I stay up fretting about Friday’s busyness and wondering whether that play really is cursed.
I give up on the idea of school before I’m even out of bed. My head is in the two things I have to teach today. I hear the kids watching Times Tales downstairs, screaming the answers. I am extremely dubious about this system, but we’ve been drilling the multiplication tables for months now and they’re just not getting any faster, so we’re giving it a shot. It’s the first day they’ve tried it and they like it so much that they make the Husband print out the first set of quizzes for them. When I come downstairs, I make Mushroom do his required reading.
BalletBoy wants to talk about time lapse movies, which is a filmmaking method he will use for Destination Imagination, so I let him make a time lapse movie of me cleaning the kitchen.
A friend arrives for a ride to the afternoon’s main event: my Shakespeare class. I take everyone to Destination Imagination and get my team working on making some of their props, then I whisk the kids to Shakespeare. These are the two drop in classes, so I never know who will be there. Last week’s was chaotic and crowded. There’s snow so this one is blessedly uncrowded and features a smaller, excellent group of kids I mostly know and love. We play games, talk about superstitions, do a variation of this activity from the Folger’s education site, and end with our death scenes, which is hilarious. I finish early because of the snow and am in good spirits as I take various kids home. The program is going to be over-enrolled and I have to send emails, scripts, and roles very soon, but the drop ins are done.
The kids watch Simpsons with the Husband. Breakfast for dinner. BalletBoy reads in bed with me after Mushroom goes to bed. Day finished.
I wake up plenty early and listen to the kids do Times Tales again but decide to laze in bed. We’ll do school later, after ballet. Unfortunately, after I come downstairs, I look at the calendar and realize that’s not an option because I forgot that we have a birthday party to attend. Oops. No school accomplished as a result.
I take BalletBoy to his boys only ballet class. He takes forever to get dressed and I tease him a bit about it taking five minutes to put on a coat, but it’s because he’s goofing off with the other ballet boys, so I can’t be too upset.
We hurry home and eat a good lunch with Mushroom, who stayed home on his own. Then we head off to the library to swap out the books. I get a pile of Russian folktales for us to read. Then we go to the best toy store on the planet, where one of the clerks helps the kids pick out a spy themed present for the birthday party. The kids decide to blow some of their own money on Legos for themselves too. BalletBoy gets a mech from Ninjago and Mushroom buys his first Chima whatever it’s called. We have just started using the iPad for allowances and it’s working extremely well. We’re using the iAllowance app which I highly recommend. It allows me to set an interest rate on savings. I pay very little allowance, but I pay an absurd 5% compounded weekly on savings.
As we walk to the car, Mushroom puns “chis” with “cheese” repeatedly and has me giggling. Gosh, I can’t not laugh at a pun, not matter how dumb.
The party is cute. The kids hang with their friends and pop a lot of balloons in the name of training to become spies.
Afterwards, we come home, the kids play, I make dinner and force everyone to tidy. Then I remind them repeatedly that two days without school means a longer school day tomorrow. Also, I realize that in my mad rush through the 390’s looking for Russian folktales, I forgot to head to the 800’s so we could have poetry tea tomorrow. I sort through some of the Shakespeare stuff so I can start casting.
From moment one, Mushroom begins everything in a foul mood, whining about spelling, then about math, then about having to finish his morning work, which was actually really easy, so that just proves that he’s just out of sorts. I send him upstairs to chill out about four times before he finally gives in and just does what he needs to do. Once he does that, he actually plugs away really well, doing a great job building on multiplication of two and three digit numbers in Miquon Purple.
BalletBoy is much more easygoing, though he has taken on the editing of Mushroom’s Co-op Newspaper this time and writes a pretty lame review. I make him redo it and Mushroom starts snipping at him, probably to make himself feel better after such a rocky morning. I have to pry them apart verbally speaking. It’s rare, but it does happen.
Luckily, by then, it’s time for lunch. I make homemade chili and corn muffins and we curl up with an afternoon movie and watch The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which the kids immediately adore. They take some time to play. When we come back to finish school, we get in some good map work but then everyone completely loses it while I’m on the phone with my grandmother. It’s late anyway, so I regroup and make everyone clean up instead.
Mushroom is still feeling put upon as bedtime approaches. The Husband has been gone all day with work and both a matinee and an evening performance, so I’m pretty much at wit’s end. When bedtime comes and BalletBoy starts being a pill, I scream at everyone that they need to “suck it up.” Yes, I am horrible. I used those exact words. Mushroom comes downstairs half-naked and does what he always does when I get overwrought. He calmly gives me a hug and pats me on the back. Pat, pat, pat.
We finish George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt (the plot somehow turns out worse than the first book, so it’s a good thing the science is interesting) and Mushroom goes to bed mumbling about what a terrible day it was. I point out that tomorrow will be better if he lets it and he allows that this is probably true and unprompted gives me extra hugs and apologies for having made my day so difficult. BalletBoy does no such thing, but he does read in bed and proclaim his general praise for Dragonbreath.
I go plan co-op, which I’m teaching on Monday, and get ready for another week. Geez, I’m tired.