A Day in the Life

I haven’t done a day in the life post in a little while, so I thought I’d toss one out. I had a “how do you fit it all in” question recently and played around with trying to make a post about our routines, but the reality is that with so many activities and the inevitable bumps in the road that life throws at you, we have had trouble keeping any sort of semblance of schedule. Every day is a little different. The only thing that keeps me going is having overarching goals in my head and a sketch of where I want us to be.

8:30 Wake up
Everyone has been getting up a little earlier that usual because schedules have been odd. I found Mushroom and BalletBoy already up, watching videos from The Kid Should See This. They told me about breakfast from around the world.

9:00 Probability
Once I had cleared my head, I started school and we dove into making spinners for a game. We’re loosely following the GEMS guide In All Probability to introduce probability for the first time. I got the spinners started, but the kids put them together and played a few dozen of the simple games to tally the results and then figure out the ratios. They were upbeat and happy throughout. It was a good activity. After we finished, we went to the sofa to start Do You Feel Lucky?, a Murderous Maths book. This probability project is our mathy project for February and this was only the second thing we’ve really done with it, so it was in my head to do a little more. That’s what I mean about keeping things moving based on those overarching goals in my head. We’ve only done the basics for school for the last couple of days, so today seemed like a good day to do a little more.

11:00 Spelling, Practice, Math
I put work on the board and the kids started in on their various daily tasks. BalletBoy ran his Much Ado About Nothing lines while Mushroom started on a couple of word problems from Process Skills in Problem Solving, which is a Singapore-like series of workbooks for word problem strategies. A few months ago I would have said Mushroom, despite his enjoyment of math, wasn’t very good with word problems, but in the last couple of months a light bulb seems to have gone off and he’s doing very well with them. Both the boys did piano and I got in spelling for BalletBoy. At some point, Mushroom had an anxiety attack over some spelling. He has been out late for rehearsals for a community production and needs more sleep. I sent him upstairs to find a positive thought card and he came back with: “I can be patient with myself. Learning takes time and practice.” Ah, serenity now.

I did spelling with each kid while more lines were run and piano was practiced. BalletBoy did half a dozen sentences from All About Spelling 6, covering words that end in -ible or -able. I recently bought How to Teach Spelling so I could go back and review some of the All About Spelling concepts Mushroom seems to have regressed over. He did about a dozen sentences and I stuck shiny stars on his paper so he could notice that he was doing well. He has been down in the dumps about spelling.

12:30 Lunch and a movie
I headed into the kitchen and made a salad and some chicken sausages to be put into tube crescent rolls. Yep, that’s the sort of non-organic, lowbrow way we roll. Pigs in a blanket for lunch. I also shredded up a Costco rotisserie chicken and cooked up some onions and sauce then mixed it up to become enchiladas for supper. Then we sat down on the living room floor for lunch and put on an episode of Your Inner Fish on Netflix. We discussed mass extinctions a bunch and whether there is one right now. BalletBoy picked at his food. I had to make everyone eat their salad, but then I gave them jelly beans.

2:00 A little more
I made everyone finish up with their math work. Both boys had some pages from MEP Math to do. Mushroom was doing the probability pages. This unit is in part of him since it’s one of the final elementary math topics he needs to cover before moving to pre-algebra. I have been having BalletBoy go through the MEP 5th grade books and I think it has been good for him. I have really been struggling to find the right program for him in the last year. Everything we try seems too easy or too hard. I really feel for him because that was exactly the issue I had as a math student for much of my math career. The remedial class was too easy, the honors class was too hard. We wrapped up school with one more chore and the kids helped put away the dishes and clean the kitchen with me. When I have their help it takes half the time.

3:30 Out and about
We went up the road for our Destination Imagination team meeting. Another mom is the coach and I’ve just been in charge of prepping the kids for their Instant Challenge. While they met, I ran to the thrift store in search of 1920’s costume pieces for our upcoming Much Ado About Nothing production. When I came back, I ran an instant challenge. The kids played for a little while and we stayed a few minutes too long. BalletBoy, who has been really struggling lately with being “right” and is recovering from being sick and still extra sleepy and worn out, pitched an absolute screaming fit at his friends, who all seemed to maturely back away with the knowledge that sometimes being overwhelmed and sick is just something you have to be. Thank goodness for forgiving friends. He calmed down in the car.

7:00 Dinner
When I got home, I discovered that the Husband had eaten his portion of the enchilada mix already, not realizing that it was intended for greater things than a cold bowl in the fridge. I assembled dinner for the rest of us. The kids wound down with some screen time and an old episode of The Simpsons.

8:00 Reading and bedtime
The kids did their hour of reading… almost. BalletBoy was so sleepy that he needed to cut it short. He’s reading the final book in the Lemonade Wars series. Mushroom is reading Better Nate than Ever, about a kid who runs away to star on Broadway. We headed up to bed where I read aloud a bit of a fantasy novel and BalletBoy crashed. By crashed, I mean, completely crashed. He’s usually my night owl. Poor sick kiddo. Mushroom stayed up working on a project though. The Husband’s work gives out lavish gifts at the post-holidays party and ours was a GoPro. The kids have been trying to figure out the right excellent use for it. Mushroom played around with filming different things and using the editing software, trying to decide what he needed to make. At 10:00 I said, time for bed. Yes, this was a little early, but he has been getting home really late from rehearsals. He didn’t take it too well. You’re not helping your case to stay up later if your go to reaction is to whine. After a couple of minutes of back and forth, he relented and went to bed.

10:30 Ahhh….
It’s so nice when the kids are in bed a little early. The Husband and I watched The Americans. Seriously, I am obsessed with this show right now. And next I will curl up with A Suitable Boy, which I’m rereading, and go to bed myself. A day of good things, like getting a chunk of our probability project done, eating at least one decent meal, enjoying a documentary at lunch. And less good things like Mushroom’s anxiety attack and bedtime whine and BalletBoy’s sick-fueled friend tantrum.

5 thoughts on “A Day in the Life

  1. “Serenity now!” 🙂 Love hearing about your homeschooling adventures. It is so hard to fit everything in. We struggle with the second half of our day, which is when we’re outdoors walking or running errands. When I feel like I’m covering all the bases, it feels so exhausting. Wish we could do just half of what I have on my list. Ah well.

  2. Thanks for the nuts and bolts view into your life. It is a nice blend of reassuring me that our days are pretty normal and challenging me to be more creative.

  3. I’m curious about the positive thought cards you mention. Did you buy them, or is it something you made? I think we could use such a thing in our house 🙂

    1. You know, I thought… I think I responded to this, but then I realized that someone asked me on Facebook, not on here. They’re something we made. Here’s what I said…

      Mushroom was briefly seeing a therapist for his anxiety and this was one of the strategies to come out of that. Basically, we call the anxious thoughts “Bad Brain” and these are the counterbalance. So, for example, he sometimes gets worried about getting all his work done, so he has a card that says, “Nothing bad will happen if I don’t finish my work.” Or when he was really scared of dogs, there were several about dogs, such as “A dog has never hurt me.” He writes some of them and I write some of them (and back when he was seeing the therapist, she wrote some). Then, he’s supposed to read them all regularly and have them memorized. We go through periods of using them more and less, but it’s been a good strategy.

      We have other things we do too, like deep breathing and so forth. There is a book called What to Do When You Worry Too Much which has some excellent suggestions and tricks as well which I highly recommend.

  4. Thanks so much! I definitely want to give it a try with my 8 yo. How funny you keep getting asked this question–I guess it’s appealing to mamas everywhere.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s