A Day in the Life, Fall 2012

I thought I'd record this because these are always fun for me to go back and read, since as the kids grow, our daily rhythms change frequently. Here is what life looks like right now.

The day starts when I pull myself out of bed between 8-9am. Mac gets up usually 15 minutes before me, though if he's played hockey the night before, he's slower to rise. Most of the kids are up and in the living room playing or looking at books.

I stumble to the couch, and check my email, feed reader, and sometimes Twitter. This could either be cheerful, sleepy stumbling, or grumbling and frowny if I woke with a headache or back pain. I pray-think, and quickly meditate on the devotions or scriptures that are in my feed. I put the tablet down, start water for tea, and make breakfast. The kids and I drink hot Constant Comment, (black tea blend with orange rind and spices), with milk and sugar. Breakfast is usually gluten free pancakes and fried eggs; sometimes bacon if I'm especially generous. The boys love soup, and sometimes have already eaten vegetable beef soup before I've gotten out of bed.

The living room at this point is littered with Littlest Pet Shop animals and houses all over the floor. Color pencils and printouts are spread over our long coffee table.

If it's sunny in the morning, we like to go outside. I love morning sun. I spent all those years of my childhood stuck in a fluorescent lit building, and I like to watch the changing quality of light as the sun moves across the sky. Sometimes I journal or read something encouraging about homeschooling. My aim to be intentional and develop my will - turning ideals into action. Reading about teaching/learning helps me to be focused.
The kids play hide and seek, ride bikes or scooters, or they like me to time their runs on my phone stopwatch.

At this point, they are looking for things to do to earn punches on their 'earn and return' cards. These are cards I made with ten stars that expire a month from issue. If they get all their stars punched, they get extra money. They earn punches by working for their dad, doing math (Teaching Textbooks 3) or piano lessons (we are working through the first book of Bastien Piano Basics), and extra chores around the house. The kids are learning to take over the jobs I do for the business, like pulling shirts and folding/boxing them.

The couches are sandwiched between bookshelves with all of the kids' books on them, and they read/look through books often through the day. We do structured art practice a few times a month, and will be increasing that to at least once a week with this book. Music is really important to me for home atmosphere, and the kids like to listen to Narnia and Harry Potter movie scores.

There is no screentime (except for their computer math) before 2:30pm. I have tried every other way of working this out, from none at all to no limits, and this is the only way that reduces arguments and bad attitudes. At 2:30, they get to play on Animal Jam or Clone Wars Adventures. These are virtual world membership sites that they LOVE. Each kid gets around 45 - 60 minutes a turn. They buy, sell, trade and do all kinds of fun interactive activities on the websites, and it's great incentive for them to be productive during the day. Then they vote on a show or two to watch online together, depending on whatever they are interested in - Transformers, My Little Pony, etc.

They have to get off the computer around 6:30pm, go run around some more outside, and lights around the house get turned low. They soak their feet in the bath, and I give them each a footrub. By 7:45pm, they have to stay in their rooms. I will read to them if they want, or they can listen to audio books until 8:30 when lights are out and stereo off. Some of the books the boys have been listening to are: Sugar Creek Gang Volume 1, Robinson Crusoe, Harry Potter books, and Jim Weiss stories including Story of the World. Geneva and Jonas like to listen to Sing the Word as they go to sleep. All kids are asleep by 9:30pm.

(That evening schedule only works in the fall/winter/early spring. During the summer when the sun sets so late, the big kids often are up to 11pm, and I hate it. They are so grouchy and miserable during the day. We really aren't night owls - it's not worth the exhaustion the next day to waste time watching shows or mindlessly interneting. )


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