I posted recently about one of my “work days,” and several of you asked if I would share about a “school day.” I’m happy to, and here’s that day– as typical as any of them are, which is to say, not very. One further note though, about a “work day”: Sam and my parents alternate being with the kids when I work, so the days that my parents are here look like “school days” in the morning, and then I go to work for the afternoon and evening.
5:25 I’m up and go downstairs to read/pray. I’m still reading N.T. Wright’s Surprised By Hope and loving it, as well as Jankowski/Gershoni’s Confronting Fascism in Egypt. I’ve been on a WWII kick lately, and have learned so much that I never knew. It’s a shame how much I don’t know about… well, everything.
6:20 M appears, creeping down the stairs in her sleeping bag. “Your Sluggie Baby is here,” she says, wanting to snuggle. It’s a little early for me to snuggle, so I tuck her onto the couch in the other room to rest until 7. I’m done reading and knit while I pray and ponder what I’ve just read.
7:01 “Mommy, is it time yet?” M reemerges, and we snuggle. I put away my knitting.
7:15 Sam comes down with SweetP. He starts making breakfast for the girls while I go shower.
7:30 I’m back, and we eat a casual breakfast: homemade bread, oatmeal, bananas. The boys straggle down one by one. O is pretty grumpy (he’s not a morning person).
7:40 Sam is out the door. I start making the yogurt and more oatmeal bread. I put a load of laundry in.
8:10 O is awake enough to join us at the table. I read us our scripture for the day. We’re in Matthew 13. Everyone takes a turn telling me what they heard. O & M have really grown in both their desire and ability to narrate this year, and their narrations have forced J to be more complete, since he goes last.
8:30 Everyone is at the school table with their notebooks out. SweetP has pulled A Room of One’s Own off the bookshelves and is carrying it around as her book. Last week it was the Bluedorn’s The Fallacy Detective. Everyone is having a hard time with math today– J with the area between two concentric circles, O with long division, M with money. O gets the award for the biggest tantrum.
8:55 O takes a break from math to practice piano. Another tantrum. Is this a sign that he stayed up too late last night? M finishes her math and goes to play with SweetP. They start by playing house, but then somehow SweetP is wearing a superhero cape and is jumping off the couch. For the record, she can’t fly.
9:10 O completes his 15 minutes at the piano with a few tears. “I’m terrible,” he says [about 8 times]. “You’re not terrible,” I say, though my the 6th time, my voice is a little clipped.
9:11 Everyone is begging to watch Sesame Street. I let them watch Sesame Street and work on the bread, the yogurt, and the dirty kitchen. Somehow the accumulation of yesterday’s stuff takes me twenty minutes to put away. I think how I ought to have the kids doing it, but their giggles as they all sit together watching Sesame Street are sweet.
9:45 O, M and SweetP head outside to play in the yard. J goes back to his math. And Latin. And Capitalization Boot Camp.
10:10 O comes running inside. “Mommy, Mommy, there are frogs in the sandbox!!!” In the sandbox? Really? I give him a container for them.
10:12 “Mommy, it’s not a frog, it’s a purple salamander.”
10:14 I’m outside in the sandbox. It is, indeed, baby rabbits again. If I had any idea how to link to a post, I’d link to the one last September about how we spent 12 days bottle-feeding infant rabbits formula, because after we disturbed their burrow in the sandbox, we were afraid the mama wouldn’t come back. [Spoiler: they all died.] I am determined not to repeat the experience, so I tell the kids we’re going to leave them alone. I gently try to replace all the sand/rabbit fur/grass from the burrow and say a little prayer for these bunny kittens. Everyone comes inside to wash their hands. [Spoiler alert: these all died, too.]
10:30 We get the puzzles out, and while the kids work on a geography puzzle, I read aloud. SweetP climbs all over me during the process, and when she vacates, M squeezes herself next to me. The chair is really not big enough for us both. I manage to get through two chapters of On the Banks of Plum Creek and one chapter of We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea (our curret book in the Swallows and Amazons series.)
11:10 My friend Renee knocks on our door (how grateful I am for her!) and we head to the park around the corner. We play at the park– initially the kids can’t figure out what to do, but when my other friend Lori appears with her kids, they all figure out how to have some fun.
12:10 Home for lunch. We have “Wallace and Gromit” (a.k.a. cheese and crackers) and apples. I read aloud again, this time from Piglet Catches a Heffalump. SweetP is up and down about 40 times. I should have buckled her in. The kids pick up the living room while I read to them.
1:15 Everyone heads upstairs to their rooms for rest time. The boys’ room is a disaster, and I tell them that they can’t come out until the floor is picked up. I put SweetP down for a nap. Right now she reminds me of Frances in the Hobans’ Bedtime for Frances— she can’t go to bed without her two babies, Yoda, Darth Vader, Chewbaca, two pairs of fancy plastic shoes, her hothot (rice bag), fresh water, pillow, fuzzy blanket, two books, two songs…
1:45 There’s not enough time left for me to get any writing done– I should have just started the second I came downstairs. So I write a letter and have a cup of tea. I read some of your blogs.
2:15 The three big kids sneak downstairs. Usually they come down like elephants (and wake up SweetP), but since I started calling them that, “Hello, elephants,” they’ve tried to sneak up on me like mice. They’re getting good at it. Hello, Mice.
2:20 They each take a 15 minute turn at the computer (all watching each other, so it’s about 45 minutes of screen time– too much, when I add in the Sesame Street from earlier). Right now they’re doing http://scratch.mit.edu, which is this cool free program to teach the kids codeless computer programming. Very cool. I hang laundry outside. I read a little on a Newbery book.
3:05 Turn off the computer. J goes to practice piano. O & M want to watch Word Girl– no dice, as we had too much screen time already today. I throw them (figuratively) into the back yard and tell them to stay away from the sandbox.
3:30 SweetP comes downstairs, announcing, “Me come downstairs.” (She’s starting to nap in the bed, instead of the crib.) So we all go outside, and I read to them, occasionally having to shout over their loud playing.
4:25 Everyone wants a snack. I pop some popcorn and pull out the string cheese. I realize we need to get a move on for swim team.
5:30-6:45 I try to keep SweetP occupied and out of the pool. Eek. I really need to take her swiming more often. It’s not really fair– everyone else gets to swim twice a week.
6:45 The boys are learning to go in the locker room without me– don’t talk to strangers, change quickly, remember to being home your swimsuit, towel and goggles. Every. single. time.
7:15 We get back in the car and are halfway home when we remember that SweetP left her bag of toys. We take our neighbor home, stop for ice cream and smoothies, and double back to get the toys.
7:40 We got the toys and head home, listening to Jim Weiss’ Treasure Island on the CD player. (J’s choice). It’s so nice that it’s still light out.
8:05 We’re home. Everyone puts on jammies, and protest that they don’t want me to brush their teeth. Tough. This is why I make the big bucks. =)
8:20 Everyone is in bed reading. Lots of prayers and songs. Water. Potty. Yoda, Darth Vader, and Chewbaca, the hothot, fresh water, two babies, two pairs of shoes…
8:30 I’m bringing in the tomato plants from the porch where they’re being “hardened off.” Can I plant them yet?
8:35 I hang the swimsuits and towels… and I’m one swimsuit short. I guess we’re going back tomorrow to find it…
8:40 Sam is home from the hospital. Whew. Conversation. Clean up the kitchen. Can I go to bed yet?