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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Day in Our Homeschool

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I could have given you a list of academics for a day...but that wouldn't really be the whole story, would it?

Please pardon any literary license I take here..I didn't take notes at the time and sometimes my memory is a little more (or less) vivid than actual events. Memory is funny that way. It's not really what happened at a particular moment in time or place, but part of the grand picture of who we are.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our day started at 10 am. That's about 1 hour after is was supposed to start, but definitely an improvement over the 1st day back to school.

Our day also started with a prayer. We all need our Lord's guidance, so we ask for it together.

As it's our first week back (we took the summer off this year...I'm never doing that again, but that's a topic for another post), we are working on a gentle transition back into the swing of things. Our days will be a bit less in intense than usual for the first week or so.

First, I worked with Mary on her math (RightStart B, Lesson 2), while Peter practiced his cutting with a Kumon workbook (I love these) and David worked on his first assignment from Ignite Your Writing (word replacement to use more interesting language...he had a ball with it). Emma busied herself by looking coy every time I took a pair of scissors, pencil or book away from her or scolded her.

Number of times I smirked and had to contain myself while trying to recite the rhymes from Mary's math lesson: 1

But only because my dear hubby had not left yet and reminded me of the importance of not undermining the curriculum by laughing at it, ahem. I'm so grown-up.

Hubby left to prepare for his first day of school the next day, so I had to be on my best behavior after that.

Number of times Mary declared, "I hate this math?": 1

David finished his writing assignment before we finished math, so I handed him his handwriting (Getty-Dubay, book E).

Number of groans: 1

We finished up and switched, Mary doing her handwriting (Getty-Dubay, book C: "I hate this handwriting, uhhg! I liked the A & B books better!"---today she was loving it: "I don't like writing really big, this is better than the old books"), and me doing math with David (RightStart Transitions, Lesson 2). Peter, believe it or not, was still cutting. And pasting.

And Emma was still not interested in blocks or dollies. Biting erasers off of pencils is much more fun.

Number of mouth sweeps performed so far: 0

But only because she had already spit the eraser out.

Mama: "Ok, everybody, let's take a break and have a snack."

Mary: "Mama, I wish I could have some hummus. Oh! I know! You could make some hummus."
After checking my pantry: "Sure, why not."

One can of drained garbanzos, 1/4 cup water, 2 T olive oil, 1/2 t granulated garlic and 1 T lemon juice (all whizzed together in the food processor for about a minute) later, we had not exactly hummus, but an excellent bean dip.

Mary: "Mama, this is the best hummus EVER!"

This from the girl who hates beans or legumes of any kind (I don't think she even likes peanuts). I think I'll try kidney beans with cumin and lime next.

They ate it all, every last smidge, with tortilla chips. Emma gave it a taste, but she really doesn't get dip yet.

So the kiddos took a short play break while Mama cleaned up the debris of living, learning and eating.

After the break it was on to New World Explorers (a Time Travelers unit study from Homeschool in the Woods). We had a somewhat lively discussion about how sailors didn't really think the world was flat and that they were going to sail off the edge into the mouths of sea monsters. (The flat earth myth is one flaw in the curriculum, but easy to work around and I'm using it as a teaching moment---how misconceptions are perpetuated over time...David is very passionate about it, which is a good thing). Peter started drawing ships and sea monsters. And more monsters. And wouldn't stop. He's filling a binder. Fast.

We reviewed the continents and oceans and also learned about some of the reasons explorers explored. We made our first mini books for the accompanying lapbook.

Time for lunch.

David: "But, I'm not hungry!"

Mama: "Well, it is 1 o'clock, if you don't eat now, you won't eat until dinner after soccer practice (7:30!)."

We have a rule in our house: if you skip a meal, no snacks til the next meal.

David: "All right! I'll have a snack. Hrmph!"

When did he turn 13?

After lunch, the little ones colored maps labeled with the continents and oceans. Mary read the labels to Peter. David identified the continents and oceans on a blank map and labeled them. Emma "colored" a map, one crayon in each hand. She also munched on a crayon.

Number of mouth sweeps so far: still 0

But only because the crayon was already reduced to smithereens. Nothing like having purple wax caught in your teeth to give you a gruesomely cute grin.

It was at about this time that Mary first asked me how long til soccer practice (3 hours).

Time to make the Spice Cookies (to go with the explorers exploring for a better spice/silk route).

Now, I was intent on everyone helping with this, and they all did mix, but David was more intent on teaching Peter how to draw faces.

"That's too round, it should be an oval. Like this." Erases Peter's circle and draws an upside down egg-shape on his paper.

"That's too BIG! You won't have room for the iris." Erases and redraws a pupil.

It's amazing how much alike Peter's and David's finished drawings were. {wink}

Restraining ourselves from "fixing it" is hard for us adults---imagine how hard it is for a 10-year-old. But I know that Peter benefits from the attention.

Mary: "How much longer til soccer? Should we start getting ready, now?"

Mama: "It's still a couple of hours, why don't you all go and read your books."

David and Mary scuttled off to do their independent reading. Peter continued on his mission to fill the binder, including notes for the inner pockets explaining that this book has sea monsters and monsters and pirate ships in it, but no dinos. Em, well Em tried to help by pulling DVDs and books off the shelves.

Mary: "Is it time, yet?"

Mama: "Not yet, but let's be sure we have all your gear together."

We got together shin guards, socks and cleats, and unwrapped the new soccer balls, one size 3 and one size 4.

Emma grabbed one of the balls, dropping it in front of her and kicking it across the room, squealing in delight. Everyone joined in. My kitchen is not made for this. Ack!

David: "Hey, why don't we go play soccer out back."

Mary and Peter: "Yeah!"

Mama, smiles: "Good idea!"

So, they grabbed their crocs and headed out back.

About 10 minutes later: "Is it time, yet?"

Mama: "Soon, go play."

Another 5 minutes.

"Is it time, yet?"

Mama sighs: "Ok, let's get your gear on."

I got David and Mary guarded, socked and cleated just as Daddy walked up the back walk. At this point Peter declared: "I'm going, too!"

Mama: "Um, sure, ok."

And I sent them all off with Daddy. Except the sleepy baby, who better to keep me company when I checked my email.


  1. I loved readingg about your day. It was so entertaining..... and, somehow, familiar.... :D

  2. Funny. Ten o'clock. If we are home that is often the time we get started. Your dialogue was entertaining!


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