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Monday, April 6, 2015

Real Life Homeschooling – Day 1


A Day in Our Homeschool

Today is Day 1 of The Homeschool Review Crew’s Blog hop entitled “Real Life Homeschooling” and this week, my family agreed to post a few times allowing readers a glimpse into our everyday homeschooling lives.   I debated a bit about actually participating in this hop, thinking wow, why would anyone want to see the disorganization that is our schooling. I look at other homeschooling mom’s blogs and see the wonderful pictures of their classrooms and neatly organized curriculums and art supplies, the perfect sized desks with chairs and honestly, I find it discouraging.

 Even worse is when you read about this perfectly polished mom who has six equally perfect and well mannered kids - all homeschooled and ranging from ages 8 to 2 years old. The 8 year old is already doing quantum physics and the 2 year old is reading Mya Angelou in their free time when they’re not too busy performing Locatelli's Caprice in D major Op. 3 No. 23 'Il labirinto armonico' on the violin or reading, writing and speaking in perfect Latin.

I have nothing against those parents or those kids… To be honest, I envy those families because that’s not my school and those definitely are not my kids.

No, my school doesn’t look like that at all. To be honest, up until a week ago my kids did all their school work sitting on our Kool-aid stained carpet in our living room floor because they destroyed all the wooden kitchen chair from climbing all over them.  Our school supplies are stuffed between one of three bookshelves (or on a pile on the floor next to where I sit on the couch) and I am constantly on a witchhunt to find my stapler, my hole puncher or a particular book that I know I have somewhere, probably in my bedroom next to the printer because I left it there last time I printed out something.  The only opus my kids are composing and conducting are emitted from their derrières – my son right now thinks breaking wind is the funniest thing possible.

Our homeschool is pure and utter chaos.

And then I came to a realization that our chaos is the very reason why I need to do the “Real Life Homeschooling Blog Hop” – because there are other moms out there looking at these blogs of perfectly organized classrooms and perfect Stepford children and are feeling discouraged as well.

So Welcome to My Real Life.  The Good, the Bad AND the Ugly of it .

It’s Monday.

 I would love to tell you that we woke up at a very early 6am, the kids got their teeth brushed, their faces washed, their hair brushed and put on some clean clothes before they hurried to make their bed..

 Remember i told you this is real life?? Well, if I told you all of that, I would be telling you a fairy tale just as masterful as one written by Hans Christen Anderson.

 Nope – in this life, the kids woke up about 9am and played semi–quietely in their room while I slept til 10am. I say semi-quiet because I usually am roused by whatever rendition of singing Ashleigh decides to screech at the top of her lungs this morning.

I really don't want to get up.  My body feels like I got into a gang fight and forgot to bring my gang.  This is because my husband, who usually sleeps soundly through the night without so much as budging, for whatever reason was dreaming he was fighting in an Mixed Martial Arts championship which resulted in several elbows to my back as I tried to sleep.

I stagger to the kitchen and make a pot of coffee and while half awake I begin prepping dinner for
I knew grabbing those extra packets would come in handy
tonight. Pepper Steak in the crock pot is planned, so I sliced up round steak, red bell peppers and mushrooms, mince the garlic  and pulling various seasonings out of my cabinet. I realize after nearly everything is in the crock that I am completely out of soy sauce. Did I mention I'm disorganized?

 I start freaking out. I have no way of getting Soy Sauce as today is training day for my husband who left super early and he has the car.  Then I remember we had Panda Express a few weeks ago and I picked up handfuls of various sauces that day, soy being one of them. I need 3 TBS of soy and luck out that there are more than enough packets to cover it.

Whew….close call…

By the time everything is in the crock pot and set on low, the coffee is ready. I pour myself a cup and add some creamer.   I’m walking into the living room to enjoy my cup of caffinated goodness when I realize I have yet to feed the fish, turn the light on for and feed the turtle nor have I misted the frogs with water. (If you’re new here, I’ll let you know now, my house is a zoo.. lol)  I get all of these morning chores done. Finally, I get to sit on the couch and have the first sips of lukewarm coffee..

The kids are of course wide eyed and bushy tailed.. Garrett instantly asks me if he can play Minecraft - this is always the very first thing out of his month when I wake up. I tell him no, he has to do school
My Daughter - Medusa
first. His response is “NO!!! NOT A SCHOOL DAY!” and pouts.   This has been the exact same routine every day since he discovered Minecraft months ago and it never changes. In Garrett’s normal fashion, he is wearing a pair of shorts and no shirt. Garrett never wears a shirt in the house, it makes him very uncomfortable. (Basically, when you see pictures on here of him with a shirt on, the shirt was only for the purpose of the photograph as not to offend anyone and he ripped it off as soon as the photograph was taken). Ashleigh is wearing the same clothes that she has slept in, which are the same clothes she wore the day before. She refuses to allow me to brush her hair this morning, so her hair looks like poop. I don’t feel like a meltdown this morning, as I have a headache already, so I don’t care. I'll worry about it later.

The very first thing we have to do before our studies start is I have to put oil in my nebulizer.
Garrett is super energetic and bounces off the wall so anything that might tone that down a bit is  worth the effort.  The nebulizer is an almost constant in our house but it’s a necessity for school time. Today I put 5 drops of a blend called “Calm Your Squirrel”.. I found the recipe for this particular blend on Pinterest and it seems to relax the kids, if only a fraction LOL

By the time school starts for us, it’s slightly after eleven. Since it’s Monday, that means it’s Reading, English, Math and History day.  Reading consists of my reading aloud for about 30 minutes from whatever book we are currently reading together. This week we are finishing up with “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We have been working on this book for almost a month now and on Wednesday we will read the final chapter and will be done with it. The kids are pretty excited about this because the rest of the week we will read a book from the “Bad Kitty” series before we begin “Little House on
the Prairie” next week.


Did you know that Grumpy Cat was in "Little House in the Big Woods"?
After we finished reading, the kids had to work on their writing. Each morning, before we start school, I find an interesting sentence in the book we are reading and write it in our composition books for them to work on as copy work. We JUST started doing this and I wish I could take credit for this little gem of an idea but we picked it up from a program the Review Crew is currently looking over called “Successful Homeschooling Made Easy” (review coming soon).  The kids and I sit at the table and they read the sentence together, sounding out words they do not know. Then they do the copy work and draw a picture to go along with it while I do a few chores and make their lunch. Halfway through this assignment, Garrett decided he did not like an entire line of his writing and tried to erase it. This results in his ripping the paper to shreds and an immediate melt down. I quickly rip out the page in its entirety and reprint the sentence on the next page and Garrett continues with the assignment.

Another crisis averted and its not even noon yet.. I'm on a roll..

While the kids are doing their writing, I step outside to grab the mail and to take a few pictures of our bird nest.
Baby birds at Day 7
We have house finches who for the past 3 years have built their nest in our satellite dish. We've ditched cable service completely over a year ago but have kept the dish outside to keep the nesting area for the birds. This is probably the 5th clutch we've had in our satillite dish since they started nest building within weeks of the dish being put up.  The dish stands right in front of the kids bedroom window, so they get to enjoy watching the finches build the nest and lay eggs. Then we get to watch as both mom and dad take care of the babies and eventually the babies take flight. There are  five baby birds in the nest right now and they are 7 days old today. Each day we go out and  take a quick picture of them so that we can document their growth.  In the past it's usually around day 14 that we have an empty nest so these lil guys are about halfway there.


Today for lunch the kids are lucky that I found two slices of cheese. I usually have my husband run to the commissary here on base while I work with the kids but of course he's gone with the car and I wasn't aware we ran out of shredded cheese. Fortunately, I found two lone slices of what I guess was probably American Cheese from the last time we made grilled cheese. I can’t remember when that was so who knows how long its been in there – at least I know its been since I did the 24 weeks of clean challenge where i cleaned my fridge out.. lol.

Third crisis adverted.

 I throw lunch together for us:  whole grain wraps with ham and cheese, sweet potato chips, a cheese stick, strawberries and grapes for the kids and for myself – more veggies added to the wrap and some marinated cucumbers and onions on the side.

After lunch  is Mathematics.  The kids know this. Ashleigh especially knows this and this is the reason it takes longer for Ashleigh to eat a ham and cheese tortilla roll up then it would take to eat a 7 course meal with coffee service afterwards.  I have enough time to go outside in the back yard and make sure the dog has fresh water as well as hook up the soaker hoses for my garden. I also pour myself another cup of coffee but somehow before I sit down to enjoy it, I get distracted and start doing dishes.  Finally, I sit down to another lukewarm cup of coffee and wait for Ashleigh to hurry up and finish her lunch so we can start the next half of school.
 


We are currently working on a review for an online math curriculum, so we pull up the website and get going on it. This particular lesson is entitled “One More, One Less” and is basically what it sounds like – adding and subtracting 1 to a number.  This is something that the kids already know – you wouldn’t know this by Ashleigh’s reaction.  Each video lesson has a set of worksheets that go along with them, which I have
printed out ahead of time. She watches the video with no problem and answers the review questions correctly, but when it’s time to do the worksheets she switches into brat mode.  She puts her head on the table, throws her pencil on the floor multiple times, and looks out the window. When I ask her a question, she fakes a yawn at me or gives me a completely incorrect answer ; “Ashleigh, what number is this?” (pointing at the 85) to which she replies “76”.

Finally we get to our History lesson.  We started using Volume One of The Mystery of History two weeks ago and we are starting week 3 of it.  Today we are discussing the Sumerian people as well as cuneiform and ziggurats. Both Garrett and Ashleigh are very familiar with most of this so this goes by very quick for us. I let the kids get out their Lego’s and make ziggurats while I read the book “You Wouldn’t Want To Be a Sumerian Slave” to them.





I glance at the clock several times and wonder where my oldest daughter is – school let out a while ago and she’s running late, way late. I then realize that she is not even in the same state – we took her to the airport on Saturday so she could go to Texas to visit her dad for Spring Break. This is unfortunate for me as this means I cannot take a nap today. I pour myself another cup of coffee, Garrett instantly asks if we are done and can he play Minecraft. I step outside and unhook the soaker hose and instead hook up the spray nozzle to the garden hose and water the garden by hand. I come back inside and take a sip of my semi-warm coffee.  I am thankful that dinner is in the crock pot tonight or I just might order Domino’s and have it delivered.

Only one thing keeps me going each day…

Vacation is right around the corner…





Want to get another glimpse into the "Day in the Life" of other Schoolhouse Review Crew members? Click over and check out any of these eleven blogs who are participating in this weeks "Real Life Homeschooling" Blog Hop. 

1. Every Bed of Roses
2. Ben and Me
3. Footprints in the Butter
4. Mountain of Grace Homeschooling
5. Raventhreads
6. Counting Our Blessings
7. Homeschooling for His Glory
8. Ozark Ramblings
9. Chestnut Grove Academy
10. Only Passionate Curiosity
11. Farm Fresh Adventures


Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more.

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop

8 comments:

  1. I had to smile because our literacy hour has quickly become our favorite time of the day over the past week. We also just finished studying ziggarats (if that's the plural) with our Veritas Press and I had a child whine through the same "one more one less" lesson just a few days ago! LOL I've also caught myself thinking several times in the past few weeks about the condo we have booked on the beach July 4th week. :-) It sounds like you guys had a pretty good day to me...well, except for the headache. That totally stinks!!

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    1. It sounds like you and I are on the same schedule almost.. lol
      My anniversary is the 4th of July.. I always joke that if my husband ever forgets our anniversary, he'll for sure see the fireworks ;)

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for stopping by :)

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  3. So fun to read today! Thanks for being real!

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  4. I feel like I could have written this myself! Glad to know its not just me!

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  5. I love it! It's great when we can be real because it takes the pressure off other moms who feel like they have to be perfect to measure up!

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  6. definitely a real day eh? Kudos to you keeping those children going. :)

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