A day in the life

Homeschool Edition

One of my favorite homeschool websites, Simple Homeschool, is doing a day in the life series and I thought it would be fun to give an example of what our day looks like.  While I would love to say this is typical, I simply cannot make any of our days look like the next one.  There is just too much variability with 3LittleWees.

6:33~My eyes open and I wonder if I will be able to get downstairs to enjoy a cup of coffee before anyone else wakes up.  As I gather my glasses, iPad and tiptoe out the bedroom door, I note Emmy’s gate is open and Lily and Ollie’s light is on.  I do start to brew my coffee and take a quick look at my email before I surprise Lily as she comes into the kitchen.  She gives me the rundown of her morning so far, taking care of Em, and says she will settle them in to watch an Elmo while I drink my joe.

6:55~I get that coffee, check in online, and since I set out our breakfast things last night (eggs and english muffins with cheese), we are ready to get everyone fed.  Quick, quick, everyone is eating, I’m having another cup of coffee and then the kids clear out, into the playroom to play until going up to get dressed.

7:15~While two different kids have asked me to read something, I have yet to eat and so ask for 15 minutes to clean up the kitchen and eat my yogurt.  Please.

7:30~I sneak down to the basement classroom to gather up some things we will need to school today.  I am writing down L’s assignments day to day so she can begin independently, if she is in the mood.  Today we have art, math, word work, reading and copy work to do.  She did her math right away.  I got to see her make meaning of “half past” and rock out on counting money along with set up a subtraction word problem correctly.  Go, girl!

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8:00~They comply and I can get things put away before heading upstairs to take a shower.  I yell out to dress for snow, since as the day has dawned, we’ve noticed it is snowing again (and it snowed overnight, too.).

8:20~We have said goodbye to Sam.  Kids are dressed and sound like they are playing together in O’s room.  I pick up our room, make the bed, check on laundry, and head back downstairs to register everyone for their enrichment classes.  Our co-op begins again in February.  It has been a nice break but we are excited to start back.  The class L is most excited about taking is Chess Club…sadly, later in the day I will find out that it is totally full 😦

9:20~Everyone is back downstairs to have some blueberry muffin bread and watch a short video clip I found on Discovery Education about the artist Henri Matisse.  I explain that we are going to be inspired to do some art today and we will even go on a hunt in our own house for this artists’ work.  Art with Mati and Dada is fabulous and I will be using it to introduce artists the rest of the year (and beyond).

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9:30~Ready to start our art…and what they created is awesome.  To listen to their conversation and witness their cooperation was inspiring.  They really do get along so well {sometimes}.  Every piece was unique, and each person could create something independently…even E, although her puddles of glue will take a long time to dry.

10:10~Whoops!  I’m hustling everyone out the door to make it swimming lessons on time.  E joins us today as her Wednesday program is cancelled for the day.  The snow is really coming down and we have to be careful as we make our way.

10:30~We made it!  Today O walked in by himself!!!!  A huge deal.  Tears and clinging to my leg were typical before.  E amuses herself with the hair drying station.  L swims by herself!  O does an octopus!

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11:30~Back home and ready for lunch.  E has remained awake for the drive so I want to feed her quickly and put her down for her nap.  We eat a thrown together buffet of meats, cheeses, buns, veg and fruit.  While I attend to E, L and O finish up and ask to listen to Ramona and Beezus on Audible.  They cheerfully listen for 30 minutes while I clean up the kitchen and prepare some hot chocolate for an afternoon {caffeine boost} treat.

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12:15~The kids are still listening so I am lucky to have a free moment to talk to my mom and sit down.

12:40~Ready to begin our read aloud time.  If we can work it out, we try to do this either first thing in the morning (on days O doesn’t go to preschool) or during nap time after lunch.  We had to decide on a new book to start; either Indian in the Cupboard or The Horse and His Boy.  C.S. Lewis won out since they enjoyed The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe so much.

1:30~We are still reading but I need a short break.  We will reconvene in 15.

1:45~Another chapter and then I hear E wake up.  Snack time for her and L requests another bit of Ramona.  I oblige and clean up the art bits all over the dining room table and floor.

2:20~We do some spelling and decide to push the copy work off until tomorrow…since we already got through more than I expected in Language Arts this week.  We have the time.  We will do it tomorrow.  No biggie.  Lily gets the art stuff out to finish up the projects.

3:00~There is talk of getting bundled up for playing outside.  The boys are home.  All three get all their stuff on.  I’m reminded of the scene in A Christmas Story where the kid can’t move because of all the layers.  That’s E, for sure!  Everyone tumbles out the door in time to join up with Bryce and Owen and they are off to sled.

4:15~Emmy lasted about an hour!  Now she is inside helping me throw together chicken enchiladas for dinner and picking up the playroom.  The kids will probably be out until it begins to get dark around 5:30.  We will eat, we will get ready for bed, we will all fall asleep quickly and without protestations {HAHAHAHAHA}.

Since I am publishing this in the afternoon, I’m not going to bore you with the night time goings on.  It was a good day.  We accomplished most of what we wanted to and had some fun and made some art.  Did some calculations.  Read a lot.  All good!

Unexpected

Today while we schooled, the snow came down!  About 2 inches and nice and wet…first snowman made (and destroyed).  Giant snowball sitting in the neighbors yard.  Happy kids playing outside for hours.  It was so pretty and peaceful, watching it drift down.  We have noticed the last few snows aren’t tiny little specks but rather nice, fluffy, cotton candy-like tufts. This observation led to a discussion about who has enjoyed cotton candy in our family.  One kid said the other had not tasted it yet, but he argued that yes, he had.  Baseball game or circus or ice show or boardwalk…they were sure it was one of these venues.

O sitting atop the gigantic ball of snow:

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A box or two

is all these kids need plus access to some scissors (supervised so haircuts are not given), and tape.  Maybe a marker or two.  And they create some pretty neat things.  Lily made an entire office today, complete with desk, phone and service windows from which she scheduled appointments.  Ollie worked on a rocketship with windows and a phone/computer.   Cool.IMG_3145 IMG_3146

We made new friends at the gym after Lily worked out:

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Since it was a “nice” day, after we finished school, we walked the neighborhood searching for friends to play.  Emmy is always a trooper as we head down the hill…coming back up is another story.

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Tradition!

I hope as you read the title you can hear the song from Fiddler on the Roof in your head. Me? The TVHS production with Mr. Perella looms large in my memory; Tevya with a booming voice. Like that good old Russian dairyman, I think traditions are important and have been challenged each summer by the EuroAcademy paperwork when asked to list any family traditions we have. It stumps me. What do we do year to year that we can all count on to anchor us? Things we look forward to (at least as the kids are little) and will consider cheesy (when they get older) but will go along with to humor their parents. And then do the same things to with their kids😉. I’m not sure I would call it tradition in the traditional sense (you see what I did there?👍👏👏👏👍)but we have been having a huge feast of French toast, bacon and fruit about once a month. Everyone looks forward to it and eats and eats and eats. Sweet treats and memories are a good start on the road to building traditions, I think!

Sleep

With kids you have these phases and cycles of behavior or habit or expectation.  It is hard sometimes to remember that these don’t last forever; you just get to jump into the next phase as the other one ends.  If it involves sleep, OH MAN, is that hard for me.  The changing appetites or fights or struggles during the daytime, those I can tackle.  The over-nights {sigh}.  I need my sleep!   Miss Em is improving on the transition from crib to big bed.  But…there are days (or nights) she empties her entire dresser or the wipes box (if I don’t remember to hide it in the closet).  The times she falls asleep sitting up.  The nights she cries out, “Nuggle, Momma!” or “Nuggle, Dada!” around 2:36AM.  The 5:23 wake ups when she is hungry and won’t go back down.  Today she is asleep in the threshold of her door and as you can see in the video has put on rain boots, an extra pair of pants and turned her noisemaker to LOUD music.  Thanks be, she can’t hear Lily and Ollie playing in the next room and should be down until 3!!  Off to make the most of my quiet time!

Scatter Books, Journaling and Doodles

Regardless of what Lily reported to Gramma and Grampa today, we did, in fact, do some school today.  We read, she did some phonics/word work, we will read some more.  We made a trip to the bookstore to pick out some new reading material.  But we both sat down together to journal and doodle this morning.  I have a Scatter Book where I keep track of my {brilliant :-)} scattered thoughts…thus ScatterBook since it is all over the place and holds all the little scraps of ideas I want to have down but don’t really belong anywhere specific.  I can’t take credit for this idea but my homeschool mentor introduced it to me.

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So the top book is mine and last night Lily wondered if she could start one, too.  She liked what she saw in my book.  I was more than happy to let her figure out how to hold her own creative space.  We used some special pen markers and worked on it together today.  I journaled a little bit and she did, too.  I have to agree with her sentiment.  I like to have fun, too!  And this was pretty fun and special to do with her.  I appreciate how her doodles look similar to mine.  Imitation is the best form of flattery, isn’t that how the saying goes?

What we are loving this week

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Poetry Teatime on Tuesday:  This is probably Lily’s favorite time of the week!  We serve treats and drink hot chocolate or tea or coffee.  This week I shared a January poem from A Child’s Calendar by John Updike, various poems about elves and fairies, and then we settled in to read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  I don’t know if it is our habit of listening to audiobooks in the car or that I am including Ollie in some of our longer chapter books, but they have turned into great listeners and questioners.  We are all really into Aslan and the White Witch.

Our little poetry and read aloud lovers

Our little poetry and read aloud lovers

M&M’s as motivation:  Now this is so against my whole entire nature and philosophy but I am pulling this trick out every now and then this week to get something done RIGHT NOW or to lighten the mood of doing something we don’t want to do {clean up the playroom, our rooms, the dishes from our latest meal…really any cleaning up!).  I won’t do it much longer because we will be out of Christmas color M&M’s.

The Carnegie Museums:  We joined the 4 museums last week and have been back to the Science museum twice.  We planned on going to the Natural History museum on Friday but then Ollie reminded us of his scheduled playdate with his best friend, Jack.  So we decided we would do the Art Museum on Monday and the NH museum next Friday with Sam.

Momma and Dada’s room to Sleep:  This is only on the kids’ list of what we are loving this week.  It would be on Sam and Heather’s Tournament of Bad list.

Bryce:  This doesn’t change from week to week.  Bryce is our favorite.  At 3 everyday, we check to see if Miss Arla’s car is at the Baker’s house and then Lily and Ollie bundle up and run over to ask him to play.  He is in middle school.  He is pretty darn awesome to play so patiently and kindly with his 2 admirers.

And the one contender for Tournament of Bad:  The Allegheney Health Network scheduling system.  I have tried 4 times to schedule a follow up appointment and still have not been able to due to someone needing to “order” the procedure (but not the doctor that ordered it in the first place at the danged appointment).  Little in health care makes sense to me.

I’m not one to end on a negative note though.  Here’s your dose of ridiculous cute:

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And thanks to all my followers who willingly took time out of their very busy {golf} schedules to read this little blog! xoxo

Extending Grace

In all my years of attending church, one concept I never really “got” was grace. Now, I know that the whole idea of my religion is based on grace but…well, I understand that “supernatural” sort of grace, I suppose. The Grace that comes from the uppercase G and all. But apply it to my everyday? Was out of my reach, or so I thought.

First of all, though many people would say I am caring and thoughtful and mostly kind, I’m also me. This comes with superior expectations of perfection and plowing through on a plan just because it is the plan I have (some may call this bulldozing or steamrolling, I believe). All to say, I am not one to easily extend grace {to myself or others}. I believe that I should be able to accomplish anything, bend anyone to my will, get anything I go after and other people should fall in line and work as hard as me. Which is the suckiest when you find yourself married or raising children. Believe me, my belief system here has helped me to do lots and lots in life but maybe not served me well in my relationships with others. BUT! Grace…

I’ll explain. It all started yesterday morning. I woke up with a schedule. Certain things {lots and lots} needed to be done. Naturally, no one really saw it that way. Sunday had been busy and I didn’t get to plan school for the week or really have any downtime or exercise. I didn’t get to make the muffins that we are eating for breakfast on Mondays. {sigh} It all started with me, you see. I woke up with this agenda and no one knew it and no one really wanted to help to see it through. Monday was another day of non-stop. And it continued because the underlying frantic-ness, angry mommy of the day carried into the night. While I wanted to be done with the kids by 8 so Sam and I could hang out, Lily had other needs. And on another night, it may not have been bad. Even with Sam’s understanding and patience with her, because mine had run out, I still ended my day fuming.

But then the night was over and the next day started. Today. I got some coffee in me. I journaled while Emmy and I ate muffins. The big kids didn’t get up until the sun was out. The sun was out. Somehow we all got out the door on time for school. And the anger and annoyance and vinegar had run its course. It was out. Sleep and reflection and a little help from a blog I read about grace. How we need to, as people, as mothers {especially} extend grace. To our kids. To our husbands. To our family. Most especially to ourselves when we “mess” up or go to bed feeling rotten. I was gifted with grace today when I woke up and worked it out and realized I hadn’t ruined my child or myself or my husband with my unspoken expectations and rules I lay out in my mind. Grace is just forgiveness for our weaknesses and the willingness to reflect and try it again {better} the next day.

And, you know what? Today was tremendously better. And it was all thanks to a little grace.

Thanks today

Only a brief stop to record a few things I am thankful for from the day:

Little stories and new homes for a mouse and a parakeet
Snow falling like clumps of whiteness this afternoon
Birdseed
Hugs
Energy to get it all done
That it will soon be over and I can sleep