A day with a 3rd grader, a Kindergartener and an almost 2 yr old.

I always find these “day in the life” accounts fun to read and when I was first starting out as a homeschooler I found them helpful. Not to copy but just to see what it could be like. Done too frequently it’s boring and more than a little narcissistic but as a very occasional glimpse into someone else’s life it’s kind of fascinating.

5:00– My alarm goes off.

5:30–  I actually get out of bed. I like waking up slowly and one of my worst habits is that I push the snooze button several times. This used to drive my college roommate crazy. I’m not sure what my current roommate thinks of it. He’s much more tolerant than she was.

6:20–  I leave to go see patients at the hospital. Before leaving I eat breakfast (yogurt, blueberries, granola) while doing email and checking a few blogs. I also use this time to do my daily Bible reading; currently I’m reading through the book of John.

7:40– I arrive back home. H. has Alison Krauss playing. Ruth is awake and in the process of waking up her brothers. I make breakfast for the kids while H. does a morning devotion with them. Over breakfast we review David’s memory work from Sunday School this week and I introduce what we will be working on as a family for memory work: the books of the Bible. We can’t do John’s memory work as he lost the card from Sunday School and we don’t know what the verse is.  Ruth demands “READ TO ME!” so I read a handful of her books including Jamberry and Hippos Go Berserk.  David is sad I didn’t read to him so I offer to read our usual lunchtime read aloud, Little House in the Big Woods. We get through about half a chapter. H. comes in with the paper and we all grab our favorite sections: Sports for H., Comics for John, Weather for David and Health and Science for me.

8:15– I send everyone to get dressed, Ruth is already in her first outfit of the day: a white T-shirt and a too small pink polka dotted diaper cover that is supposed to go with a dress. I tell John to do his own personal quiet time (a new thing this year).

8:30– Ruth has decided to change. Same pink polka dotted pants but now she has on a pink, orange and yellow striped polo shirt. H. has just left for work.  I head down to put in a load of laundry and we all head outside to do some morning yard work while it is nice and cool.

9:15– One butterfly bush and one crepe myrtle are in the ground. All three kids are having fun building worm houses on the back patio. I extract a promise from John that he will work hard later if I let him delay school a bit now. I head in to switch laundry and take a quick shower.

9:40– John comes in. He chooses to start with Language Arts. We get out his cursive handwriting book.  David and Ruth continue to build worm houses.

9:45– David and Ruth decide to come in. I wash their very muddy shoes off in the sink and stick the two of them in a bubble bath. John and I work on spelling.

10:00– David and Ruth are done with their bath. Ruth gets dressed in outfit #3, a hand-me-down Disney princess ballet outfit. I get everyone a snack of graham crackers and milk. John and I work on dictation from WWE.

10:10-Ruth demands Ritz crackers instead. I give in.

10:15– Ruth spills milk on her outfit. She is upset by this and wants to change. Outfit #4 is a purple dress, fairly conventional but she insists on wearing it backwards. John finishes up his dictation. For grammar, we review nouns, pronouns and adjectives by watching Schoolhouse Rock on YouTube. They also insist on watching Conjunction Junction.

10:30– H. arrives home and I leave for a doctor’s appointment. I’ve left the snack mess for him to clean up.

11:45– I arrive home, my doctor’s appointment being canceled because the doctor had to go to an emergency C-section. At least it was a pleasant drive listening to the radio and the stoplights gave me a chance to read my own book, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. When I get home Ruth is wearing outfit #5 (I missed #4), a bright pink flowered onesie that is slightly too small and on backwards. She calls this a “suit”. Everyone is eating frozen pizza and salad for lunch. I had already stopped by Taco Bell  on the way home for a taco for myself. While I was gone, H. did an art lesson with John and David.

12:00– I send John down to practice piano and go to switch the laundry again. H. did this once while I was gone so the last load is in the dryer now.

12:05– I find Ruth on top of her play kitchen.

12:10– I discover Ruth has scribbled all over the wall with a pen. I get out the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and it does the trick.

12:15– I change Ruth’s diaper. This is mostly notable for the fact that she doesn’t also use this as an opportunity to change clothes.

12:30– John and I sit down to finish up grammar. We read about action and linking verbs and talk about the differences. David works on handwriting at the same table. There is much giggling when I allow John to make up sentences using potty words as action verbs.

12:45– David and I work on a little math (number bonds) followed by a little phonics. When asked what sound a picture of a horn makes he says “beep.” He dissolves in giggles and almost falls off his chair. He then says beep for every picture until I finally have to threaten him with no computer time later in the day. John is working on a mental math sheet and saying beep under his breath until I threaten him also. Ruth is making a bed in the kitchen for her and a stuffed monkey using Diet Coke boxes and a blanket.

1:00– John and I work on math together. It’s a fairly easy lesson for him so we fly through it. I give him an assignment to work on alone. David and Ruth head downstairs to build a house with sofa pillows.

1:30– John is done with his math. He gets everything right but the “challenging problem”. We work through it together. I send the boys to their room for quiet time. I tell John to read from John’s Story (Young American Book Series) and David to do something quiet on his bed. I lie down with Ruth. We read a few books (The Foot Book, Snuggle Puppy) and I tell her it’s nap time.

2:00– Ruth won’t fall asleep. We all get up. She asks for a snack so I get her an apple. I get together science supplies. We do four experiments from Adventures with Atoms and Molecules. I yell at David and Ruth for fighting over one of the balloons. I yell at John for eating the sugar we are using for the experiment. “Scientists NEVER eat their supplies!”

3:00– Despite the yelling, science was fun. John goes downstairs to practice piano again. (His teacher asks them at his age to play each song 5 times a day 5 days a week. We split this into two sessions a day typically.) David and Ruth go down to keep him company. I clean the kitchen from science.

3:20– The boys ask for computer time. Ruth asks to watch a Pooh video. I say yes to everyone.I take the time to answer some e-mails, make a few work-related phone calls and work on this blog a little.

4:00– Teatime. Mint tea and mini-bagels with butter (everyone), Nutella (John and Ruth) or cinnamon honey (David).   We read James Towne: A Struggle for Survival and D is for Drums.  I offer to read another book from the book basket to David as I realize he’s gotten kind of shortchanged today but he wants to play in his room.

4:30– I get John started on a page of Latin. I change a diaper. Ruth changes into outfit #6, pink flowered shorts and a navy shirt with white dots.

4:45– I change a diaper. Ruth changes into outfit #7, the pink flowered shorts and a hot pink shirt.

4:50– I clean the kitchen and get dinner started (oven fried chicken). John and Ruth are on the couch looking at books. David is playing in the boys’ room.

5:00– John reads a section in Story of the World and I read two Fancy Nancy  books to Ruth. David joins us. John and I then do a narration of what he read and some map work.

5:30– Everyone goes outside to play. I consider doing a math and phonics game on the patio using chalk but decide we’ve done enough for the day.

6:00– John comes in to ask if we can do the “school game thingy”. I tell him I thought I’d give them a break but he really wants to play.  H. is home and it’s time for dinner though so I promise we can play tomorrow.

6:45– Dinner is finished. The boys go to their room to play Legos. H. and Ruth go outside to plant one of the new trees (a saucer magnolia) that we bought this weekend. I clean the kitchen, refill the hummingbird feeder and bird feeder and head out to help H. Turns out we only have one shovel so I end up doing general weeding. The boys join us outside to play.

7:30– The kids and I come in for ice cream for dessert.

7:45– Bedtime routine. H. has men coming over for a biweekly prayer group so I tell the boys to get in pajamas and brush their teeth and go to their room. I read 10 Minutes Till Bedtime (one of her current favorites) to Ruth and lie down with her until she falls asleep. I slip out of her room and go to the boys’ room to read their special bedtime books: Trumpet of the Swan for David and Pocahontas for John. As usual, David falls asleep while I’m reading to John. I tell John he can stay up for a few minutes reading to himself so he puts on his headlamp and finishes up one of the two Horrid Harry books he’s been reading in the down times today.

9:00– I fold the last load of laundry for the day. H. did the other two earlier in the day. Then I sit down to wrap some presents for Ruth’s 2nd birthday while I watch an episode of Friday Night Lights on Netflix.

10:00– I head to bed. I’ll read a little before I fall asleep (either Major Pettigrew, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, or In His Image. )

The standard disclaimer that most homeschoolers make that there is no real “typical” day applies to us as well. That’s why we like homeschooling; there’s lots of room for flexibility and serendipity. Still, this is as typical as it gets for a day that we spent mostly at home. Plenty of days find us out of the house more or with friends more or doing much less formal school. This was a particularly full day of school as several other days this week and next are going to be very light.

12 thoughts on “A day with a 3rd grader, a Kindergartener and an almost 2 yr old.

  1. Wow — lots of juggling. I like the way every child has their own read-alouds.

    I’ve always been afraid of doing one of these posts for fear of discovering I’m a terrible slacker… but they are fun to read.

  2. This sounds much like our days, although I tend to be a little more controlling about our schedule. This is a great reminder for me to be a little more flexible! Oh, and it’s my 5 year ok’d who goes through multiple outfits in a day!

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