A Day with a 7th grader, 4th grader and 1st grader

6:15– I wake up. Inwardly, I groan as I had meant to set the alarm last night to get up earlier. I’ve realized lately that our days go better if I get up early and I have a new goal of getting up at 5:00 or 5:30. I used to do that every day but I’ve gotten out of the habit in the last 6 months or so. I debate with myself about whether or not I should get up and walk. It’s raining out and very warm and cozy in bed.

6:30– I get up. I call the answering service and find out there are no patients at the hospital for me to see. Thankful for small mercies, I decide to go for a walk. I’ve also lately realized that if I’m going to exercise I need to do it in the morning (part of getting up early). I get dressed and get Roxy (the dog) ready to go. She hates walking in the rain but once I get her about two houses away from our house she gives up resisting and decides to enjoy it. The walk is great. I love walking in the rain, something it’s hard to remember in my warm cozy bed. I also love fall and something about the rain makes the colors outside even more vibrant and beautiful. I also like the rain because there are fewer other people out. It’s just me, Roxy and three deer on the trail this morning and I like that.

7:30– I get back home and make a pot of coffee. I then head to the shower.

7:50– Showered and dressed. H. is waking up the kids. John is hanging halfway off the side of his bed reading, probably whatever book he was reading at bedtime last night. David and Ruth are slower to wake up and are protesting the very idea of getting up. We play Eddie from Ohio (Tommy the Canexican and Monotony) at full volume to get David out of bed. He is not amused.

8:00– We all eat breakfast. Spinach and cheese omelets for me and John. Cereal and fruit for H. and David. A bagel with Nutella and fruit for Ruth. Someone has changed the music to Tchaikovsky who the kids have been into lately. I read the paper. Kids read various parts of the paper. John reads Wonder, the current selection for his Boy’s Book Club class at our co-op. Ruth plays with her Lego friends during breakfast.

8:45– John heads to the shower. David and Ruth get dressed. Roxy goes in and out at least once during breakfast. She wants to chase squirrels in our backyard but still isn’t happy about the rain.

I tell David to practice piano. It’s his least favorite thing to do and we’ve learned it’s better to have him get it over with first. He asks if I’ll sit with him so I do. While I’m down there I read a chapter from Praying with Paul by D.A. Carson, the selection for a women’s church book group. Ruth comes downstairs with us and plays while David practices. When he is done, I tell him to get his Math book and tell Ruth to practice.

David comes back down and I give him an assignment that I know is a little easy. He’s working on fractions now and tends to get frustrated with Math, another least favorite of his. I’ve recently decided my goal this year is for him to feel more confident with Math and to be less frustrated. He’s actually pretty good at Math but he doesn’t realize it and I’d rather take it slow and have him maybe enjoy it a bit more than to have him become more entrenched in thinking that he’s terrible at it. He finishes in 15 minutes which is much faster than I expect and I’m tempted to give him more to do but I don’t. A few years ago I would have given him more but now I’ve learned that kids feel like that’s unfair, like they are being punished for finishing quickly.

9:30– We come back upstairs. John finished his Sunday School homework (reading through the Book of John which would be funnier if his real name was actually John) and is now lying on my bed working on Algebra. He uses Academy of Problem Solving which is fairly self-taught. He really enjoys it as he likes being an independent learner. David starts working on typing. Ruth watches him. I clean up the kitchen from breakfast which I forgot to do earlier and start making dinner in the crockpot, “20-40 clove garlic chicken” from Make it Fast, Cook it Slow. I ask Ruth if she wants to help but she says she wants to “do archery” with her toy bow and arrow that she bought last Easter with her Easter money. First she changes into a new outfit. Just because.

10:15– David is done with typing and helps me a little with the chicken, which is somewhat ironic since he’s a vegetarian. He likes cooking though and finds it interesting to help peel the garlic. John checks the computer to see if he can watch a video from AOPS but there isn’t one for the lesson he just did. Both boys work on Latin. David is making new vocabulary cards and John does his daily 5 minute vocabulary review and a page of sentence diagramming in Latin. He then takes a break to read Wonder while draped halfway over the back of the couch. David and I listen to his vocabulary list from Lively Latin and then I correct John’s Latin from yesterday and today and quickly go over it with him.

Ruth and I do narration and copywork from Writing With Ease. David sits down at the computer to self-edit a fable he wrote earlier in the week (an assignment from Writing and Rhetoric: Fable). John works on a report he is doing on an Arctic explorer. Ruth and I lie down and snuggle and read two chapters of Night of the Ninjas. She’s a good reader and finished with the formal phonics program. We alternate reading pages as reading practice for her. David writes the last of his birthday thank you notes.

11:30– I feel sniffly and like I’m coming down with a cold so I decide to make tea. David want some too and offers to make it for me. He then ends up making it for everyone and somehow this morphs into teatime. We read a few random picture books and a few poems from The Death of the Hat. David, John and I have a discussion to wrap up or current study of Canada. We are spending the year on world studies, doing a little geography, history and culture from each place we study.

12:30- Teatime turns into lunch for Ruth as she asks for mac and cheese. I let her make some. The boys are full from their teatime snack (mini bagels with cream cheese) and David has a TON of energy so I send them out for a walk with Roxy. It’s stopped raining now although it’s still cold and wet outside. I sit down to lunch, soup and a grilled cheese. Ruth plays with a Math Wrap it puzzle. I do a logic puzzle, which I’m weirdly addicted to.

1:00- Boys return home. David and I do a few pages of Grammar Town, discussing phrases (gerund, participle, infinitive, appositive) and a few pages of Casear’s English. John sits down to work more on his report. Ruth is playing in the bathroom with a water balloon that she found.

1:15– I discover that the bathroom is soaking wet and ask Ruth to clean up. I finish with David and tell him to clean up his room a little bit. Several large boxes of Legos seem to have migrated upstairs from the “Lego Room”. Ruth asks if she can go outside. I say yes even though it is raining. A few minutes later she comes in soaking wet and I I tell her to change her clothes. I have her sit down and do a few pages of Math. I sit beside her at the table and do my logic puzzle. David is downstairs watching a video that teaches card tricks that I got him for his birthday. He comes up periodically to try out a new trick on us.

2:15– John is done with his rough draft. I tell him I’ll look over it tonight and we’ll discuss on Friday. We suddenly realize we need to leave for swimming in about 30 minutes and the boys never really had lunch.They get ready and eat something quickly. John and I sit at the kitchen table and review his Algebra work from earlier today while he munches on hummus and carrots. We go over his notebook for the week and talk about what we’ll do on Friday. Everyone does a quick pick-up of the school stuff, books and Legos scattered around the house.

2:45– We leave for swimming. Both boys swim year-round twice a week. While at the pool, I grade tests from the Human Anatomy class that I teach at our co-op and read a bit of Red: A History of the Redhead. In the car on the way to and from the pool we listen to the last book in the 68 Rooms series, The Secret of the Key.

6:00– We return home from swimming. John goes to practice piano. David and Ruth help set the table and get ready for dinner. I finish making dinner, H. arrives home, and by 6:30 we are sitting down to eat. Chicken, green beans, rice, mushrooms and leftover lentils for David. During dinner we play “The Party Game” and John stumps us all.

7:00– We clean up after dinner. John gets a pass on helping so that he can spend some time doing Alcumus on the computer. I try to have him do 30 minutes a day but we don’t always get to it. After cleaning the kitchen we take Roxy for a quick walk. She’s happy that the rain is gone.

8:00– We all head to the master bedroom for our nightly reading time. I read two chapters of On the Banks of Plum Creek and two chapters of Book Scavenger.

9:00– We send everyone to bed. Tomorrow is a day off of school due to a family birthday so I give the boys permission to stay up and finish “one more chapter” of their own books. David is reading Malcom at Midnight. John is reading something from the stack of library books by his bed.

I sit down at the computer to do some emails, banking and other tasks. While working I watch a bit of the Republican presidential debate but quickly find that pretty boring. H. is working on the computer on our Christmas card for this year.

10:00– We both head to bed. I read a little more of Red: The History of the Redhead before falling asleep.

Previous Days in the Life posts: 
4th grader, 1st grader and 3 1/2 year old 
3rd grader, Kindergartener and 2 year old 


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