Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Morning in the Life

(of one very pregnant homeschool mama!)

Hello everyone, I'm still here! I was due yesterday, and there were some signs that the baby might come that day, but it did not happen. Today is quiet, and I'm thankful, because we're having a blizzard. I wouldn't really want to go out in this.

My days are not exactly typical right now. I'm nine months pregnant and definitely slowing down. My fourteen-year-old sister is staying over and helping, so housekeeping is actually a bit easier than usual. And she always graciously allows me to have a long nap after lunch while she watches the boys. On the other hand, I'm having some aches and pains and disrupted nights. Homeschooling is still going, but things are being missed here and there, and we're progressing more slowly. I'm content with that, but hoping for my usual boost in energy after the baby is born (and for another sleepy baby!). We'll see.

This was our morning last Friday:

6:30 AM: Stephen's alarm goes off, and SA(6) bounds out of bed immediately, as usual. He comes and snuggles with Stephen, talking a mile a minute. I have had bad pain in my hips through the night (ahhh...Relaxin. Let's hope it means the baby is coming soon!). I get up and walk around a bit, hoping to relieve the pain, but it's not happening. Oh well. Back to bed for a bit more rest.

7:15 AM: Now it's really time to get up! The boys are all downstairs already, playing on Stephen's work phone before he has to leave. I quickly get Stephen's lunch ready. Too late to make him coffee. I set the table for breakfast for myself, my sister, and the boys. We have breakfast, but I'm finding the  wooden chair too uncomfortable to sit on, so I move to an easy chair. Unfortunately, this seems to be a signal for the boys to go crazy. Somehow they seem to sense that I'm not moving anytime soon. I call them to stand around me while we do our "circle time." I read the story of the Prodigal Son from the Bible and require SA(6) to narrate. He does so, but while I'm paying attention to that, JJ(4) and MM(2) squabble on the floor beside my chair. Apparently they are blocking each other's view of the picture. I rearrange them, and we do our hymn and Scripture memory work. They are still moving around and quarreling, so I skip our catechism memory work and our French review.

8:30 AM: I decide to have a  hot shower to see if that will relieve my hip pain. It seems to work, but my energy levels are very low. I go upstairs and lie down for a while. I'm so thankful for my sister being here!

9:45 AM: I'm back downstairs, and find I have to remind my sons of their chores. Thankfully they have been playing very nicely together, though. I love that they do that. I hurry to do the breakfast dishes before our school day begins.

10:00 AM: Never mind the school day...somehow JJ(4) has knocked down a huge pile of boxes that I was saving for my garden (I use them to smother weeds). That was a project I was hoping to do another day, but now it seems it must be today. I collapse all the boxes and get them ready to be put outside. I think about how ruined my day would be right now if I didn't have my sister to actually carry them out for me.

10:20 AM: I'm still working on the boxes, but my sister gets our "teatime" ready. We haven't done our art appreciation or our music appreciation this week, though we have read poetry several times. I decide we'll do art appreciation, and open our Degas book to "The Orchestra." We look at the painting together, and talk about what we see... the instruments (is that a harp in the back?), the dancers blurry and bright in the background, the orchestra members all dressed in black and white. Then we study it for a while until we can see it in our minds with our eyes closed, and we close the book. SA narrates first, and remembers a surprising amount. (Should I mention that at this point JJ(4) is complaining he is still hungry --we shared an entire cantaloupe, a small piece of coffee cake, and some cheese. I tell him he's had enough.) I add a few details from the painting that SA hasn't mentioned yet, and he adds one or two more things.

My sister goes off to do her math on the computer (thankfully the younger boys seem content to look over her shoulder), and we settle down to do some more schoolwork. SA reads a chapter from Walter the Lazy Mouse, a delightful library find written by Marjorie Flack. This is the largest chapter book he's attempted to read on his own so far. I offer to let him read silently, but he still wants to read aloud.

Next, we get out his math binder and do some work on simple fractions. We normally use Miquon Math, but today he wants to do some pages I've printed out from SchoolhouseTeachers.com. He enjoys them a lot, and asks me to print out more for him to do next time. His math lesson rarely takes more than fifteen minutes, and today is no different.

SA works on his copywork next. Today I tell him to print four words neatly. (Normally we just set a timer for five minutes and he does what he can in that time.) He gets to the second word and makes a mistake: he prints the last letter of the word a bit far from the rest of it. He is distressed about it, but I tell him to go on to the next words, and he will do better next time. And he does.

I'm ready to go on to our first narration, but SA asks for a break. I agree that he may play for ten minutes. Then we sit down and I read from "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp" from the Blue Fairy Book. This is our third or fourth reading from the story, as I don't allow reading and narration to take longer than about fifteen minutes. SA narrates well, thankfully. (He had an off day yesterday when it came to narration...)

Meanwhile, my sister has finished her math, and JJ(4) has been having fun at starfall.com (A Friday treat.). When he's done, SA takes his turn at the computer to do some math analogies. I'm not sure how useful they are educationally (for him, I mean...he seems to be fairly intuitive about these things), but he enjoys his turn on the computer.

And the morning is over... lunch time! We still have another narration to do this afternoon, but while my checklist is not complete, I don't think we will do more than that today. They can go and play outside!