A Day in the Life….

I am currently in the trenches of the February home school blahs, which I seem to get each year.  I thought I had avoided them this year on account of the huge enthusiasm I was feeling towards the changes in our home school.  But no, it seems I am as susceptible as ever and am getting the urge to hibernate for a few weeks until March pokes its head around the corner.  It hasn’t helped that the UK is entrenched in some of the worse weather ever seen, and whilst we are safe and dry in our homes we know of people who have checked into a hotel for the next 9 months due to their bungalow being flooded out.  It’s all rather horrible.

A smile to brighten anyone's day!
A smile to brighten anyone’s day!

Anyway, I was reading Hwee’s blog and she had done a day in the life post and was using it to compare to their school days of last year.  I thought this was a great idea and maybe it would be just the thing to help enthuse and energize me for the next couple of weeks.  It wasn’t, but I’m sure it will be fun to look back on next February.

So here goes.

My day really starts the night before, when I prepare the children’s porridge in the crock pot.  Gary turns it on in the morning just before he goes to work and the children wake up to a warm breakfast sans their mother.  That would be because I am usually still in bed.  I used to get up with Gary, have coffee and start my day.  I thought it was a good wifey thing to do, and it was always nice to start the day with Gary.  The problem lay with the fact that I have always had insomnia, really bad insomnia.  I am rarely asleep before Gary gets up for work at 4.30 am, which meant rising with him, at times, led to little or no sleep.  It wasn’t until he gently pointed out the futility of getting up when often the morning time is the only sleep I get, and anyway he would prefer a well rested wife over a (slightly) grumpy one, that I acquiesced and stayed in bed.  Since then I sleep at least 3 hours if not more a night.  This means I must have everything prepared the night before, especially breakfast for the children as T12 wakes up starving every morning at 7.  I am usually up and about by 8, and the children are generally very good these days about allowing me that extra hour!  I am often woken up by C11 singing at the top of her voice.  She has just started singing lessons so I see a lot of singing in our future:

C11 singing as she comes out of the bathroom.
C11 singing as she comes out of the bathroom.

After breakfast we all get down to the business of chores.  Now I can’t say that we all enthusiastically and joyfully go about our house work each day (I’m not sure I do anything enthusiastically or joyfully at that time of the morning, but that’s a whole different story!), however the children have been doing chores since they were three and they know they have to be done and so do them (usually without too much complaint).

L11 washing up in 'her' room
L11 washing up in ‘her’ room

We take a room each (the little ones partner up with someone) and tidy, wash, hoover and mop everything.

B2 helping T12 by filling up the cats water
B2 helping T12 by filling up the cats water

It stays lovely and clean for about three and a half minutes, leaving me to wonder why we bother…

My room. Clean, but for how long?
My room. Clean, but for how long?

Obviously all this work makes for some hungry children, after all they ate over an hour beforehand and one can’t possibly go longer than 60 minutes without food.  The nagging usually begins before chores are finished, with them all trying to out do themselves in the hunger stakes.  I get an inordinate amount of hugs and kisses around this time, presumably because they think I will fold under the love and give in to their pleas.  I don’t and I won’t.  I had to giggle this morning though when, wanting to try out a new tactic, my son came up to me and informed me he was lacking in at least 1500 kilojoules of energy and could I please be a good mummy and do something about it?  Eh?  It took me a while to figure out exactly what he was talking about (well, it was before 9 and I was still trying to wake up and make sense of the world around me, whilst doing my own chores in a sleepy haze.  Trying to decipher my son’s ramblings was a lost cause!).  Anyway T12 finally gave up all hope of me making him a snack and enlisted the help of his little sister and made some toast for the hungry minions and, with a coffee in hand, I joined them for our morning meeting.

T12 and B2 making toast and peanut butter
T12 and B2 making toast and peanut butter

Our morning meeting has taken many guises over the years, but has been a permanent fixture in our day since we first started home schooling.  We eat, we chat, we read the bible, we chat, I read aloud and we chat.  Not a huge amount of work gets done and we do an enormous amount of talking, but I always find it a lovely relaxing time of the day.

Morning meeting
Morning meeting

It is during our morning meeting we line up our schedules for the day and discuss what we will be doing, where I will be needed at what time and who needs help with what.

Lots of chat
Lots of chat
and light hearted banter
and light-hearted banter

I am currently reading a fun book on King John aloud to the children with the purpose of teaching them how to look at evidence critically and not make assumptions.  If I am very lucky one of my girls brushes my hair.  I love having my hair brushed and almost nod off mid sentence (not really – but it is very relaxing!)

Our book which is leading us through the rein of King John
Our book which is leading us through the reign of King John

Once we’re all set up and we all know what we are doing we move onto the first activity – maths.  This lasts about 1 hour depending what we are all doing.  It is during this time I do a bit of reading with A5 and some preschool stuff with both younger ones.

C11 does Saxon at the table
C11 does Saxon at the table
T12 does his Saxon maths in his room listening to music
T12 does his Saxon maths in his room listening to music

The little ones play whilst I do maths with L11:

Playing with the farm
Playing with the farm
A5 reading from All About Reading
A5 reading from All About Reading

After maths things are a bit more flexible.  Sometimes the children have lessons, other times we do a bit of project work.  Today is project work day.

Before much is accomplished the girls spotted a rainbow and we all grabbed our cameras to take a picture:

L11 taking her picture
L11 taking her picture
Isn't it beautiful? Not so keen on the dark side
Isn’t it beautiful? Not so keen on the dark sky

Back inside to work on our individual projects – C11 is currently hand sewing a chemise for her peasant girl (in preparation for her medieval fashion show presentation):

Sewing the neck line.
Sewing the neck line.
Not bad for a first attempt at pattern making and then sewing! Well done C11!
Not bad for a first attempt at pattern making and then sewing!
Well done C11!

L11 is preparing some parchment paper, drawing outlines for a meringue swan, which will be one of her subtleties for her feast:

Here L11 is copying around the stencil she designed the day before. She has to do this 24 times!
Here L11 is copying around the stencil she designed the day before. She has to do this 24 times!
Her plan is to pipe meringue onto the stencil shapes on the parchment paper and bake slowly in the oven. The swans will be put together using whipped cream as the filling which will hold together the swans wings and neck
Her plan is to pipe meringue onto the stencil shapes on the parchment paper and bake slowly in the oven. The swans will be put together using whipped cream as the filling which will hold together the swans wings and neck

T12 sorts through our dressing up choosing outfits he thinks might be helpful for his upcoming play on the War of the Roses:

Play costumes galore
Play costumes galore

It is a quick activity so he plays with the younger two on our trampoline whilst I prepare lunch:

Burning off some energy for lunch
Burning off some energy for lunch
A quick hug before coming in out of the cold
A quick hug before coming in out of the cold

The girls work on a King John paragraph I asked them to do about whether they thought he was a good leader or not.  L11 also puts in some time to her present for B2’s birthday next week, a Mr Men decorated number three:

C11 writing her paragraph
C11 writing her paragraph
L11 creating her sister's birthday present
L11 creating her sister’s birthday present

We have a quick lunch:

Baked potatoes, cheese and salad vegetables
Baked potatoes, cheese and salad vegetables

And the girls clear up, whilst I settle B2 for a nap and T12 finishes off his paragraph on King John (which he then emails to me to check).

More washing up...
More washing up…
Typing his paragraph
Typing his paragraph

We then have a quiet time of sorts.  It used to be a very strict quiet time, when the children read for an hour, but we can’t financially keep up with their reading appetites and have no books to offer them until April.  Quiet time has, out of necessity, become more about finding a quiet activity to do, rather than only reading.  T12 chooses to do some of his Physics homework with me helping when required, whilst L11 and C11 quickly tidy their room.  A5 opts to play with her Mr Men stuff in my room.

T12 working at his physics
T12 working at his physics

At about 2pm everyone, including me, is allowed 2 hours of screen time, to use however they want.  The girls settle down for a relaxing afternoon watching Nim’s Island, whilst T12 chooses to do a bit more project work, writing up a play which he has roped his sisters into for his presentation on the War of the Roses and then watches some Minecraft Videos on you tube (Minecraft is his latest passion!).  A5 loves being on the tablet and does some electronic drawing before tackling some addition on a game.  I am currently writing this post!

Watching Nim's Island
Watching Nim’s Island

Midway through Gary returns home from work to a hot bath, cup of tea and a chat with his wife (we lock the bathroom door and chat whilst he is in the bath – I was forbidden from taking any photos!).  I offer snacks all round (pop corn today) which are gratefully received, and post this blog before turning off the computer until everyone is in bed later on.

We always eat dinner around 4pm because Gary has lunch at 10am, which today will be sausages, baked potatoes and vegetables.  It will be a quick dinner as it is Dynamite day!  Dynamite is a youth club, held at the church down our lane, for 7-11 year olds.  The girls generally go as the youth, T12 is a junior leader, whilst Gary teaches drumming sessions.  I will be staying home, bathing the littles and popping them into bed after a long snuggle with each of them on our ancient rocking chair.

A fairly productive, yet relaxing day.  Just how I like it!

  Homegrown Learners  dayinthelife2

51 comments

  1. What a lovely… if somewhat hectic… day! As Mum to one little boy, I feel overwhelmed just reading everything that happens in your day! I think you are all even more amazing now… sorry been scarce! You know why. Been a teeny-tiny bit busy here in the South of the world… 😉

  2. you know what? I love the little tongue sticking out of your little girl’s mouth on 2 of the pictures!!!!!soooo cute…I really miss homeschooling days like this one …we used to have a much smoother day when our kids were home they are all grown now and do further studies and I have a part time job now for financial reasons so the day is filled up when we are home . I especially enjoyed the chores done with everybody sharing the load… I thank God for these 20 years of homeschooling… enjoy yours and God bless you richly..Love from Switzerland

    1. Someone said to me a few years ago, that these were the best days of our life. I agree. It saddens me that my youngest is three and growing up so quickly. These wonderful, joy filled days will be over sooner than I want, and it makes me sad to even think of it.
      You are right to thank God. We who are blessed to be home everyday with our family are blessed indeed.

  3. That is lovely, the structure of your day, you are so organised, it is good to hear of everything you do, You really are all amazing. xxxx

  4. What fun insight into your day! You’ve had me in giggles throughout – kilojoules! Well done to C for creating a pattern and dress 🙂 Have I mentioned I am thoroughly excited about the medieval banquet? Can I snag an invitation and fly off to join? 🙂 War of the Roses play, meringue swans… incredible!

  5. Love, love, LOVE the account of your day! Not that you need anyone’s approval, of course. 🙂 It sounds like your family has established a lovely, cooperative rhythm.

  6. I have to say I have an amazing remarkable wife. She works so hard and I really love the way she looks after all of us. She did however miss out a crucial part of the day. She makes lunch for me to take to work and sometimes this is at 2am in the morning when lying in bed she realises she hasn’t done it. I couldn’t ask for anything more in a wife or mother for our children. She is loved so much and we couldn’t do without her.

  7. Claire, I was so hoping you would not experience your February blahs, but I can see you have maintained your sense of humor. This was such a fun post – pictures, lack of pictures in a certain case (HA), and your awesome storytelling. You are doing such a grand job of home schooling and I know the children LOVE you being their teacher/facilitator/ mentor/mother and number one cheerleader. You know as fast as these days go by, March will be here before we know it and that means spring is just around the corner.
    Thank you for sharing your day. You are an inspiration to me.

    Have a wonderful evening and Friday.
    Hugs and prayers from me to you:)

    P.S. What a sweet reply from Gary. You are blessed to have a husband who obviously adores you and appreciates all you do for him and the children.

  8. Love this post! I’m so glad you’ve decided to share how your days go. It’s fascinating to read. I’ve always wondered how mothers with multiple children go through their days managing so many children at the same time. Now I know! 🙂 What a productive and wonderful day! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Sounds like a fun day! I like your morning meeting! I think when my kids get older, I will start doing that as well. As of now, I plan everything, and we try and get through what we can, based on attitudes 🙂

  10. Your children are so delightful. And oh, what a lot of them. I struggle to keep up with one, so hat’s off to you. I’m looking forward to learning from all these wonderful moms on the Weekly Wrap-Up.

    1. I think sometimes it is easier with more than one, because you are their only play mate (unless you have friends round). It must be special to be able to spend lots of one to one time with each other, though. I crave that with each of my children, but it rarely happens.

  11. I adore this post. I love to hear about your days…and here you have given us one whole day full of your sweet life. As always, I am amazed at your energy. I hope that you will feel prompted to write more posts like this. I learn so much from you. I am blessed to know you. (Your husband’s comment is the best Saint Valentine’s Day present anyone could get.) You have inspired me to perhaps try to write A Day in the Life myself…

    1. You should! I really enjoyed it, because I’m not sure I really knew we got through so much in a day. Sometimes it feels as if we don’t do enough, but documenting a day, I can see that over time it would add up nicely. It was good to do!

  12. What an enjoyable post! You are a fantastic mummy! I think you’re doing things just right. I hope you get over your blahs soon, and I know what it’s like to suffer from insomnia and live on very little sleep. You’re handling it all just beautifully. Thanks for inspiring me.

  13. I love all the artistry and how everyone pulls together to keep the house nice (if only for a few minutes!). And what a way to be awakened, by singing! I try to remember that when J(8) wakes us up at weekends chattering to his toys – I know I’ll be sad when I realise one day that he’s stopped doing it!

  14. I love the idea of the morning meeting!! I would love to have that instituted here, but we struggle with math, so we tackle that first thing. I don’t have extreme insomnia, but I do understand the frustration of wanting to sleep, but not being able to 😦 I am so sorry you struggle with it.

    I see you love history! I am going to paw through your history posts. We love history too 🙂 I hope you have a great week.

  15. I enjoyed reading about a day in your life. I love the smiles on your children’s faces. That reflects the joy in your home. Can I just move next door and send my children to your house?

  16. I love the picture of your daughter taking a picture (that’s a funny thing to write!) of a rainbow. Your house in the background… just beautiful. How long has your daughter been sewing? She did a great job. Oh, and the clean room at the beginning – yeah, sometimes I wonder why I bother too!!

  17. Winter blues have been a problem for me since living in Germany. This year I’ve made a huge effort to spend 1 hour per day outside and the difference is incredible. I feel so much better. I see your kids are getting out while you are stuck inside preparing lunch. Remember to take care of yourself too!

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