Last year I missed doing a day in the life post, for the first time since starting the blog. I rather like these posts as a snap shot of how our lives change over the years, so last week I endeavored to highly irritate my children by following them around all day like a lunatic, taking lots of photos…..
Charlotte gets up the earliest, and makes fresh coffee for everyone else and takes it to them in bed 🙂 Yes, I might just be the luckiest mother in the whole world
After breakfast is chore time. I take two rooms with the little ones, Lillie and Charlotte take a room each and Thomas does garden chores Gary has set him at the weekend.
B6 in the kitchen with me:
A8 sorting the laundry for the bathroom chores:
Charlotte in the living room:
and Lillie upstairs:
We swap round daily so they all know how to do kitchen, bathroom, laundry and living room chores. Just recently we decided to have Thomas start a list of garden chores as he is not available on a Tuesday (college) or a Saturday (work) and often a Sunday (helps out up at the church). Gary and I still believe it is healthy for him to chore because he is a member of the family, and families make the mess together and clear up together. It is just how it is. But everyone (including Thomas) was getting frustrated as he found he didn’t have the time to get room chores done so early on, plus it would disturb the rest of the household. So a list of garden chores to finish, as and when he could, sorted that out nicely! This week he has been moving logs to prepare for this Saturday’s work project:
WiFi (and therefore any screen time) does not get switched on until everyone has finished chores. This is a relatively new rule and seems to be working well for us all. We all check emails and texts and I set up the computer for my morning work with B6.
We all go for a walk, with the littles and Thomas walking with me, and the twins wandering off on their own. The walks happen at various times depending on chores and the such.
At 9 we start school. Phones go away. The older ones do maths on their computers, A8 goes around to my mum’s for read aloud, writing, spelling and grammar 1-2-1 schooling. B6 is with me. We cover phonics, writing, times tables and get snacks ready.
At 945 we have morning meeting and a snack. We are slowly working our way through Who is God? Apologia Bible curriculum (we are almost finished the second book, Who am I?) which I do with the entire crew. Charlotte reads out today’s lesson:
Afterwards we focus on some history. This week we have been learning about Dr Livingstone. The twins put on a play managed by Thomas, about a time when Livingstone met a rain doctor. It was absolutely hilarious and I quietly thank God that I have teens who throw themselves into anything I suggest:
The little ones look on in amusement, whilst Thomas
does absolutely nothing at all stage manages from a supine position on the sofa:
Lillie ends it by exclaiming how blessed she is to be homeschooled. Moments like this make me smile.
At 1030 B6 goes over to Granny’s whilst the older ones study for their IGCSEs, with Thomas doing chemistry and the girls doing English Language. They work in silence and without the always present ear phones. I figure they can’t take them into the exam so should probably get used to doing some work without them:
A8 does Veritas Bible, some work on her times tables and some copy work from whatever Five in a Row book we are currently reading, today being The Story of Ping.
At 1115 the older ones move onto their third formal subject. Thomas continues with Chemistry, Charlotte goes over to Granny’s to do her English Literature for half an hour, after which she gets to have a drink and a chat with my lovely mum until lunch is ready. Lillie works on her art. I prepare her lessons each week alongside her and she simply works her way through the lesson at her own pace. One lesson takes a few weeks. The younger girls and I work at our FIAR geography studies. At the moment we are working on China:
I also read a book about Wetlands, which A8 asks to have for her quiet time reading. We also manage to squeeze in some edible maths, using raisins as counters:
And the start of an Art Achieve art lesson:
Midday hails the end of formal school and lunch, which is usually baked potatoes with a huge salad. The children go on their phones/computers/tv for half an hour, then WIFI, computers and tv are all turned off until 6pm. This is a huge change and means none of us have a computer to use until evening time.
Most of the children have quiet time, whilst one child cooks for dinner or afternoon snack. The older ones do that by themselves and will be choosing what they wish to cook on ‘their day’. I help the little ones. Today, because we are out in the afternoon/early evening, we will heat up some pasta when we get home. This means B6 and I can focus on a snack for everyone. I want to experiment with some sugar free breads so we make a banana and raisin bread which is delish!
After quiet time we all go for another walk. I prefer to go into the woods at this time but to be honest we usually end up at the park with the little ones playing whilst I sit and read a book. Again the twins wander off on their own and sometimes join their brother at the skate park. Whatever the case it is outdoor time for us all, even if we choose to stay home and work/play in the garden.
The afternoons are spent pursuing our own interests. This is becoming a very important time for me, because it is not only the children who spend time doing what they love – I do too! And remember there is no computer wifi and all screens are turned off, so none of us are even tempted into the vortex of screens.
The littles spent most of their time outside and afterwards Charlotte plays some dressing up make believe game in which she is Poirot’s daughter and they are her Chinese helpers trying to solve some sort of crime with some very peculiar french/Russian/Chinese accents going round. I can’t tell you how much pleasure I get from watching my youngest twin get so much pleasure from playing with her little sisters. And they hang on her every word:
Lillie, of course, spends her afternoon creating up in her bedroom:
Thomas tends to spend his time with his musical instruments, and this afternoon is no different. Today, I choose to spend time in the peace and quiet of my bedroom mulling over and praying about where to go with the little one’s maths. I have a seed of an idea growing, so spend the time exploring it further. I also have a lovely cup of tea and read my newest reading book: The Life Giving Home by Sally Clarkson and her daughter:
An hour or so later, we climb into our car and drive to Manna, the Christian Drama group they are all involved in. It is B6’s first time, and she loves it! Thomas is a junior teacher, whilst all four girls are members. They all have a minor part in the up coming play and A8 was asked if she would like to have small role in the play they will be performing this Christmas at the theater local to us! It is all very exciting, and I thank God for the day Manna was introduced to us. It is by far one of the best things we have been involved in as a family.
Gary meets me up at Manna as it is fairly close to his work. We have a lovely peaceful chat in the car before joining some of the other parents in the foyer. Once home everyone is tired but happy. I warm up some tomato sauce to throw over some pasta with some grated cheese and call it dinner. The littles go straight to bed, but not before I read another chapter of Li Lun: Lad of Courage our current go along to the China unit study. They are asleep before I leave the room. The older ones do some chores, I download some photos from the day and get everything ready for the next day whilst Gary has a bath.
The older children then shower and settle down for some NCIS: LA, whilst Gary and I retire to our room for the night with some fruit salad, Greek yogurt and a cup of tea. We catch up on the day and then cuddle down to watch an episode of Mr Selfridge on Netflix. Gary is usually asleep by nine, after which I make sure the older ones are heading in the direction of their rooms. They have to be upstairs by 930 and generally tuck down about 10 ish (although Charlotte has been known to burn the midnight oil on some book or another. I did the same at her age so have not a leg to stand on. She is always first up and is nearly always bright and chirpy, so I figure she must have enough sleep)
I roll some oats, popping some in a saucepan and covering with water to soak overnight, and a smaller amount in a lidded mug, adding some water and milk for Gary to take to work for breakfast the next morning. I make him a packed lunch, brush my teeth and retire to bed. A day full of simple loveliness. I am very blessed in deed <3