19
Jan

a day in the life…II

   Posted by: liz   in family, family fun, homeschooling

wednesday, february 2012
5:40 finds me awake. the wind howled all night long, and there is new snow on the ground. i do not want to get out from under my very warm blankets. kenny beats me to it and gets ready for work. i join him downstairs once i get the courage to get out from under the warmth.

6:15 ~ kenny is off to work and my morning looks pretty identical to yesterday’s morning. today, though, i have to prepare dinner, so i pull a few round steaks out of the freezer to defrost.

8:00 ~ the boys begin to stir upstairs, so i start some oatmeal for Rowan and Sawyer. Adam is not a fan.

8:05 ~ Sawyer comes down and sits with his book in front of the fireplace. He’s reading Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy books. i think he likes the idea of reading and finishing short chapter books more than he’s really enjoying the books themselves. Rowan emerges from sleep and joins Sawyer with his new Franny K. Stein book. he actually is loving reading and enjoying these stories. he’s finishing a book a day so i think he’s ready for the next level up in books.

8:15 ~oatmeal is ready. adam comes down and requests cold cereal. they all eat, and go back to their books. i don’t press them to get dressed and make their beds as usual this morning. i savor seeing them with their noses in books. again, i remind myself that there are more important things than keeping to a schedule!

9:00 ~ i gather the boys to the kitchen. today we are starting off our lessons with a science experiment. on monday, we took materials for a fun science experiment over to our friends’ house and had so much fun with that that we wanted to try another simple experiment this week. Today, we are making homemade bouncy balls. the first time, it didn’t work. the materials didn’t come together into a ball, and it made a sticky mess all over our hands and bowls. we took about 15 minutes to clean all the spoons, bowls and hands. sawyer told me it was okay that it didn’t work out. he also asked me if i was embarrassed that the science experiment didn’t work (he’s such a tender-heart!). we gathered the materials again and i tried it again. this time, i skipped the food coloring step and it came together fine!    adam and sawyer decided to try again as well (rowan went back to the fireplace with his book) and it worked for them as well.  this was a great way to learn that sometimes experiments just don’t work out the way we think they will. this segued into a review of our science definition of the week: “what is a chemical?”

10:00 ~ i finally tell them to get dressed and make their beds. they have a snack first because they’re STARVING (does anyone else have constantly STARVING kids?)

10:15 ~ art project: a study in symmetry. i print out three symmetrical designs to be colored. rowan wants to read more, so i color his design myself. as we discuss what symmetrical shapes and designs are, sawyer observes that “only the outside of a house can be symmetrical, not the inside. otherwise, you’d have to have two kitchens and stuff.”

11:00 ~they all decide to play. i think they decided on laser tag. i fix myself a cup of decaf coffee and look through the circulars. tomorrow is shopping day (first day of grocery store sales!) and i want to go completely prepared. i also realize that i should probably get started on cleaning the bathrooms. i’m trying to get on a regular cleaning schedule of them. i’m distracted by the requests of yet another snack from three STARVING boys. it’s 11:30, so i start on getting lunch together.

12:00 ~ lunch!

12:15 ~ during lunch, sawyer complains of sore knuckles. he’s always had chubby hands, but they’re red and i think the redness makes them look a bit more swollen. he goes back to eating while i self-diagnos him with kawasaki’s disease. i call kenny to let him know and he talks me down from that diagnosis and tells me there is no need to call 911. he’ll take a look at it tonight. i am relieved, of course, but make a mental note to check sawyer’s knuckles and hands every day until he turns 10, at least.

12:30 ~math!  my favorite time of day!! </snark>  rowan’s lesson today is a review sheet. he hates them because they require doing problems on a page. he would much rather figure out problems in his head. i only make him do half the sheet, while sawyer and i set up our math cards for his lesson.  rowan is done before we are, so i let rowan and sawyer finish the game. adam and i start on his lesson. we breeze through 5 whole lessons – i didn’t realize how much math he actually knows, so i’m bumping him up to the end review sheets for this level, and tomorrow, we’ll start the second level of math curriculum for him.

1:30 ~ i’m so glad math is done for today. co-op review while the boys have an afternoon snack…

1:45 ~harry potter time. i was going to skip it today, but they loved it so much yesterday that they begged me to read more today. how could i possibly say no?

2:30 ~finally!  some time to work on my knitting project, read some of my book…just in time for adam to come ask me:

2:45 ~”mommy can i paint?” time to get the paints and brushes and paper out, clear off the kitchen table, and get some water and paper towels ready.

3:30 ~ mom and dad come over for a quick visit. mom comes with goodies – peanut butter filled pretzels and cookies from trader joes. i start on dinner: braised round steak with brown rice. it’s not the best dinner, but the juice is amazing – just like french onion soup!  kenny arrives home at 5:00.

5:45 ~ after dinner, i suggest we all go to the mall but kenny suggests i go alone – he’s so brilliant.  i need new jeans so badly as my favorite pair have three new holes in them.

6:00 ~ i spend some time roaming the aisles and hallways of our little country mall. i find some sales, and try to gather friends to meet me for dessert. i know it’s hard on short notice…so i head home at 8:00 p.m. to a house full of laughing boys. yes, they are still so full of energy at the hour of 8:00 (and 9:00…) every night.

8:30 ~ boys tucked in…kenny and i decide to find the first episode of the new season Downton Abbey online. a great end to another great day.

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at 7:56 am and is filed under family, family fun, homeschooling. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 comments so far

 1 

I feel like it’s a total treat to follow your days like this!

January 19th, 2012 at 11:30 am
Samantha French
 2 

I love reading about your days!! I don’t like oatmeal either!!

January 19th, 2012 at 3:40 pm
 3 

one thing that caught my eye: what does it mean to have a page that requires doing the math on the page? does it mean to “show your work”?

I always hated those. To get “back” at the teacher, I would write down the answer first and then write down the work she wanted to see.

If that is the same frustration Rowan has, I recommend not making him do the work, but if he gets it wrong, particularly due to a simple error that probably would have been avoided if he had written the work, then press that point.

I also talk to Jonathan about some problems (coming in the future) will be too hard to do in his head, so he needs to know how to do them on paper. (one discussion I had with Jonathan had to do with adding and subtracting from the right or left, and the issues with carrying and borrowing that arise from starting from the left – on smaller numbers it is reasonably manageable, but others takes a lot of time and prone to mistakes).

January 20th, 2012 at 10:26 am
 4 

I agree with Jon: at this point, let him just give the answer if he gets it right. Janet went through that phase, too. She had an uncanny, almost instinctive grasp of math, and could give the answer, even to a complex problem, and have no idea how to explain how she arrived at the answer. Eventually, of course, she learned to do that. But I saved a lot of tears — and possibly spared her a subsequent life-long hatred of math — by letting her skip the “show your work” part until her explanatory skills caught up with her math skills.

January 20th, 2012 at 2:29 pm
liz
 5 

i’m not sure it’s a “show your work” problem. he likes to use the abacus, and he loves the trading 10s picture problems. he just loses his confidence when we go to the worksheets book and he sees a page of 25 problems. i haven’t been making him do the entire worksheet lately because it can take him upwards of an hour to finish. it’s not that he doesn’t understand it, because he definitely gets the concepts he’s learning. he just doesn’t want to sit and do the same type of problem, with pencil and worksheet. i really think it’s a focus issue. when we read Math Curse (see last week’s “Alternaschool) last week, he loved it. this is why I want to look into the Life of Fred math curriculum for at least Rowan. sawyer, on the other hand, loves the worksheets and practice problems.

January 20th, 2012 at 2:42 pm

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