A Day in The Life of This Learning Mama
If you are looking for the summary of a perfectly ordered homeschool day, this is not going to be the one. I was thinking maybe I should just scratch this one out, and try again tomorrow but I decided not to — because this is life, mine anyway, for better or for worse. And today is definitely going on the short list of my worst days.
It’s February and a Monday, which are two things that I’m not particularly fond of.
So here is day in the life of this learning mama, homeschooling my three girls, ages 8, 5, and 1. Last year, I chose to share an ordinary, at home day of our homeschool — so this year I thought I’d share a day that involves some at home learning as well as one of our weekly out of home activities.
5:20 am Baby Sister (21 months old) wakes up. I gently give her daddy a kick and he get’s out of bed. He’s so awesome about getting up early with her. Sometimes she goes back to sleep with him, sometimes they go downstairs and do whatever it is that toddlers like to do at that ridiculous hour.
7:08 am Baby Sister happily comes into the bedroom looking for mama. We snuggle and are joined by Big Sister (8) and Little Sister (5). Daddy showers and get’s ready for work. Then it’s my turn, and time for my big girls to get started on their morning chores (dress, make beds, put laundry away & unload the dishwasher). They are overjoyed to discover that I forgot to turn the dishwasher on before bed last night,but I get them to sort the next load of laundry and fold clean rags instead.
8:00 am Daddy has left for work and I’m making breakfast (cream of wheat & smoothies) while the girls round up library books. It’s Monday, and on today’s agenda is an afternoon gymnastics class with our homeschool friends, and then our weekly trip to the library. Books are rounded up, breakfast is served and eaten, teeth and hair are brushed, and Baby Sister is dressed — a great and smooth start to our day!
9:15 am We begin our usual morning time. Everyone loves this part — we sing “Lavender’s Blue” (Baby Sister’s favourite) and play some clapping games on the floor. Then we cozy up on the couch for read alouds & devotions, our hymn of the week, memory work, and our very first day of Picture Study. Baby Sister steals and then bends our brand new picture card, such is life when you are homeschooling with a toddler. While I try to take her mischief in stride, today I’m pretty upset about it. How very ridiculous this will seem to me later, in light of the destruction we will see today!
9:45 We start our book work with Math. Little Sister watches her Math-U-See DVD lesson, and Big Sister takes her book upstairs to find a quiet spot to do her lesson. Math does not go well for Little Sister and I today. Up until today, she has been doing great with Math and has had some fun with single digit addition. But today, we are moving from adding 2+2 to 20+20, and for some reason it does not compute! Unfortunately for me, Little Sister didn’t communicate her lack of understanding very well and instead I perceived her behaviour as being distracted and/or uncooperative. Unfortunately for her, I was immensely frustrated by said behaviour and raised my voice. I admit that this happens too often in these sort of situations. Sigh.
Big Sister finishes her lesson before Little Sister and I are done, which is very unusual, and she waits for me while playing in the family room with Baby Sister.
10:15 Math is done, and Little Sister assumes the responsibility of toddler entertainer while Big Sister and I hit the books. We spend 15 minutes doing our writing lesson, which for today is a simple dictation exercise. Then 15 minutes of Spelling followed by 15 minutes of Grammar. Big Sister is finding sentence diagraming easy and boring, and she wants to do it on her own instead of step by step with my help. It’s almost 11:00, and the kids are all getting a little hungry and whining for a snack or a change of activity. I let Big Sister finish off with her cursive practice on her own.
11:07 While I’m starting a load of laundry (with the assistance of Baby Sister), I realize that I forgot to put her down for a nap this morning! On Monday she naps in the morning because we head out to gymnastics in the afternoon. Up to bed she goes! I usually do one page of handwriting with Little Sister every day, but I forgot that too!
11:20 The big girls are playing (and mostly arguing!) while I’m making lunch. It seems like most of what they do lately is fight with one another. Big Sister get’s tired of fighting with Little Sister and decides to read instead. Supper goes into the slow cooker. It’s a family favourite, Chicken & Black Bean Soup.
12:00 Lunch is ready. We eat, then I wake Baby Sister and plunk her into her high chair for a quick bite. Then it’s everyone running around for bathroom, socks, boots, coats and out the door!
12:45 We get loaded into the car with our library bags, and head out while listening to our latest audiobook, Understood Betsy, while we make the 30 minute drive to the gym. We are really loving this story!
The rest of this story should read as follows: the girls have fun at gymnastics while mama has a nice time chatting with the homeschool mommies and chasing toddlers around the viewing area while they try to escape into the gym with the big kids. Then we go to the library, come home, and play/read until suppertime. That was how it was supposed to happen.
1:00 pm We are about half way to gymnastics when we get rear ended. Hard. No one is hurt, thankfully, but our van is not drivable. It’s all I can do to pull off the busy road to get onto a side street. We spend an hour waiting for the police, my husband to collect us, and the van to be towed. The whole situation was a mess — I don’t have a cell phone to call anyone, the kid who hit us was driving his father’s car and was terrified, I sent text messages to my husband with my iPad which he does not answer, then I text my mom and ask her to call him. Then the kid drives home to get his father, who tries to convince me that we don’t need to call the police, that I can still drive my car if he pulls off the bumper (except the FRAME was bent and interfering with the tires!).
So, yeah, we missed gymnastics.
But guess what? This book loving mama didn’t miss the library! That’s where I had my husband take us when he picked us up — after all, we wouldn’t want any late fees, would we?!
3:30 pm We are finally home. I ask my husband to deal with the insurance company and the towing as I’m just exhausted. I call my mom to fill her in on all the details, all she knew was that we had been in an accident, we were ok, and I needed her to tell my husband to come for us. I’m so thankful that I had a slow cooker supper planned for today — I go upstairs to bed and lay down with a book (Surprised by Joy, C. S. Lewis). The kids are playing and totally unaffected by the day’s drama.
5:30 pm Supper
6:00 pm Big Sister does piano practice and homework with Daddy. Dishes and books on the couch for me my little girls.
6:30 pm Big Sister and I work on the LEGO kit she got for Christmas that she has been wanting help with. It’s nice to just relax with her, and we spend almost an hour getting all the pieces together. We come back downstairs and it’s time to rally the troops one more time for a big clean up before bed.
At 7:35 we gather at the table with some snacks and our bedtime reading, Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Baby Sister makes reading impossible, so Daddy takes her upstairs.
8:15 and the big girls are all tucked in and reading in bed. Baby Sister is being put to bed by Daddy.
I spend the evening giving my statement regarding the accident to the police (which is done by email nowadays — who knew?!), checking in on my email/Facebook messages, and then reviewing my notes of the day for this post. At 10:15 pm, I head off to bed for some more reading and then go to sleep. I forget to turn the dishwasher on AGAIN and leave all the laundry in the dryer unfolded.
Tomorrow we will have an ordinary homeschool day, except no doubt we will be exploring the prospect of rental vehicles, insurance reports, and of course the used vehicle market. Anyone have any good leads on decently priced mini vans?