Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Day in Our Life

_MG_4917.jpgRecently, I attended a lunch in which foster parents and case workers described what a typical day looked like for them. This got me thinking about what life is like around our home these days. While not everyday is the same, I do try and keep a routine around here so the children know what to expect. I firmly believe that children are creatures of habit. They thrive on routine schedules, and knowing what's to come in the hours or a day ahead of them. Sometimes a little spontaneity can be fun too! Usually, if we have something out of the ordinary on the books, I'll let the children know a day ahead, if that's possible.

Now, I will admit that I'm not really a morning person. I end up rolling out of bed and coming downstairs arounds 7:30 or 8:00am. By this time most of children have already eaten breakfast and are off to entertain themselves. My older chidlren are really good about helping the younger ones get breakfast. _MG_4930.jpgOnce the breakfast and the kitchen are cleaned up the older chidlren begin their lessons. They usually have a schedule and decide which subject they would like to begin with. As they've gotten older they've been able to work more independently. Latin is taught through my Lutheran Stud and a video. At one point I tried to keep up with them in Latin, but now they've passed me up. Often times I can be dictating 3 spelling lessons at the same time. It can get a little confusing, but we always manage to get the correct words on the correct papers. One of the great things about homeschooling is that we are able to track with our children to see where they are excelling, as well as where they need more help. For example, right now Thomas, as a 3rd grader, has moved into the same math book as Rebecca, who is in 6th grade. He is just flying through math quite easily. Rachel is quite the grammarian and has just begun the 5th grade grammar book as a 4th grader. _MG_4928.jpgWhile I am working with the older children the younger ones can be found all over the house playing puzzles, Legos, or maybe even Little People. There is always someone to play with and something to do. "Bored" is a word that is rarely heard around here._MG_4936.jpgAs time permits, four of the the younger children do math together. We are also working on learning the 70 phonograms and learning to write those letters in cursive. Fine motor skills come a little easier to my girls than the little boys. I think it's a girl thing._MG_4932.jpgWe take a short break from school to feed our bellies, and sometimes after lunch we pile into the big tank and head to the grocery store, library, or run other errands. Yes, they all go with me. It's a fun family outing. :)_MG_4933.jpgWhen we return home or after we've finished lunch, we begin chores. I have a chore chart made for all of the days of the week with a specific chore for each child. All of our children have chores ranging from making their beds to wiping toilets, from shoveling snow to wiping windows and even picking up all the shoes and coats in the garage. That's no small feat with 9 children in our home. Our foster children pair up with one of our older children. They think doing chores is so much fun and look forward to that time in the day. I just wish my children would do their chores with the same excitement. _MG_4945.jpgOnce chores are finished the five little ones have nap time. They normally sleep for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. During that time I begin preparing things for dinner and the older children finish up their school work, read a book, or do some other quiet activity, and sometimes I'm dictating spelling or teaching math while making dinner.IMG_8378Most recently, we've had a weekly visit on our schedule for our foster children, so after their naps we have a little snack and I'll pack a dinner. We drop the foster children off for their visit and head to church where my Lutheran Stud is usually still working, and we eat dinner. IMG_8404When we all return home there is a little time before bed, but everyone is usually pretty wiped out and bed time comes pretty quickly.

Our home is not super crazy or maybe it is and I'm just crazy. I try not to over schedule myself or the children because I think our children or family would suffer from too many activities and running around. Adding three new children hasn't added a lot of craziness around here either. We've added a few more appointments here and there during the month, but for the most part, things have not changed too much. We have a pretty laid back household or perhaps, we're just well scheduled. 
Lest you think that our home looks lovely and peaceful on a daily basis let me show you that, that isn't always the case. Many mornings you can find my 6 year-old on the floor throwing a tantrum because he wants to play instead of working on his grammar lessons, or my 12 year old is giving me attitude because she doesn't want to share the math book or I can't work around HER schedule the way that she wants. The preschoolers can be found tattling on each other while I'm in the middle of teaching a math lesson or they can be found emptying EVERY.SINGLE.TOY off the shelves in the basement. Who's going to clean up that mess? People have told me that they can't imagine what it's like to have a large family, so I hope you enjoyed a small peek at how we roll around here. What are things like in your home? I'd love to see!


Adriane said...

Now I know it's true: You're supermom!

Lauren said...

Someone just asked to be a fly on the wall while I'm homeschooling and I laughed. I'm pretty sure no one would ever be convinced to homeschool by watching it in action. It's crazy (and you have triple children I have!)

But the years we have these kids at home are short and so we wouldn't have it any other way, right?

Here's to you and your well managed household!

Rachel Francisco said...

Always fun to see a fellow homeschool mom in action, even if you put some of us to shame. Out of curiosity, are you using Shurley Grammar? Prima Latina?

JAN said...

Lauren, someone asked me the same thing.

Rachel, we do use Shurley Grammar. We started with Prima Latina, but found that as you keep going with Latina Christiana I and II it just didn't flow well together and the children were struggling. Now we just jump right in using First Form Latin and that has worked out much better. I know that Memoria Press has been revamping their programs.

Gretchen said...

Wow, just wow. I'm blown away by it all. You have an awesome schedule and I bet the routine helps keep it calm. But I'm really glad you threw that last little paragraph in there about the sometimes-chaos, because that's how it is around here too, only with grass instead of snow and a 10-year-old attitude instead of 12-year-old. And what a great place for the foster kids to experience, and what an impact you guys will have on their lives. Do they homeschool, too?

Heather said...

Remember when we met at Colleen's Swap Party and I all awkwardly asked like a total creeper if I could watch how your family does homeschool, managing the kids at home, and such sometime?

Well, this blog post just basically did that. ;-) So, thank you.