Home Education Day in the Life 2018 with a 9 yr old, a 7 yr old and a 4 yr old

Right now we are in the middle of building work and that affects a lot of the things that are going on around here. But let’s jump in where we are.

My alarm goes off at 6.15 however let’s not kid ourselves – it’s cold out there, so I stay snuggled under my covers trying not to wake W (my husband) while I go through my rss, and read blog posts until I get to the point where I really have to get up. Today that is 7.10am which is a bit later than usual.

I get dressed into my morning walk gear, and go downstairs to put breakfast into the oven, because today we are having baked oats and that needs 30 minutes to cook.

Once that is in the oven I realise we are out of apples (again) so I incorporate a trip to the supermarket into my walk. Even though my morning walk has been all over the place in the last six months or so, this introvert still really needs it as quiet time, so I try to get out for at least a few minutes (ideally half and hour) each day. Now that the children are older this is much easier, but on the flip-side it is harder to get up when you’re not made to by a two year old, even though I consider myself a morning person.

I get out of the house and enjoy the morning sky while listening to The Guilty Feminist which this week is talking about Hope.

I come back with shopping and W emerges fully dressed but still half asleep, and we catch up for a bit while the plasterers arrive, and start re-boarding and skimming the ceiling in what will eventually be our kitchen.

At breakfast we get two out of the three children because the 7 year old is reading in bed. She comes down eventually, has a hug on my knee and takes her breakfast back upstairs while W leaves for work. After breakfast I find two of the songs that the 9 year old has been playing along to in his rock band music class, and I make him a playlist in You Tube for easy access.

I do some tidying up in our temporary kitchen and when I come back to my phone it has decided to randomly die on me which is a bit worrying, so I bring it upstairs to revive it before I have my shower.

And now it is 10.20am, I am dressed, the phone is working, the girls are playing with playmobile in the shower and my son is playing lego in his bedroom. This winter has been one of slow quieter mornings and this is a prime example of one of them.

After I clean up I convince the 9 old to come do tablework. Right now the tablework for each child consists of a Mrs Wordsmith word, a spelling sheet, a multiplication card, a grammar sheet and a maths lesson, set up for their level of ability. (My four year old also practises 10 sight words and counting in tens up to forty.)

I am really glad that tablework is a short and sweet because it makes it doable while we are having work done to the house. But even so the disruption of it has broken up the day in day out reliability of that routine and today I get a lot more push back than I usually do. Somehow we get the work done, and no one cries. Yay.

Once the 9 year old has finished his work, his sisters come downstairs and (unusually for us) do their tablework at the same time. I used to do it like this all the time when the older two were tiny, but switched to one to one as they got older and the work got more complicated, but it worked pretty well today so if they are up for it we might do it again more regularly.

Once tablework is done everyone goes off the tidy the front room in varying states of willingness. I tidy up all the table work stuff, file the work we have done, and then help them out. Now it is 12.50pm, I am about to make lunch, and the kids are watching Ninjago on netflix.

After our lunch W nips home from work to make himself a sandwich. He and I make a list of all the things that we expect to have to pay for on top of the estimate from our builder. We agree to never buy anything ever again. (We have been saving for this building work for seven years and it is very strange to be finally spending the money on it.)

I tidy up after lunch while the kids finish up their screen time. I go upstairs and write my December and January Empties post, and then put all the containers in the recycling, and thus have a slightly tidier bedroom. Yay.

Once they have finished their screen time we go out to the park. We have been playing in this park for a good seven years and we are still finding new favourite places to play within it. While the kids climb trees, make pretend camp fires and strip back of old sticks with their pen knives, I sit on some logs for a few minutes and do some hip stretches and the physiotherapy for my Diastasis Recti.

And now it is raining and I am freezing my butt off, but I am listening to Truth in the Trenches and have promised myself that when it finishes in half an hour we will go home. However my 9 year old ended up cutting his finger on his pen knife so we have to go home because I don’t have plasters in my bag. We end up buying apple juice and mini cheese cakes that have been massively marked down on our way home.

Once home, cheese cakes are eaten, a small plaster is administered and I spend an age downloading Redwall onto my laptop for the 9 year old to listen to while building with lego in his room. Our ancient, second hand tablet died randomly last week and my old phone, which the girls mainly use to listen to audiobooks, is somewhere in the house but even a reward of a shiny pound coin has not caused it to resurface so we are a bit devoid of technology at the moment.

I make dinner and tidy up a bit (again), and ask W if he can come home ten minutes earlier than usual so that I can go get a load of books that have arrived for us at the local library. While we wait the 4 year old and I watch Hamilton videos on you tube. We have been singing like King George all day.

This is not usual, but today I leave W to finish up dinner and go collect the books ready for the unit study I am hoping to do on the Winter Olympics and South Korea. I also pick up a couple of books for me that I reserved, and a couple of Magic Animal Friends books for the 7 year old.

When I get back dinner is ready and we all eat together. Afterwards the children have a run about in the extension and W (who is on a baking kick) starts making a shopping list for his next bake. While he goes to the shops I herd the kids upstairs to start getting ready for bed. Eventually everyone is in their pyjamas and have brushed their teeth and we gather on my bed to read stories. We read Arthur and the Golden Rope, which really needs to go back to the library, (and which is really beautiful!) and more of Angela Nicely Puppy Love. Recently I have been reading lots of early chapter book, firstly to encourage my 7 year old, and secondly because we have a found a few series that are just fun like Claude books and Mango and Bambang. After this I will look to read something a bit meater, and wintery but I’m not sure what.

After stories I should get up and make hot water bottles but I am updating my Good Reads and messing about on my phone. W has taken over parenting duty because at the moment he is better at getting them to settle and go to sleep. I am knackered and looking forward to listening to the latest John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme

(and probably fall asleep half way through.)

(This is what happens.)

A Day in the life – Katie’s day with a 7, 5 and nearly 3 year old

(Linking up to the Simplehomeschool day in a life series today…)

6am

My alarm goes off. A combination of engrossing book and both girls (5 and about to be 3) crawling into bed with me at different points of the night means that I am still tired. This will mean an early night tonight. For the last week I have osculated between reading a bit too much and then having to go to bed pretty much once the children have fallen asleep. Luckily hb is in a similar position so we’re not annoying each other in that regard.

6.35am

I finally get up from between dozing daughters. No one complains. This is a good day (apart from the tiredness.) I say hi to my son (fellow early bird who is 7) then go pull on workout clothes and leave the house for my morning walk. Usually I listen to podcasts, but today I am in the mood for some Andrew Bird and the audiobook of the same book that kept me up last night. (Damn you engrossing book.)

By the time get back everyone is awake and I need to start breakfast. My son is looking at lego instructions on the main computer, hb in getting dressed and the girls come downstairs to see what is going on. This morning the breakfast is potato waffles and scrambled egg. Nom.

8.15am

I go grab a shower and the children get dressed. The usual scramble ensues. eventually everyone is dressed approximately for the correct weather, and hb leaves for work. Just before he leaves I give him some of my birthday chocolates that my friend gave me yesterday, mostly so I don’t eat them all, but also to be nice. (but mostly so I don’t eat them all.)

9.30am

I am writing this. I am about to put on a Shaun the sheep so that I can brush my youngest’s hair. the 5 year old is making everyone cards and decorating the envelopes with drawing (note to self. add envelopes to my errands list for tomorrow.)

10am

The hair brushing didn’t take half an hour, it just felt like it did. After this, I decide to break my own rule about getting table work done before we watch a documentary, and set the children up to watch the last episode of Victorian Bakery. I go make peanut butter cookies, because I’ve been making them all week, and they have been going down really well with everyone. (I made vegan ones yesterday because we had vegan friends over – leave out the egg, add a mushed up banana instead, and about half a cup of flour or so, and they come out basically the same as if you had used an egg. Nom.)

11am

The documentary is over, the cookies are baked, the washing up is done and I have caffeine inside me (though not enough.) Really we should be doing today’s table work, and we will, but the children are playing and I sneak a few rows on the sock I’m knitting. Eventually we start our maths, which is about numbers to 100. My 7yr old finishes quickly but my 5yr old is too busy trying to make me laugh. but she does make me laugh and eventually we are done. (My nearly 3yr old plays with the small animal counters we have, and gets on and off my knee.) Everyone goes off to play for a bit and I write this, and think about getting Ready2Read done before we have lunch.

1pm

Ready2Read is complete and we need to get lunch sorted. It was a bit all over the place. Not the doing of the work, which was fine, but now I have a pile of work to be sorted into things to be filed, and things to be put away into the unit folders ready for the next person. (The 7yr old has just started level 3 and is really enjoying the new things to do. The 5yr old is getting the hang of level 2. Neither of them want to read early readers but are getting good at reading individual words. So progress.) More play once Ready2Read is done. I disappear off and hide in the loo and look at social media for a few minutes. I am joined by my youngest who has brought a book.

The postman arrives. It is the nearly 3yr old’s birthday tomorrow. there are cards, but she must wait till tomorrow. screaming ensues. The cuddly Rey doll has not arrived, but it is from her uncle and aunt so if it arrives early next week it will just make the celebrations last longer. I look at the state of the house. All the peanut cookies haveĀ  been eaten. We need to eat and tidy the house and then leave the house in about an hour. Urgh.

Time to make lunch (“lunch is boring!” – the nearly 3yr old. I know.)

2pm

We are supposed to be getting ready for our friday meetup. This is a regular thing with about 5 or 6 other local families, where we meet at each other’s houses and do a bit of craft and play. Usually this works really well. but recently some of the children (including my eldest) have had a hard time getting on. Some weeks everyone gets on really well. Other weeks they are like cats in a bag and need a lot of help finding some sort of middle ground. After meeting up with two sets of friends the day before, my lot decide they are really not up for the meet up today, so at the 11th hour I have to text round our apologies, and instead I spend a big chunk of the afternoon properly tidying and cleaning our front room, ready for family coming over at the weekend. The children dance around, play in the garden, listen to audiobooks and build stuff out of lego, and generally get busy doing their own thing, which makes me feel a bit better about bailing on our meetup (which we usually don’t do.)

5pm

5 o’clock programmes time, which they watch on the Iplayer while I make dinner. They take turns each day with who gets first choice, then everyone gets a choice after that. I make dinner and listen to some more of my audiobook. Daddy get’s home at 6pm, we have dinner, and then everyone goes upstairs at about 7pm to get ready for bed and have stories. Daddy is reading stories tonight, and then he puts the youngest to bed. I cuddle the other two, and read a chapter of Betsy-Tacy and then they go to sleep. Once the children are asleep I curl up in bed W and listen to The News Quiz. I’m asleep by about 9.30pm.

So there you go. Not the best day, but also not the worst.

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