Our “Easy Day”

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The trampoline next door

One of my goals this year is to relax about school and getting things done. I find I have a habit of over-pressuring myself and then over-pressuring everyone else, so I deliberately made school plans this year to give us one day with no school planned and one day with only an hour or so of school planned per week.

Tuesday is the day for Unit Studies and Nature Study which means that Tuesday should be an easy day. A little more outside time between breakfast and school, a good bit more outside time after school is over and reading aloud and creative activities instead of workbooks and math.Apparently that isn’t actually easy…

8:15 am: Send the children out to play for a bit between rain showers, get out the school stuff, put the baby down for his morning nap, make coffee, clean up the kitchen a little. Spend a few minutes on Facebook setting up a playdate for this afternoon.

8:45 am: Children come in, Bull has managed to get fairly muddy, but not so muddy he needs his clothes changed. All three need to use the bathroom at the same time, supervise taking turns as we only have one bathroom. Send everyone back out for a few more minutes of romping.

9:05 am: Call the children in. Buggle decides to pout and say “it can’t be time for school” in a whiny voice while walking up the garden path to the door. Send him back to the gate to come in sweetly, seems to adjust his attitude. Have everyone put away their muddy boots rather than leave them where they took them off.

9:10 am: Sit down for morning prayer, remind everyone of expectations, hold Bull’s hand as an aide to sitting still, start the hymn (one we know well), notice halfway through the second verse that Buggle isn’t singing. Stop singing, remind him we are singing to the Lord and he needs to participate and pay attention not drift off. Start the hymn over.

9:15 am: Read from Nehemiah and talk about how amazing it was that the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt in just 52 days even though they didn’t have machines. I never noticed that time-frame before. Practice our memory verses, pray.

9:35 am: Start Bull’s preschool work with him, while the other two practice sitting still without interrupting for a couple of minutes. Once Bull is started get out spelling books so they can study their words (the only academic work we do on Tuesdays). Phone rings. Big children do start working on their words while I’m on the phone.

9:55 am: Bull has some coloring to do and the bigs are ready to “spell across the room”. They stand across the room while I ask them words, each correctly spelled word gets them one step towards me. They each miss “cake” and “rain” so I have them write those two words three times. Mouse is very off focus and takes 20 minutes to write two words three times. I try hard but am a bit miffed with her. Buggle and I review some German from yesterday while we wait for her and I do a bit more with Bull.

10:20 am: We are finally ready for Art History. We look at pictures of cave paintings and discuss techniques. The children put the stickers in the right places in their books. I was going to have us do some painting on stone outside, but since it’s pouring that will have to wait. We look at/read a book about visiting an art museum and talk about what we will see and behavior expectations for our visit next week.

10:45 am Bull is done with his school and I give him some puzzles. The bigs get out their nature journals and we try to practice blind contour and modified contour drawing of a sunflower. Blind contour drawing is hard because you’re not supposed to look at the paper just the thing you are drawing. Mouse gets a little attack of the weeps, but we are able to work through it and she does OK. We label the two drawings and write down some facts about sunflowers.

Modified Contour Drawing Exercise

11:00 am: Jack wakes up, everyone changes out of school clothes and the big three go out to play until it rains again (less than 20 minutes later). Jack crawls around looking for (and finding!) mischief. I put away school stuff, check email and finish coordinating the playdate. Talk to S on the phone, and think about lunch.

I can read like a big kid!

11:15 am: Everyone is back in because it is pouring again. Children do a couple of jobs and take turns jumping on the trampoline to Beethoven’s Wig Three. Favorite song is this:

Once everyone is down for naps I lay down on the couch and sleep for an hour, before I am woken by the extreme mugginess!

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