Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Day in the Life of Sage Family

I thought I would share this because I love to see how other people live. So here is what I do every day. Because it varies every day, I chose to highlight last Monday.

6:30 AM: Husband leaves for work; I get up. I get myself ready, make my bed, pick up in my room, begin packing whatever bags we are needing that day, plan meals, and start laundry.

7:00 AM: I wake up kids. They get dressed and make beds. I make breakfast--on this day, it's Bob's Red Mill multigrain hot cereal with maple syrup and sliced bananas.

7:30 AM: The baby wakes up. I get her ready and feed her breakfast while 12yo son reads and the younger two destroy the house.

8:00 AM: Studies begin. The oldest is attending college, so we don't see a lot of him and I (YAY) don't have to manage his studies and social life. 12 yo usually does algebra and religion first, then spelling, composition, biology, and handwriting throughout the day. On Tuesday, he does a exercise called "Editor-in-Chief" which teaches language arts through having the kids edit different articles. On Wednesday, he writes an essay. On Thursday, he studies Latin.

While oldest is working, I show 5yo daughter her lessons for the day. She's doing first grade work but flying through it. I show her today's work in math, handwriting, phonics, and social studies, and she blazes through it.

3 yo son and 7 mo daughter play with Brio trains on the dining room floor while older kids work at the table. I start a lamb and root vegetable stew in the crockpot and switch over laundry.

9:30 AM: Time to go! We pile in the (new, impressively fuel-efficient) minivan and head for karate. 12 yo takes lessons while I sit in the hall and help 5 yo with a new phonics reader. When she is finished, she joins 3 yo son and a few other preschoolers in the block corner. Baby sits on my lap and shows off her two new teeth.

11:00 AM: We are back in the car and dashing home. Once there, we grab lunch (Horizon organic yogurt tubes, organic baby carrots, whole wheat crackers) and our swim bags. The kids put swimsuits under their street clothes. I change baby and reboot laundry, then we dash out the door.

11:30 AM: We eat lunch in the car on our way to archery. Technically our family (that is, my husband) has a strict rule against eating in the car, and when my family (again, my husband) comes up with a way to manage my day so this is possible, I will be happy to oblige. 5 yo and 12 yo learn how to hit targets. I'm not really sure how this skill will benefit my children as adults unless they are contemplating a career as a medieval outlaw, but they love it and their friends are there. I have several consecutive heart attacks as I chase 3 yo around a weapon-filled room for an hour.

12:50 PM: Archery is from 12-1 PM, but we leave ten minutes early because swim lessons start at one. We jet across town.

1:05 PM: We dash into swim lessons. 3 yo and 5 yo peel off outer clothing and hop into water. Baby nurses under a blanket and 12 yo plays in the deep end.

Swimming on Mondays and Wednesdays is the definitive social event for homeschoolers around here. By 1:45, swim lessons are over and about 40 children get to play in the Olympic sized indoor pool until 3. Moms talk, knit, and plan group activities with other families. My baby naps in her carrier.

3:30 PM: Kids are showered, dried, dressed, and in the car. While we drive home, I review the day's work with my 12 yo. While we drove from event to event, he somehow finished all of his schoolwork. I ask him sample questions and quiz him aloud until I am satisfied that he has mastered today's work.

3:45 PM: Home again! The stew smells divine. We unpack bags and pick up around the house. I switch over laundry (again!) and 5 yo gets into ballet clothes. You didn't think our day ended this early, did you?

4:15 PM: The oldest is home, so 12 yo stays with older brother and studies his lines (he has the lead part in a local production of Shakepeare's The Merchant of Venice) while the three youngest and I head for dance lessons.

4:30-5:30 PM: Have you ever seen ten little girls in tutus try to do plies in time to the Cinderella Suite? It's worth the rush to get there!

5:45 PM: I pick up whole wheat rolls and organic spring salad mix at the store on my way home. We arrive at the same time as Daddy! The kids mob him while I get everything on the table.

6:00 PM: We eat. So soon? In case you haven't noticed, I don't have a lot of time to waste!

My day isn't over yet. After dinner, we clear plates and load them into the dishwasher while 12 yo puts on his Boy Scout uniform. Then it's off to the minivan again! I drop him off and come back home. I fold laundry and get the younger kids ready for bed. At 8:15, my husband takes over the bedtime rituals while I pick up the Boy Scout.

8:45 PM: Home... for at least twelve hours. I do some computer work and plan the next day's lessons and menu of events. 12 yo practices kata (karate stuff) and then goes to bed.

I am trying to map out how we could manage our schedule using public transportation at least part of the time. I have a homeschooling mommy friend who does it with great success and uses that time to interact with her kids and run tele-errands on her cell phone (paying bills, making calls, etc). I keep our fuel usage down to ten gallons a week by planning things in circuits, but I would love to get under half of that.

9:30 PM I fall asleep... accidentally. I always mean to stay up late and get more housework done, but it never seems to happen. But laundry is done, dishes are done, and so nothing is pressing enough to keep me awake.

Is it this busy every day? Consider:

Tuesday: Sparring class, housekeeping, basketball, playdates.
Wednesday: Karate and swimming.
Thursday: Library, shopping and errand day, sparring class, attachment parenting mom's group, basketball.
Friday: End-of-week testing, Latin lessons, art lessons, various monthly co-ops, Little Flowers (a girl scout type group)

Thus goes a normal day in the life of a trying-to-be-green, homeschooling mommy. People often ask me how my children deal with the monotony and isolation of homeschooling. I don't know how to answer. The kids seem to thrive on this manic style of education and are all testing several grade levels above their age.

I would love to read your "Day in the Life". Post a link to your blog in my comments if you want to share.


Tiffany said...

All I have to say is WOW - I don't think I could handle this type of day.

Burbanmom said...

Oh my goodness. Why on earth do you call it "home" schooling?!?!?!? Girl, that is one CRAZY schedule! Mine's not nearly as hectic (although I complain about it like it is). I did a "Day in the Life" post a copule months ago here:

Emily the Great and Terrible said...

Mondays aren't even our busy day... Fridays are. :-)