Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Homeschool Day in the Life

Welcome to a day in our home!

If you're new here, let me give you the cast of characters:
  • Mowgli, 8 1/2 years old, 3rd grade
  • Bud, 6 1/2 years old, 1st grade
  • Hawk, 3 years old
  • Tigerlily, 1 year old 
There's a lot of detail to our day here.  That's because I've found as homeschooling moms ask about our day, they want to see how it ALL and school together. 

I was up at 6:00 this morning.  I spent about one hour working on the computer and then I turned on a thirty minute workout video.  The kids wandered down shortly after 7:00.  Mowgli picked up a chapter book that was in the library bag and began reading and stayed there till he finished the book.  After I completed the workout, I sat down and read a chapter in my own book.  (Three Times Lucky)  because Mowgli was still reading and the other three were playing quietly with blocks.  I didn't want to rush right into something else when everyone was already so content.

Then, I took a quick shower and sent everyone to get themselves ready for the day and do their good morning jobs (get dressed, brush their teeth, wipe down bathroom counter, make beds, pick up room.) 

Then it was time for breakfast.  (Peanut butter toast and fresh pineapple.)  

While I was getting breakfast prepared, Mowgli got out the thank you cards and said he was sending one to his grandma. 

I typically eat breakfast and lunch right after the kids.  That is so I can read aloud to them while they are eating.  Today I read one chapter from Caddie Woodlawn (and I cried!  What a terrific story with some meaningful lessons!) And then we played a few rounds of Rhyme Out!  

While I ate breakfast and tidied up, the kids played in the backyard. I also switched out some laundry. 

I put Tigerlily down for a nap, then we sat at the table for "Mom School." Today Mom School consisted of reading a Chapter out of Story of the World Volume 1, Bedtime Math (Hawk loves that he gets to answer a question too!  We love the app as well as the physical book) and I read aloud some Celtic fairy tales to go along with our current history topic while the boys colored in their Story of the World activity books.  The big boys finished off Mom School by writing an entry in their journals.  Mom school lasted from 10:00-11:15. 

For the next hour Mowgli and Bud worked on the daily work that I had written in their planners.  Bud spent some time on the computer doing Math Seeds, practicing the piano, and practicing for the spelling bee. 

Mowgli did the next assignment in his math book, which was a quiz. (He got 100%, which always makes him really excited!  He is doing Teaching Textbooks 4 right now.) 

He did an assignment from Fix It! Grammar (which I think is a fabulous program!)  This kid can diagram a sentence!  

He then completed his music theory assignment from his piano teacher.  (Bud had already completed his.)

While the boys were doing that, I was getting dinner in the crock pot and preparing lunch and answering their questions.  (Turkey sandwiches, sugar snap peas, and orange slices.)  Mowgli unloaded the dishwasher before lunch as well.  He unloads all the dishes and he helps Hawk with the silverware.  

We always read stories during lunch.  (12:30 now)  They begged me to reread a couple of these several times. I loved hearing them giggle over and over at I Will Surprise My Friend!

After lunch they ran off to play and I made Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.  I don't know why, I just did.  I cleaned up the kitchen for the second time today. 

At 2:00 I got the boys set up with our favorite art videos from Art For Kids Hub.  Then I put Tigerlily down for another nap and laid with Hawk, who fell asleep quickly.  For the next hour we had quiet time.  The boys did art while I laid on my bed and read and rested.  The boys weren't ready to be finished with art when I came down, so they continued for another hour. 

Mowgli spent some time in the afternoon playing some math games on the computer, at his request.  Mowgli and Bud also spent much of their later afternoon working on perfecting their magic tricks.  (They are currently taking magic lessons.) 

We had a snack.  

And then we finished off our afternoon by getting all bundled up and going for a walk.  

We returned home at 5:15 and Edwin was home for the day 15 minutes later.

We had dinner.  (Mandarin chicken) And cleaned up together. 

Then Edwin took the oldest three to a movie with their cousins. (This is totally out of the norm for us but we were invited to a corporate event of theirs and they had a blast!) 

I stayed home with the baby, did some decluttering, gave her a bath, snuggled and read stories, put her in bed, then spent the rest of my evening reading.  (Hands Free Mama and Three Times Lucky)  The guys returned home shortly after 9:00.  We didn't do our usual scripture reading or read aloud since it was late and the kids were tired.  

Today there was very little contention, we had plenty of time outdoors, spent a couple of hours reading, I arose early, and I had dinner prepared in advance.  All of these are a recipe for a really good day. 

That's a wrap. 


More Day in the Life posts HERE

Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 Happenings

I love the feeling that comes with a new year, the freshness and excitement that it brings. 

We're back into the full swing of things around here.

But first, if I may...

Here's the thing with blogs (and Facebook and Instagram) they showcase the highlights.  And then we do something not so smart, we compare our outtakes to someone's highlight reel.  I know, I've done it (and I still do it.)   

We've all got stuff!  Every single one of us has things that make us angry and impatient, sad and lonely, frustrated and insecure.  I am no different.  (Just ask my friends!)  As I sit here to write this post, my house is a mess.  I mean a real mess.


Here's what's up.

Family dinners. 

Sometimes dinner seems entirely chaotic.  Mowgli and Bud are taking weekly magic lessons, so we get to enjoy magic tricks around the clock! 


My baking helper.  


Stories always accompany lunch.  
And popcorn always accompanies afternoon read aloud time.

The big boys completed their second of three reading assessments for the year, which are required by the state.  (Long story short, my kids are technically, and legally, public school students.) 

Mowgli achieved a major accomplishment!  He finished reading The Book of Mormon on his own, all 531 pages of it.  I got home late one night from hanging out with some girlfriends and he came bounding down the stairs, "Mom, I finished!"  We high-fived and cheered and hugged.  Then I told him to get on his shoes and jacket because we were going somewhere.  

Since it was nearly 11:00 p.m., we didn't have much of a choice, and ended up at the gas station where he picked out a few treats.  Children are so amazing and capable of so much more than I realize sometimes! 

Mowgli started basketball.  He has one game and one practice each week. 

Our family attended a phenomenal activity held at Brigham Young University, which was sponsored by a new charter school that will be opening in the fall of 2015.   (It's an online charter school that caters to homeschooling.) The boys were able to take two one-hour classes.  I enrolled them in magic and edible arrangements. 

After the classes there was entertainment and dinner.   We loved watching the Native American hoop dancer!  

These two are my buddies each Tuesday while the big boys attend their out-of-the-home classes. 

We try to stay out of trouble, but that doesn't always happen.  Like the time Hawk locked me out of the car (with the keys in the ignition) while I vacuumed the van.  I was so thankful to the police officer who came and got me in there lickety split!  Hawk and Tigerlily were pretty darn excited about the stuffed animals he gave them too!

Monday nights are Family Home Evening.  The kids thought it was fun to have FHE in our bedroom. 

Tigerlily has become attached to a tattered, old doll that was mine as a little girl.  It is so fun to watch her care for that doll (who is usually naked.  The doll, not Tigerlily.)  

I love getting outside in the cool air! 

One day the boys went to a friends house and by the time they got home I had cleared out their entire room, minus their beds. It's time we get those walls scrubbed and start anew in there!  (I still haven't put anything back, their room still has just beds in it, which I'm totally loving.) 

Tigerlily loves to get customers at her kitchen.  

Park days with friends are one of our favorite things.  

And winter picnics are pretty awesome too.  

I loved sending Mowgli and Bud off to piano lessons one morning in the rain.  I like to wonder what runs through their minds during their short walk each week. 

And I had to snap a pic of Hawk as he slept through all two hours of a church conference we attended.  

If you read through all of that, pat yourself on the back.  That's all for now, folks. 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Stats for 2014

I don't know how many years ago (I'm guessing 7) I started writing our family stats and sending them out as a Christmas letter.  We haven't sent Christmas cards for a few years now, but I've still kept up with jotting down a few statistics each year. (Except for 2013? since I can't find it?)

Here's 2014 (a bit late):

1.  I read 38 books and over 8,000 pages. That's up 5 books and 1,000 pages from 2013 but down 7 books and 5,500 pages from 2012.  (Love Goodreads!) 

2.  The most popular post on this little 'ole blog was THIS one, having nearly 40,000 hits. 

3.  Mowgli's been around the sun 8 times now and was baptized earlier this year.  More about that back HERE

4.  Edwin's been working in IT for 11 years now and hit the 9 year mark with his current employer in October.  He's called in sick exactly zero times in those 9 years.

5.  Mowgli finished first in the Scripps Spelling Bee (Jr.).  His cousin came in second and it was so fun to watch them battle it out.  (I have a suspicion these two may be having a rematch soon!)  :)

6.  Bud completed his first year of piano lessons and loves to spend his time tickling the ivories. 

7.  Tigerlily wears exactly no cloth diapers these days.  I guess I gave up?  (I actually sold them last week, so you could definitely say that.)  I'm a cloth diaper drop out.  

8.  Hawk celebrated his third birthday with a session at a ceramics studio.  Such a fun day!

 9.  Edwin and I celebrated our 9th anniversary.  I'm sure it happened because June 25th, 2014  came and went, but don't ask me what we did to celebrate because I can't remember a darn thing about it.  Ha!

10.  For the first time, we bought a real Christmas tree.  More about that and Christmas back HERE

11.  Edwin and I spent three days reenacting the journey of the Mormon pioneers in Wyoming.  It was an adventure of a lifetime (and a very cold one!)  More about that back HERE.

12.  After years of attending church at 1:00 p.m., we are thrilled to be assigned an 8:30 a.m. start time for 2015!

And I just love this photo, so that's all. 

2011 Stats HERE (Back then I didn't use mine or my husband's names on the blog.)
2012 Stats HERE 
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