I’m going to be honest and tell you that these are the days that I dread the most. These are the predominantly teaching days. Where I have to set aside all distractions and focus 100% on working with the children on their schoolwork.
While I believe in children learning to do their school work independently, my children are at an age where they still need mom sometimes. When I have work to do, I lean heavily on the lessons that I have set up as independent work. These are workbooks or assignments that they can complete, for the most part, without me needing to spend a lot of time talking and managing.
Today, however, it is time for me to catch up on the outstanding lessons that I did not get to earlier in the week. And so here’s how my day went.
7:00 I am up at my usual time and my mini-me and I head down for breakfast. We get a chance to chitchat and spend some time together while my husband gets ready for work and my sleepy head lies in bed. I’m pretty sure she’s faking like she’s asleep but I’ll let her "sleep" until eight o’clock.
8:00 I know that we have a busy day ahead of us so I get the sleepyhead up and have her get her breakfast while the other one does his read aloud. Once he gets done with his read aloud I have the sleepyhead do her read aloud. She wants to know why she only got 20 minutes for breakfast and I remind her that she could have gotten up earlier if she wanted more time to sit around and relax. My son claims that he cannot focus on his school work while my daughter is reading out loud so he plays with Legos and listens to her read.
9:00 We are going to work on science. Today's science is biology and we are studying chromosomes and DNA. Since we missed two lessons, we will move on to talk about taxonomy and the classification system. Prior to this, we completed a chapter on animal and plant cells. We read and discuss the encyclopedia sections together and then the children work on their assignments in their workbooks – writing and vocabulary words, filling in diagrams and answering discussion questions.
10:30 Today we began working on another unit in our African-American studies book. We have now made it through early African civilizations up to the beginning of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Once we complete this lesson we are going to stop and then catch up in our Story of the World’s Middle Ages book. We are not ready yet to cover modern history and so far we’ve made it through the middle ages in African history and so now we’re going to study history in the rest of the world during that time. We've already covered ancient and pre-history history during previous academic years.
We love studying history as it takes us down all sorts of rabbit holes which we have the time and luxury to chase. I often put off history because it tends to last way longer than I had intended and often eats up our time that I had planned to do something else. And so, I have to be prepared both from a mental standpoint as well as from a scheduling standpoint before we jump into history. It’s amazing how much I love history now because I really hated it when I was growing up. But of course, when you can make history relevant to you and your experience and your background, it becomes much more enriching and meaningful.
12:45 As usual, history has taken up an inordinate amount of our time today and so the kids take a lunch break while I attempt to get some work done of my own.
2:00 I gave them way too long for lunch. I’m now sitting down with my son to go over a math lesson. He rarely needs a math lesson but he is in need of one now and cannot move on until I sit down with him. Because I need math to happen every day, I have to get this done. My daughter works on her analogies, Explode the Code, and Wordly Wise while I work with my son.
2:45 It’s time to work with my daughter on a math lesson as well. My son is still slogging through his math. I can see by the rate he’s going that he’s not going to get much else done today. It's not difficult - its just that he does his best work in the morning and his mind is drifting at this late hour.
4:30 As a follow-up to our recent field trip at the State Bar, I rent My Cousin Vinny off of Amazon so that we can watch the trial and also talk through some other legal and procedural issues that come up during the movie. While at the State Bar field trip, we watched a movie that contained a clip of My Cousin Vinny. Of course, I had forgotten how horrible the language is in the movie. We watched the movie anyway and the foul language simply gave us another aspect of life to discuss, namely how one uses unnecessary expletives because they have a lack of vocabulary to more appropriately express themselves. Right.
If you can get past all the bad words (yes, the F-bomb is dropped several times), it is actually a really good movie to teach kids legal and court procedure as well as how best to handle oneself if they have been pulled over by the police. Win-win.
After the movie (during which I cooked), we had dinner and went to the gym.
And that’s it with Day 3! This was a really long day and I didn’t get much of my own work done at all. But sometimes, you just have a long day.
You can read day one here and day two here.