Ah, it's the night before the first day of school. The kids are wondering why they need to get to bed a bit earlier, but not complaining. This year I have a Kindergartner, 2nd grader, 4th grader, 8th grader, and 11th grader. Their five (yeah, I know...only four in the pic...last year's shot) school boxes are all organized and neatly lined up on the island in the kitchen; and I'm all prepared and know exactly what will play out tomorrow morning. Hahaha...or, do I?
Fast forward to this morning...
8:15am. My youngest, almost 5yo, does beautifully with his first day of My Father's World - Kindergarten. His biggest challenge is cutting, but mommy holds the paper for him and he chops through it, staying on the lines the best he can.
Jaden didn't finish his breakfast, in fact he didn't even eat it, and he is starting to pay for it. He is starting to feel weak and shaky. He finishes his breakfast. Feels better. (Note: Jaden is on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to help keep his Crohn's disease in remission -- and if he skips a meal, he feels very weak. I believe it is because it is such a low-calorie diet. He burns off the protein and calories very quickly. I think. Something like that.
Meanwhile, baby Joshua is crying his head off. I try putting him in the high chair with a graham cracker. He tosses it on the floor and begins playing with the chairs he can reach. I put him back in the living room. He starts crying again. A couple of my other children try to play with him and make him happy, but he's upset because he is getting into trouble for yanking the headset out of the computer while my 5th grader is working on his Teaching Textbooks 5 math. Ah well...
I hear my 5th and 2nd grader start arguing in another room over whose Lego is whose. They start to yell. Ugh.
8:45am. After working with my Kindergartner, I move on to finishing up last year's work with my now 2nd grader. We are finishing up My Father's World - First grade. He does a great job, as usual, but acts like he can't do his work unless I am right there. We're working on that. I'm so proud of how good of a reader he is! We really enjoy doing school together, and have wonderful tender moments when he is sitting on my lap while I read his Bible story.
Josh is still crying...someone give him a bottle, PLEASE!
My 11th grader has started digging into her My Father's World - U.S. History to 1877 work. She has a lot of questions, which is fine, but she keeps interrupting me while I'm working with other kids. Ah well...
My 8th grader is confused already about her first experiment in her Apologia - Exploring Creation with General Science. I wanted her to do this book last year, but she wasn't ready for it. My 11th grader walks over to where she is to assist, and starts to laugh. "Mom? You--" she starts. "Triss, if this isn't REALLY important, can you please tell me later? I'm reading to your brother right now," I say. She keeps giggling. I find out later that the reason my 8th grader (Tasha) was confused was because I accidentally gave her the Chemistry book instead of the General Science one. We all have a good laugh. Tasha goes and gets the correct book off the shelf.
Daddy can't find the container of screws that he left on the kitchen island to put up the ceiling fan he bought...he's aggravated. No one has a clue where they might be...
9:30 am. After finishing up with my 2nd grader, I move on to work with my 4th grader. We pick up where we left off in Intermediate Language Lessons. In today's lesson, he is to retell a story about two cats, some cheese, and a monkey and how the monkey is helping them resolve a quarrel. Anyway, he does a fantastic job in making up a new version of the story. Much improvement from last year. He tells me what to write, I write it, and he copies. Then he picks out a book to read aloud to me from the "Book Basket," suggestions from My Father's World for ECC week 17. He picks "Rumplestiltskin." I love that he will be reading this classic story. His reading seems to have improved a bit. We read for about 10-15 minutes, finish about half of it and he's excited to find out who the baby is in the story tomorrow.
I hear Jaden (2nd grader) and A.J. (Kindergartner) downstairs fighting and screaming about something. Daddy goes down to diffuse the situation. Oiy.
10:20am. Next is my 8th grader, Tasha. She is unsure of herself when it comes to doing the Apologia General Science book, and I reassure her that she is a whole year older, and that that is a big difference. She does the first day's work, as outlined in the Exploring Creation with General Science, Second Edition, Student Notebook (purchasing this week - so I used the online sample for today). She does just fine. I'm actually surprised by her ability to find the answer to the first "On Your Own" question. Yay! On we go to Teaching Textbooks Math 7. She is on Disc 4 of 4. We are reviewing the lesson she did, and neither of us can remember how to: Change a fraction to a decimal or how to figure out the "mean" of something. Ugh. We find out, finish the lesson (the ones she got wrong).
11:30am. Jordan, Jaden, and A.J. decide to go outside (well, we told them to do that part). Jaden grabs the hose and sprays A.J., soaking his clothes. Jordan has come in, without me knowing it, and changed into his bathing suit so that he can join in the fun. I scold Jaden for soaking his brother, and let him know that he is in charge of getting him into new clothes. I scold Jordan for letting all of this happen without letting me know or trying to stop them (He was right there. He's the big brother in charge, and should have at least told me.), and for changing into his bathing suit when he knew that it was almost time for "reading with mom," (from My Father's World - Exploring Countries and Cultures.)
By now I am about 1/2 hour behind schedule. No biggie, but my 16yo wants/needs a ride to her friend's house to watch a movie. She has to wait a bit longer.
11:40am. I'm getting hungry!
11:45am. Tasha, Jordan, Jaden, and I sit down and read the day's assignments. We really enjoy and talk a bit about what we read in the Living World Encyclopedia by Usborne Books. Jordan and Tasha pick out an animal to draw and write a paragraph about. They did a great job!
12: 15pm. Whew. That's it! We made it! Everything took about 1/2 hour longer than I thought it would. No biggie. Did I have some tense, aggravating moments? Yup. Did I have fun? Yup. Do I love teaching my children? Yup!
What I did wrong: The water episode -- should have told the boys that they may not start something like that on a school morning, and from now on to ask first. They should do this anyway.
Unavoidable interruptions: Baby, the baby, and oh, did I mention...THE BABY?! I've never had a baby that didn't cry during school days. Never. It's a guarantee. No way around it. You just deal with it as best you can. Sometimes just sitting them on your lap is enough. They just want to join in, usually.