Homeschooling

A New Academic Year & A New Schedule

It’s the start of another school year for us, and I apologize for not getting this out sooner.

This year, however, we have a more complicated schedule as three of our children are being homeschooled (The Eldest, Child #4, and Child #5), two of our children are attending a Catholic Montessori grade school (The Twins), and the other two (Child #6 and the Baby) are just. plain. busy.

So, how do I manage it all?

With a good schedule and a lot of grace.  (And coffee, of course.)

Our New Schedule

Some of you may be curious as to how my day now looks, so I’ll break it down.*  Maybe you’ll glean an idea or two that might work for you.  Maybe not.  All families are different and have different needs, after all.

6:00am

Wake-up!  My husband and I still pray the Morning Office and end with about twenty or so minutes of silent prayer.  The three oldest children set their watch alarms and join us at 6:30 for a few minutes of their own silent prayer.  This time ends at 6:40 when the coffee maker beeps to signal that it’s ready for us, at which point I run for the kitchen and thankfully pour myself a big mug full.

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My lovely coffee pot with my favorite chipped mug.  My mother gave it to me.

6:40am

The older children commence Early Morning School, which consists of math facts, Latin, or handwriting.  The Eldest, however, does Saxon Math with my husband.

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The Twins working on a little Math and Latin this morning.

The only thing different about this time is that the two children attending the Montessori school must practice their piano in the morning, after their school work.  They only put in fifteen minutes each, but this is important because after being confined in school all day, who would want to sit down at a piano when getting home later on?  Not these boys.

While the older children are working on things that do not require my help, I sneak in a few minutes of computer time and then get ready for the day.

7:45am

My husband and The Twins leave.  The rest of us eat breakfast and commence Morning Time.  This looks pretty much the same as it did last winter.  While the children eat breakfast, I read the Mass readings and then we recite our poetry.

Right now The Eldest is back to working on a Shakespearian soliloquy, Hamlet’s “To Be or Not to Be.”  We had started this one earlier in the year, but had to take a break to memorize The Destruction of Sennacherib by Lord Byron for a program she’s involved with called. Catholic Schoolhouse.

Catholic Schoolhouse is a group of students who meet once a week and do some really awesome stuff.  (How’s that for an explanation?)

The little children are working on the Ten Commandments and the 46 books of the Old Testament.  A few years ago I came up with a jingle for it, to the tune of Jingle Bells.  It’s linked it below.  (It’s certainly not professional, as I simply sat down one day and recorded with talking babies and banging toddlers in the background.)  Feel free to use it, if it’s helpful.

 

You’ll notice that the first five books – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy – are missing.  That’s because the children already know them in order, as the law books.  You might also notice that I moved 1 & 2 Maccabees to follow the history books.  I wanted to impress upon the children the 4 kinds of books in the Old Testament: Law, History, Wisdom, and Prophetic.  As a former teacher of the Old Testament, I found it helpful to be able to distinguish between the different kinds of writing.  All the other books are in order, however.

9:00am

After breakfast clean-up and piano, it’s time for Mid-Morning Prayer.  I moved this time up a bit, because it seemed to flow a little better with the baby’s schedule.  Remember, during all this busyness, I’m somehow nursing and caring for a baby and a 2-year-old.

During this time, we’re singing two hymns and learning a new prayer penned by St. Therese.  We finish this time together with a review of all our Latin vocabulary.

9:30am

The Eldest works on her Latin from Classical Academic Press.  Child #4 does Math and Spelling.  Child #5 sits down with me, and we learn to read.

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Who doesn’t love kindergarten?  Lots of coloring and learning of sounds.  I use Seton for phonics and Bob Books for fun.

11:00am

Lunch time!  This year I have to have a longer stretch of time here because The Eldest participates in an online class on writing through Schole Academy twice a week, which happens to be during lunch.  But this class has been wonderful for two reasons:  1.  She loves it, and  2.  I don’t have to do a single thing for writing and rhetoric anymore.

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Here she is, “attending” class, with her headphones on, to block out all the background noise.

During lunch we still listen to audio books from Audible.  Currently we’re enjoying Tan’s The Story of Civilization Volume 1, as we’re studying the Ancient World in history.

And that’s enough for today!

 

 

*Care to see how my day looked last winter?  Click on “A Day in the Life Series” in my tag cloud on the right.

 

Homeschooling

Summer School

We never actually quit doing school; we go all year round.  Why?

  1. The children get a little bored in the “off” months, and it gives them something to do.
  2. I get a little bored in the “off” months, and it gives me something to do.
  3. It’s fun to learn new things with zero pressure.
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These two love Summer School.  They just show up and look cute.

What do we do for Summer School?

There are a few things that never go away, no matter what the season, which I call Early Morning School, Morning Time, Piano, and Mid-Morning Prayer Time.  These things work well for our family and provide a nice structure to the day.  That’s not to say that we can’t break from them if something comes up, but rather, they are there to guide us.

Early Morning School is that time before breakfast wherein the children will just pick on each other if there’s nothing to do.  So the night before, I lay out a math facts sheet and a handwriting sheet for my 2nd and 4th graders.  My 6th grader gets a math facts sheet and then works on her typing skills.  None of these things require my assistance, which is good, because I’m usually nursing a baby and drinking my coffee.

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Here’s the cursive handwriting book my 4th graders are using.  It’s got lovely photos.  It’s Seton.

Morning Time is that time during breakfast when I read the Mass readings aloud and then we recite our poetry.  I’ve said it before, but I like doing these two things at the breakfast table because the children are more likely to listen as food is in their mouths.  Right now we’re working on Paul Revere’s Ride.  We do it every summer, leading up to the 4th of July, when we’re feeling very patriotic.

Piano also never ends in the summer.  We keep right on with lessons.  The four older children must play through each of their songs at least 3 times after breakfast.  I tried once making them play for a certain amount of time, say twenty minutes a day, but found we were terrible at keeping track of time.  But for whatever reason, playing a song three times was easier to do.  (And I find that the ones who like playing piano will continue to play on.)

Mid-Morning Prayer Time happens sometime in the morning when I call everyone together, and we sing a hymn and offer a prayer for our intentions.

All of these things are further detailed in my Day in the Life Series, which you can find on my sidebar under “tags,” if you’re curious.

The only other thing that I’m consciously doing for school in the summer is grammar with my three boys.  We are using Classical Academic Press’s Well-Ordered Language series.  This takes about twenty minutes, then we’re done for the day.  I don’t have anything “scheduled” for the afternoons.  After all, one must have time to splash around in a kiddie pool and climb trees.

Any questions?  Just ask.

Call Me Catholic, Life is Worth Living

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 8

This is it.  The final part of this series and my day.  If you’ve missed the earlier parts, look to my sidebar under “Tags,” and click on A Day in the Life Series.

7pm Rosary

Around 7pm, my husband calls all the children to Rosary Time.  Now I would love to paint a pretty picture of this.  You know, with all the children gleefully running to pray as a peaceful, harmonious family, but that would be a Big Fat Lie.

No, I must be honest.  Generally at least one child is grumbling about it all.  “NO!  I want to play legos!”  Or, in a really whiny voice, “Aw, Daaaad, I just sat down to read this book.”  Or, even better yet, utter disregard and aloofness–the children ignore us and go on wrestling.

Sigh.  But we keep at it.  After all, it’s worth it.

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Here’s where the day began with Morning Prayer, and here’s where it ends with Rosary and Compline.

In any case, the five older children each lead a decade while I hold the baby and the toddler roams around the room, distracting everyone.  (She is really cute and hard not to look at.)  And we trust that Mary understands.

After the rosary, the children retire to the basement to pick up their toys and get ready for bed, and my husband and I pray the Office of Compline.  (Click HERE for a look at what we use.  It’s excellent.)  When we’re finished with this, it’s usually around 8pm, and my husband ventures downstairs to give the children blessings.

8pm “Bedtime”

Now I do not put the children to bed.  I’ve been around them all day, and I’m done.  When my husband gives them blessings, that’s it.  We do not make this a great production.  For we’re not about to waste our whole evening cajoling and persuading our children to be quiet and go to bed.  Nope.  No bedtime stories, no lying in bed with them, no nothing.  They’ve been read to and sang to and attended to all day long.

So, they’ve taken it upon themselves to tell nighttime stories and sing songs and all the rest.  It’s really quite sweet.  And we don’t care if they’re all snuggled up on the Eldest’s bed, listening to her tell a Tall Tale, so long as they don’t come upstairs.

This may sound harsh to some, but it’s what works for us.

My husband and I enjoy this time from about 8pm to 10pm as a time for us to be together.  Many nights we enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail and play a game of Gin Rummy or Cribbage.  Sometimes we just talk.  Sometimes we read aloud to one another.  Sometimes we watch a movie.

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Tonight it’s cocktails.  Manhattan on the left.  Cosmopolitan on the right.

Life is just too short to not enjoy your spouse.  If you’ve been in the habit of staring at your technology and ignoring your spouse, quit it!  And find time to be together.

For as the Venerable Fulton Sheen reminds us, “Life is worth living.”

 

Homeschooling, Life is Worth Living

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 7

For those of you who are excited about the Birth Story for Baby #7, you’ll just have to wait a bit!  It’ll come soon enough.

In the meantime, if you’ve missed any parts of this series and would like to read them, look to the sidebar under “Tags,” and click on “A Day in the Life Series.”

So today we pick up with what happens after dinner.

6pm Dinner Cleanup

When everyone is finished eating, my husband leads us in a brief After Dinner Prayer, which goes as follows:

We give thee thanks for all thy benefits, Almighty God, who lives and reigns forever.  And may the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.  Amen.
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Here we are, almost done.

Then chaos generally ensues, as everyone clears his place at the table.  Ideally, my obedient little children would immediately place their plate, cup, and silverware in the dishwasher and begin their next cleanup task:  The Eldest washes, Child #2 dries, Child #3 sweeps the dining room and kitchen, Child #4 straightens up the back entryway, Child #5 throws the dirty napkins in the hamper, and Child #6 plays quietly on the couch with a doll.   And this whole process would take ten minutes.

Ha!  This whole process takes anywhere from half an hour to an hour because the children are so busy gabbing and laughing and wrestling and giggling.  You’d think they were all under the age of 12.  (Well, I guess they are.)

And during this loud, chaotic time, I generally hide in the laundry room and fold the last load of laundry for the day.  My husband, blessed saint that he is, corrects the Eldest’s math, which she must fix after washing the dishes, if she has any mistakes.

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This does not look like fun to me.

If time allows, my husband and I will sometimes enjoy an after dinner drink.  In the warmer months we amble on outside and sit on the deck.

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This is the deck.  There is no way I’m ambling out here any time soon.  Looks like we’ll amble on over to the couch instead!

When the children are finished with their after dinner chores, they usually have time to mess around for a bit until the next part of our evening, which is the Rosary.  Next time we’ll pick up with this and hopefully finish up the series.

Stay tuned for Part 8!

Homeschooling, Life is Worth Living

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 6

Here we are, back to “A Day in the Life of Crazy Fool: Part 6.” If you missed the earlier parts to this series and would like to read them, look at my sidebar under Tags, and click on “A Day in the Life Series.”

It’s Around 4pm

As the afternoon closes, I’m generally cooking dinner and finishing things up.  My husband arrives home around 5pm, and I like the house to be ready for him.  I once read somewhere – I think in a Kimberly Hahn book – that if a wife truly loves her husband as Christ, the least thing she could do, would be to greet him when he comes home, at the door.  In other words, one must walk over to the door and actually greet him, as you would Christ.

And Now For a Little Harangue

I’ll pause here for a moment.  When I read that a few years ago, I was absolutely struck and convicted.  For I had been in the habit of not acknowledging my husband – of just continuing whatever I was doing, as if he didn’t matter.

Well, he does matter.  I married him after all, and he ought to come before the children and the household chores and all the rest.  I can put down the cooking spoon or the baby and walk over to the door, even if I don’t happen to like him at the moment because he was ten minutes late.  So what?  He is the head of our household, and sometimes, it’s just not about my feelings.

And it’s not always perfect either.  Our home is not some Norman Rockwell painting.  Yes, babies are sometimes crying and boys are wrestling and girls are whining.  Whatever.  My husband still ought to come first, and I ought to greet him.

Sometimes this moment can be really fun, by the way.  Sometimes I like to surprise him with a martini in hand.  I can tell you, when I do something special like that, our evenings are always more fun.  For life is worth living, as the Venerable Fulton Sheen reminds us.

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Actually, these aren’t martinis.  The one on the left is a Rob Roy; the one one the right is a Brandy Alexander.

So, any of you wives out there, if you don’t already, I want to strongly encourage you to greet your husbands when they arrive home.  (Or, if you happen to be a stay-at-home husband, greet your wife when she comes home.)

5:15pm: Dinner Time

After I’ve greeted my husband, we sit down for dinner together as a family.  Fortunately, our schedule allows for this to happen almost every single night.  If it’s at all possible, I encourage all of you to do the same.  No technology allowed at the table, either.

We also prefer to eat dinner a little more formally than the other meals.  For example, the children attempt to set the table set properly.  You know, with forks on top of a cloth napkin on the left and spoons and knives on the right, etc.  And no, this is not always done well, depending on which child is setting…  We do have six messy children under the age of 12.  But I’ve noticed that manners improve when form improves.

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This is how the table looks every night.  Then the children sidle on over, and it gets messed up.

Also, if there is a salad to be served, I generally have that on the plates prior to the Table Prayer, so that we’re not passing around multiple dishes.  After the Table Prayer, we sit down and eat the said salad.  When everyone is finished with the salad, my husband commences dishing out the main entree.  Again, we have the same format, when everyone is finished, and if there happens to be something for dessert, it will be served then, and we enjoy it together.  The point is, we attempt to take our time.

By the way, we also strive to uphold two other rules:

  1. No talking with your mouth full.  (I’m especially bad at this one.)
  2. No using your fingers.  Ever.  Learn to use your knife to get that food on your fork.  (Unless it’s pizza or some other finger food being served.)

Lest this sounds too idyllic, let me remind you, that generally I have a baby or a toddler (or both) crying or throwing food or creating whatever mayhem they might.  Well, I’ve just made up my mind not to be deterred.  Table manners are worthwhile attempting.

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This one has absolutely no table manners.  But she sure is cute.

Homeschooling

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 5

And we’re back to “A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool.”  If you missed the previous 4 parts and would like to catch up, look on my sidebar under “tags,” and click on “A Day in the Life Series.”

Part 5

Quiet Time, which I mentioned in Part 4, usually ends at around 1pm, as the children begin sneaking upstairs to see what I’m doing.  And so then, we begin the next part of our day.

1pm Outdoor Recess

As the four middle children have usually completed any necessary “book” work earlier, they now have a choice.  They may remain downstairs building their lego castles or reading their books, or they may venture back outside.  Most of the time, they scramble outside because my husband built them an ice skating rink.

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When I took this photo, it was 19 degrees, with a windchill of 4.  They’re crazy.

 

This is the first year we’ve ever attempted building an ice skating rink, and honestly, I don’t know how we survived without one.  It has supplied hours and hours of fun.  And only one minor accident–Child #3 whacked his head on the ice, resulting in a large bump, which turned into one giant, yellow-brownish bruise.  Nothing serious, just a wound to brag about.

1pm is also Afternoon School

So, while the middle children skip and slide around outside and Child #6 naps, the Eldest gets a little one-on-one time with Mom.  We work on grammar and writing.  And of course, we use Classical Academic Press’s Well-Ordered Language series and their Writing and Rhetoric series, as you can see in the photo below.

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She likes Well-Ordered Language the best, because, “it doesn’t take me as long to finish!”  Naturally.

I usually need to sit with her for about twenty minutes, and then I move on to a few domestic tasks while she completes her work.  For example, I generally switch out and fold laundry and begin any prep work for supper.

I like to keep our afternoons light and flexible, however, because this is when I schedule activities and appointments.  For example, on Tuesdays, the older children attend choir practice.  On Thursdays, they have piano lessons.  Sometimes we attend PE sessions with a larger group of homeschoolers.  Sometimes we invite other families over to visit.

4pm Getting Ready for Supper

The end of the afternoon requires more work dedicated to supper, of course.  (Eating.  It’s just a never-ending task!)  All the children help with setting the table, and sometimes the older ones do some chopping or other minor prep work.

And that’s all for today!  See you next time.

Homeschooling

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 4

Let me remind you once again, that this is just what works for our family.  Your routine will of course be different, as your family needs are different!  And so, here is Part 4.

11:15am Lunch

While I’m reheating yesterday’s beef enchiladas or some other such appetizing dish, the children are setting the table.  Then it’s time for lunch, which begins with the Angelus and Meal Prayer.

While we eat, we listen to audio books from Audible, because on most days I just want to zone out.  (The children are forever asking me questions all. day. long. and my brain needs a rest.)  Recently, we finished Ralph Moody’s 3rd book, The Home Ranch, in his Little Britches series.  Now we’re listening to The Return of the King.  (Both of these are excellent books, by the way, if you’re looking for a good read aloud.)

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This picture has nothing to do with this post.  Who teaches this kid how to spell anyway?

11:45am Cleanup and Read Aloud

When we’ve finished lunch, each child clears away his or her dishes and has another chore to do.  For example, the Eldest wipes the table, Child #2 sweeps the floor, Child #3 hand washes any dishes that cannot go in the dishwasher, and Child #4 dries.

At this point, I read aloud.  Generally I chose something we’re reading for history, as I prefer to do history as a group.  We just finished reading Knights of Art, which detailed the lives of the Italian Renaissance painters, and today we began Saint Francis of the Seven Seas by Albert Nevins.

12:15pm Blessed Quiet Time

I usually read to the children until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer.  You know, for like 15 minutes.  Then it’s that blessed time called Quiet Time, wherein all children are herded to the basement for about an hour.  They are forbidden to come upstairs during this time, unless of course something serious happens, in which case there had better be blood to prove its gravity.

In any case, almost every day I lie down for about twenty minutes.  Then, I make myself a cup of steaming, hot tea.  I usually have Lord Bergamot Blend No. 55, from Steven Smith Teamaker, which my husband orders online.

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We prefer looseleaf.  But really, I’m just thankful for the caffeine, which is why I must have black tea.

Then, I head over to the computer to do a little work in peace, and if time allows, I read a book too.

Stay tuned for “A Day in the Life of Crazy Fool: Part 5.”

Homeschooling

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 3

In Part 2 I left off with Mid-Morning Prayer.  This is actually the second time during the morning when we all gather together, and so some might call it “Morning Time,” which would make for two Morning Times for our family.  Well, whatever you want to call it.  Here it is.

10am Mid-Morning Prayer

At around 10am, when the children are done with their school, which I mentioned in Part 2, and I’ve checked and graded it, I call them all to the living room for prayer.  We begin with a hymn, I ask for intentions, which are often very sweet, we pray a short prayer like the Memorare, and then we close with a hymn.  That’s it.

For example, during the Christmas season we sang Good King Wenceslaus, because it’s their favorite and also O Tannenbaum, because we’re German, and it’s fun to sing in a foreign language.  (Well, maybe we’re a bit pagan too?  A whole song glorifying a tree?  That’s not a hymn.)

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Child #5 drew this picture of our family singing.  I guess we’re missing a few people?  And who’s that angel supposed to be?  Her?  Ha!

Today we sang Good King Wenceslaus for both the opening and the closing because the boys love all those verses about kings and pages and fierce blizzards.  They’re obsessed.

Before I let them all run off to their next task, however, we do a review of everyone’s Latin vocabulary.  Sometimes we play Latin Around the World, but most days, I call out the English, and they shout back the Latin.  And yes, it’s shouting because they all want to be heard.  Sometimes this gets to be very loud and chaotic.

10:15am More School

At this point, the Eldest takes the two youngest children and disappears.  Glory be to God in the Highest.

Then I commence Song School Latin from Classical Academic Press with Child #2, #3, and #4.  They all ardently insist that this is their favorite school to do.

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The Eldest.  Her Latin is on the right.  The next 3 children all use Song School Latin on the left.  These are all from Classical Academic Press, which is the best place ever for curriculum.

When Latin is done, Child #4 disappears, and I help Child #2 and #3 with the remainder of their school for the day, which is usually Math and Grammar.

Then it is my favorite part of the morning:

10:45 am Outdoor Recess Time!

While the children are frolicking around outside, I fold the first load of laundry and put the second load in the dryer.  Then I start heating up leftovers for lunch.

And that’s enough for today.  Stay tuned for Part 4.

 

Homeschooling

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 2

Hello Dear Readers!  Welcome to “A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 2.”

But before we begin, remember that the following routine is just what works for our family.  Of course your routines and daily schedules will be different, as your families are different!

8:15 am Breakfast

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The Toast Master.  He makes the toast every morning.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again.  One of the best decisions we’ve made was to Eat Breakfast Like a Prison Camp.  It works well for us.  Everybody eats breakfast at the same time; everybody eats the same thing; everybody cleans up their spot together.  We eat peanut butter toast every single morning, except Saturdays and Sundays.  (Saturday is generally oatmeal, and Sunday is cold cereal, which the children think is the best thing ever.)  I like this arrangement because it’s not stressful.  There’s no complaining because the children know what to expect.

While the Toast Master is doing his thing, Child #4 sets the cups, Child #5 sets the napkins, and I am putting the first load of laundry in.  Then we’re ready for action.

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Mmm, peanut butter toast, again.

Morning Time

After Meal Prayer, I read the Mass readings of the day while the children eat.  This is the beginning of what some call “Morning Time.”  If you haven’t heard of it, check out Pam Barnhill on my sidebar and look for podcasts with Cindy Rollins.  Rollins is the Queen of Morning Time, and later this week I’ll post my review of her great book, Mere Motherhood.

I have chosen to use breakfast as our Morning Time for two reasons.  1.)  We are all naturally gathered together anyway.  And 2.)  The children have food in their mouths, so it’s generally quieter.

After I read the Mass readings, we do talk about them, but only briefly.  Then I eat my food, and we finish with our Poetry.  The children are always memorizing something, and most of the time, I have them all do the same thing.  We just finished John 1 for the Christmas season, and now we’ve moved onto “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost.

After all the children have had a chance to recite, they put their dishes away, and we break up for the next part of the morning.

9:15am

At this point the children brush their teeth and take turns at the piano.  (Child #2 and Child #3 have usually finished their piano before breakfast.)  And I sweep the upstairs floors and switch out the laundry for a second load.

One-by-one, as they finish piano, they come back upstairs and begin Round Two of school.  The Eldest works on a Science workbook from Seton, a little history reading from RC History, and Latin from Classical Academic Press.  (Classical Academic Press, by the way, is now my favorite place for curriculum.  More on that later.)

Child #2 and Child #3 commence Spelling and Phonics from Seton.  Child #4 works on Math, also from Seton.  Child #5 “plays” with Child #6, which means, that Child #5 is supposed to keep the Toddler busy and distracted enough so that she’ll not destroy everything when my back is turned.

And during this time, I pull aside Child #3, my slow reader, and have him read to me.  Then Child #4 reads to me.

Then I pour myself a stiff drink* and get ready for Mid-Morning Prayer Time, which I’ll detail in Part 3 of “A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool.”  Stay tuned.

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*Just kidding about the stiff drink!
Homeschooling

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 1

I might be a Crazy Fool.  After all, I have 6 children under the age of 12, I’m a Catholic, I homeschool, and I’m pregnant.  Goodness gracious!  To most in our culture, I am a crazy fool.  Why would I do such things?

The short answer?  Because my heart is full of love.  The long answer?  Uh, I don’t have time for that because I have 6 children under the age of 12, and I homeschool.

In any case, I was asked if I might elaborate on what a Typical Day looks like in my household, and so today is Part 1.  The other parts will come over the next week or so.

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This is where it all begins.  Note the candles.  Everybody likes candles because they’re fun and potentially dangerous.  We probably need more.

6:00 am

BEEP!  The alarm goes off, and my husband and I roll out of bed, grab our Liturgy of the Hours, and begin the day with prayer in the living room.  We do this in the semi-dark, with just a lamp and a few candles.  Why?  Because there’s something mysterious about flickering candlelight, and it’s cool.

We have 45 minutes set aside for this.  The first half is prayed aloud with Morning Prayer.  The second half is spent in silence.  During this time the children are also waking up, and slowly they join us.  They grab a blanket and crawl up on the couch in silence.  I’d like to think they’re praying too, but probably, they’re just zoning out.

So as not to worry when this time is up, and for very practical reasons, we program our coffee pot to be done at 6:45.  When it beeps, we’re done.

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Coffee’s done!  Let’s get this party started!

6:45 am

At this point, many things happen.  Of course my top priority is the coffee.  So, I grab my cup and head to the computer for a half an hour of work.  My husband, Blessed Saint That He Is, commences Math with the eldest.  (I hate math.  See HERE for that one.)  Children 2,3, and 4 begin handwriting and math facts.  Children 5 & 6 wander around and mess with stuff.  You know, like tear books off of shelves.

7:15 am

My husband showers, I shower, and the older children finish up their Early Morning School and begin their next task.  Child #2 makes the toast.  (Click HERE for an account of that.)  Child #3 practices piano.  Children 4 & 5 set the table.  The Eldest finishes her math.  And the toddler?  Uh, she’s busy wrecking something else.

8:15 am

Breakfast and Morning Time.  Stay tuned for more on that in…A Day in the Life of Crazy Fool: Part 2.

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“Quick, Mom’s not looking!”  Mom from the other room yells, “I heard that!  Get back to work!  Somebody get that baby away from the bookshelf!”*

*Hmmm, Yelling?  Guess I should reread my post about that…