February 25, 2009

If Our Homeschool was a Reality Show

Here's a little glimpse of how homeschool goes while mom the 'caregiver' and 'teacher' is supposed to be resting with her feet up and gestating baby number three..... (don't ever say I haven't gotten nitty-gritty with the blogosphere, baby - this is the real deal):


This is the mama 'nest'. Complete with lots of back support, laptop, pens and pencils, water, paperwork, handy flat surfaces (in the form of chairs and the couch back), cords and blankets for elevating the keyboard so I can reach it over my mountainous belly.

Yesterday we did couch-school so we could make use of the TV and change up the scenery a little. Nice to be out of the bedroom. I figured some of you might want to know what a day of couch-school or bed-school might look like.

So here's our day in a nut shell:

Chores - the kids have been helping keep the house running: beds made, dishes done, laundry rotated, living areas picked up, bathrooms picked up, any help mom may need getting plugged in and set up to work in her 'nest'

Prayer Journals - took a timer and kids went outside for 15-20 minutes in the back yard to write their prayers and enjoy the 75 degree sunshine. Mom stayed in her nest doing paperwork and checking email. The stairs are not something I take lightly now days. Even for 75 degree sunshine.

Reading/Bible - Read 2 Samuel 1 out loud (Kaden read)

Reading/Devotional - Read about an 8 year old boy in the Philippines that was abducted and brutally murdered by the communist government there in an effort to stop his parents and uncles from preaching the gospel. (Jesus Freaks, Martyrs by DC Talk and Voice of the Martyrs)


Reading/Science - Read about wind turbines and other ways to harness and gather electricity from nature (A Beka Science book)

Morgan takes sinus medication because she's sneezing and snorting. Mom sends one of her minions down for chocolate and a drink refill. Eating of York Patties and Andes Mints ensues. Someone finds the Civil War video and pops it in to the XBox.

History - Watch a documentary about the Civil War for about an hour or longer while Mom works on bills and checkbook.

Lunch - we all go down to cook and eat grilled cheese and tomato soup, kids stay behind to clean up the kitchen while mom slowly waddles painfully upstairs to put her feet up again. Beginning to think we need to install a ski-lift.

Mom makes plans with friend on the phone to come pick her up for doctor's appointment tomorrow. Kids giggle and get in trouble for wasting time downstairs while mom's not around. Threats of being grounded seem to help them finish the kitchen clean-up faster.

Science - Watch video about human heredity and the way genes and traits are passed down through chromosomes and DNA.

Discussion (particularly interesting due to the fact that we're all anxious to see what Viking-boy will look like)

Laundry rotated again... the pile on the bed grows...


Math - Mom finishes bills and budgeting while kids do their A Beka math page in their 5th and 6th grade workbooks.

Daddy gets home before we are done with school. Choir music isn't practiced, typing or GeeArt aren't done, we don't get our copywork done, and the last few chapters of our novel about historical times are left unread. The kids pick who gets to help make dinner and who gets to clean up afterwords and then free time on the computer begins for one of them...

Home Ec/Lifeskills - Off to cook dinner. Morgan and I clean out the spice cabinet and the cabinet that has all the baby stuff and vitamins in it. She helps gather all the ingredients for Lentil-Rice burritos and I cook.

The guys come down to eat. There's nice family discussion and fighting over the RC Cola. Mama wins. You don't come between me and my RC Cola.

Kaden stays in the kitchen to clean up. I go back down to spend some mom-son time with him. I help him hand wash the crystal bowls we used for taco sides. He tells me that when he was younger and he read that "a man divorced of work is unhappy", he couldn't understand that... but now he feels good when he does a good job and he's glad to help out. He thanks me for coming downstairs and being with him. What mom wouldn't swoon over having her son ENJOY housework?! I have to choke back the tears of pride and joy.

We all go upstairs for free time: kids and dad revel in their video games (daughter also checks her G-mail - one day to become a blog fanatic like me, no doubt) and, of course, mom spends time blogging.

Later the kids tuck mom in because she's fallen pregnant and she can't get up. Mom's the last one to sleep after posting the meme at the Homeschool Post at midnight.

For bedrest, I consider that a full school day... and amazingly, it felt totally relaxed and successful despite the fact that we didn't get everything done I had planned. So maybe this isn't Charlotte Mason... maybe what we're doing is just part of the season of life we are in. Maybe we are just doing "flexible homeschool" or "relaxed homeschool". We are doing what we can.

Somehow I don't think the kids are missing out on anything. Certainly this will be a year to remember as they grow: the year that mom was pregnant with their baby brother. Despite my fears that homeschooling would be impossible during pregnancy, bed-rest and one day - through infancy and toddlerhood... I'm finding that God knows what he's doing. Slowing down and smelling the flowers really is the BEST way. God knew just what we needed in this waiting season.

Reality is not so scary - or gritty - after all.

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Beth@Pages of Our Life said...

Your couch looks like a very productive area. I loved reading your "real" life account. It sounds like you are raising two great kids who gladly help mom when they are needed. That is priceless!

My Boaz's Ruth said...

You're doing something right mom.

ljc said...

That kitt-eh of yours is ridiculous!

SonReignsRanch said...

thanks for the real life reality check. Since we just found out about yet another baby blessing AND my husbands fast approaching upcoming orders, our financial distress among other things I have been feeling less than adequate- (if you dont know about any of it, you can read it on my blog) but you are right even if the copywork isnt done, even if things dont go as planned there is not much the children truly do miss out on as a whole. I will be reminding myself of that in the weeks ahead.

Owlhaven said...

Nice post!! I always like reading about other people's days.


5kidsandadog said...

Hi I just wanted to let you know that Homeschool Jewel.com has stolen this post. I saw it on there this morning. She has scraped several of mine and lots of other people's as well. http://homeschooljewel.com/blog/ I'm just trying to pass the word. I'm tired of this!

Leslie said...

You get more done on "Bed rest" than most people get done in a WEEK!

You are a miracle!
HOPE you are feeling well, and that Big baby of yours is staying put for a little while longer! hahha
Your doing good Mama!!

mamamia said...

i really enjoyed the detailed description of a homeschool couch day.!

KarenW said...

Sounds like you've accomplished a lot! I'm sure Morgan and Kaden will be just as helpful with the Viking when he's born. It won't be long now!

Jennifer said...

God bless you so much for sharing your homeschool day. Sometimes I feel guilty when I don't get all that I planned for the day completed. I also love the kitty pics--I have a cat (Doodle Bug)that looks almost like yours except he's gray. He loves warm fresh laundry too! I'll be praying for you!

Chris said...

Very REAL account of HSing, wish I had given my kids that advantage. Thank-you for investing into the future. chris, hope you get to NY :)

Sarah .aka. Mamalotsoftots said...

What a great day! :D I love reading about real life homeschool days. It reminds me that it's o k to not get everything done, and we aren't trying to run school @ home. We're trying to home educate. ;) lol.



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