Wednesday, January 28, 2015

is there a typical day?

I enjoy checking in at the Simple Homeschool blog because, in addition to exposing me to new resources,  it reminds me that there are hundreds of different ways to live this life. They are currently featuring a series of "day in the life" posts from their frequent contributors, and have invited readers to link to their own posts in February. So here goes...

I had to take myself by surprise for this one.  Too much pressure to produce an exciting, full day otherwise, and we know how that goes (see meandering post here).  Today is Wednesday, and depending on how our Tuesday goes, this can be a slow, easy day, or a more normal get on a roll early and ride it till it's done kind of day.  I was exhausted by the end of yesterday, but our Monday was a bit of a derailment after a busy weekend, so I determined that I wanted today to be a bit more on track, if at all possible.  (What "on track" means varies, but this week I'd settle for some togetherness and a little juice, some new discoveries, creations, connections.)  

We started off well - no one slept in too late, though Eliza's been coughing still at night, poor bug. We breakfasted more or less together (Ani made her own eggs and toast), chatting with Dan while he made hummous before leaving for school. Tried to put in "kid laundry" (they do their own, together), but the neighbor who shares the laundry with us still had several loads in process, so we'll have to save that for tomorrow.

Ani's morning plan was to include piano and a bit of writing - maybe a note to her great grampa for his birthday? Or writing out the lines of verse we're all working on memorizing? Off she went to piano, and I joined her quickly with my cup of coffee. Eliza, meanwhile think she was reading. Or blogging. A bit of both.

Ani decided she wanted to paint at her desk while listening to Harry Potter V, so she did that for about an hour, while I went through old baby and kid clothes to see what I can pass on to my cousin whose baby is due in May (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!). 

I had lots of help from the girls with this one - they'd pop in and oooh and ahhh and "I remember this! I wore it while I was riding that turtle statue with Dad!" (Central Park Zoo, second birthday) It is bittersweet, sorting through these clothes.  It just doesn't seem that long ago that they were in rotation on my sweet babes.  I don't wish they were still little (well, not often), because life is pretty rich and full right now and don't say anything, but they are really getting along famously well these months and I am so grateful! But I wish I could visit their little selves once in a while. They were fantastic little beings in gorgeous clothing!

Mormor, she wants a new one of these, please!
I took a break to go downstairs and work through math with Eliza while getting lunch ready, and Ani came down with her verse written out and Eliza and I quizzed each other on our own memorization (first few lines of Oberon's speech, Midsummer Night's Dream, Act II, sc i - we've got it down.)  I offered to read during lunch, and the girls chose Story of the World - about The First Emperor of China and the Great Wall - while we ate salad and hummous that Dan left for us.  Found an engaging video about The Great Wall that included footage of farmers creating a wall in the same way much of the wall was originally created, by framing a few feet of dirt and then tamping it down. They sang as they tamped, walking slowly in an oval, and it kept them all in rhythm together. That was pretty cool to see.

Ani got out the giant jenga blocks and the regular jenga blocks and started building a dam and a fortress and telling herself a story.  Eliza got on the computer to write some poetry and I went to put away the pile of baby clothes on my bed.  Our friend Savannah, who is moving to NYC this weekend (sob!) stopped by to bring a few books for the library and for us, and to sit and relax for a few minutes.  We all think so highly of her - she is an amazing, capable woman and a sweet friend.  I'm so happy to see her leaving our little town to explore the world, but we are going to miss her.

The girls and I had made a plan to get out in the sunshine before making dinner, so out we went to the bike path.  

It didn't take long before I was between the girls - one striding out ahead, and one lingering behind. When I finally caught up to Eliza, she asked why Ani was going so slowly, and I told her she was deep into telling a story, and Eliza grinned and said, "me too!" and went on to tell me her fantasy of living in Seattle when she is nineteen. Or maybe twenty.

We came home and drank steamers and they drew while I read Trumpet of the Swan and we warmed up. Oh my gosh we love this book. 

This turned out to be quite a relaxing day.  We made grilled cheese and tomato soup for supper, and with Dan at a potluck meeting the girls asked if we could watch an episode of Once Upon a Time, so we did and that brings us to now.  Dan is relaxing with his computer, I'm on mine, the cat is between us, and the girls are reading in their rooms (Ani is reading Wildwood and Eliza just finished reading the play The Revenge of the Space Pandas or Binky Rudich and the Two-Speed Clock by David Mamet.)

Somewhere in this day Ani also made a shadow puppet of a very large chipmunk, spent time looking at a huge book on dinosaurs and swept the kitchen floor because it was dirty.  I cleaned the bathroom, and actually mopped the floor, which unfortunately was dirtied by a cat within the hour. Ergh.  I had a chat on the phone with a dear friend, Eliza video-chatted her dear friend, and we added a few things to our timeline (Buddha. Gandhi.).  

Was this a typical day for us? It was not an unusual day, but tomorrow could look quite different, with more together (I've got mapping and drawing parabolas on my hopeful list tomorrow) or more apart (that reading thing, you know, it takes up a lot of time!).  What is typical is that we are generally here in the mornings and out in the afternoon, and we try to anchor some together exploration over lunch, which sometimes looks like reading aloud and sometimes Bill Nye or a documentary or trying out Visual Latin on youtube, or there is always Vi Hart luring get the idea. It is in my nature to have many lists to guide me, and remind me of where I'd like to take us in the day, and it is also in my nature to throw lists to the wind if something else is working and engaging us...and I am deeply grateful for the freedom to do so.

I try to write this kind of post once in a while, as a reminder to myself of the how of our days at different ages.  If you want to read through any of those from the past, click on the "the daily do" tag at the verrrrrrrrrrrrrry bottom of the page.


Naudia Ferbrache said...

That sounds so lovely. I love reading your blog and hearing about you guys! See you in a week! :)

Jess Townes said...

Thanks for sharing! I found it hard to pin down a typical day for this link up too (and in the end, I didn't) so I appreciate your honestly about how all the days look so different. Your girls appear wonderfully self-directed! This is our first year homeschooling and it is truly a gift to read about others' experiences. Thank you.

Cait Fitz said...

I love that everyone is sharing true typical days. There is no perfection, no typical, when it comes to homeschooling. I adore the photo with your daughter's reflection in it. My son made shadow puppets yesterday :) Great to stumble on your blog today!

slim pickins said...

Jess and Cait - thank you for stopping by!! I walk the line between obsessing about others' perfect days and really feeling reassured and encouraged by hearing about how others do this...I look forward to peeking at your days!

Karey♥ said...

Thanks for sharing! I love the part how you are all walking on the same path at your own pace. We've been thinking about The Trumpet of the Swan soon. Looking forward to it!

Camie Madsen said...

I loved reading about your day. Kids grow up so fast, don't they? I have two out the door already and two still at home. Still, every stage is rewarding, isn't it? Thanks for sharing your day.