First in a series of prose snapshots of a day in my homeschooling life. This is just one view of an ideal Monday. Some Mondays involve meditation before breakfast. Others involve me attempting to sleep in until 7:30 while my son whispers in my ear and tries to put his finger up my nose. I posted photos of a recent Monday here.
Monday begins when my spouse wakes me up around 6am. I put on my workout clothes before I can talk myself out of it and head to the basement to do an exercise video. About three minutes in, I hear my son upstairs asking his dad to get him cereal. By the halfway point of my video, my son is downstairs alternately getting way too close to me with the fireplace tools or enthusiastically trying to follow the moves Jillian Michaels and her on-screen cohorts are leading.
After we’re done exercising, we head upstairs where I take a shower, get dressed, make the bed, and wipe down the sinks and toilets. By this time, my daughter is awake, and we all head to the kitchen for breakfast. After we eat and I take a cursory stab at the dishes, it’s time to brush teeth, get dressed and get ready for our day.
On Mondays we do math, flute, Latin, grammar, writing, handwriting, and history. (For details about the materials we use, see Homeschool – A Day in the Life, Part 2: Curriculum.)
Around 8 a.m.—to my son’s delight—our stand-in grandma arrives. She plays with him tirelessly for 3 hours or so. My daughter and I do her lessons together with the sounds of giggles and games and books being read aloud in the background.
By the time our friend leaves, we’re done or nearly done with our morning homeschool. We eat lunch then take a walk around the neighborhood. If we’re lucky, no one falls and hurts himself.
Back at home, I read a few books (books about the Middle Ages, to supplement our history lesson, and Berenstain Bears, to satisfy my son, and sometimes a chapter or two in a just-for-fun book). The rest of the afternoon is open. Sometimes we do crafts or write out cards or letters to friends and family. Sometimes we work puzzles. Sometimes my daughter retreats to her room with her books and journals and spends a few hours acting out the stories she makes up while my son and I find fun mom-and-son things to do. Sometimes we just get on each other’s nerves all afternoon. Anything to while away the hours.
Around 3:30, I start dinner. We need to sit down to eat by 4:30 so my spouse can take our daughter to her flute group class and then to the grocery store for our weekly food shopping. After they’ve left, my son and I do dishes, pick up the toy room, read books, and go through his bedtime routine. If I’m lucky, I get an hour or two to blog or mess around online or read before I need to put away groceries, usher my daughter to bed, and try to convince myself to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Eventually I turn in and try to get rested up for another day.
3 Replies to “Homeschool – A Day in the Life: Monday”
The unstated messaging behind the Berenstain Bears drives some people crazy: the frumpy mom (doesn’t she own a single nice dress? A pantsuit even?), the caricatured dad who tinkers with tools and just wants to be fishin’, etc etc. They’re nice, moral hillbillies. Will the children ever escape this cycle of intellectual poverty and philistinism?
Papa becomes a little more nuanced in “The Berenstain Bears Don’t Pollute…Anymore” in which he reluctantly admits that, as a woodsbear, he has a responsibility to re-plant the forests he harvests. The family participates in a protest about environmental issues in that one. Mama and Papa are also active in local politics in “The Berentain Bears and the Sitter,” which is somewhat promising. And the cubs seem at least aware (if not openly critical) of their parents’ style of dress and backwards habits in “The Trouble with Grown-ups” in which the cubs and their friends lampoon Mama and Papa in a school talent show.
But perhaps it’s time someone published a series of books about Brother and Sister Bear’s first years at college. I think Brother Bear is bound for a sports scholarship at a state university, and I can see Sister at a small women’s college in New England.