One particular set of books the girls and I really like is Richard Scarry’s Busy Day books. I chuckle when I read, “For Mother Cat it was the start of another busy day.” Boy can I relate!
Here is a brief run-down of what today was like:
7:21 a.m. Kayla wanders into my room while I’m having my quiet time. I start reading to her from 1 Peter 4 but then switch to John 1.
7:24 a.m. Madeline joins us.
7:30 a.m. We sit on my bed and read Bible stories and books until Savannah wakes up.
8:00 a.m. I snuggle with Savannah (and even manage a 20-minute nap) while big sisters play board games in their room.
9:15 a.m. We have steel-cut oats with peanut putter and raisins for breakfast; breakfast discussion revolves around sign language and being deaf. Then I do a brief clean up and help the younger girls get dressed for the day.
10:15 a.m. We walk to the library for story time; the fresh air feels great! Madeline slips on the ice and lands on her bottom but otherwise is fine. It was probably my fault for walking so fast.
11:00 a.m. After story time we curl up in the corner of the library with some great children’s literature. Madeline randomly chose a book about Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, which corresponded nicely with our breakfast conversation.
11:50 a.m. Upon arriving home, the girls want to play outside.
12:40 p.m. Lunch is served (penne with meat sauce and cheese, kiwi, and applesauce mixed with plain yogurt.)
1:20 p.m. Desperately in need of washing dishes, I allow all three girls to play while I work in the kitchen (instead of putting Savannah down for a nap right after lunch). The plan backfires. Savannah gets all wound up and doesn’t want to sleep!
1:50 p.m. Kayla and Madeline dive into art: markers, buttons, scissors, construction paper, glue. They start by making valentines and end up making crowns. I work on housework while they create, though I am desperately wishing someone would do my housework for me so I can make valentines, too!
2:00 p.m. I call the Isabella County Transportation Commission to schedule a bus pick up for tomorrow afternoon. I tell the girls we’re taking the bus to a birthday party and they are thrilled! (Aaron is in GR all week starting his new job, but until Saturday we are still a one-car family.)
2:30 p.m. Kayla asks to make a recipe. When she was three-years-old I began letting Kayla make her own “scrap soup” while I was cooking. Little did I know that this was the start to my daughter’s culinary career! She has been creating dishes ever since and is getting quite good. The other day she wanted an egg for her recipe but I wouldn’t give in. But when I saw the ingredients she chose for her blueberry bars, I realized an egg would have been the perfect addition to a delicious treat. So today when she asked for an egg, I said yes. We got out my cookbook and found a recipe for a yellow cake. I told Kayla what ingredients she would need, gave her an idea of how much flour, sugar, oil, etc. to use with her one egg, and she mixed up a cake mix! We tried baking it in the toaster oven, but it started browning on the top. We switched to the regular oven, and minutes later–voila! We had a cake!
3:15 p.m. Sitting at the dining room table with supplies all around us, we continue with “school.” Phonics lessons, sight word quizzes, extensive handwriting practice, and continuing art projects from earlier in the afternoon.
4:30 p.m. Savannah wakes from her nap very unhappy. She didn’t settle down until close to 3:00; 1.5 hours was definitely not enough sleep for her. Kayla, Madeline and I clean up our school stuff; K & M play “mermaid princess” with one of the crowns Madeline made (the other still has gobs of glue on it and is drying on the dishwasher; Yogi thinks it looks like a nice place to sleep and takes a nap on it. Yes, it sticks to her fur.) Savannah snuggles on my lap while I sing to her and read her books.
5:15 p.m. The girls and I read various parts of a Kindergarten textbook. We read about making your own musical instruments and learn the meanings of various sayings.
5:45 p.m. K & M clean up toys while I make egg carton dinners. Each spot in the egg carton holds something different, such as cheese, nuts, dried fruit, green beans, green onions, pretzels, etc. Opting out of the egg carton option myself, I choose green beans with a side of leftover lasagna for my meal.
6:20 p.m. I finish my food first (a rare occurrence), so I read a chapter of “Farmer Boy” to the girls while they finish eating.
6:50 p.m. Girls are off playing while I clean up. Aaron calls on the phone—perfect timing!
7:1o p.m. We finish cleaning the girls room and then make chocolate sour cream frosting.
7:30 p.m. While we wait on the frosting, I give the girls a math problem. I fill a container half-way with Cheerios and let them guess how many there are. Madeline guesses 40; Kayla guesses 42. Then I let them count the Cheerios by 5’s and 10’s to see how many we have. All together there are 248 Cheerios!
7:45 p.m. We sample Kayla’s cake! Mmm is it good! And sugar right before bedtime—what a great idea!
8:05 p.m. Kayla and Madeline brush their teeth and choose a Little House CD to listen to. I put Savannah to bed and then go back and tuck the big girls in.
8:30 p.m. I take a look at the house wonder how much I will get done before 9:15, when I need to get ready for bed. I decide to quickly check my email and end up writing this blog entry! Oops!
As you can see, my little sponges are ready, willing and able to soak up anything I expose them to. Sure, it requires a lot out of me. (Ok, that’s an understatement. It’s utterly exhausting at times!) But I’m compelled to give motherhood all that I’ve got—they deserve no less.
After a day like today, I still find myself thinking, “but it’s been so long since we’ve done Spanish or ballet or …” Is it possible that I still think we need more? Where does this come from? Why this need to do everything? I was reminded of all this at the Home Educator’s Conference I went to this weekend. Homeschooling is so much more about the heart than what you do. So I’m trying, though I’m not even close to being there yet, to let go of the need to do everything, to be just like everyone else. My girls don’t need that. They just need my heart. The greatest gift I can give them is not how many extracurricular activities we can juggle—it’s my walk with God.
Tomorrow is Friday, and I’m planning a pretty low-key day. But you never know what my girls will talk me into!