Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Day in the Life

It's the final week of Heart of the Matter's Not Back to School Blog Hop. This week's topic is A Day in the Life.
Not Back to School Blog Hop
 We are taking a break from school this week because it's our church's VBS week so I won't be taking any pictures for this post. And I didn't take any pictures of our daily routine last week because that would have required some foresight, something I do not have much of these days.

We don't follow a schedule so much as a routine around here. Basically we do what we need to do throughout the day and drop everything whenever Bean lays down for a nap so that we can do the things that are hard to get done with a toddler in the house. So this is a general outline but the times can vary greatly:

5:00- Bean wakes up. I grab her out of her crib and bring her to my bed to nurse and hopefully sleep for another hour or two.

6:00- Buzz and Boo wake up. They are to play quietly and not wake up anyone else. Usually they read or listen to an audio book while coloring. I only get up at this time if Bean wakes me up because apparently one year olds can't be left to fend for themselves in the morning the way a 5 and 7 year old can :) Ruben also wakes up around this time to get ready for work.

7:00- Ruben leaves for work. Buzz and Boo are allowed to wake me up. They must be dressed before I serve them breakfast so usually they change out of their pj's as soon as they wake up. I dress, get Bean changed and dressed and head to the kitchen.

Buzz and Boo are both so starving at this point that they are probably going to die if I don't feed them within 3 minutes of my entering the kitchen. It's almost always frozen waffles with Nutella smeared on them. Not exactly gourmet, but well received none the less. I eat a quick bowl of cereal and feed Bean.

7:30- Morning chore time. Buzz unloads the dishwasher every morning and Boo helps start a load of laundry and does general straightening up plus any other chores that I've put on their chore chart for that particular morning.

8:00- I spend some quality time with Bean or at least I try to, she's usually more interested in following the big kids around the house that hanging out with Mom. Whenever Bean gets tired of me I spend time with Buzz and/or Bean

9:00- The big kids get themselves a snack and settle on the couch to watch something on Netflix, usually an episode of The Backyardigans. Until Bean was born the kids never watched TV, but I discovered that it's the best way to keep them quiet while I'm nursing Bean before a nap so I caved.

9:30- The show ends and Bean's asleep so we head to the school table and start plugging away. We always starts with Bible and Language Arts and then Buzz and Boo take turns working with me and working independently.

11:00- Bean wakes up. I make lunch for the kids and they eat while I read a chapter or two (or three or four...) of our current read-aloud.

11:30- Quiet time. Buzz and Boo head to their rooms for 1 hour of any quiet activity of their choosing. Buzz usually listens to an audio book while drawing or playing Legos. Boo usually reads. I eat lunch during this time and get things done around the house while Bean plays or "helps" me.

12:30- Quiet time is over. Buzz and Boo can choose to either play on the computer or watch a show on Netflix.

1:00- Afternoon snack. I spend the rest of the hour playing with the kids.

2:00- Afternoon chores. Buzz and Boo straighten up bedrooms and playroom. They also fold and put away their laundry if it's their laundry day.

Once afternoon chores are done everyone has free time.

4:30- I start making dinner. If Ruben isn't away for work he gets home around 4:45.

5:00- Dinner

5:30- Family time. If Ruben is home this usually involves wrestling of some kind or we go for a family walk. If not, I read aloud or we play a game.

6:30- Start getting ready for bedtime. Showers, jammies, teeth brushed, story, Bible.

7:00- Bedtime for the kids (They wake up at 6 no matter what time they go to bed, so an early bedtime is important)

11:00- Bedtime for me, Ruben usually stays up a bit later.

Obviously this would be a day when we don't go anywhere. In reality we go to the library at least once a week, plus grocery shopping and miscellaneous errands, not to mention soccer and dance. Also, this schedule only applies Monday-Thursday because we have co-op all morning on Fridays plus a 40 minute drive each day. So basically every day is different but if there ever were a "normal" day around here, this is what it would probably look like :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My "Students" 2011-2012

We won't officially start the new school year until after Labor Day but on the first day we will, of course, be taking the customary picture of each child holding up a sign with their grade written on it :)

For now I'll share their birthday photos, taken last month:

Buzz - 7 years old, 2nd grade
Buzz loves anything Toy Story, Transformers or Legos. He's an amazing reader and would rather read than play outside. He's sweet, funny, kind and a great big brother. Basically he's just an all-around awesome kid!

Boo - 5 years old, Kindergarten
Boo loves to dance and has recently developed a love of horses. She reads way above grade level and loves to learn. She's very compassionate and loving but she's also our resident drama queen!

Bean - 1 year old, Tot School
If I had to pick one word to describe Bean it would be JOY. She is almost always happy and has brought so much laughter and love into our home! She spends her days trying to keep up with the big kids and getting into adorable mischief.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Our School Room

Our school room is in what would normally be considered the dining room.
 Our "school table" is where the kids do any seated work.

See my cute little supply organizer? It's a smaller version of this one from See Jamie Blog.

To the left of the table is this storage set-up, with my laminator, label maker, tot trays and other random stuff on the shelves. The cabinet holds items to be used for tot school and math manipulatives.

To the right of the table is an identical storage set-up, only this one is empty right now. When all of this year's curriculum arrives in the mail (some time this week!) This will be it's home.

This is our calendar area. In the blank wall space next to the calendar I'll be hanging our weekly memory verse and whatever else I may feel like displaying.

This is the wall opposite the calendar area. The cube shelves hold workbooks and some of my books as well as construction paper. The little cube shelf with the drawers holds supplies that aren't used as often as the ones in the supply organizer on the table. Velcro dots, stapler, push pins etc. The cabinet is full of art supplies.

 The school room is where most of our supplies are kept and where any seated work is done, but "school" may happen anywhere in the house.

I usually read a chapter or two from our current read-aloud at the kitchen table while the kids are eating lunch.

And of course the couch is the very best place for school, even if your two little sisters are bugging you while you're trying to read ;)

Happy Birthday Buzz!

Buzz turned 7 today, how crazy is that ?!?! Ok, maybe not crazy for you, but I feel like we just brought him home from the hospital and all of a sudden he's so...big! The birthday kid in our house gets to be king or queen for the day: picking what we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and choosing whatever fun activity that they want to do to celebrate (within reason of course).
I surprised Buzz with peanut butter & jelly muffins (I'll the post the recipe later) they're one of his favorites and I hadn't made them for a long time. For lunch he chose Lunchables. Yes, the boxed ones from the store, Buzz is nuts for them. Only Buzz and Boo had Lunchables though, Ruben, Bean and I just had regular ol' sandwiches. Ruben and Buzz share a birthday (how cool is that?!?) so Ruben takes him out just the two of them to do some kind of "birthday boys" activity each year. Today they went to Chuck E. Cheese and had a blast. For dinner Buzz wanted to order pizza, so we ate pizza in the living room while watching a movie.

In the last few weeks Buzz has gotten really into Transformers (which Ruben is so psyched about because he loved Transformers as a kid too). Buzz hasn't seen the movies, and won't for quite a few years still, but he has seen the cartoon and he thinks it's awesome. So for his birthday present of course he asked for Transformer action figures! He also got gum as a present, which probably seems like a weird gift, but we very rarely let our kids chew gum, so it was a treat!

He picked out this fun hamburger cake!

He's becoming less and less of mommy's little boy and more and more of a boy boy. It's really neat to see the person that he's becoming and I feel so blessed to be his mom!
Happy Birthday Buddy Boy, we love you!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

2011-2012 Curriculum

We school year-round here, so we're still finishing up our '10-'11 school year and we'll start the new year after Labor Day. It took me longer than I thought it would to decide this year.
The two biggest deciding factors were the kids' interests (Buzz is very interested in American History right now) and the fact the Ruben will mostly likely be deploying for six months early next year.
 I had originally wanted to plan my own unit study but in the end I decided that something that is planned out for me will work out better for us with Daddy away.
So after much deliberation, our 2011-2012 curriculum:
Buzz - 2nd Grade
Math: Finishing up Mathematical Reasoning through December (undecided after that)
Art: Adventures in My Father's World AND Weekly Art Classes
PE: Soccer
Language Arts: First Language Lessons
Reading: Buzz will be reading a variety of chapter books which I have selected based on reading level and interest

Boo - Kindergarten
Boo is 5, which technically makes her of kindergarten age, but all of her coursework is 1st grade. We call her a kindergartner for the purpose of being with kids her own age in Sunday school, dance etc.
Math: Finishing up Mathematical Reasoning  through December (undecided after that)
PE: Dance
Language Arts: First Language Lessons
Reading: Boo will be reading one story from The Beginner's Bible each day. She will also be reading the Circle C Beginnings series along with the activity pages from the Circle C Beginnings website. Subsequent readers TBD

Poor Bean!

Bean had a little mishap on Thursday afternoon. She was playing in the living room with Buzz and Boo and fell on her leg the wrong way. She cried a little bit, but as soon as I picked her up and comforted her, she seemed fine. I put her right into her high chair because it was lunch time and she ate her lunch just fine and then she played in her high chair for a bit longer while I cleaned up the kitchen after lunch.
By the time I got her out of her high chair, it had been about an hour since she had fallen and I had pretty much forgotten about it. But when I went to set her down on the floor she tried to walk, her left leg buckled and she started to cry. I wasn't sure what was going on so I set her back up to try to walk again, but the same thing happened. She tried a few more times to get back up on her own but every time she fell back down and began to cry. At this point I was concerned so I called Ruben and picked him up at work and we all headed to the emergency room.
At the emergency room they took an x-ray of her leg. I really wasn't thinking that it was anything too serious because unless she was trying to stand on it, she was her normal happy self. Then the doctor came in and told us that she had a small buckle fracture in the fibula. They put her leg in a splint in the ER.
The next day I took her to get her cast put on. The doctor said that she will be in the cast for 4-6 weeks depending on how well she is healing. I was concerned that Bean was going to be miserable, not being able to walk around for that long. The doctor assured me that she would come up with a way to get around and if she figured out a way to walk on the cast then it wouldn't hurt her recovery at all. And wouldn't you know, less than 24 hours after the cast was put on, she was walking! I was relieved to see that a broken leg isn't going to slow her down!