Monday, February 4, 2013

A Day in the Life 2013

Our new schedule and set-up are going so well, I thought I would do another Day in the Life post.  I thought my last DITL post was fairly recently but when I checked, it was actually last April, so a LOOOONG time ago (okay not really but things have changed a lot since then).

Other than Daddy, who leaves for work by 7am, Vicki is the first one awake most mornings (somewhere between 7am and 8:30am).  She snuggles into a blanket on the couch to drink her Pediasure while watching some tv – usually a DVR’d episode of Wild Kratts or Pokemon.


George usually doesn’t wake up until closer to 9am.  When he does get up, he settles on the couch, steals the remote from Vicki, they fight until mom takes the remote away and picks a show (Wild Kratts), and then he gets his Pediasure to drink.  While this is going on I’m attempting to have my breakfast and tea, and check my email, Facebook, and forums.

Once George finishes his drink and has woken up a little bit, the television goes off, the kids brush their teeth, sometimes they get dressed, and we start school.  This morning I had to break up a Pokemon battle that had commenced in George’s bedroom.


Our current set-up has the kids working at separate folding tables in the living room, with me sitting in between them.

With lots of pencil tapping, noise making, and fidgeting, Georgie starts his “independent” work.   This consists of one page from Evan-Moor Daily Reading Comprehension 3rd grade (we are trying out both the 3rd and 4th grade to see where he should be), one puzzle from Scholastic Algebra Readiness Made Easy 3rd Grade (which are actually too easy for him and take him about 5 seconds to complete), one puzzle from Scholastic Addition and Subtraction Riddles to drill facts, one page from his Handwriting without Tears book (2nd grade), one 2-page lesson from his Spectrum Language Arts 2nd grade book, two pages from his Spectrum Writing 2nd grade book, and any reading from his Beast Academy Guide Book.  Anything that he needs help with he can put in a magazine holder labeled “Stop and Wait for Mom” that holds the work we do together.  He also places any completed work there for me to check.


Meanwhile, Vicki and I work together on her basics.  We alternate activities that involve writing with those that involve talking.

We start with her Word Book.  This is like a word wall, just in a file folder.  Each cardstock page is divided into 4 sections with a letter in each section.  New words are added by Vicki reading the words off post-it notes.  Those that she can read, she can place in her book under the correct letter.  That night I will remove the post-it and write the word in.  Each day we either add new words, or review some of the old words.  Like almost everything else, we will do it until she gets tired of it.


She then does:

-one page from her Handwriting without Tears book (kindergarten level).  She is about half way through the book so right on track to finish by the end of the school year.

-a lesson or portion of a lesson from Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading.  I write out the lessons on some of the HWT paper we have.  It consists of whatever will fit on the page, or a portion of a lesson up to a logical stopping point.  Each day we review the previous days page, and do a new page.

-one page from Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math – Kindergarten (although she only has three pages left in this book) and one page from Math Mammoth 1A.   I will find another supplement to replace the EM, something colorful without a lot of problems on the page, maybe something that does a little bit with time or money (or anything but addition).  I’m hesitant to move on to the First Grade Skill Sharpeners Math since I think it may move too fast for her.

-however many pages from Explode the Code 1 as she is willing to do.  She only has about 12 pages left in this book so we will be getting book 2 soon.

-a game to drill addition, usually something from File Folder Fun or Scholastic.  Today she played Dino Bones which I put together from two different games at File Folder Fun.

-a game to drill phonics, usually something from one of the books I got at a Scholastic Dollar Days sale.   Today we played Mouse House which is a rhyming game from Scholastic Phonemic Awareness Activities for Early Reading Success.

At this point, Vicki is done with her work (all that usually takes 30 to 45 minutes) and can play with any of our educational toys.  She almost always chooses Play-doh.  I guess it’s debatable whether play-doh is actually “educational” but it’s good for hand strength and, more importantly, keeps her occupied and quiet for a long time.  Luckily she doesn’t have any problem playing with the mushed together, mixed up colors of play-doh.


George usually still has at least some of his independent work left to do, so I’ll start checking what he did complete and see if he needs any help.


Once he finishes, we will do the things we always do together:

-2 to 3 pages from Math Mammoth 3A or 3B.  He is currently working on fractions and multiplication.

-1 page from the Beast Academy 3A workbook.  We just started the 100’s chart chapter.

-Some multiplication drill using bingo, flashcards or dice.

-usually one Step from All About Spelling 2.  Right now he’s able to spell all the words without hesitation and we only have a few steps left.  I’m still debating whether to continue with AAS or switch to something less intensive.

At this point (sometimes earlier) we stop for lunch.  George likes to eat lunch between 11 am and noon.  Since he doesn’t have anything but his Pediasure in the morning, he is pretty hungry.  Vicki will have been snacking her way through the morning.

After lunch, we do Spanish – either watching a First Espanol video , doing some pages from The Complete Book of Spanish or going over our word wall.


Mondays are Literature days (or at least supposed to be…) and today we did read The Little Red Hen and do some activities from Evan Moor Literature Pockets.   Wednesdays are (supposed to be) Art and Fridays are (supposed to be) Music.

Usually at this point the kids are sent to their rooms for quiet time while I try to get a little exercise in.  

Once I give up, they are allowed to play educational games on the computer.  For George this always starts with some drill using Xtra Math.  For Vicki, it will be Starfall, PBS Kids or Jumpstart but today, for the first time, Vicki had a sewing lesson from Grammy Kaye, where she made a little purse.



This is the usual format for our Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  On Tuesdays and Thursday we do a little bit of Math (drills or games) and Language Arts (games), then spend the entire rest of the day doing science, history, geography, projects, field trips or just more games.

Once it gets warmer, I’m hoping afternoon quiet time turns into afternoon outside time.

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