I had posted this on Mothering last September. Although some things have changed, I am amazed at how similar our rhythm is.
I was inspired to blog our day based on the weekly spotlights that members are posting.
Today we got started with our "formal" homeschooling for the year. We are holistic educators and are using the Christopherus 1st Grade Syllabus. My ideas are ever evolving as I read the Enki Homeschool Teacher's Guide and add many Enki ideas to our lives.
We started by getting up at 6:45, which will probably be our normal waking time now that summer is over. I find that the boys need to get up by 6:45 a.m. to be tired enough to go to bed at 8:00 p.m. We got dressed right away, which is a change I am reinstituting; otherwise DS#2 would be happy to stay in his pajamas (or naked!) all day. Which causes problems when we want to go somewhere! We still get up somewhere around 7, but it is moving later as the days lengthen and we naturally stay up later. Also, now that the boys are very active riding bikes in the evenings and riding BMX they need a little more sleep. We dress right after breakfast now, because I was getting tired of changing shirts. Now they spill porridge and syrup on the jammies.
Breakfast was toast for the 3 boys (did I mention I have my nephew all week?), fresh bread for the adults, and fresh-squeezed OJ for everyone (I cheated and squeezed it last night to get a jump on our day). I asked everyone to bring their cups and plates to the kitchen sink rather than leaving them on the table. We've changed breakfast a bit; DH and I usually have all-fruit smoothies or a fresh fruit salad. The boys usually have some sort of porridge. J-Baby can't drink any juice anymore, so we don't serve that. Same thing with the bread; he needs to eat a gluten-free diet. The boys are fantastic about clearing their dishes now.
I checked my email really quickly, then we all brushed our teeth and put on shoes. We leashed the dog and headed out for a walk around the block. While we were walking we observed the plants, flowers, and trees in our neighborhood, and also looked for straight and curved lines. I am trying to keep up with walking, see my post earlier today.
After our morning walk we plan to do circle time, but I am still waiting on some resources and I feel self-conscious in front of my nephew, so we'll probably start next week. The boys played for half an hour, then had a snack of watermelon and graham crackers. We started some movement exercises a few weeks ago. Now that I have my Enki materials I will be better able to plan this.
We headed out front to walk, run, stomp, skip, etc. in straight and curved lines. Our neighbor interrupted us, so we talked to him for a few minutes, but it was hard to get the boys motivated again. We grabbed our sidewalk chalk and went out on the carport to draw curved and straight lines. The boys really got into it and I can see that they are going to have fun with the form drawing block.
Monday is baking day, so we had an "organic" math lesson as we measured and mixed banana muffin batter. I asked more questions than I usually do when we bake, and the boys did surprisingly well. We were doubling the recipe so they had to do some work. Monday is still usually baking day! Yesterday we made GF muffins.
The boys played outside while the muffins were baking, then came in and had their snack. Then they pulled out some games and puzzles and played inside. We scrambled around a bit looking for a rubberband for the Mousetrap game. This is still the time for our morning lesson.
Lunch was easy; my nephew and DS#2 had peanut butter sandwiches, while DS#1 had a veggie dog. I've started offering this option as he doesn't really like traditional sandwiches. Again I had them clear their plates from the table. DH and I ate after the boys; rice and beans for me, a tomato and Tofurkey sandwich for him.
Next up for the flow of our day was quiet time, but with my nephew here it just wasn't going to happen (which is too bad, because they probably needed it even more). We need to buy a CD player for the boys' room so they can listen to quiet music or story CDs (which we also need to buy). I did lie down for about 30 minutes while the boys played. Quiet time is 100% ingrained into the rhythm. They even ask for it on the weekend. We did buy the CD player for their room, and we are now the proud owners of 11 Greathall story CDs narrated by Jim Weiss.
Next up was music time. First we sang the six songs that we are working on for the next few weeks. The second time through DS#2 got pouty and decided if my nephew didn't have to sing then he didn't either. I asked him to stay with us while we sang. After singing we started some clapping games, practicing rhythm and listening by echoing each other. Finally DS#2 came around and joined us. After lots of clapping we switched to tambourines, and then other rhythm instruments. We tried stomping, but our house is old and all the furniture in the room started moving, so we stopped. Unlike a strictly Waldorf approach which incorporates secondary lessons into the blocks, Enki has a more Western skills practice time. After that we do a craft, project, handwork, paint, etc.
After that the boys played outside while I exercised. I really don't enjoy it and haven't been doing it, but it has been built into the rhythm of our day and I decided to dust off the bike and put in 20 minutes. I plan to work up to 45 minutes over the next month. I've been getting so much exercise in my daily life that I rarely use the exercycle anymore. I much prefer real exercise, like going for a walk or riding my bike. I also get some yoga in before bed.
Around 3:30 I reviewed our dinner menu so I could start any early dinner preparation. Tonight we’re having a later dinner, as the boys have basketball, so I’ll need to provide a good snack around 5:00 p.m. Dinner will be grilled wild salmon, steamed red potatoes, corn on the cob, and a green salad. There wasn’t much I could do in advance. I did add water to the hot pot, so that the water would be boiling for tea time. Well, once again we went nearly vegan, and I don't cook fish at home anymore. J-Baby and I don't eat it at all. None of us eats dairy, but we do allow organic free-range eggs from a local farmer.
The boys were so excited to start up our tea time again; we did it all last school year but took a break for the summer. I made a big pot of decaf chai and read them three books: Choo Choo by Virginia Lee Burton, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman, and Harvest by Kris Waldherr. The boys drank their tea and munched on crackers and kettle corn. Then everyone took his plate and mug to the sink. Tea time ended up being abolished, as T-Guy became obsessed with it and was unable to do anything for at least an hour before while he was anticipating it. I still read throughout the day, but not at a set time.
We went right into our handwork block. We started with a verse and several fingerplays that we learned doing kindergarten, to warm up the fingers. Then I read them Pelle's New Suit by Elsa Beskow. I had planned to talk about sheep and wool, but decided to let the story sit with them overnight before doing so. I am really excited about this block, and ordered a fleece today off eBay so we can clean, card, and dye the wool.
The boys are drawing on the chalkboard right now. I'll decide if they need muffins before heading to basketball. While they are gone I'll pick up a bit and make dinner. After dinner the boys will clean their room (with help) and have a bath. Then it is jammies and a chapter book, before brushing their teeth and singing to them as they get into bed. Our bedtime routine is still very much the same. I've added lighting a candle, and snuggling with them as I sing. It's more relaxing, and I enjoy it a lot more. They also have a regular snack right after putting on their pajamas.
Once they are in bed I'll grind the grain and put on a loaf of bread, then make juice. After that I take my bath and dry my hair, and spend some time reading or talking to DH before heading to bed. If I don't manage a shower while the boys have their evening snack then I do take one after they are in bed. I like to do it earlier so my hair has time to dry naturally. I usually plan the next day, talk to DH, read, and do some yoga. I also do kitchen tasks like making syrup, soaking beans, putting on cornmeal mush, etc.