We started the day by listening to a chapter of the Bible after breakfast, which was freshly baked muffins. We listened to the second last chapter of Luke in our audio Bible. I followed along in my actual Bible – I’m a visual learner – and the boys snuggled on the couch under blankets to keep warm.
And then my washing machine beeped at me. It was a miserable day for washing but the baskets were full so the inside of the house is now draped with wet washing.
While I hung my washing, I set the boys to work on three tasks they could do without me. They had to do their morning chores, parse a sentence on the whiteboard
and whiz through a quick column of multiplication facts. Easy-peasy stuff.
As I hung the washing, I got the boys to read out their answers to me, stopping them to make any necessary corrections.
Then we all snuggled on the couch as I read “The Pole-Seekers”, picking up where I left off last term. Reading a book about Antarctica, during the coldest days of winter, wasn’t my brightest idea but it certainly helped us empathise with the characters in our story.
We’re wrapping up our Antarctic studies at the moment so I wanted to finish this book today. It was optimistic, to say the least ,since I was at chapter 16 of 30. But aim high I say, and you might just make it.
After a two week break from reading aloud, my voiced needed breaks during our reading. So when the washing machine beeped at me for the second time, the boys took a break and went looking for the sun. They came back inside one at a time and I snuggled with them (to try and share their warmth) in front of our geography quiz program. We’re memorising Africa at present, so we checked to see how much they had remembered over the holidays, then reviewed the countries again and finished off with another quick quiz. Sitting with them as they work on this task, enables me to learn the countries as well. Plus, we make up silly explanations for the names of countries to help us remember them.
Before returning to our story, we stopped to watch a collection of youtube videos on glaciers, which I had gathered for the boys. Each was only short but once you added in pausing and discussing, we amused ourselves for a good thirty minutes. I also showed the boys a notebook I’ve started. I’m going to start notebooking with the boys. I’m as much of a student as they are. So each of us will spend time, during the week, adding what we’ve learned to our own notebooks. We’ve made attempts at this sort of thing before, but I’m hoping we’ll make it stick this time.
Then we read a picture book about glaciers that arrived in the mail during the holidays. We talked about the previous ice age and land bridges. The boys got up and located the mentioned places on our world map, beside our reading lounge. We also touched on the topic of global warming and what it would mean for coastal communities if the ocean levels rose. But it’s a difficult topic to approach with any degree of real knowledge as most of the literature is fear based propaganda rather than informative and balanced. One of my boys expressed the idea that some degree of global warming may just be a natural process.
With my voice marginally rested, we dug back into our novel. This time the boys opted to amuse their hands with various activities while I read. At one point, one boy was making patterns with sticks and another was drawing. At another point, one boy was making lines with marbles and the other was building with Lego. I don’t mind as long as they are quiet and not moving around too much. I used to stop and quiz them to make sure they were still listening, but after all these years, I know they are listening.
When our stomachs started to rumble, we set our book aside, with three chapters to go, and put our pasta on to cook. With twenty minutes to wait, we opted to complete our Math lesson, which I knew was a simple introduction to algebra. My boys have played Dragonbox so Algebra was not a foreign concept to them. In fact, after two pages into the coursebook, we set the explanations aside and just opened to the exercise in our workbook. The boys found it simple and easily finished the three pages of problems before I had our lunch on plates.
Then we relaxed. We usually have an hour for our lunch break and we use it however we want. One boy opted to program, another opted to play Dragonbox, inspired by our Math lesson, and I composed some emails.
I won’t mention what time it was when we started lunch, but suffice it to say it was late. When you spend a good chunk of the day reading aloud, you tend to lose track of the time. But it doesn’t matter. Not to us.
After our break, we hit the books and did something that looked a bit like school. We did a spelling lesson and review on the whiteboard, some independent reading (okay, not all that schoolish)
and wrote an outline for a recount about our trip to the historical village yesterday.
Before we knew it, the end of the day had caught up with us and I had to announce school done for the day. It was a fairly relaxed second day to ease back into the school term. We did plenty, but we didn’t do everything on my planner. But the goal of a homeschool day isn’t to tick all the boxes, it’s to learn. Since we achieved that, it was a good day.
We never did get to read those final chapters of our book. But there’s always tomorrow.