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Our Home Ed Stories

Our Home Ed Stories Post New Entry

A day in our life

Posted by EmmaH on September 21, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Notes from a day last week. It was a middling sort of day - we have had better and we have had worse. It was also a 'booky' kind of day - some days are more craft, or sporty or something else! The narrative has ended up mostly about me - if I have the energy I thought it might be interesting to write from each of the children's perspectives too. It's also pretty long - just a warning - I won't be offended if you get bored with our trivialities!

By way of explanation, M is my eldest age 8; N is my only daughter, age 7; Y is my 5 year old; Z is my 3 year old; and S my baby, age 13 months.........

We get up late because hubby didn’t get back home until 10pm last night. That’s always a good start to the day – not! The baby wakes us around 7, so I feed him whilst darling hubby makes me a cup of tea and I drink it in bed whilst reading a few bits on the iPad. If we’re going for accuracy I moved into the spare bed for my tea because Z is asleep in my bed having joined us in the middle of the night, and I don’t want S to wake him. Whilst drinking my tea I am joined by everybody except the eldest and dh decides it’s more relaxing back in our room!

I have a super fast shower and go downstairs to start the day. Hubby wants breakfast today and a packed lunch so I whiz around sorting breakfasts and his lunch (salad). Thankfully 4 out of 5 want weetbix, so that’s easy and I just have to make hot chocolates. The baby proceeds to make a fuss about being fed by me so I leave him and he gives himself a massage with the weetbix, and then decorates the kitchen floor with it. N spills her hot chocolate and I can’t find any teatowels to mop it up (a consequence of always mopping up spills).

Everybody gets dressed and does their morning chores whilst I clean up the kitchen and wait for M to get some teabags from the village shop because we’ve run out. A sure sign I’m drinking too much tea at the moment. I get the chicken for dinner out of the freezer because I forgot to do it last night.

I make tea and we start school, but I forego breakfast because it’s now quarter past nine and we can’t slack today if we want to get to tennis on time. The work phone rings (I am my husband’s PA) so I sort out the worried caller whilst the kids do their ‘training’ (press ups, sit ups, that sort of thing) in the lounge and Z screams outside the door (very professional!). Realise I have forgotten to get the baby dressed so I quickly do that and everybody starts maths.

M finds decimals hard, mostly because I can't explain it to him very well. N moans because she is finishing the maths book she likes and has to swop to something we have that she doesn't like because I can't afford what she wants until next month. Y tries very hard with Explode the Code and writes the letter ‘g’ in his handwriting book. S plays in the kitchen and Z drinks tea with me. Maths is stressful because everybody needs help all the way through today and then the little two start fighting over cuisenaire rods. I send them all out to play for a bit. I'm dreading winter this year.

It starts to rain so they play inside. I camp out in the study for 10 minutes with the door closed because I need quiet. Bit of an issue for a mum who likes peace and quiet in a house with 5 kids who all stay at home instead of going to school. Outside the door I can hear strains of ‘I am a pineapple, a juicy pineapple’ and I wonder not for the first time where they learnt that.

Onwards and upwards, we start reading and religious studies. We haven’t done school unless we hit these, along with maths and writing. I read Pocahontas to them all (yay, they are attentive today!), and then whilst Y does his phonics book (OPGTR) M reads A Samurai’s Tale and N reads a book about the rainforest and then the encyclopedia. We finish reading and a few little bits with just Y. Z spends a long time whilst we are reading yelling my name from the toilet since he refuses to get down without help at the moment. I finish what we're doing because I can't face another interruption.

By the time we've finished this the baby needs a nap so I feed him off to sleep and start the DVD for next writing lesson. I get only a couple of minutes before they need me again because one of the cats has knocked the file off the table and all the papers have fallen out. Consequently M can't carry on with the lesson. I put the baby down, sort the papers and make a cup of tea. I decide to eat something as well (egg mayo and bread) and read a couple of pages of my magazine (a quality journal obviously!!) whilst everybody else watches Andrew Pudewa. I love Andrew Pudewa. I can hear everyone laughing at a lesson in strong verbs which makes me happy. Baby wakes up at the end of the lesson. Less than an hour, sigh.

They polish off a packet and a half of rice crackers with marmite and we finish memory work. M does the best I've ever heard. I feel like sleeping so I lie on the sofa but then the man comes with the veggies (Riverford – thoroughly recommend them) so I have to get up and then we have lunch. They share leftovers, fruit and eggy bread. I start on dinner because I had such a late breakfast I'm not hungry now. Dinner is marinated chicken thighs and salad and rice.

I tidy the kitchen, kids tidy the lounge and we all enjoy a big bowl of oranges cut up. They sing ‘I should be so lucky’ while they work (where do they learn these things?) I start the dishwasher and I start a second load of washing. I say a prayer of thanks for appliances.

We finish off 'box work'. The kids each have a box of books just for them – things like spelling, grammar, latin for my eldest. It is a noisy day today and I yell at them to be quiet!! Those not working with me finish the tidying, run around the house, colour, play with blocks and fight with the marble run. Everybody has taken turns fighting over the pieces of the marble run today. We have a boxful of pieces but everybody only wants the red ones. No wonder I have a headache. Z sits with us at the table playing with Fireman Sam and S is a cutey pie with one sock on and one sock off going up and down stairs following big people around and coming for hugs with me on the way past. Everybody laughs when I put on voices for learning about direct and indirect quotations.

N finishes copy work, I get Z dressed! And then I clean my teeth! I decide not to put my contacts in today because there doesn't seem much point now at quarter past three. We get ready for tennis, I make a coffee on my new coffee machine (happy dance) and off we go.

We have fun at tennis. M has moved up a level so the class goes well, and everybody else enjoys seeing friends. S spends the whole class running onto the court. We get home; Z and S are asleep in the car. I leave them so I can finish off dinner prep. M and N lay the table and empty the dishwasher but a friend calls about a HE meet up and then both Z and S wake up screaming. I finish the call, give Z and S weetbix and banana, finish dinner then put S in the bath. For some reason the oven keeps flipping the fuse so I have to get the step ladder up from the cellar to get up to the fuse box every few minutes! Everybody wants to wait for dad for dinner so they play outside on bikes and play hide and seek. I sit for a few minutes to write this whilst S plays in the bath.

Hubby still not home and baby not sleeping so we start dinner. Baby starts to whinge so I whisk him back upstairs where he wails for half an hour. We eat some food and then get ready for bed around 8pm. I finish off the last bits in the kitchen and put the second load of washing in the dryer. I sit with the baby till he falls asleep. Not long once I am with him. I am tired and ready for a quiet cup of tea. Still no word from hubby (he is operating today). I sit in bed with more tea and watch the Great British Bake Off.

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Reply EmmaH
4:09 AM on September 24, 2013 
Ruth, it's good to know that at some point things will be calmer. I'm sort of half looking forward to it, but as crazy as it is at the moment, I do love being with them all. It was even busier for you though Ruth!

Karen, sane is a relative term!!
Reply Ruth
5:06 PM on September 23, 2013 
Wow that felt like a blast from the past when all mine were little. I still don't know how I did it or how you do either!
Reply Karen
6:48 AM on September 23, 2013 
Emma, you are doing MORE than OK. I am amazed at how well you manage to keep any trace of sanity let alone get HE done on a daily basis.
I admire any of you with so many children, epsecially with a baby or toddler in the mix. I only had two and sometimes that can feel too many. Even the one dd left at home exhausts me sometimes along with the rest of life (must be my great age!!!)

Seriously, it was great to read and thanks for posting.
Reply EmmaH
12:53 PM on September 22, 2013 
Yes Dree manic is definitely the right word. It isn't always so bonkers, and sometimes it is quite calm by comparison. Probably not calm by only child standards, but calm by ours!

No need to be impressed Jos - did you notice the couple of times when I said 'I yelled'? Because I meant it!

It is nice to know we're not alone. It's all too easy to feel inadequate in this world of supermum blogs, and Disney HE as Anne quite nicely puts it. So hard to find perspective when you have no standard to measure against.

It was quite heartening to write as well. I see clearly that I'm supposed to be busy. I have 5 children for goodness sake. We are schooling every day. My big three can read. We are doing ok. So easy to forget that.
Reply Dree
11:21 AM on September 22, 2013 
Hats off to you Emma. I only have 3 and that can feel hectic enough sometimes! There's something quite 'warming' when I read about others' manic lives - always good to know we're not on our own!
Reply Jos
5:54 PM on September 21, 2013 
That puts my days in perspective. I'm very impressed. :-)
Reply Anne B
5:31 PM on September 21, 2013 
Wow! How do you fit so much into a day? I've always admired anyone who can Home Ed with a toddler, because both mine were unguided missiles at that stage