Thursday, February 18, 2016

My Day with an 18 month, 3, 6 and 9 year old

Simple Homeschool has been posting their "Day in The Life" series which I love every year.  I did one myself last year and decided to do it again.  It's fun to see!  This was a fairly normal, imperfect day on the rare occurrence lately that we get to stay home all day.

Cast of Characters:
Declan - 18 months old
Fiona - 3 years old
Chandler - 6 years old, will turn 7 at the end of this month!
Claire - 9 and a half years old

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

O Dark 30 - Fiona joins us in bed, which already has Declan in it as well.  She cannot get comfortable and wants "nuggles".

5:29am - I give up and get up with her.  Daddy is already up and getting ready for work.  I make a cup of Yerba Mate tea and give Fiona a nutrigrain bar and a cup of juice and we settle in the recliner with a comfy blanket with Backyardigans ... and Peppa Pig ... and Vic the Viking .... I doze and Facebook on my phone.

7:34am - Declan and Chandler are up at a more normal time.  Declan wanders around playing after getting a drink and a nutrigrain bar.  Chandler starts on chores so he can get some tablet screen time.  Fiona starts playing Hungry, Hungry Hippos.

7:52am - Chandler earns enough for 20 minutes on Minecraft by cleaning the kitty litter, folding the towels and cloth napkins and sorting the socks.  He settles down and I start breakfast for myself.

8:02am - After interruptions I finally sit with two pieces of sourdough toast with butter and a cheese omelet from eggs our hens laid yesterday.  Fiona sits with me with a bowl of cereal.

8:19am - I put in a load of laundry and help Chandler start his breakfast of a bagel, make Declan a scrambled egg, and start getting Declan and Fiona dressed.  During all this Claire wanders downstairs.


9:00am - Claire has quickly done some chores to earn some Minecraft time.  I start to get in the shower, but find Fiona playing with my salve.  I take it away and clean her up a little, then get in the shower.

9:22am - Come down from getting dressed to find my mom (who lives out back) here to get the chicken scraps.  We take turns feeding the chickens and rabbits that we raise together and today is her turn.  Fiona is playing dress-up, Declan is playing with his toys.  I send Chandler to get dressed and Claire to get breakfast.  I brush Fiona and Declan's teeth.

9:42am - Claire, Chandler and Fiona are playing Hungry, Hungry Hippos while Claire eats breakfast.

10:00am - Mom comes back up to discuss the day.  Claire goes to get dressed.

10:10am - Claire goes to get the eggs since she forgot yesterday while Chandler starts his schoolwork.  Fiona plays at the table with us.  Today they only have their journal writing, Math, English, and Science reading to do.


10:27am - Claire starts her schoolwork and I take my camera away from Fiona.

10:35am - Take Chandler's K'nex creation away from Declan.  Chandler takes a break to go fetch the trash cans from the road.  Fiona pulls the stool from the kitchen to look at our developing frog eggs on the buffet.

10:42am - Take markers away from Fiona.

10:57am - Chandler finishes his sit down work.  I help Fiona straighten her room.  Claire is doing her math.

11:01am - Fiona falls apart because of something Chandler does, comfort her.

11:28am - Claire finishes her sit down work, we still have science reading to do this afternoon.  Chandler has finished enough chores to play Minecraft again.  Claire and I dump Declan's toy basket to organize it.  Declan loves that.  We move the couch and find a crazy amount of stuff.  I put Pandora on so we have some music to get us moving.

12:17pm - Start making lunch.  Chandler and Fiona have leftover kielbasa and boiled potatoes from last night.  Claire has two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Declan has a grilled cheese sandwich.

12:56pm - Claire and Chandler go to their rooms for an hour of quiet time and reading.  I put Fiona in her bed with a couple books to nap and walk with Declan for a few minutes until he falls asleep and I can put him in his crib.  Finally lunch for me!  I steal some of my husband's lunch meat and make a pastrami sandwich.  I sit at the computer to eat and check my email.

2:15pm - Claire and Chandler come out and Claire uses her tickets to play Minecraft.

2:48pm - I am making Hungarian Goulash for dinner that needs to simmer for 2+ hours so I go start dinner.  Declan wakes up very fussy and needs Mommy.  I end up letting Claire start dinner while I hold Declan and direct/help.

3:33pm - Fiona gets up from her nap and is extremely whiny.  She wants to play with Claire's Legos and Claire doesn't wamt her to.  Chandler is running around cleaning and trying to earn tickets. 

3:50pm - Claire ends up taking Fiona to play with her Megablocks and Declan slides off my lap to join them.  I head into the kitchen to wash dishes.

4:15pm - I help Fiona with her Legos while Claire goes and gets the afternoon eggs even though it just started raining.  Chandler brought in wood, made his bed, cleaned the dining room floor and straightened his bedroom so was able to play another 20 minutes on Minecraft.

4:20pm - I sit down to start typing some of this up.

4:39pm - Claire and Chandler disappear upstairs to Claire's room to play to Fiona's complete disappointment.  Since it's raining out and she's out of sorts I let her put a Barbie movie in.

5:05pm - I hear water running and Claire says "It's okay!  I'm just doing Chandler's hair!"

5:12pm - Declan and I snuggle.  He gives the best hugs!

5:33pm - Just as I go in to finish up dinner Daddy gets home.  Hugs and kisses from everyone!  He changes out of his work clothes while I finish dinner and Claire and Chandler set the table.  We all sit down to eat.

6:19pm - Daddy helps me clean up from dinner and I wash dishes while he wrangles kids and lets them each have a Vienna Finger cookie as a treat.

6:44pm - Daddy has a meeting about work tonight so he starts putting the babies in pajamas before going. 

7:12pm - Daddy leaves for his meeting.  The kids curl up to watch Netflix.

8:13pm - The big kids go to get pajamas on.

8:19pm - Fiona asks me to snuggle her on the couch.

8:43pm - I tell the kids they don't have time for another episode because it is too close to bedtime.   After the awful display I get from Claire and Chandler I send everyone packing off to bed immediately. 

8:52pm - After teeth brushing, I pray for Claire, Chandler and Fiona and tuck them in bed.  Declan and I settle in the chair with an episode of West Wing on Netflix.  That show never gets old.

9:08pm - Declan is asleep.

9:33pm - Daddy gets home and we talk for a few minutes.  He takes Declan up to his crib for me. 

9:48pm - I change into pajamas, make some tea and popcorn and curl up in the recliner.  Daddy sits with Claire and talks with her since she is still up reading.  After he comes back downstairs we snuggle up on the couch together and watch Netflix for one episode. 

10:54pm - We head to bed, morning comes quickly.  As my head touches the pillow I realize that we never got around to reading our science ....

Monday, February 15, 2016

How My Kids Earn Screen Time

We implemented a new system for playing video games, etc after Christmas and it's working quite well!  Before they would ask and I would say, "After your schoolwork." or try to put it off.  Or I would tell them no for the day, especially when they were misbehaving, and they would whine and complain.

Now, they earn it.  When they do a chore they get a ticket.  At the moment 5 tickets = 20 minutes play time. 

It's working well.  Schoolwork usually has to be one of those tickets and now I know they have done a fair amount of work first and it is on the timer so time is limited.  When we first started it was a lot of Mario Kart on the wii, but since I downloaded Minecraft on the Kindle Fire I got for Christmas and Claire and Chandler are addicted.

It actually works out for me because they are eager for chores and fight over what needs to be done.  My living room has never been so clean!

Some things they can do for tickets:

Empty dishwasher
Straighten living room floor
Clean up dining room floor
Put laundry away
Get eggs
Bring trash cans from road
Clean kitty litter (they get 2 tickets for that since it's a gross job.  Now they fight over whose turn it is!  I had to implement odd days are Claire's turn and even are Chandler's turn.)
Bring in wood (depending on how much can be 2-4 tickets)
Clean bathtub (Claire likes this one)
Make your bed
Straighten your room
Help fold laundry

And more ....

Friday, February 12, 2016

Snow! And it's gone ....

In the morning it started snowing and it was perfect playing snow!  I sent the kids right out and told them we would do schoolwork after Snow P.E.!  They were so excited and I'm glad I sent them out because after lunch the rain started and it was all gone.  At least they had their snow fun! 

Afterwards they came inside and drank hot chocolate while doing their schoolwork.  Perfect day or what?  And while they were outside Declan "helped" me organize Fiona's bedroom.  Hurray!  All she needs is curtains (which I have the fabric, I just need to sew them) and her room will be all set!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Homeschool Science Project: Frog Eggs

Look what we have!

Someone from our homeschool co-op found a bunch in a pond near their house and brought some to share.  Several of us have little frogs growing in our houses now!