Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Day in Our Lives

The alarm went off at 6:10. It felt a bit early, because Cory and I had been up late discussing Super K and Dash. I said my prayers, thanking God for guiding us in the direction to work with the boys, then turned on their light and began putting away laundry. Super K got up and took his clothes to the bathroom, but Dash stayed wrapped in a blanket. I laid his favorite clothes beside him, told him to get dressed, then went out and mostly closed the door. Our laundry is close to the boys' room, so I kept putting away laundry. Dash came out fully dressed and frowning. "I'm dressed, but I'm never getting on the bus!" I recognized some of the stresses of the school year and an active boy in a strict teacher's classroom. I sat on the couch with him and he let me put my arms around him. I told him I knew how hard he was working to do well in school this year, and Dad and I had decided to sign him up for a boys' gymnastics class. Then I did prayers with him, thanking God for the same things we had just talked about. After that Dash got his shoes and backpack on and had time for a granola bar before catching the bus. Super K, who had spent so long with his clothes in the bathroom just missed his. Fortunately Dad had time to drop him off.
By this time Little Nephi was awake and wanted a granola bar just like Dash. I told him after he used the toilet and got in his daytime clothes, that would be fine. "Venga, vamos," and we went downstairs to "la cocina."
Meanwhile Mia was getting dressed. She cuddled up to me and I said, "!Buenos dias!" I had just been listening to our Play and Learn Spanish CD, trying to grasp the words for waking up with children. I pointed to the window and said "Mira, es de dia," (Look, it's daytime). Then I suggested we got to "la cocina" ("does that mean kitchen?") for "desayunar." When we got there, the last morning word I could think of was "la mesa" for table, and our Spanglish lesson was done.

I finished breakfast first, and unloaded the dishwasher while the children finished theirs. Little Nephi joined in time to close the door for me. Then it was "vamos" again, and we went upstairs to start our 3 Rs--right after my shower.
So, the 3 Rs: Little Nephi read his first book--the first Fun Tales book which has about 6 words total. We're so proud. Then he went right back to building toys.

For math, I want Mia to get more practice counting objects up to 100. I don't have a lot of little things in that quantity easily available, so I had her count out all the broken crayons in the crayon box. Turns out it was well over 100, but she did pretty good. Then we used the Handwriting Without Tears chalkboard to practice correctly forming her numbers, 0-9. After that, I "let" her work out of the addition book I bought from the Target dollar bins this summer. I sat beside her and gave the chalkboard to Little Nephi, who surprised us with some well done letters and numbers. Mia wanted to have free time, or "centers," as she calls it, but we had reading left: the last two pages of a Dora reader, and lesson 31 from the Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading.
For "centers" she asked for the box of sequencing cards we rarely used. I left her with that and helped Little Nephi build an airplane, following the step-by-step diagram in the toy booklet. When I walked back to the school room, she had laid out every one of those cards in a row, saying she had planned our day. All I can say is, we don't need to teach sequencing in math this year.
After posting the mail and eating a snack, it was back to school. We read "Eeyore Has a Birthday" and "Little Miss Muffet." Then I introduced her to reading maps, and we went downstairs for piano lessons.
The last of our books arrived late, so this was the first lesson from Music for Little Mozarts, level 1. I was going to have her and Little Nephi color pictures of Beethoven Bear and Mozart Mouse while listening to the "Hello Song" from the CD. Mia wouldn't stop coloring, so I turned on the lesson CD and let her listen to that while she colored away. Little Nephi and I were within earshot in the kitchen, doing some early dinner prep. I would open a can with a safety opener, then say, "ayudamae" (help me). He would dump it in the glass pan and mix it together. It was great.
Back to music time. We covered high vs. low sounds, including where they are on the keyboard, sang "If you're happy and you know it," and tried to play the "Race Car" song on the piano. I wonder if wearing gloves would improve the kids' glissandos. Little Nephi and I ate lunch while Mia kept coloring and coloring and coloring. She finally ate too. Then it was off to pick-up the older boys from school.
The car was parked in neutral with the AC running about 20 minutes before Super K's school would be done. I found a handful of pennies in the car, laid them on the center console where Mia could see, and quizzed her on plus one and plus two addition with those as manipulatives. She did pretty well. When Super K joined us, he announced it had been library day and he had two chapter books.
Picking up Dash, we found out he had not cooperated with his teacher that day, who had removed his "recess privileges" until he made up some work. He informed me, again, that he hates his teacher. **sigh** We revoked Dash's computer privileges for the day.
Back home, everyone had afterschool snack. Everyone except Super K, that is. He was absorbed in Lost in Cyberspace. Dash let everyone know how much he resented his homework. By the time he was done, I dragged K away from his book, let him snack, then set him to work on math homework, spelling, and vocabulary.
I put the black bean casserole in the oven, and Dash wanted bike riding. Since Cory was home, he could hear the timer. Dash is quite proud of his biking skills, and for good reason. Since he removed his own training wheels this past spring, he has mastered zipping in and around obstacles, jumping curbs, and so forth. Mia came out with the three-wheeled scooter. I think she's still emotionally recovering from the skinned knees she got biking on Saturday. The most fun for me, though, was watching Little Nephi peddle up and down the street. He first sat on his hand-me-down bike about a week ago, and has more pride in his first wheels than some teens do in their first car. We get a running commentary on what he's doing: "when I pushed the brakes, the chain made the wheel stop."
Dinner was not well received by the children, but K and Dash ate their entire black bean soft taco. I gave the children a lecture about not leaving the table unless they ask to be excused. After dinner we had some "free time." Really this meant Mom and Dad have colds and were feeling too tired to do much.

Still, we rallied for our weekly "Family Home Evening." Song, Prayer, Calendar, then Dad turned the time over to me for the lesson. I introduced our memorization page for the week "Blessed are the peacemakers," (Matthew 5:9). Then I showed the children a stick figure sitting still and quiet, and several stick figures being active. I named different situations, and they had to guess whether it was appropriate to be still or active. Hopefully it sinks in. Then we played "kerplunk" and the Harry Potter Lego game. Cory read Oh Say Can You Say, Fancy Nancy, and Skippyjonjones to those who sat out. I hadn't made dessert, so I passed around pudding cups and nilla wafers.

By then it was time for tooth brushing and scriptures. I read the chapter "Noah" from our Old Testament Stories to Mia. When I read about how everyone was being bad, Mia replied in an incredulous voice, "Even the girls?" Yes, even the girls. Super K sat at his desk with his colored pencils. I assigned him 8 verses, but I think he read the whole chapter. Hooray! I'll have to ask him what his pencil markings represent this time. Then Dash, faced with imminent lights out, finally slid over and quickly read about the childhood of John the Baptist, in New Testament Stories.
With everyone in bed, I made a couple phone calls for church, then researched a book on Amazon and talked to my husband until we were too sleepy to discuss much more. We said our prayers, read our scriptures, and went to bed.
This is linked up to the Not Back to School Blog Hop.

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