Sometimes I wonder how everyone’s life really looks. Like, where do they put those piles of bills and catalogs and stuff that appear on the counter just around the time dinner is boiling over and the baby is crying? No, really. It makes me want to banish all horizontal surfaces in my house! (Ryan and I are both “pile” people. Usually we know where stuff is — it’s in that pile that looks like a mess to you, but in reality is my carefully saved collection of “things I need to return,” next to my pile of “papers relevant for today,” etc.)
But we learn so much from peeking into someone’s life and seeing how they do things. It’s never exactly how I would or could do my own life, but humility allows me to grow by their example. Isn’t that amazing? My mother was just recently saying how much she learned by just peeking into a friend’s spice cupboard –how did they organize their kitchen inventory? I watch my friend’s children follow a little routine each time they come inside and gain ideas for how to improve our home environment. My sisters and I are always asking, “How do you budget for ____? What’s the best way to clean xyz? What do you do when your 2yo does [fill in the blank with a 2yo antic]?”
And of course, probably my most favorite thing to catch a glimpse of is a homeschool day! Books and supplies to store, children to manage, meals to prepare, and self to care for — how does everyone do it, because surely there are some creative ideas I could capitalize on!
Someone asked me recently what our days looked like, and it made think I should write this post — A Day in the Life of Us. So, without further adieu, for anyone curious, here it is. Mind you, this is one day. And as a friend with a recently added fifth child said to me, No two days are created equal! (Which, as an aside, is so important to remember when we’re evaluating “good” days and “bad” days. Too often, “good” just means that it went the way we desired and preferred it to go. God is bigger than that — thank goodness!)
Here is the basic idea we’re working with. A few times this year, it has all happened! But only a few. Mostly, it’s to help us all see that there’s a time for everything, and for the most part, work and school precede play. Also, I have built in a couple of “hard stops” into our day: Circle Time, Outdoor Time, and a school-kid-and-Mama-together afternoon activity. No matter how the rest is going, I find that having those few spot in our day to prioritize and come together helps keep us from spinning out of control. Oh! And a pre-dinner “All hands on deck!” that I yell out around 5pm. That’s a crucial one!
And, in photos, here’s how this played out last Thursday:
Early, dark morning, and reaching for my quiet time “pile”.
Heading out for a walk, and listening to Dad’s sermon
Extra on the ball that morning! Breakfast set out for the kids before they woke.
Jameson took a picture while I did some chores.
Breakfast over and cleaned up, we gather for Circle Time. And here’s my corralled Circle Time basket [pile]!
Girls climbing on me to go over our verse.
It was science day!
And then break into independent book work. I love this picture with all five!
Holding a baby on my hip all through school and chore time = this snuggly moment.
Piles for pick up after chore time!
Outdoor time, and then rests. Two sweet girls fast asleep.
Setting up a tea party for the three eldest — which will actually be another Etiquette Lesson
Three kids ready for the tea party! (They had to knock and practice entering as polite visitors.)
Filling the rest of the afternoon with things like piano.
And a favorite moment to end our day: Daddy.
Ha! So funny you wrote this now. I was just going over the homes that I would like to visit, just to be a helper/watcher for the day. Your home was on my list, chopping veggies was my job! So much wisdom to be found in these small moments, thank you for sharing!
Thank you for this post! Love the pictures. And I love your schedule – I got so many good ideas for my own schedule. I am just getting over a summer of morning sickness and am trying to restart our schedule.
Thanks so much for your blog – I have enjoyed reading very much. I also have five children (the latest will be putting in an appearance in March), and my oldest is also ten (like I believe you said yours was).
Have a wonderful night!