Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I would like to do an average day post...

but we don't seem to have any average days right now.

Tuesday is our crazy day. I'm actually having to use Google Calendar because we're so busy this term.

I was up at six (which isn't average for me this time of year -- I tend to get up with the sun and right now the sun isn't up till seven) so I read for a while. I'm re-reading CS Lewis's The Pilgrim's Regress. Then I started breakfast and a load of laundry (usually laundry comes later in the day, but Mike needed a clean undershirt. OOPS! I still haven't gotten used to my new washer. I hate it. It's not simple and obedient like my old one and I'm having to change my laundry habits in order to accommodate it.)

Ate breakfast, sent Hubby off to work (with a clean undershirt that was found at the bottom of a basket of clean clothes on top of the dryer), cleaned a little.

Called family to prayers. We use the 1979 Book of Common Prayer because we're used to it, but we're using the Lectionary from the 1928 since that's the prayer book our current church uses. We have a Psalm every day, plus an Old Testament and a New Testament reading, but we got behind and everyone wants to hear the OT stories (we're in II Samuel reading about David's exploits) so we're skipping the NT readings for now.

The OT reading reminded my 12 year old daughter of the story of Perseus in Charles Kingsley's book The Heroes, which we read last spring, so we talked about it, and that led us to our Wall Chart of World History to find when the Trojan War happened (less than a hundred years before King David).

By then it was ten o'clock and time for the three music students to leave for their lesson. The three remaining children and I went back to the kitchen to finish cleaning it while listening to Beethoven's 7th Symphony, and then a friend dropped by for half an hour or so. I haven't seen her in a few weeks so we had a lot of catching up to do. The younger kids played a few rounds of their Monopoly game in the living room while we chatted in the dining room. I sent her off with a half gallon of goat milk.

Then the music students came back home and I remembered that I hadn't fixed any lunch yet (OOPS! I'm still used to Eldest Daughter being here and taking care of that), so we we cooked a chicken/spinach/ricotta cheese dish, but it wasn't finished before the two older girls had to leave for their drama class, so I gave them some money so they could buy fast food on the way (sigh).

I don't remember what I did after that. I know I spent some time on the computer and then I laid down for a while. I also spent fifteen or twenty minutes with my eleven year old son who's playing baseball for the first time this fall, helping him with his batting. Then I went to doctor my injured finger and decided it really was infected and I should call the real doctor, so I did and the nurse said "Come now." Took my Kindle with me and read a couple of chapters of Thomas Shields' The Making and the Unmaking of a Dullard while waiting for Doctor C.

Got back home at four; #1 Son went to pick up his sisters from drama; I took Baseball Son (along with two of his sisters) to practice, then went to Walmart to get my prescription filled (another round of antibiotics, and this time it's completely my fault; I injured my finger on purpose. That is, I asked #1 Son to do it. Long story, but I have cyst or something under the skin of the middle finger on my right hand -- my pencil-holding finger, you see, and it's right in that spot, which makes it uncomfortable. Well, I had this brilliant idea: instead of wasting time and money going to the doctor about it, why don't I just cut it open myself and let the cyst out? Only I'm not brave enough to cut myself, so I asked Son to do it for me and being a good boy, he did. Only the cyst didn't come out -- it's attached, which I was not expecting at all. That's not the bad part though. I was planning to let it heal up and then go to the doctor and let him remove it properly, only my bandage would get wet from doing housework and I wouldn't get around to putting on a fresh bandage until bedtime... so it got infected. Yes, I took a lot of ribbing from the doctor about DIY surgery. He wasn't best pleased, but he's a grandfatherly sort of man and didn't make me feel like a criminal for doing it.)

Went back to the park for the rest of ball practice, came home, ate supper, listened to Hubby reading The Hobbit to the younger four, and wasted another hour in front of the computer. Where I still am, typing this report of our non-average day.

This wasn't even an average Tuesday, what with the doctor and all.

Somewhere in the midst of all that, the children did their farm chores -- looking for eggs, milking the goats and straining and chilling the milk (twice), walking the dog, bringing the goats home when they escaped over the fence... stuff like that. I noticed my twelve-year-old reading Diana Wynne Jones's Dogsbody. My eighteen year old daughter spent some time singing into the computer so she could analyze her voice and improve it. #1 Son spent at least an hour on his algebra and another reading Clarence Carson's Basic American Government and working on his paper. The youngest two spent a lot of time adding up Monopoly money and figuring rents.

I never meant to be an unschooler, but it seems that we are by default.


  1. A non-average day that doesn't involve wrangling toddlers....someday, someday.... :)

    Thank you for sharing, Kelly. I only just realized that I didn't have you in my Google reader! Oops!

    I was raised a mix of unintentional unschooling and textbooks plus loads of free reading. It's not so bad, really. :) Well, except for my deeply ingrained habit of wasting half the day....we didn't have farm chores.

    I'm enjoying the influx of average day posts. :)

  2. I wish my non average or my average days looked as rich and interesting as yours.
    I am mulling at a post about why we cannot afford to be unschoolers, and not having a farm is a big part of it, only that I cannot blame it entirely on that, though lately we have been doing bad, my mind is not focused, I am burnt, and I feel we have been doing very poorly. Sigh. maybe it is not that bad after all.

  3. Mystie, the wrangling with toddlers days are so far behind me I can barely remember them, even though having toddlers isn't so far behind -- my youngest is eight. It seems like I was always dealing with high-spirited toddler behavior when my first four were growing up (they are 19, 23, and 27 months apart) but by the time the fifth came along nearly four years after the fourth, she had good examples to follow and I had good helpers who were old enough to actually be helpful. The sixth and seventh were a breeze compared to the first two.

    While we were doing the Poetic Knowlege bookclub I was encouraged to discover that those ideas bear fruit, even if your structure is far from ideal.

    Sylvia, we lived in military housing or in the suburbs until my youngest was two years old, and I've been an unschooler-by-default most of the time on account of being pregnant and nursing and in low health nearly the whole time, plus moving every couple of years.

    I've been thinking about writing a "Survival Homeschooling" post, because that's what most of our homeschooling has felt like. I've only had two school years where I felt like I was doing well -- the year my oldest was 4th grade, and the first year we did Ambleside Online.

    "Survival Homeschooling" is probably more accurate for us than "Unschooling," which always sounds to me like it takes a lot of time and energy to provide the rich and varied life needed to make it successful. I'm too much of a bookworm and a homebody to enjoy that kind of effort.

  4. I was just about to comment on how "unschool"-ish your day sounds! :)

    I think a Survival Homeschooling post would be great. And a comparison between Unschooling (and any critique of it you may have) would be fantastic.

    Yesterday I googled "classical unschooling". :)

  5. I really think I should do that, but it's taking me a while to gather my thoughts. Thanks for the encouragement. :-)


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