Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Growing In Grace...daily

This year has been, well, a growing experience as I've attempted to maintain some resemblance to the structure of our past year in the midst of pregnancy ups and downs.

Before I plunge into a tour of our day, let me fill you in on a few nitty-gritty details. I have a son in kindergarten and a very free-spirited three year old. And I am 31 weeks pregnant!

Welcome to a day in our lives.

6:30 a.m. I stumble out of bed and grope through the dark house for my cup of decaf coffee (with 1/4 cup of sugar and lots of cream). For my devotions, I've been meditating on Proverbs 31 and praying the passage for my daughter as a part of 31 days of Praying Proverbs 31.

7 a.m. I quickly pray that the children will sleep just a little while longer while I answer emails or to try to write up a quick blog post.

7:30-ish Everyone is up. I've told my kids that the key to unlock mommy to make breakfast is to do their morning chores, and this has worked fairly well. As I close out of what I'm doing on the computer, my son feeds the dog and my daughter makes her bed. Then, I make my husband's coffee, pour some cereal into bowls, and we eat breakfast.

8 a.m. Hubby heads out for work, and I finish my breakfast.

The next hour to an hour and a half is totally unpredictable, depending on the day and how well I'm moving, how well the kids are listening, and other variables. In general, the kids are getting dressed, I'm catching up with my mom on the phone or answering a few more emails, showering and dressing, mediating the disagreements that have come up while I was in the shower, etc.

We try to start school around 10-ish (as opposed to our very regimented 9:00 last year).

10-10:15 We sing our months of the year, update our calendar, and say the pledge. My daughter (aka "the little one") pouts about where to stand during the pledge and insists on putting her left hand over her chest vs. her right. I take a moment to resolve the situation, and we finish the pledge as respectfully as possible. Now, it's closer to 10:20 than 10:15

10:20-10:30 We go over our Bible facts that we've been memorizing: how many books in the Bible; divisions of the Bible; Books of the Law are...; who wrote the Books of the Law; themes of Books of the Law; etc.

10:30 My son begins a handwriting page while I open up the day with the little one, reviewing the new letter she will be learning for the week.

10:45 The little one works through the rest of her workbox pockets peacefully (ha, ha!) while I work with my son on phonics and reading. Actually, I have had more success with my little one since letting her fill her own pockets.

This week, I had an important announcement for my son: Mommy is no longer doing any school on the floor. That's right folks, no more floor activities for me. I've finally drawn the line. My son reluctantly brings his phonics charts and reading book back up to the table.

My daughter shows me her paper, and I tell her how beautiful it is before telling my son to please re-read that last sentence. I have my son pause one more time while I tell my daughter to please put the lid on her dry erase marker and to not color on the back of her chair.

11:05 I supervise my son while he does his phonics worksheet. My son works patiently through a section of his worksheet while I "take a moment" with my daughter for coloring on the table instead of her page (or for licking the flashcards or for coloring with the side of the chalk until it is rather square-ish in shape, etc.; everyday it's something).

11:15 Both kids begin working with me on our geography study. This week, we are learning about the culture of China (last week was the geography of China). We read a story about a Chinese child, do a notebook page, and pray for an unreached people group in China.

11:30 The little one continues through her activity pockets, now beginning more math-related activities. My son pulls out his Building Thinking Skills book for a page of critical thinking. Then, we attempt flashcards. He happily trots through most of the stack, and then misses the same three we've missed everyday for the last two weeks, except today I've thought of a plan.

I pull out our small chalkboard and have him right the entire combination and answer to each problem he has missed. This, by the way, is not a punishment. Anything done on the chalkboard, no matter how tedious it seems, is an absolute treat—the chalkboard is the envy of our school room.

11:45-ish We've finished flashcards. I glance at the time and decide to postpone our "telling time" assignment for tomorrow; we pull out his last worksheet and finish up at about noon.

They rip-roar out of the school room and whoop and holler toward their bedrooms, and I savor a brief moment of almost-silence before heading to the kitchen to start lunch. Daddy has the opportunity to come home to eat lunch with us; and as the kids clamor around him with news of their latest accomplishments, thrusting papers in his face and enjoying his reactions, I revel in their delight and in the privilege of another morning of learning together—even if it did start a little later than what I had wanted.

Follow along on more of Tracy's journey at her blog Growing In Grace.

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