I loathe sand.
I do.
In fact, the one downfall to most beaches is the fact that sand gets everywhere and then you get in the vehicles with sand on you and then bam you have to spend two hours cleaning your car.

Last year our then four-year-old was given sand for Christmas.  He equally hated his gift…at first. Then…ah, then he realized this was super cool sand that stuck together and you could build really awesome things with. You really can. Look at this castle that our now five year old made. It’s amazing!

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The best part about this sand is the fact that it doesn’t get everywhere like other sand. Don’t get me wrong, it COULD, but so long as the kid isn’t throwing it the sand should be relatively clean. Walter loves this sand and begs to play with it almost daily…and since it’s so low maintenance I generally let him.

Thankful

The last two months been pretty intense.  Nine people in one small hotel room with such a tiny kitchen in not sure it really constitutes a kitchen. It really want terrible and bed time was by far the hardest part.  However,  after two months,  only two days before Thanksgiving we not only found a place but got keys the same day!!! To say we were elated would have been an understatement.  I think Pilot nearly cried he was so happy!

Our Day

Recently I was asked what our day is normally like with lots of small children and four that homeschool. Well,  I must start by saying that each day is entirely different and I have no set time for anything.  I seriously loathe schedules much to the dismay of my husband. Each day looks different because of our younger children… but here is our day thus far…

8- I woke up and made breakfast.  Nothing fancy just scrambled eggs with cheese and buttered bread and the boys were delighted. 

8:30- The baby was changed and dressed and I got seated at the table ready to start my morning planning. 

9:20- Begrudgingly,  the boys stop playing catch with the soccer ball and join me.  We start with Bible and have several interruptions from Squirt, Echo and Walter…so it’s much slower than normal. 

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Nevertheless, we read Luke1:1-26 and have a fantastic discussion on Zechariah and John the Baptist. We even learned about casting lots and the boys found this highly interesting.

10:10- I spend time correcting Walter and Echo who are loudly fighting and running rapidly throughout the entire house!

10:20- We read a chapter in The Story – Book of Science (we are on Venom).

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The boys have lots of questions and as we are discussion people we discuss snakes and their venom for some time. Then the boys write out the steps for what you ought to do in the event of a venomous snake bite.

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They are unsure what it means to bind tight the finger, hand or arm…so I show them. We discuss the usefulness of the paracord bracelets Pilot made in Boy Scouts. So I drew bites on each of them on different spots and asked them to discuss where you’d bind it off for each “bite”.

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They also felt it was a loose binding so I showed them how tightly they’d have to squeeze to make it work. This highly amused them as they tried to tie it the tightest on me…each trying to outdo the others.  To finalize this subject for the day they draw a copperhead snake and Sketch and Bones color it in while Pilot discusses snakes with me a bit more.

11:45 – Potty break, drinks and diaper change time. I give Walter instructions on his art lesson and then read Bones his. He is able to read but still prefers me to read it to him. I don’t mind. The little ones clean up their mess because it’s much more fun to make another mess later when it’s clean to start with!! (Seriously people, those three DESTROY it!)

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12- All the boys are working on their art lessons. Pilot and I discuss what “freehand” means. Bones discovers that drawing a good circle is harder than he though and Sketch happily works away!

12:15- Red is laid down for his nap.We start reading our history. We are currently studying World War I.

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Today we read about zepplins, Gothas, the home front, women who had to take over the jobs previously only held by men, and Gallipoli. This led to a discussion about diseases, how terrible war must smell, disentary and pnuemonia…we chase a few squirrels but it’s okay…they are learning right?

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Normally we would take notes but today I’m letting them just listen.  Discussion is far more important to me at these ages. 

12:50- The boys are still working on their art lessons so I move on to our read aloud. We are only one chapter in but we all really like it thus far. 

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Bones is getting a bit restless so we will have a break for lunch after this reading. As we finish our chapter we discuss a few of their questions.

1:30- We stop to start lunch and another potty break. Pilot gets the water on the stove while I check on the little boys. Red is still napping. I find Echo under Pilot and Sketch’s bunk bed with Pilot’s kindle, Squirt is raiding their clothes trying on random shirts and high tails it out of their room as he sees me. Walter has quietly been playing with his sand since we started our reading of the Falcons of France.  

1:32- Bones laments how he wishes we could read from Book of Marvels so I agree and grab our book while the water starts to heat up. Our next chapter is on Popocatepetl. We spend ten minutes simply trying to say words like Popocatepetl, Tenochtitlan, Orizaba and Ixtaccihuatl. My boys and I seriously LOVE this book.

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It is a black and white book but the way the author writes catches the attention of even my youngest children.  Bones interrupts my reading to tell me when we read this book he feels like he is watching a movie playing out in front of him. We all agree that it is written in such a way we feel like we are actually there.

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We read about Cortez with the Aztecs…and the boys marvel that he won while being outnumbered one to a hundrded. Then we “climb” the volcano and the boys are on the edge of their seats breathless. They eagerly jump to see the black and white pictures in the book as I pull up colored photos online. 

2:15- Squirt has fallen asleep on my lap as I read to the boys so Pilot and Sketch finish lunch for me. Thankfully it’s just macaroni and cheese so nothing too difficult.  Bones and Sketch clean up everything that we have already used to clear the table and Bones reads to me his section in his McGuffey reader. He is in the first book. Sketch looks over his spelling words for his next section in his McGuffey reader. 

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2:20- We sit down for lunch and the boys create a dozen or so be That’s Not My books for my company. This provides tons of entertainment.

2:45-

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Clean up is done and Sketch and Bones are continuing with their spelling words. When they finish we administer an oral test. They will continue until all words are mastered. Sketch hates this part of our day where Bones excels at it.

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Pilot works on his speech practice. The McGuffey Third Reader helps students be better public speakers. Pilot is slowly working his way through this book…and hating every minute of it. Walter and Echo play in the adjoining room occasionally coming in to show us what they are doing.

3:00- The boys work on their individual reading, spelling, copywork and math until they are done with their work. This will take various amounts of time but at this point my school day is over for the most part. Once their work is done they are done for the day and are free to go play. Today is fun though as Bones has a super loose tooth and as I wiggle it the tooth becomes lodged and we are forced to remove it. He squeals and the boys erupt into fits of laughter.

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Each day varies greatly but this was our day today. Tomorrow we may not read Book of Marvels and instead may opt for Plutarch or Shakespeare but thankfully our lessons today went well.

Also, days I do actual Kindergarten with Walter but if he’s not in the mood I don’t push it. Today he was not in the mood but since he listens in and comments randomly on all his brothers work I think he will be just fine to jump in with us next year.