Monday, September 19, 2011

Normality: Panda-Style

Today, I thought I might share what a normal day in this house looks like. Now this is something like what our schedule looks like:
6-7am: Get up. Breakfast. Morning chores.
9am: School, with lunch break
2pm: Clean up school.
2:30pm: Art time.
5:00pm: Walk at the park.
6:00pm: Dinner, evening chores, personal project time
8:00pm: Kids get to watch a movie or we play a board game as a family
9:00pm: Staggered bed times.

It's fair to say, that we very rarely follow that schedule. On days when Shaun has to work, the 6am "drag our butts out of bed" time is non-negotiable given the 2.5 hour commute and the fact that he has a 9:25 class to teach. Morning chores will happen on a good day--this includes making beds, general cleaning, writing my blog, balancing the checkbook and paying bills, and other types of household maintenance. Usually the general cleaning only actually happens when we get a call for a showing for the house because I'm not that organized in the morning, and somehow, most mornings, 9:00 rolls around and I haven't done a fraction of what I'm supposed to have done.

Then, we get the 9:00 start school time. Most days my kids aren't even out of bed, and I can't honestly blame them. I'm not a morning person; I never have been. Given the choice, I'd probably still be in bed too. Even if they're up, starting at 9 would also require me to be conscious and organized enough to know what we're working on today. By the time we get everyone together and ready to start, it's usually close to 10. We hack through some school work, and usually give up by 11-11:30 for an early lunch. After lunch right now is more independent study style work for the kids, and I've been jumping straight into artwork, lesson planning, grading, or whatever needs to be worked on. I'd worry about the kids' education, but Ty and Luke are both testing in the top 10% of their age-group, so I think they're fine.

This week I'll probably just go into artwork right after lunch, in a mad attempt to get the zodiacs done. In fact, I'll probably keep working on that through dinner and past my bedtime. If it's not raining, we may still go to the park. The weather people are calling for rain all this week, but they've been known to be wrong. The kids will be happy to watch movies in the evening all week, since that is really the only TV time they get. We don't have cable--not a "better-than-thou" kind of thing; we're just too cheap for it, and honestly most of the shows we might want to watch never came on when we were around to watch. Plus it's a huge distraction. Distraction is the same reason we're letting our WoW accounts go.

That all sounds like a nice, relaxing, go-with-the-flow kind of day. Except, into that mix, you've got to add the fact that we have a 4 year old, 8 year old, and a 10 year old, all boys. That guarantees at least a few incidents each day between rough housing, general sibling fighting, and good old boredom, which seems to come around no matter how much they have to keep them occupied. We also have four cats aged 11 yrs, 10 yrs, 4 yrs, and 5 months. The little one is into everything and bothers everyone (cat and human alike)--as I'm writing this, Kisa is trying to climb the kitchen wall (literally). The 10 yr-old cat, Bunny, is a klutz. She's a toothpick, but she still manages to knock everything off of every surface she walks over, from bookshelves and cabinets to side tables and dressers, which contributes to the general clutter created by a homeschooled family of 5. In general, any two (or more) of the cats will be chasing each other through the house leaving destruction in their wake--usually it's one of the younger two that starts this. Most days our house functions at a level of somewhat managed chaos. The rest of the time, it just goes downhill from there (as I type this now, Kisa is running off with one of my husband's dress shirts for work; I'm not even sure I want to know how she got it out of the closet). Today is looking like it might be one of those less well managed days. While writing this blog, I've had to stop about a half dozen times to get Kisa off the counter or out of something (including keeping her from eating my seam ripper). I won't make judgment yet; it's only 8:20 a.m.. There's time for it to improve, although considering how it's starting, and the kids aren't even all out of bed yet...

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