Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Day in the Life -or- What The Dish Guy Saw

I was preparing eggs and sausage for breakfast this morning when there was a knock at the door. We rarely have visitors at 8:30 in the morning, especially without previous knowledge that they are coming, so I wondered who in the world it could be.

It turned out to be the man coming to install Mr. Honey's new dish. We have had no end of trouble with the cable company. Rather than continue the argument, which seemed to be an exercise in futility, Mr. Honey decided it was high time we join the satellite viewing community and leave cable behind. Hence, the dish man at our door at 8:30 this morning. I did know he was coming, but it had completely left my mind.

After verifying that it was indeed the dish man and not some intruder disguised as a dish man, I let him in, answered his questions and agreed that the roof was the best place to install the dish. He went outside. I fed the kids and decided to continue the day. We rarely have strangers in the house, or even any kind of visitors while we are doing school, so it felt kind of funny. I began observing what we were doing while simultaneously directing the work of the day, and here is what I saw:

8:45-- The dish man went to work installing the dish on the roof outside. The kids ate their breakfast while I read Galatians 4 aloud. Then we had discussion, sang "Have Faith in God" and "All The Pretty Horses".

He came in looking for the attic entry. While I showed him the pull-down door, Triss took over, leading her sisters in memory work, which consisted of the following:

*CM motto sections I AM and I WILL, including scripture references (Ephesians 2:8-10, Proverbs 14:34, Psalm 119:30)

*Kings and Queens of England rhyme

*Rule number 7 from The 21 Rules of This House ("When someone needs correction, we correct him in love.")

We use a rotating memory binder similar to the one found on Simply Charlotte Mason, so today was Daily, Odd, Wednesday and The 7th of the Month memory items.

9:30-- The dish man began installing the box next to the TV. I set Triss to correcting her yesterday's math pages with a green pencil. Mariel practiced piano until I moved her out of the living room, at which time she went to her bedroom to practice violin. I worked with Cornflower on her board for Family Science Night, an evening of science sharing being organized by our homeschool support group. (She is documenting the growth of her amaryllis bulb and bean plant. She is so excited. She didn't get to participate in the science fair, so she is really looking forward to Science Night.) She colored in some drawings she had already put on her board, and then I found a Bible verse to add. I printed it out and she illuminated the edges of the page with markers. In between helping Cornflower with ideas for her board, I washed the breakfast dishes.

Mariel finished her violin practice and started a typing lesson on the computer. Triss finished correcting her math and showed it to me, then started today's assignment. Mariel finished her typing lesson and began studying her dictation assignment.

10:00-- The dish man went out to his van to get another box, as the first one wasn't functioning correctly. As he came back into the living room, Mariel and I began reading about Clarence Birdseye, a man who invented a process of quick-freezing foods. Cornflower continued working on her board, and Triss continued her math. We had to look up Labrador as we didn't know where it was (it is in Canada near Quebec). We also looked up Clarence Birdseye to see if he is still living, as the book we are reading was published in 1955. (He died in 1956.)

10:45-- The dish man finished his work and explained to me how to use the remote. While I was involved in this exchange, Mariel slipped into the computer chair and began working on a Clarence Birdseye narration. (This child really wants to do written narrations!) Triss put her math aside for the moment and began reading a chapter of Age of Fable.

After the man left, I suggested to Cornflower that we wrap the remote like a present and give it to Daddy tonight. She thought this would be great fun and got right to work. Mariel finished her written narration and read it aloud to me, then we went to work correcting her yesterday's math test. Triss began her Age of Fable narration.

So that was our morning. I let the kids go outside for thirty minutes at 11:30, as we had not had P.E. or recess (normally we have one or the other). We still have a list of things to complete, and I do not know whether we will get everything done, but I know learning is taking place, and I am content. This is a big step for me, being a person who takes great pleasure in checking little boxes.

Last night I took Triss to a Girl Scout meeting. Mr. Honey had to work late, so I brought Cornflower and Mariel with me. We stayed at the Starbuck's while Triss was in her meeting, and worked on a little bit of narration and a little bit of yarn handicrafts, and looked at a book catalog and visited. I was surprised and pleased to find that Mariel is no longer highly distracted in noisy or public settings. She was able to clearly and completely narrate the end of Measure for Measure (out of the Lamb book). This portends great things where "have schoolwork, will travel" is concerned.

At the beginning of this year, I knew I was going to have to do a one-room schoolhouse rotational kind of teaching for these three girls at three very different stages of development. My efforts at organizing our schoolwork continue to evolve. It is a flowing, one into another, not always in the same order and not always the same subjects, and not always smooth; but learning is taking place, and is often a delight.

Here is the verse I found for Cornflower's board this morning. I may take it for myself as a kind of motto or watchword, as it applies to more than just amaryllis bulbs and bean plants:

In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good." Ecclesiastes 11:6

[Edited to add: Mariel noticed this afternoon that the bean plant is actually a sunflower plant-- as evidenced by the sunflower seed still clinging for dear life to the sweet little leaf-buds. I is my kid's teacher. :blush:]


jtcosby said...

I am totally curious about your memory verse 3 ring thingy and also your 21 you share? I appreciate it. I am looking for any way to encourage my children to live Godly well as myself...the rules would be great! :) Thank you!

Mother Auma said...

Here are the 21 Rules of This House:

Here are the instructions for the memory binder (she tells you how to make a memory *box*. The only difference is that our cards are in a little 3x5 card binder so the cards do not fall out when one of my little ones-- or Mom!-- drops the memory system.)


Barb said...

I just found your blog following a link from CMSeries yahoo group this morning. I loved your entry today and especially liked hearing about how you incorporate your memory binder. I am following the link to check it out. We sure could use a little fresh air in this area. :) My boys get tired of the same old thing so this will be something to breathe new life into our scripture memorization.

Thanks again and I will bookmark your blog.

Harmony Art Mom