A Day in The Life – Keatings

Guys, get a fresh cup of coffee and settle in for a warmly honest talk with my kind friend and fellow CC mom, Sarah Keating.  Her family is dear to mine and it is a joy to share life and learning with them.  I hope you find the peek into their day (especially if you have a new baby at home too!) refreshing and maybe you’ll even find some ideas that will work for your family.

Hello and welcome to our little world!  My name is Sarah and the rest of our family includes my husband Mitch, 8 year old son Caleb, 6 year old son Noah, 3 year old son Micah and 3 month old baby Janie!  As you can tell by the ages listed, we recently had a baby (girl!) and so my post is going to be a before and after glimpse into our school days. 
BEFORE

Our typical school day prior to little Janie arriving was basically the following:

8:00 – breakfast and morning chores

9:00 – morning prayer (this is always changing, but currently we are going through Long Story Short), CC Bible memory work, Ambleside (hymn, folksong, artwork, poetry), poetry memory work (Andrew Pudewa’s A Word Well Spoken)

9:30 – math (RightStart) & independent work (Wordly Wise, Explode the Code, handwriting, copywork) for Caleb & Noah; Micah gated in his room for playtime

10:30 – snack

10:45 – reading (Sonlight 3 readers) & spelling (All About Spelling) with Caleb; reading (Sonlight 1 readers) and phonics (Phonics Pathways) with Noah; Micah plays with “school toys”

11:30 – CC review with Caleb & Noah; Micah watches Preschool Prep or Classical Baby videos

12:30 – lunch

1:30 – playtime

2:30 – rest time (reading, quiet play or audiobooks for older two; naptime for Micah)

3:30 – Ambleside read alouds

4:30 – piano/special time with mom/free time

5:30 – dinner
I am a very scheduled, type A personality, and so our days basically followed that routine and life was mundane, normal and fairly predictable.  And then along came sweet baby Jane…
AFTER

Like I said, I am the type that gets very easily frazzled by chaos and disorder, and predictability is key to my sanity.  I assume most of you reading this probably have lots of children as well and are familiar with the haze that comes from having a baby, but I literally feel like I am slowly starting to lose my mind with each passing day since having our sweet little blessing. 
I absolutely love our children and even the craziness (most times!), but I have never felt this maxed in my entire life…I feel like I never stop doing things, and yet wonder whether I’m actually accomplishing anything!  It’s that feeling of starting one thing after the other, but never coming back to, or even remembering what I set out to do.    For example, I sit down to read with Caleb and nurse Janie, but have to get up to stop Micah from hitting Noah while at the same time realizing Janie has a blowout and needs a bath, but I have to change Micah first because he is now also smelly!  Are my kids really getting what they need to know??  I know the typical homeschooler response to that question is always – “oh your kids are learning tons more than you realize”…but I seriously am starting to question that these days!! 
All that being said, our schedule is basically the same as before, but much more “fluid” these days;)  It is an incredibly frustrating pill for me to swallow, but I have quickly learned that it happens, and is going to happen A LOT!!   I did change a few things to save time and fit my need to sit and nurse.  The main difference is that we now do CC review all together after Bible ti
me, and that has been working really well.
  I have baskets of blocks, train tracks, animals and stacks of puzzles in our living room that the boys will all play with (or fight over) while we do CC memory work.  We don’t do any games or anything for review, I literally sit on the couch nursing Janie and we quickly go through each fact while they play together.  By the end of this time, our living room and dining room is typically covered with block castles and huge floor puzzles (as pictured below), which is great, but yet somewhat stress inducing to leave out while we move on to other school! 
A few other changes to our schedule include my decision to start playing our Ambleside music (hymn or classical) during breakfast to kill two birds with one stone.  Our school principal (aka my husband) has also become much more involved, helping me finish up read-alouds in the evening or on weekends.   And if outsourcing is an option we trust and can afford, it has also started to help out quite a bit!  Along with CC experiments and fine arts classes, the boys have had lessons in art, piano and sports that, left to my time and ability, would not have happened! 
Life is good, very good, and I thank God every day that I have the privilege and opportunity to watch my children grow and learn all about this amazing world we live in!   There are days that are long and very, very hard in more ways that I can count, but I would never want to be anywhere other than where I am!   I pray daily that God will help me learn to fail in the right direction and give me grace to see the glory in the never-ending grind.   Happy homeschooling to you all!
Check out the rest of the series entitled A Day in the Life!  

Comments

  1. says

    I completely understand the frazzled feeling…especially after having a baby. I have a hard time with the newborn stage and wonder how I would deal with it again now that school is a part of our day. I only have two children and sometimes wonder if that is why God hasn’t blessed me with any more yet =) Thanks for sharing your day with us! It sounds to me like you’re doing a great job!

    • says

      thanks for commenting, amy! :) people will say to me, “i don’t know how you do it (i.e. parenting, homeschooling, travel) with four!” and i always give some version of “we figured it out as we added in each one.” :) i have no doubt you would too!

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