Friday, January 26, 2007

Day 9

A day starts the evening before…. this was certainly true in our house. We all got to bed late except Clare and the little ones. Kevin and the boys were playing with the X Box; then Brendan went downstairs to his room and did something with Microsoft Word until 4 am. The little ones fell asleep before 9 but somehow I had to stay up till 1 am. I was catching up on blogs and also reading a book called Smart Moves ( very interesting — about movement’s effect on the brain — probably will comment more some other time).

So no one was up till 8. And I spent all morning in more or less of a hurry, though it really doesn’t show in the log. Being right-brained, time is a bit of a mystery for me. Sometimes the days have huge lulls in them, even though I’ve gotten everything done and even extra. Other days I am always two steps behind even though I’m on task the whole time. This temporal sequence thing is puzzling!

8 am

  • Aidan and Paddy and I got up.
  • We went downstairs and got the morning routine started: wood stove, coffee, breakfast underway and bits and pieces of tidying. I sat and read to Paddy from a book which was a part of a series called Best in Children’s Books. I read him a teddy bear poem and then he browsed through the pictures in the book and wanted me to read David and Goliath; he saw the scene on the back of the book and recognized it from his toddler books about David. So I read him this one, which was considerably more advanced with only a small illustration per page and a lot of text. But since he knew the story, I suppose, he sat through it listening with a lot of attention.
  • Then he asked about the knight on the cover of the book and then asked if he could play with his knights. They are little plastic figures we got at the dollar store. He played with them for over an hour after that.
  • Aidan helped me in the kitchen and with the fire.

9 am

  • The others started drifting out and ate breakfast.
  • We had a conversation about the Catholic Church “baptizing” pagan holidays, like at Easter and St Valentine’s Day. We got very philosophical and discursive.
  • Sean got out his math to do. He’s on page 16 so about halfway through book 7.
  • Clare put on Clancy Brothers and danced with Aidan in the kitchen to “Holy Brendan”.
  • I continued Aidan’s word card reading approach from the other day and he had fun but was definitely making wild guesses.

10 am

  • I told Kieron to get started on Math or Latin so he chose to do Minimus for Latin. He ended up reading the whole book (the English parts). So he spent probably 40 minutes on that.
  • Sean finished his math, taking longer than usual (almost half an hour) but he was working well. I tried something a bit different by having him figure out how he would solve the problem before I went over the book’s solution with him and that seemed to jumpstart him because he asked me for help less often.
  • He started his housekeeping twice a week “Weekly” jobs as we call them.
  • Clare said she was behind on her study schedule and departed abruptly for her room.
  • Aidan went outside.

11 am

  • Kieron finished Minimus.
  • I told him we were going to do Ireland for history and religion today. So he read a section of Celtic Heritage Saints, and read the whole of Irish Fairy Tales while he ate a midmorning snack.
  • I vacuumed.
  • He followed me around narrating as I did some little household jobs and we particularly discussed Cuchulain and the wolfhound. Sean joined in the discussion remembering when he read the book and said he didn’t like the Cuchulain legends because he thought they were exaggerated.
  • Sean was reading Mind Munchers (Rolf Heiman) and solving the codes and puzzles.
  • Then Kieron got it and worked on it for a while. Strewing!
  • Brendan got up and asked me to put a bit of coffee in his protein drink.
  • I got around to eating a quick breakfast..


  • The speech therapist called.
  • I told Kieron we had to get to math since the OT was going to be here.
  • We did 2 lessons since he had missed yesterday but we didn’t do the whole sets of each of them. I gave him some problems from the back of the book instead.
  • Sean was reading the Best in Children’s Books book we had left around.
  • Clare was sewing the vest to match the skirt of yesterday

1 pm

  • The OT arrived.
  • The older boys went upstairs to wrestle or something.
  • After she left, the little ones played on the balance boards she had left for them.
  • Then they had some of the Froot Loops she had left.
  • The older children came out and started planning their next movie, which will be a short. They want it to be a black and white murder mystery. They found a bag of magnifying glasses that their grandma brought here since she doesn’t need them any more, and put them on.
  • Clare showed me how to use the timer on my camera.
  • I eat some lunch and make Kevin and the little ones some lunch too.

2 pm

  • Now Aidan is playing with the prayer discs and putting lotion on his dry sking.
  • The older kids are all talking downstairs and Paddy is with them.
  • Kevin is getting ready to walk to the post office. This walk has become sort of a pivot point of the day.
  • I spend some time typing this up and checking Real Learning.
  • They’re walking, I let the little ones play Nintendo for a bit.


They are home from the post office. Aidan is having a bath.

NOTE: obviously I don’t put anywhere near EVERYTHING that happens in a day, partly because I only have one pair of eyes and also because it would be even more endless than it is! I try to jot down things that seem to have a learning component or show what’s going on in the fabric of our lives. I started this blog to journal the learning that goes on in everyday life and my ongoing theory is that the things like the informal reading and puzzle solving and movie-making provide the “play” context that learning takes place in. Oops, that is a jargony and vague sentence but I am hurrying! : ).