Life with ten kids isn’t easy, but it’s usually not as hectic as most people would believe. Today you’re invited in to our unschooling household- as is…no embellishments (like I would need to do that), no gloss overs. This is the real deal.
If you’re not familiar with my blog, here is another post in which I listed everyone by name and, if it’s one of the kids, by age. Just to clarify things, we actually have eleven kids, but our oldest, Brendan, is twenty and no longer lives at home. I always feel bad leaving him out, so now that that’s off my chest…on to our day!
February 13, 2014
1:40am- I wake up to use the bathroom and decide to moderate some comments on my blog- I hate to let them sit all night. Shortly afterwards, Kenzie wakes up. She goes back to sleep after a few minutes of fussing. (She’s teething again. I feel like every time I write one of these posts, she’s teething and crabby. Oh, well. Such is life.)
2:45am- I’m still awake- that blasted Dunkin Donuts coffee! Kenzie wakes up again, then shortly falls back asleep.
3:20am- …still awake…Kenzie wakes again. I get her calmed down again. I check my Twitter, since I can’t sleep anyway. I try watching some goofy SyFy movie, hoping it will put me to sleep, to no avail. I don’t know how it is with you, but I need to be watching something that actually interests me in order to fall asleep. Put in my favorite movie, I’m out like a light. Turn on an infomercial, and I’m up all night. So…I put in a Sherlock DVD- the one where Moriarty returns, and I’m out in 15 minutes flat. See?
7:15am- London wakes up and asks me if I can play Yahtzee with her. Not now. Can she make a clay charm? Later. Sigh…I might as well get up.
Shawn is off today because of the weather. I open the front door to look out and see this-
7:45- I hear most of the other kids awake upstairs. Kenzie is content…for the moment.
8:15- By now Kenzie’s screaming. As you’re reading this, just imagine it as background music because I hear it off and on all.day.long. I make myself coffee and a bagel and cereal for the kids.
9am- Chore time! Everyone knows what they’re supposed to do, but that doesn’t stop several of the kids from whining. After a minute or two, they stop, and everything gets done. Chores only take 15-20 minutes, if that.
9:15- I get Ireland, Summer, and Kenzie dressed. Then their dresser falls apart.
If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
9:30- I went to 5 Below and bought a ton of stuff the day before, so the kids are eager to try everything.
Little decals came with this kit to cut out and put on the rocks like tattoos. We must have twenty pairs of scissors, but I can’t find any, so I have to use a utility knife. Not particularly safe when you’ve got children surrounding you.
Suddenly, I hear Shawn and Dillon upstairs yelling and banging things. Apparently, there was a mouse in my shoe tote. They got it. Yuck.
Unfortunately, all the noise wakes up Kenzie, who fell asleep only 45 minutes earlier.
She is not a happy camper. Poor thing.
10am- The kids move on to clay, a 3-d animal game, and pretending to be pirates.
Summer didn’t have a pirate scarf for her head, so she used bubble wrap. Innovation.
Kenzie is much happier by this time.
11am- I introduce drawing with Sharpies. Remind me to keep Summer far away from them.
Since I have to keep a close eye on the kids with the Sharpies, I create my own masterpiece.
Here’s Summer’s masterpiece. I guess I should have watched them closer.
While we’re drawing, Shawn is busy trying to put together a makeshift shovel. Ours broke the other day when he was shoveling the neighbor’s driveway. Because of the snow there’s not a single store in town that has any in stock.
Isn’t he handy? It’s actually pretty hilarious because it’s like seven feet tall.
I decide to look outside again.
11:30- The kids have exhausted me with their flitting from one activity to another. I put in American Girl- Molly, hoping to get them to sit for a while. Only Caollin, Bailey, Ireland, and Summer stay to watch it. Everyone else, besides Kenzie, goes upstairs with Shawn. That’s fine with me!
12pm- Lunchtime! PB&J uncrustables and beefsteak- they can pick either one. Devin wakes up. Okay, we woke her up.
She just loves to have her picture taken!
Dillon’s learned to just ignore me.
12:50- There’s a knock at the door. Our neighbor’s son has shoveled our front steps and sidewalk, since Shawn shoveled his mom’s driveway. (She’s so sweet. She was Devin’s first grade teacher; she’s retired now.) This motivates Shawn to shovel out our driveway out back.
1pm- I read Little House to Dillon, Arianna, Caollin, and Bailey. Devin starts her schoolwork. After Little House, I read aloud to London, Bailey, Luke, Ireland, and Summer while Dillon, Arianna, and Caollin do silent reading. They read twice a day- after family readaloud and at 8pm when I help Devin with algebra. Their afternoon reading is usually non-fiction or historical fiction. Dillon and Arianna are reading about mummies, while Caollin is reading a fictional story about a girl in the Jamestown colony. While I read aloud, the kids either play with legos, clay, or do word searches.
Today after reading time, the kids all do their own thing…look at books, fact cards, or play a solar system game.
I finally decide to fold laundry that’s been sitting here since yesterday. Then I notice that Summer’s gotten into my makeup…again.
2:45- I play Yahtzee Jr. with Caollin, London, and Ireland.
3:30- We order dinner from a deli on the corner that is actually open in this weather! Yay for me! Then, it’s chores!
4pm- We eat supper. Delicious, but what a mess!
4:30- I start cleaning the table but get sidetracked by doing another load of laundry. I put on the anime Ponyo to keep the kids occupied.
I finish cleaning the table.
5:30- I finally get to my devotions…sort of. Kenzie starts screaming halfway through, so I have to stop.
6pm- The house is quiet, so I check my Twitter and emails.
6:30- Bathtime!! First Kenzie, then London and Ireland, then Caollin and Summer, finally Bailey and Luke.
6:45- Chore time. I know you’re probably wondering how bathtime went so fast…it’s actually still going on. That’s why I put an older kid in with a younger kid…they’re self-sufficient. Okay, except Bailey and Luke. They’re only a year apart and, apparently, aren’t ready for unsupervised bathing because they dumped an entire bottle of shampoo out today. Arianna and Dillon do their math while the house is semi-quiet.
7pm- Ireland and Summer play with clay and legos, while Caollin is fascinated with the Egyptian kit I got yesterday. She even makes a paper mummy to put in the sarcophagus.
Kenzie’s nice and clean and ready for her devotions!
I came down the steps and saw Arianna playing with the kids.
Caollin’s paper doll mummy
Eventually, everyone wanted to be the pharaoh.
Even pharaohs do math!
7:15- Caollin moves on to Mind Bender puzzles and then her math. Several of the other kids are in my room on their electronics.
7:45- Bedtime story…the Family Bible is MIA, so we’ll have to hunt for that tomorrow.
8pm- Bailey, Luke, Ireland, and Summer go to bed. Caollin and London paint Chinese lanterns. Then, Dillon, Arianna, Caollin, and London do more silent reading- this time anything they choose.
I do algebra with Devin (I love the FOIL method!)
9:15- Caollin and London go up to bed, and I start writing this post.
10:53- That’s right now. I’m finishing this up, and hopefully going to bed.
Are you as tired as I am?
What’s your day like??