Turning My Back on the Clock

At 11:30 am I2 crawled onto the table, took the box of ziti noodles and dumped them--the entire pound . . . minus the 30 or so A6 and H4 had used to make their first necklaces.

I smiled.

I smiled because no one at the table even batted an eyelash.  We all just kept on working, drawing our noodles from the table instead of the box.

That's life in a big, busy family.

My goal is to gather the family together by 8:30 for breakfast.  We gathered at 9:45 yesterday, our first day back. 

That's okay.

We just did each activity in order.

Actually, not even in order. 

H4 refused to get dressed.
I2 was waiting for his pre-preschool. 
I started to watch the clock.  \
I took a breath and regrouped.
I took I2 into his room and offered to play blocks with him while H4 ran naked up and down the hallway.
A6 asked if she could play, too.
Of course.
Eventually H4 got bored and got her clothes.
I helped her dress while we built towers.

And later we moved on to doing chores and school with the little girls.

The noodle necklaces were part of H4's preschool.  But I2, A6, and even S11 joined in.  It was almost a family project. 

I2 wore his proudly almost all day.

(I wonder if his was the one I stepped on and had to sweep up after dinner last night.)

A6 is much happier reading "real" books instead of the readers.  We're doing the Sonlight grade 1 spelling and writing activities, but reading, narrating, and doing copywork out of real books.  Her first one for this year is Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise by Kate DiCamillo.

The older girls dove right back into their independent work with hardly a ripple.  I say hardly a ripple because S11 forgot how to do long division.  Interestingly enough she remembered sigma notation.  Go figure!

We resumed our study of the New Testament and then did a bit of map study for our afternoon "Mom School" session.  J10 loved, loved, loved it.  M11 and S11 were quite interested, but E13 feigned boredom with the whole thing.  I don't think she was actually bored, because I'm positive she was learning new skills, and when she got the map to herself for a moment she really studied it.  I think she's just not a fan of group learning.

We studied the legend to a map of our home state and then found places on the map that corresponded to the legend.  We studied how to find a city on the index and then find the corresponding section on the map.  E13 exclaimed, "D-7?  You mean like playing Battleship?" 

Yes, just like playing Battleship!

J10 had the opportunity to respond to an email from a friend, so she did some "real" writing.

M11 and I had to call Geek Squad to take advantage of the warranty she bought for her tablet (it's the second one she's managed to sit on!) so we had some life lessons in math and stewardship.

Overall, I feel very good about our first day back.  We had enough scheduled for me to be accountable; we did a reasonable amount of housework without being either overwhelmed with work or leaving too many messes to function; the kids both worked and had free time; we handled attitude problems and behavior issues without worrying about how long it took to feel better and return to the family circle; we ate good food (which means I had ample time to prepare the food); and we had a morning devotional that worked!

I can do this!!

We can do this.

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