Monday, June 25, 2012. One ordinary day, like most of our homeschool days, was not glorious or victorious at all. On the contrary, I felt rather defeated at the end of the day. Oh, the times listed were only rough estimates.
7:20 am -7:40am.
Kids got into daddy and mommy's bed. Sweet snuggling and jiggling quickly turned into fighting between the boys.
7:40 am - 8:00 am.
All got up,dressed, and made beds -- after much nagging and threatening. "It only takes 5 minutes to get dressed and make your bed. Why do I have to tell you again and again?"
8:00 am - 8:50 am.
Time for breakfast. Daniel and James both like quesadilla. I use flour tortilla and simply fill them with cheese or omelet. Daniel eagerly offered to help with cooking. "Sure, don't put in too much cheese!" It did speed things up with one extra pair of hands.
8:50 am - 9:15 am.
Teeth were brushed and faces were washed, without much nagging, which did not happen everyday. Daniel did his chore of watering our vegetable garden after being reminded a couple of times. I have to admit that he has been doing this chore quite well recently. Maybe it's because squirting water is sort of fun to him?
"Daniel, time for school, get prepared!"
"But mom, I'm too tired. I ate too much. I need to rest a little."
"Oh well, I give you 10 minutes." While Daniel landed himself on the sofa and grabbed a magazine, I cleaned the table and cleared the sink. James was playing with his Lego. Kitchen floor was decorated with crumbs, but I got no time to clean.
"Your 10 minutes is up. Now get ready for school!" I was getting in Daniel's face. "OK." Lying on the floor, he showed no intention of getting up. Instead, a fight erupted between the siblings. Arms and legs tangled. Hands and toes flied toward each other. My order of "Stop! Stop fighting!" fell on deaf ears. The playful fight quickly elevated into military scale combat.
I don't remember how the fight ended, but it did end and followed by much correcting and rebuking. I wonder if any of my words sank in and when the next volcano would erupt. My frustration was building up.
The first thing we do is Bible study, which is one of the two subjects (the other is Chinese) that the boys do together. We read and do quiz and worksheet together on the couch. Less than 5 minutes into Bible reading (I read aloud to them), James was hanging upside down from the couch and Daniel was leaning against with his 86 lbs figure. I don't remember even once when the Bible lesson went smoothly. I glanced at the clock. "It's already 10:20, and we still have not finished the first subject."
After Bible, James was off the hook and started his job as a Lego builder. Daniel groaned at his math practice, and then complained about his copywork (penmanship).
Can't remember what school work was accomplished besides math and copywork. One history reading maybe? I just remember that I had to be by my student's side almost all the time reminding and directing, otherwise he would just wander around or pick a fight again. So that explained that I had no time to prepare lunch. Because Guibo was working from home due to his broken leg, I was aiming at cooking at least one hot dish for lunch. But I was already exhausted, mentally and physically. Fortunately, hubby was understanding, so we had canned soup and Costco bread for lunch.
Our afternoons are usually less structured. My goal is to get school done in the morning and leave the afternoons for free reading and hobbies. Now I realize that my kids' hobby and their mission is to frustrate and torture their mom. Maybe I didn't cry this particular day, but I had cried (with tears) quite often in the frustration and sometimes anger too, "Lord, why is this SO hard?"
9:10 pm - 9:50 pm
Some days it took longer than 40 minutes to get them to bed. I should be thankful that they had stopped competing over who puts his feet to the basin first to wash. I felt like a hypocrite when kissing my kids goodnight and saying "I love you" because I didn't love them at that time. Hope that they didn't sense my insincerity from my tone or facial expression.
10: 00 pm - 12 am
Finally some much needed free time for me! Well, not really. I always have chores to do although it's hard to catch up with them. For a long time, I have struggled with setting my priorities right on time management (esp.the free time at night). Like a starving person in front of a feast (two hours is a feast!), I don't have the discipline and self control to choose the best dish or dishes. Simply following my appetite has often led me consuming more junk food (such as online shopping and reading for pleasure) than I want to admit.