A knocks at our door utters the standard, “Mama it’s 6.20 liao.” After a hug and kiss from us, I awake and hand a glass of warm water to him. The drink signals his body to clear his system and wake up.
“SShhhhHHHhh!!!! A, can you stop playing a fool in the shower???? Others are still Sleeping!!Focus!” I hiss sharply.
That’s the usual pitch black morning attempts to quieten down my P1 riser once he switches his dream mode which leads to the other extreme. He makes weird farm noises while brushing teeth and taking his cold shower waking up the siblings. Meanwhile I hit my cold shower under 10 and leap out to monitor them. (I find Cold showers’ a key to my positive note to start the day as it reduces ‘heatiness’ and refreshes me)
I’ll hug the rest and shoo them back to bed till 7am despite their protests. By then, A dabbles his breakfast until I hover around till he attacks his food. Simultaneously, J and E just can’t wait to dash for their morning routine to be the first toilet user. I remind A to focus and wear shoes while settling the dispute over the toilet clash. Now none gets to brush teeth and are to wait for my return (I have a helper to ‘jagar’ [keep an eye on] them). I then hastily bring A to school. On the way, we’d catch up a bit, review a Bible verse and pray together. It helps that the school is nearby and I return to the now playful duo.
Facing the two pre-schoolers, I decided to set things straight. Since J will go P1 next year, he shall use the toilet first and once done, it will be E’s turn. All agreed with the logic. They scurry to wash up and I return to my table to pray and have my devotion while the kids have breakfast. Afterwhich, both will look through their kids’ bibles then storybooks before creating at the Art Station. This gives me some time to complete my readings and have my breakfast. However, this day J was upset with his mistake- he scratched the eyebrows wrongly and I had to spend time encouraging him to accept the failure and move on to other things or recreate to his satisfaction. He took the advice and we asked for God’s help.
- Music Practice
Shower time and J’s keyboard time for 20 to 30mins depending on his level of attentiveness. Again, J became moody, unwilling to do his simple music homework and I spent another moment to counsel. I heaved a silent sigh of relief when he made a choice to change his attitude. Cuddling up to me, J prayed, “Dear Heavenly Father, Please help me to have a willing heart to learn. Help me to concentrate on my music. In Jesus name, Amen.” (A translated version from mandarin) Our time thus extended to more than half an hour.
E happily played on her own throughout this episode.
- Devotion & Lessons
Devotion time with kids (NIV Bible Chapter or Memory verses with a song) , then read aloud time (about half hour) 1 Prayer poem, 1 Poem, 1 book of their choice. Then J’s lesson time with me while E is free to play. I teach him Phonics using Valerie Bendt’s Reading Made Easy. Then review his Chinese words and teach 四五快读. You can read the review here. I will be sharing more when I do more books. So far, the first book was a breeze. The second one is not as easy but still manageable. Today he is back to basics on number 1-100. Seems like a lot, but it adds up to only 20-40mins per lesson.
We read on Abraham pleading for Sodom Genesis 18:16-33. We had an interesting discussion on numbers where Abraham pleaded from 50( righteous men) which decreased by 5s then 10s until 10 righteous men. How wonderful it is to be let into God’s plan and exchange such a bold petition with God!
E’s turn for lesson while J plays. She too has started the phonics and Chinese program. Hers is really 20mins compact time. In the below, E uses playdough/ plasticine to form the Chinese characters for tactile, visual and hands on learning. Afterwhich I place them on the floor tiles. She then learns the word by jumping onto the read aloud word. After futile attempts to learn the 4 seasons, this lesson finally hit home!
- Outdoor Playground
Playground time for kids and work out time for mummy! Kids jog with me a few rounds then play while I managed a short 14mins jog. Today we’re left with 20mins of playtime due to the delays of the morning. Otherwise, 40mnis-1 hr would be ideal for expending their energy. I’ve learnt that no matter how short the time for outdoors, it’s better to be under the sun for 15mins than nothing at all. The look of pure delight when the duo play is irresistible!
Return for lunch and my helper sends them to school (within walking distance). My helper would’ve prepared lunch independently since I’ve trained her these 2 yrs.
After lunch, I head out for work (twice a week) or I stay home to blog, plan lessons before A returns from school.
- Self Study
A rests a bit and has lunch then we go through his homework or spelling if any. We try to ensure an hour of self study (schoolwork included) so as to develop the habit for future load. For A, I’m still trying to figure out how much work and what kind of supplement to do at home. I had not given any assessments books before in my homeschooling journey. My prior methods seem to bog him down and he drags his time to complete the works assigned and we end up pent up with frustration. I decided to buy 2 assessments and let A try. To my surprise (not to my hub’s surprise though)he took to the assessments like bear to honey! Now he eagerly does his study time. Adopting a wait and see approach.
- Pick up Duo
In the middle of A’s study, I will go pick J and E back from school. They’ll share eagerly what happened in school which wasn’t the case in the previous school. Upon arrival at home, they wash up independently and change then have tea. In the past I used to struggle with teatime. You can read HERE. Now, it’s a matter of having the given or none. I will then help monitor A’s work again.
- Free Play
Finally all are able to play together! I would be organising stuffs or online or reading a bit while being judge to sibling quarrels here and there. I used to have art activities or cooking done but recently it seemed impossible as by this time we’re all low batt (low in energy).
I will cook the main dish for dinner and kids set up the table. Hubs return and we all welcome him with hugs and kisses and screams from the kiddos. He’ll cuddle each kid and jostle with them a bit before retreating into his own private space aka toilet while the kids clear their toys and help set the table for dinner proper.
Over dinner, we’ll mention funny incidents or crack jokes, which sometimes will end up with a chiding because boys go overboard with their fooling around… but mostly, it’ll be updates and just enjoying our family time together.
Before Bedtime Routine
Kids will take turns for me to brush their teeth. The boys will do it themselves in the morning but I make it a point to brush for the night to ensure good cleaning. They’ll wash up and get ready for bed. A will also pack his own bag and claim the week’s worth of money on Mon, set aside his savings first then spend the rest of the money. If it’s a Friday, they’ll have “boys” party that allows E to be the exception. Their party allows them to play pillow fights before giggling down to join their beds together. E will snuggle in a bit then Papa will carry her to her room. I normally will be out for cell group.
Papa will read a book when he’s up to it and we’ll all pray together as a family in the boys’ room. “Mama, please sing us a song and chat time” would be the usual request from my boys. Sometimes I’m too tired, I’ll skip chat time but never the song. As my girl sleeps in her own room, I would give her a special ‘Jesus loves me’ as a lullaby for her bedtime.
I find this habit of ending our day with a worship song (redirecting our focus on God) helps lift up our spirits and drives away if any, the day’s negativities.
Once kids are settled in bed before 8.30pm, the night’s a mix of the below. : )
I force myself to turn out the lights by 11.15pm as I need 7 hrs of sleep otherwise I end up being a Crankenstein! ; p
Let me add, this is a relatively smooth day to have my plans materialised despite the delayed moments. There are definitely times when days are less fruitful and unmotivated. I give thanks for each day nonetheless! : )
*After sharing this post, I had many affirmation from people. This made me reflect and share what made my day possible in Teachable Moments.
This post is part of the Day in a Life (DIAL) blog train hosted by Mum in the Making. Click on the below image to read on how other mums manage their days.
Next on the blog train is Evelyn. Evespiration was born out of the little life in Evelyn some 5 years ago. The little one’s precarious birth turned out to be one of the greatest miracles in her life. A mother of 2 active boys; Evelyn blogs on her motherhood journey and how her young ones peppered her otherwise-mundane-life with WWF fights, hard-helmet knocks and stubborn tug-of-wars. She juggled all these while trying to maintain sanity, work and enjoy a good cup of coffee at the same time. Read on as she shares her “Day in A Life (DIAL)”.
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