Written by Shawna Wingert of Not The Former Things
I have to get one thing out of the way before I share our day.
I am so glad it is not last year.
After reading my 2018 day in the life post, I am stunned at how much our lives have changed. I am so very grateful to say for the better.
The alarm goes off at 6:15 AM.
I am trying to get back on track after no alarm and sleeping in for the three weeks surrounding Christmas. It was awesome, but I miss my time alone in the morning. After snoozing a little more than planned, I head downstairs at 6:45 AM.
Part of my morning routine now includes Yoga with Adriene for lower back pain (because my back thinks I’m a 77-year-old woman) and listening daily to The Bible Recap Podcast. I love both of these because they are easy to access on my phone and take only about ten minutes a piece. Plus, they take the guesswork out of the first part of my morning. I just do what these gals tell me and then make some coffee.
Something new this year, and still amazing to me, is that my youngest son gets himself up and ready in the morning, with absolutely no involvement on my part. This means I have time to work on my blog a bit and prepare my to-do list for the day, before he comes downstairs at 8:00 AM.
While he drinks a smoothie, I put together his schedule for the day.
After a ton of trial and error, we have landed on a system that really works for him. I write his most important tasks and transitions, along with their timing, one each on its own post-it note. Then, I place all the post-its on a regular lined piece of paper. He carries this with him throughout the day and as he completes a task, he crumples up the post-it and throws it.
(Yes, I pick up crumbled post-its all day long. Yes, it’s kind-of a waste of paper. Yes, it works beautifully so I embrace it.)
Then, while he watches a YouTube science video from Mark Rober about egg drops, I head in to wake my oldest son.
We still have our routine to set-up his day as well. We walk through our plans, and discuss what he can expect. Then he shows me a funny tweet from one of his favorite YouTubers (he saves them to show me each morning) and gets up for the day.
At 10:00 AM, my youngest begins online educational therapy for his learning differences. As he works on Orton-Gillingham lessons with a wonderful specialist, I drink more coffee and help my oldest work through an issue with his new guitar build. This is his new interest and I love it.
Not only does he listen to 80’s rock music with me in the car, he also has been learning all about how an electric guitar is made and how to modify it for different sounds.
I have no idea what to actually do to help him, but I am good with google searches and we figure out a solution.
Once ed therapy is over at 11:00, I am a little stressed about getting everyone out of the house and into the car. After several trips back and forth for a water bottle, some snacks and our service dog’s leash, we are finally headed out to my oldest son’s school.
He is taking several classes this year in a kind-of hybrid program at a local private school. It has been wonderful for him, academically and socially. Today, he has Guitar, Japanese and Political Controversies Throughout History.
He listens to music with headphones to relax a bit in the car while my youngest and I listen to 39 Clues on Audible.
After dropping big brother off, we talk a little bit about the main characters in the book. I stay in the school parking lot while my son snuggles his service dog in the back seat for a while, and we talk about how Dan and Amy are going to find the next clue in Vienna, and how Ben Franklin was a wild guy.
When my son is calm and ready, we turn the book back on and listen as we drive home. He struggles with car rides. The sensory input alone is enough to make him dizzy and truthfully, he would prefer never having to take his brother to school again. We have been working hard to make this a routine that does not cause anxiety and stress every single day. Some days, it’s more difficult than this, but today, it works perfectly.
We have lunch at home and get started on more learning for the day.
We are currently working on a unit study about the Vikings. Today, we decide to complete the art portion of our study – drawing a Viking Longhouse. I turn on some music and we both make our own drawings. My son starts to get upset because it is just not going well and I quickly put our art supplies away. We talk about the houses instead and then decide maybe we can build our own with Popsicle sticks tomorrow.
He asks if he can play Stardew Valley with me and I agree. This video game is not educational, in and of itself, but it does have seasons that progress, as well as a full calendar with different dates and appointments.
Many children with ADHD struggle with time perception and my son is no exception. I find this game is gently helping him keep the months of the year and the days of the week straight in a way that is fun and engaging.
After an hour or so, I can tell he is starting to struggle a bit with mood regulation. I give him the choice of finishing up math for the day or taking the dog out for a walk.
I know he will choose the walk and honestly, I want him to. I think the movement will do him good as we begin our evening.
My husband picks up my oldest on his way home from work and they walk in to my youngest and I sitting on the couch watching YouTube. He takes my place and I go in to make dinner.
My oldest son hangs out in the kitchen with me for a bit. We talk about his classes and an upcoming field trip with his school. Then he heads into his room for a little quiet and I finish up tonight’s chili.
We do not eat at the table.
I know, it’s bad. But my kids hate it. They argue with each other. They complain about the noise, the feeling of the chairs, and the overhead lighting. Sensory issues have won this battle in our home. The only time we eat together at the table is when we have company or on special occasions.
It’s a battle I have stopped fighting. The compromise is that once everyone eats at their various locations (my oldest in his room and the rest of us on the couch) we hang out together as a family.
Tonight, after dinner, we all watch a new episode of Adam Ruins Everything. Tonight’s topic is Gun Control and when it’s over, all four of us discuss how well done the arguments were on both sides.
My oldest heads back into his room to work on his guitar, while my youngest showers (again, all on his own with no prompting from me – what is happening?) and gets ready for bed. My husband and I catch up and relax on our phones for a little while. I suddenly realize I forgot to pick-up my son’s prescription that he needs for bedtime.
I jump up off the couch and head to the drive-thru pharmacy, in jammy pants, getting there exactly three minutes before it closes. Thank you, Jesus.
I get back a few minutes later, and my youngest son and I lie on the couch together and watch an episode of Mythbusters. My husband goes in with his older brother to watch The Great British Bake Off.
Once the two shows are over, we all head to bed.
No fuss. Just bedtime. It amazes me every single night that after sixteen years of sleep trouble and anxiety, my children actually go to bed and sleep – that I actually go to bed and sleep.
I said it at the beginning and I will say it again. I am stunned at how much our lives have changed.
I am so very grateful to say for the better.
My, how the days have changed:
- 2018: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with a 12- and 15-year-old)
- 2017: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with an 11- & 14-year-old)
- 2016: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with a 10- & 13-year-old)
- 2015: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with an 8- & 11-year-old)