Tuesday, 13 October 2015

No Two Days Are the Same: Monday

The days are flying through like a blur for me, so for my own benefit (read: what have we been doing all day?) I decide to make a record of how we spend our time this week.


My alarm rang at 7am but I turned it off and went back to bed.  Tiger came in a little while later to ask me what we would be doing today.  I told him we would wait and see, but that I would like to get on with our routine as well, if that was possible.  He didn't sound too keen and headed back to his bedroom to continue with the game that he has started a few days ago.  I turned to look at my clock, saw the time and cried, "Holy cow!"

My husband has taken the day off.  He is the welfare manager around here, as in, he makes sure that we get lay-ins, have delicious breakfasts, and generally enjoy a good life.  This morning, while he prepared breakfast, Tiger and I started on our new readings.  By the time breakfast was ready (it took about 20 minutes), Tiger was halfway through his book while I had just finished the preface of mine...

Our meal times at home is usually a long affair because we have lots of discussions, especially when my husband is there.  Hence, by the time we cleared the table and started 'school work', it was 11:30am.

Tiger and I did our morning chores then started with memory work, which consists of him reciting poems out loud.  This is a new practice that we have taken on since September.  The idea is that Tiger will have a repetoire of beautiful poetry that he can call up at will.  Today being Monday (the start of a week), Tiger recited a few 'review' poems (i.e. those that he can recite easily) and worked on others that he is in the process of memorising fully.  The poems he reviewed this morning are:
  1. From a Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. Aunt Jennifer's Tigers by Adrienne Rich
  3. The Land of Nod by Robert Louis Steveson
  4. 《静夜思》 - 李白
  5. 《早春》 - 韩俞
  6. 《春晓》 - 孟浩然
  7. 《游子吟》 - 孟郊 
The ones he is working on are:
  1. The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes
  2. 《古朗月行》 - 李白

As Tiger attends a class on the history of medicine, I recently signed up for a free short course called Brief History of Medicine.  The first episode on prehistoric medicine arrived in my in-box this morning so I read it out to him.  Each episode is a one-page summary of the key development of medicine through history and takes only five minutes to read.  I signed up only because:
  • it gives a good summary of what Tiger will be covering in his history class;
  • it is a good, quick way to get us into the frame of mind to start the day;
  • it is free;
  • it is relevant to Tiger's class.

Tiger is given homework from his tutorial classes each week.  I am a stickler for completing homework before the next class and I told him as much.  Although Tiger is not a readily compliant child, he agrees with me on this point so he got on with his English homework, which includes an analysis of one of Obama's pre-presidential speeches.  I asked him whether he needed my help.  He said no, so I organised his class notes from last week's classes while he completed his homework.  I also started to cook dinner and had just put all the potatoes on boil when Tiger called me over to help him with a question on the use of a particular rhetorical device.


Tiger finished his homework around 1:30pm, by which time we were all starving so I heated up last night's dinner.  My husband joined us for lunch so another round of interesting discussion ensued.

After lunch, the boys decided to go for a walk.  I was volunteered to stay at home to wait for a collection service for something to be returned.  I did not mind that too much since Tiger and I had taken a few long walks over the weekend.

While the boys were out, I:
  • listened to episode 3 of The Mason Jar while organising my collection of recipes;
  • read about the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in literature, which led me to research a little more about her;
  • registered Tiger to go on a few field trips;
  • replied to an email from a friend whose son studies at a top school in one of the top three Pisa-ranked countries - we have been having ongoing discussions about the teaching methods and educational outcomes;
  • made dinner; and
  • deep cleaned the bathrooms.


The boys came home just as I sat down for a cup of tea.

Dinner was served soon after but our dinner session was longer than usual because:
  • the boys filled me in with what they saw on their walk; and
  • they hated the vegetable pie that I made so I had to make something else quickly and try again.  It was a case of "We love you but we can't possible eat this pie!"

After the drama of a rejected dinner, one would think that should be the end of my day but no!  My husband and I were informed that we were to attend a science class after dinner!  The two adults groaned, "Do we have to...?"  At which point we were reprimanded for having a bad attitude towards learning and told to get our act together by half past seven when the class would start promptly.

In the half-hour session, my husband and I were shown how the carbon cycle works, and quizzed afterwards to make sure we were paying attention.  Luckily we aced the quiz to avoid incurring further wrath from the teacher.  Nonetheless we were given two homework assignments at the end of the session, one of which was to "take proper notes" at the next lesson.  Our obvious lack of note-taking has been observed and highlighted.

After the late-night science lesson, it was time for bed.  Tiger usually reads to himself but tonight he was drawing so I asked him whether he would like me to read to him as he drew.  He said yes, so I continued where we had left off and started on the story of Samuel Morse and the telegrah.

That was our Monday.


  1. "Our obvious lack of note-taking has been observed and highlighted."...lol..

    1. I know... Funny that it should be pointed out at the end of the session for next time! :-)

  2. You mentioned a cup of tea, now I must go get a cup of tea, I forget anything you said after that point halfway through your day.
    In other news, I always find it interesting to see how other people's day go (and I've had that turned alarm off only to discover it's 9:30 feeling many times)

    1. I was slightly hesistant to admit so publicly that I am not a natural early-starter! :-) I, too, like to see how other homeschoolers' days go. It gives a glimpse of the life behind the blog.

  3. I'm glad to see Tiger is keeping you and your husband on your toes, Hwee! Lovely insight into your day, thank you for sharing! Vegetable pie - yum, I think I would have enjoyed it, but I suspect the rest of my family would have had the same reaction as yours. Must be a mum thing. :)

    1. What is it with mums and our ever present challenge to get our family to eat wholesome food?! :-) Thank you for your support, Lucinda. I don't feel so bad about my failed dinner now.


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