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A Day in the Life: The Antoniadis Family

April 4th, 2017
{photos by Kary Antoniadis}

Today we bring you another Day in the Life post, where you get to tag along with a SLOCA family on one of their home days. Each family's routines and experiences are different in some ways, yet relatable in many aspects, and we love hearing from others who are on this SLOCA adventure with us. Thank you Kary Antoniadis for sending this one in! Kary, her husband Jimi, and their daughter Antonia (Intermediate) are a Track B family in their 5th year at SLOCA. Here’s a day in their life:

Wednesday, Home Day, March 22, 2017

5:50 - 6:30 am
Wake up time! Another SLOCA parent inspired me and encouraged me to carve out EARLY morning time for two essentials to make it through the day: A workout and prayer time. First it’s drinking kombucha and lemon water while looking over today’s grid and planning schoolwork. Made my husband Jimi’s lunch and saw him off to work.

6:30 - 7:10
Quiet time reading and prayer.  

7:10 - 7:45
It’s my workout with my “personal trainer,’ Jillian Michaels. Her DVDs have been workout staples for over a decade.

Feed the cats, finish up post-workout stretches, and wake up the Antonia. She usually wakes up in a good mood, and thankfully today is no exception.  She calls her dad to say good morning and then it’s all about our high maintenance cats: brushing, playing with them, talking to them…. The list goes on!

I need to jump in the shower, and I instruct Antonia to make breakfast, strip the sheets on her bed so I can start wash, and put her clothes away. Usually I have to send out a 2nd reminder but I’m happily pleased and a little shocked when all the linens are off the bed and in a pile in the hallway.  We spend a few minutes reviewing how to load soap and start the washing machine. 

We’re eating breakfast and it’s raining outside like cats and dogs. Antonia decides rainwater is going to taste better than filtered water in the house so she bolts outside to collect some in a glass. 

9:40 - 9:55
School finally begins! We usually start with math, but today I decide to let her choose. We begin with Recitation, and we’re starting a new poem, “The Height of the Ridiculous.” It’s 8 stanzas, and we have 2 weeks to memorize it. Usually we’ll read it together and talk about the meaning of the poem as a whole before we begin with the first stanza. Color me shocked when I discover she has it about 75% memorized. How did that happen? Apparently the class practiced it together the day before. I notice a lot of flair in her delivery of this poem: She tells me she “has a connection” to it. OK! I’m gonna go with that and move on to another subject, but first Antonia has to touch base with her cats. I hear laughter and come out to the front room to discover this:

The other cat has managed to discover an empty bed and pillows. 

10:00 - 11:00
History.... the week prior, during our E & E days, we started reading ‘Two Miserable Presidents,” and read ahead into this week. The assignment was to write down several facts about Harriet Tubman and include a drawing or portrait of Harriet.  On the prior Monday, we had watched several videos from the ‘Monday Mix-Ins’ on the SLOCA Down Home blog, so in addition to the info from the history reading, Antonia had loads of information to select from.  I spent time teaching her how to go onto the Internet and search for images of Harriet. Antonia really wanted a picture of the “Wanted” poster of Harriet, with the $40,000.00 reward offered.  We had discussions about the immense bravery and accomplishments of this woman. We were fascinated by her time in the military, and the fact that she was buried with Military Honors. This led us to searching on the Internet for her burial site, wondering if she was buried in a military cemetery? {She was not.}

Math! Today it’s subtracting to the hundredth place value. So far decimals have been going pretty smoothly, but today we’re renaming whole numbers to tenths. One of my biggest challenges with teaching Singapore is integrating the manipulatives. After attending the math training I am making a big effort to do so, but when I bring out the place value discs, Antonia lets out a big sigh. Uh oh… but I move forward! She is working a cluster of problems in the Textbook and I tell her she only has to do half of them and we can move on to the Workbook.  I notice some errors at this point, so I ask her how she got the answers. I don’t understand her explanation so I try to explain converting the whole number into a fraction. This throws her completely off and she gets very exasperated. I break out the place value discs and that causes more drama. While I’m scratching my head trying to think of another way to explain this concept, she starts talking through the steps out loud and realizes where she was making the error, and finishes the Workbook problems. Math is definitely my Achilles heel when it comes to teaching, and honestly, I feel at this point I’m learning it right along with her.

Lunch break… I make both our lunches, and eat mine while attacking a pile of dishes. Antonia is watching a re-run of her fave show, “When Calls the Heart.”  I call it “Little House on Prairie” all grown up in the Canadian Northwest.

In the middle of the episode, something goes awry with the audio on the television. The result is a loud, high-pitched tone. I ‘m wondering if we’ll have to pack up and school somewhere else? We put out a call to Jimi for troubleshooting and he walks Antonia through a fix. 

I give Antonia a 15-minute advance notice that we’re going to start school soon. Next thing I know she’s playing school with her dolls. She wants me to listen in on the lesson. I am not exaggerating when I say that in a span of 10 minutes, she covered the topics of 

  • Sound and vibration 
  • The 5W concept using Christopher Columbus as an example, complete with globe and catchy jingle.
  • Highlights of the Statice plant

12:45 pm
Dictation from ‘Follow the Drinking Gourd.’

Per the grid, she is going to spend some time explaining the new elements introduced in the IEW process. She does a great job. It’s amazing what these students come up with during these collaborative in-class assignments.

Spelling: We are really behind in Spelling, and we are finishing up early today so I am hoping we can tackle one chapter today. Things go pretty well. This time of day Antonia gets really silly and is more easily distracted, but we move through the lesson in 15 minutes.

1:30 - 2:30
Since we had already finished the Literature reading over the weekend, I wanted to spend some time reading some supplemental Literature. Antonia chose to have me read ‘January’s Sparrow.’ I had read this a few weeks prior, and I wasn’t sure if Antonia could handle it, but when she saw it in the “return” stack headed back to the library, she protested. Since we’re studying the Underground Railroad, I think it will be a great addition to our reading. She is completely focused on the story. When I started out, she was on the floor sorting some jewelry, but within minutes she is cuddled up next to me.  It’s hard to read this, and even harder to understand how people can be so horrible to one another. I am trying my best to engage her in conversations about this time in history.

2:30 - 3:15
Straighten up the house, unload dishwasher, make beds, talk, and Antonia gets ready for Drama class at 3:30. 

I drop off Antonia and head to downtown Paso Robles to meet up with a friend. The weather clears up a little bit and we walk downtown around the Square to catch up on life. We say goodbye at 4:15 and I wonder if I have time to grab a cappuccino at my fave coffee spot... The early morning is catching up with me. I determine I don’t have time.  I pick up Antonia and head home.

Prepping dinner - I stayed up late the night before making soup so all I have to do is add orzo and it’s ready. I LOVE it when I don’t have to figure out dinner on the fly. 

Jimi comes home and we eat soup and salad. Antonia jumps in the shower and I do the dishes. 

Jimi takes Antonia to rehearsal for “Alice in Wonderland.”  She’ll be there until 8:30 pm.  As soon as they leave, I put on a podcast and spend the next hour vacuuming and dusting the house. It’s the last thing I want to do but it’s been about 5 days overdue. I keep dreaming of a cappuccino!  I make one at home. Am I going to regret this later? Probably….  Meanwhile Jimi is troubleshooting what exactly caused that annoying audio tone earlier in the day. He is an ace audiophile and has been researching and planning a home audio revamp and install. 

I head out to do a quick grocery run, and then pick up Antonia from rehearsal. The rehearsal is running overtime and we don’t get home until 8:50.  Antonia gets ready for bed, packs her backpack.  I thought she was heading to bed, but I can hear her reading to her dolls…. “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.” When I go in to tuck her in, she begs me to read it to her.  We have been lamenting lately the absence of reading “Picture Books” and have resolved to read some oldies but goodies once a week. 

And I finally have some free time. I stumbled across a complete gem of a book at the local used bookstore in town: “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself” by Harriet Jacobs.  I cannot put it down. It was the first, and one of the only existing, slave narratives written from the perspective of a woman. I force myself stop at 10:30.  Not looking forward to another 5:15 wake up in the morning, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to homeschool my daughter, and grateful for the very rich curriculum. 

Thanks for sharing your day with us, Kary and Antonia! 

SLOCA parents, if you'd like to contribute a Day in the Life blog post this year or even next school year, please email Down Home and let us know!