Monday, August 22, 2011

Day in the Life

During our summer break, I sat down with my curriculum choices and an idea of our daily rhythms and goals and  began one of my favorite tasks: creating a schedule. 

There is something so rewarding about starting a school year with a fresh new schedule.  This year started out looking just as promising, but then we actually started school. 

And I hated it.

Each day was a struggle.

After consulting with my principal (Greg) and my academic adviser (my mom) I came away with a plan so simple and yet, for our house, revolutionary.

Our original schedule set Dale and his academics as priority.  I was trying to force things to move along with the assumption that I would get him started on his work and then walk away to do other things, like preschool stuff with Alan & Tyler.  But the "other things" were never happening.  And I was constantly nagging Dale to get his work done.  To hurry up. To pay attention to his business.

It wasn't pretty.

The solution?  Turn the day upside down! With a few adjustments we have settled into a fantastic routine that works for all of us!

Short version:
Breakfast, morning chores.
Outside playtime.
Rest time.
Dale's school.

Detailed version:
I'm going to list it with times, but they are WAY approximate and can vary an hour or more.  'Kay?  'Kay.

6:00-7:00 Mama up

7:00-8:00 Boys up, dressed, breakfast, and begin their morning chores

8 or 9 - Head outside to play before it is too hot.  We usually stay about an hour, depending on how fast it is heating up.  This is our only chance, as the temps have been hitting 100 by noon or before for weeks now.

9:30ish - Come in, cool off, finish morning chores.

10:00 Memory Verse Box & Bible Story (on the couch)
          Move to table for Alan to color a picture from the story, Dale to draw a picture for his notebooking            
          page, and Tyler to color (or eat crayons).  Dale narrates the Bible story to me.
           Preschool activities with everybody, including Dale.  We usually read a book or two, do a craft or other activity, sing some songs or do some rhymes.... you know... preschool stuff.  We are in our 4th (and final) week of an ocean unit, so most of our activities have centered around that.  (Big wrap-up post on that coming up at the end of this week!)

11:30 Ideally I would do a piano lesson with Dale here right before lunch.  But we move pretty slow in the mornings and often skip over a mid-morning snack.  So lately piano has been suffering while I get lunch ready and the boys play and clean up from school.

12:00 Lunch.  Lunch cleanup. Boys play and I sit.  Usually at the computer. 

1:00 Tyler's naptime.  I lay with him on my bed until he goes to sleep.  I usually sleep 30 minutes or so, and set an alarm to get myself up.  Dale and Alan play not-so-quietly (we're still working on that) in their room.

1:30 (or 2:30) (or anywhere in between, remember?) I send Alan to his bed with books and sit down with Dale at the table.  He copies his Bible narration from the morning, then we do his math lesson.  That is followed by the rest of his school work.  On a good day we finish all this in an hour or less.

3:00 Snack time!  Tyler is usually up by this time.

The rest of the day is very unstructured.  We usually do a clean-up time about 30 minutes before Daddy gets home, and I cook supper somewhere in there.

That's pretty much how the last2- 3 weeks have gone and it is the best schedule we have ever had!!

We'll see how it holds up after September when baby girl gets here and turns things upside down again! :)

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