After years of trying different schedules, we have finally found what works best for us.
It isn't a schedule at all.
It's a checklist!
Separate to-do's for me and each boy, tucked into a page protector and marked off each day with a dry erase marker. I hope to devote an entire post to that list some day, but today I plan to live-blog a typical school day for our family.
5:55 - My alarm goes off. I hop out of bed to grab it and bring it back to bed with me. No surprise, there is a kid in our bed. Tyler this time. I already escorted him back to his bed once in the night.
6:15 - No more 'snooze'. Greg is gone on his run. I get up and shower.
6:30 - I sit down to continue my way through the New Testament. Today I'm reading the early 20's of Luke. Greg returns from his run. Dale gets up. I start him on his NT reading (he's starting Acts today) and then his OT reading for school, usually done later. (Today is 2 chapters in mid-Exodus.)
6:50 - Make the coffee and begin straightening the couch/coffee table area. Tuesday was not a good house-keeping day, and Monday was only so-so. I have some catch-up to do today.
7:00 - Greg has gone, Tyler is up, Dale is feeding the calf. Tyler & Dale get breakfast, I empty the breakable clean dishes from the dishwasher and start a load of laundry. Today is a sheets & towels day.
7:30 - Alan is up & dressed, eating his breakfast. Dale empties the rest of the dishes and takes out the trash. Tyler plays with a few stray duplo legos that got left out yesterday.
8:00 - The boys escape to their room to play. I take Alan's morning meds to him, then sit down to start this post.
8:20 - I rally the boys back to their lists and go get Brooklyn. We are in that awkward stage when one nap a day is not enough and two is too many, and the last couple of days that means she's a little sleeping beauty sleeping late in the mornings! Today she is already awake when I go in, and I set her down to her breakfast.
9:00 - Boys have finished their morning jobs and a quick bike ride.
Dale does his math and Alan and I read his Bible story for the day (Prodigal Son). Brooklyn and Tyler play.
9:30 - Tyler's activity today is a almost over his head, but a huge hit with the big boys, so we take time out from their school stuff to play with his.
10:15 - We roll up the road masterpiece for now and get back to the list. Dale does his handwriting copywork, a journal entry, and reads his Bible lesson. Alan completes 3 phonics pages and practices 3 cursive words (sir, sell, rise) on our new handwriting markerboards from Mimi. Tyler does several activities from the preschool drawer and a transportation jigsaw puzzle. Brooklyn makes lots and lots of noise, babbling (loudly!) and whining. Must be held more than usual.
I transfer the laundry and keep everyone on task or out of trouble. Or both.
11:40 - We sit down to a macaroni & cheese w/salmon lunch.
12:00 - As well as things seem to be going it has been a trying morning on my patience. I have griped at the same kid twice for 2 separate (and fairly innocent) spills. I have insisted on silence at times and pleaded for no extra noise at others. So in spite of it being 95 degrees I send the boys outside for a little respite for all of us.
12:15 - Boys come in. It is hot. We all have a cookie. I decide our lunchbreak hasn't been long enough and extend it to 1pm. :)
1:00 - Spend some time with Dale practicing piano. Dale reads while I read to the other three. Brooklyn and Tyler go down for naps; Alan and Dale finish school for the day: Alan - Math, reading. Dale - Spelling, more reading.
I could still use some quiet and unwinding (what's with this day!?) so I start one of my new library books while Dale reads and Alan plays more with this morning's road map.
Alan and I spend some time looking through a jumbo-sized book of Monet paintings. Dale is still reading. He has a good one he wants to finish! ;)
3:00 - Dale joins Alan at the road map. I do some picking up and fold laundry.
3:30 - Tyler is awake from his nap. Snack time, then more road map playing ensues.
4:00 - Brooklyn has been awake in her bed for a few minutes and I can't put off getting her up any longer. We roll up the road map and everyone goes in to see Brooklyn. We start our afternoon cleanup.
4:50 - The beginnings of supper are on the stove and Daddy is home!
Here's what the rest of the day should look like:
Supper between 5:30 or 6:00.
Family play time.
(Today is Wednesday so Daddy will be going to church. Sometimes Dale and Alan go with him.)
Around 7:30 baths and bedtime routines will begin.
By 8:00 (if we are doing good) we will wind down with Alan's evening meds, a family devotion, prayer time, final hugs & kisses, and... soon after that... lights out! For the kiddos. ;)
Daddy and I unwind together with or without the computer or some baseball on tv.
Thanks for following along!