Daily Routine (such as it is)

There's always this urge to try and catch everyone up after a prolonged blogging absence.  I'm certainly not free of that, so here's my summary: REAL LIFE.

take one

What?  Doesn't that say it all?  Ok, here's some more: Charlotte has started crawling and eating solid food in earnest, and those two things actually add to the craziness quite a bit.  We dutifully started up school again last week, and are holding pretty steady to a routine of sorts, which makes me think it might be a good time to actually describe our routine.  I have changed our daily plan every week since we started school in September, so I haven't been able to really answer those who ask, "what's your schedule like?"  But I find other people's schedules so interesting and helpful, (great series about this over at Simple Homeschool, and also at my friend Heidi's) so I thought I'd offer up mine to add to the collective and as a way of organizing it in my head.

take two

9am-12pm: Classical Conversations.  Wyatt is old enough now (and cooperative enough) to sit with me in Ava's class.    Classical Conversations encourages siblings to participate, so he does the activities as much as he is able.  Charlotte is in my wrap with me, or sleeping the nursery.  Sometimes we have lunch there (if I'm organized to make and bring lunch) and sometimes we just go home.  Either way, we are home by 1:15, and kids go to their rooms for rest time.  They usually "rest" for about two hours.  The big kids rarely sleep anymore, but they play quietly in their rooms and listen to audiobooks or music.  During rest time I catch up on random tasks that I started in the morning (and was interrupted, can't tell you how many times I've been interrupted just since I sat down to attempt to write this), think about starting dinner prep, or waste time on the internet do important research.  If it's been a rough night with various child wakeups, I try to nap.

3pm: Kids are up.  They have a snack and play.  If the weather is reasonable, I shoo them out.  The baby's naps are not always lined up, so often she has been up and is back down sleeping at this time.  Usually the big kids get busying doing something and forget about TV time until later, but if they don't. . .

4pm: TV time!  The big kids are allowed one or two shows.  They love Wild Kratts, which is fairly educational and not as annoying for adults as some others.  I get dinner started and attempt to make a small dent in the chaos in my kitchen.

6pm(ish): Dinner.  Grant is often home by this time, and we try to chat and catch up while bouncing kids back and forth between us.  Often we (especially me) don't really eat until the kids are done and dismissed, which is just fine because then we get to eat in peace.

After dinner we all just hang out for a while.  I try to have the kids tidy up their toys.  Then it's pjs, teeth brushing, story reading, off to bed.  Wyatt and Charlotte first, Ava by 8ish.  Often she and I will cuddle up and read a chapter in the book we're working on (currently Treasures of the Snow, which is better than the description sounds), or we drag Grant into playing a game.  Sometimes I'll have her finish up some school work from earlier in the day.

8:30pm:  I'm free!  The possibilities are endless. . . but often, I just start the dishwasher, lay out some things for the next day, and go to bed.

take three!

8:00am: If Ava's not up, I wake her up at 8. Usually everyone is up well before 8.  From 8 to 9, we have breakfast and get some chores out of the way (kids: tidy rooms, get dressed, put laundry away, etc. me: start laundry, dishes, gulp some coffee).

9:00-11:00am: Learning time!  See this post to see what we're up to this year.  Baby crawls around and gets into things.  We usually start out with our Bible time, and move on through subjects, but I just go with the flow.  Charlotte goes to sleep sometime soon after we start, so we do more focused work while she naps.  We do not do every subject every day.  During this time, I sometimes attempt a few household and computer tasks while the kids are working.  This usually does not go well.  We have a snack at some point, and Wyatt will get bored and wander off sometimes, but he really loves to do "my school."  If it's nice, we go outside.

11:00am:  Baby is up.  I feed her and the other kids go play.  By this time they are usually ready to do their own thing for a while, so it works out.  I again attempt a few household tasks, and this usually goes a little better.

12:00pm: Lunch!

The rest of Tuesdays and Wednesdays are pretty much the same as Monday. See above.

I do not hold still for photos!

8:00am: Thursday morning is pretty much the same as Tuesday and Wednesday, except that we eat lunch a little bit earlier.  Also, this morning is often lighter academically since the kids have a P.E. class in the afternoon.

12:30pm: My aunt or a friend watches Charlotte at their house or mine.  Big kids and I head to their "Swim and Gym" co-op class at the YMCA, with a bunch of other local homeschool families.  We just started this in January.  It's a stretch for Wyatt, but overall I think it will be really great.

3:30pm:  Pick up Charlotte, head home to snack and rest.  Hope I remembered to start the crockpot, so I don't' actually have to cook.  The rest of the day is pretty much the same as the earlier part of the week.

8:00am: We have our regular start for consistency's sake, but it varies after that.  Sometimes the kids just play, or if they're in the mood, the baby cooperates, and the stars properly align, then we do a more involved art or craft project.  We try to pull the house together more for the weekend.  Sometimes we go somewhere.  Sometimes we bake.  Whatever.  Fridays are our "whatever" day.

There it is.  That's what we aim at.  It sounds less crazy than it actually is, I think.  I am always willing to throw out the whole plan for nice weather or impromptu friend visits.  That's the whole point of homeschooling, right?  Real life.

Off to plan a little party for this almost-three-year-old.

making ice cream. dump truck (fully loaded) close at hand, of course.


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