Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2011-2012 Average Day Chart...So Far

Brandy at Afterthoughts posted a look at her average day and I thought I'd share ours. Second Son is at that age where naps are a bit unstable and will hopefully settle into a single long reliable nap in the next few months, so the "average" day is likely to change a bit of the course of the year.

Breakfast

Kansas Dad is often up and out of the house before 7 am, right about the time I'm picking up Second Son for his morning nursing. The others stumble out as they wake and play quietly for a few minutes. We all like time to wake up in the mornings. Sometime around 8 am I call the kids for breakfast. If Kansas Dad is not home, we have cereal or some kind of oatmeal (which the kids will only eat with brown sugar, so it's a bit of a treat). I prefer meals and snacks with as little prep-mess and clean-up as possible. (Kansas Dad makes wonderful big breakfasts on the weekends - eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, biscuits and gravy, wheat pancakes with blueberries or chocolate chips...not all at the same time of course!)

Chores

After breakfast, we do chores. The three older kids all get dressed, brush hair and teeth. First Son-7 unloads the dishwasher. First Daughter-4 brings all the dirty clothes to the laundry room and feeds the dog. (First Son feeds him in the evening.) Someone also brings any sippy cups from the bedroom. I start the first or second load of laundry, get dressed, load the dishwasher and wash the few breakfast dishes and sometimes fold some clothes. I give First Son five minutes warning for lessons and set a timer. I finish my tea and brush my teeth.

Lessons

We start with morning prayer and all the subjects I think might interest the girls. There are also a few picture books just for the girls, our "reading around the world" in particular. I also plan at least one Montessori activity for First Daughter that sometimes happens during this time. I don't require the girls to pay attention or even stay in the room for anything else. Early subjects tend to be memory work, P.A.C.E., history, Scripture, saint stories and our liturgical year celebrations.

First Daughter's reading lessons happen whenever First Son has something to occupy him for a few minutes. Usually he finishes before she does and has a few minutes to relax while he waits on me. She's squirrelly with her lessons. If she gets actively defiant, we'll put them on hold (she's only four), but for now we're continuing with them.

Sometime around 10 am, depending on when Second Son starts to act tired, I give First Son something he can do on his own, like copy work, and lay Second Son down for a nap.

If we are very ambitious and work steadily, we could probably finish all of our lessons in the morning, but usually we meander along until Second Son wakes from his nap. Then we transition to lunch.

Lunch

We take a break at lunch time. I don't read aloud, though I intend to find audio books I could play on the laptop, now that I have Kansas Dad's old one. I don't like to cook at lunch time. I usually make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or we have leftovers. The girls get bouncy and loud. Second Son laughs and throws his food. Eventually they stop asking for more food and I send them out to the living room to play while I clean. Because I don't cook, it takes very little time to clean up lunch - probably around ten minutes or so. I take some extra time to keep the laundry moving and assess where we are on our lessons. When I'm ready to start, I give First Son a warning, set the time for five minutes and (often) sit down to check my email.

Finish Lessons

After lunch, we finish our lessons. They usually don't take very long except for our "special activity." Each day I've tried to schedule something big for us to do: art, PE (class taught by Kansas Dad), homeschool choir, a special video or a field trip or nature walk. As fall and winter arrive and it's not 100 degrees, I'll send the kids outside during this time as well. After lessons are over, First Son and First Daughter are asked to clean their sides of the living room.

Quiet Time

In theory, Second Son will one day nap for a long time in the afternoons. Currently, he's running about 30 minutes. Sigh. Anyway, for this time I've prepared a "book basket" which is really a big plastic bin. I've filled it with extra books related to our history, science or feast days. In addition, I sometimes put in special books I'll know they want to read or peruse. We only pull out the basket during quiet time. The three older ones (Second Daughter only as long as she seems able) sit on the futon and read while Second Son naps and I exercise. In theory.

Sometime in the afternoon, I file away the papers for the day. Theoretically, First Son could do this himself, but I like the papers nicely organized and placed neatly in binder or folders. First Son doesn't care for organization much at all. For now, I don't fight the battle and put them away myself.

I also take a few minutes to look over our schedule of lessons for the next day. I pull all the books and materials we need and place them in reverse order on a shelf. That way, I'm never searching for something. First Son and First Daughter both know where our day's school books are and can bring something to me if my hands are full.

Screen Time

Sometime before or after my exercise time, the older three have screen time. First Son usually chooses to spend his twenty minutes playing the Wii. First Daughter usually loses her time because she does not clean her half of the room. (Some day, I will fight this battle, but for the next few weeks at least I intend to let it go.) Second Daughter then usually chooses a twenty minute video on Netflix from a pre-approved list. (I'm in the kitchen within sight or hearing whenever the TV is on.)

Some day we're going to move the old desktop to the living room so the kids could choose to explore pre-approved sites online during this time, but for now that's not an option.

While screen time doesn't happen every day, it happens most days. It's usually less than an hour and doesn't include any commercials (other than the shows themselves, sigh), so we allow it for now.

Dinner and the Evening

Kansas Dad arrives home sometime around 6 or 6:30 pm. We try to eat soon after he finishes his chores (chickens* and dog-walking**, mostly) because our children eat for a long time, often an hour. I have made dinner a few nights since school started and will hopefully take that chore over from Kansas Dad. When dinner is over, it's time to get ready for bed. Usually we divide the duties - one parents handles dinner clean-up and one supervises bedtime preparation. My goal is always to have all the chores done so I can focus on my homeschool stuff, blog stuff, parish stuff or fun stuff after the kids are in bed.

I like lights-out by 8 pm for all of the kids so Kansas Dad and I have some time to relax together in the evenings. He usually still has work to do (the life of a professor), so I can read or prepare lessons or watch something silly on Netflix while I cross-stitch.

That's an average day on the Range.



* Kansas Dad intends to build a coop that would allow First Son to take care of the chickens for us. It's on the list.

** First Son used to walk the dog, but he started running away (the dog, not the boy), so now it's back to Kansas Dad. When the weather is not so terrible and when Second Son starts walking well enough, I think we'll start walking the dog in the afternoons. Our dog and our baby are both big enough I can't manage them both at the same time.

8 comments:

  1. Great schedule! It's always nice when everyone knows generally what to expect each day...give or take here and there of course!! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Your day sounds great!

    "First Daughter usually loses her time because she does not clean her half of the room."

    I laughed out loud at that one! :)

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  3. Monica, consistency in schedule is important. Some kids require it more than others and I'm glad mine can be flexible but sometimes the days I like best are the ones we're not going off-schedule and just hanging out at home.

    Brandy, she's terrible! I was happy to read on another blog recently that four year old girls are like that sometimes. She just doesn't care about any possible way to punish her...so I've kind of taken a wait-until-she-cares-about-something attitude. As long as she obeys me in the important things like staying near me in parking lots and not going outside alone, I'm waiting. Sigh. I do like the whole living room clean, though, so much so that occasionally I offer First Son an extra twenty minutes to clean her side.

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  4. Kansas Mom, I like what you have to say. Gemma has been very frustrating lately (actually recently she's been all right but boy do we have our times). I am learning to just pick my battles sometimes and not make a huge issue out of everything...which is hard for me...but I like your perspective. Thanks for sharing. I think I will be doing a routine post here in the future like yours, you got me thinking.

    BLESSINGS!

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  5. Okay, I was too lazy to do an entire post on our daily schedule, since I just did a similar on recently. I did put everything in excel though, and added the google doc to this post if you'd like to see.
    http://livingeachdayasagift.blogspot.com/2011/08/our-school-year.html

    Thanks again for sharing yours!!!

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  6. Oh, I can identify with four year old girls being difficult too! (and sad to say that it has only been gradually improving now that she's 5). I have to have some perspective though. We're still having battles over this and that, but they're different, and the things that were driving me crazy a year or even six months ago are mostly not an issue any more. Someday you'll have the clean living room, and it'll be something else instead! ;-)

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  7. I came over from Brandy's Afterthoughts. It was especially fun for me to read your post, because our families are kind of similar. We also have a First Son (8), First Daughter (6), Second Daughter (almost 4) and Second Son (6 mos), so the ages are different, but the order is the same. Our days look something like yours. I hope to write about them soon....

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  8. Phyllis, welcome to the Range! I'm glad you came over to see the post.

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