Monday, June 11, 2007

A Morning in the Life

I found this in my drafts of posts I started a long time ago. We're not on much of any kind of a schedule right now; it's summer break and we're trying to get a house ready to list on the market!
The kids still have school to finish up, but the end is in sight. They each have a list of "When these final lessons are completed and these books are read, you'll be a __grader!" so they're pretty motivated whenever I tell them they're free to go chip away at the list.

But this is the way our mornings looked during the school year...

6:00 Bantam 16, a freshman at the public high school, wakes up and gets himself showered, breakfasted, lunch packed and ready for the bus at 6:45. One great thing about AS is that he's good at routines. I am so blessed--and so proud of him!--that he has been getting himself up and off in the mornings since 6th grade. (I don't know how I would have made it through the last pregnancy and infancy otherwise.)

Papa Rooster gets up and leaves for work sometime in this time period too--most of the time I have no idea when. He always lays his clothes out the night before, in the bathroom and in the hallway, so he doesn't wake me in the mornings. Isn't he thoughtful?

8:15ish Chicklet and/or Bantam 2 wake up, and that's usually my wake-up call. (I love it when I can wake at 7 or 7:30 and have a little morning to myself, but with my night-owl tendencies and teens and 'tweens who take after me, I rarely get to bed early enough for that.)

Then I wake Blondechick14, Bantam12 and Bantam8. The older two are supposed to set their alarms and wake earlier if they need a shower, but they usually oversleep. We're working on this.

The older kids get the little kids started on their cereal and then get their own breakfast. It's usually just cereal, or they'll make eggs or toast, and sometimes I'll make oatmeal the night before in the crockpot. While they eat, I sip coffee in the next room and read blogs or email. I read the Daily Office Scripture readings, choosing one passage that I'll read with the kids later.

After breakfast, the kids are supposed to do chores immediately while I finish up at the computer or make a related-to-the-day's-events phone call, but more often they disappear, ostensibly to: a) use the bathroom, b) get dressed, or c) put something away. Ahem.

When I call them back, they begin their morning chores. Bantam11 cleans up the kitchen and straightens the living room, Bantam8 sweeps the kitchen floor and empties trash and recycling bins, Blondechick14 straightens the front room, stairway and hallway upstairs and helps Chicklet4 pick up her room. I get myself and Bantam2 dressed during this time, help with the general pick-up of the main level, and try to keep the boys focused on their work. For some reason, B8 would rather stand on his head or perfect the dismount to his vault over the back of the couch; B12 prefers to recline on the couch. I've tried incentives, chorecharts, rewards, checklists, payment, punishment--you name it. Still can't figure out how to get them to Just. Do. It.

When we're all done, the older kids and I meet in the living room for Morning Prayer. (The little ones are welcome to join us if they are quiet or else they play together out in the front room.) We each have our own Book of Common Prayer, and the kids enjoy using them to do parts of the Morning Prayer service, but I think the whole service is too long, on a school morning and for the younger kids. I was always abridging it on the fly and skipping someone's favorite bit and we were always waiting on the youngest to find the right pages. So I finally wrote my own 2-page abridged version. It gives us a nice structure while allowing us to insert Scripture readings and our own prayers. I included in it 2 passages we wanted to memorize, so we at least read them daily.

Depending on how long breakfast and chores took, it is now around 10:30, give or take. On Mondays, this is the time our friends arrive; on Fridays, this is the time we arrive at their house and my day off begins! (Remember I have this great deal where a friend and I swap kids twice a week?)

Most days, we work hard on school from 10-10:30 till 1:00ish, when we break for lunch. On Mondays and Fridays, the older kids like to hang out together in one room doing reading or math. They stay pretty quiet unless someone cracks a joke or something, but our deal is that they work quietly all morning, and then after lunch, they can talk and hang out until 2:30, when I teach writing on Mondays or they have history/science with another mom on Fridays.

We honestly don't get as many subjects covered on Mondays and Fridays, but as long as the boys get the essentials--math and reading--done, I don't sweat if they have an extra spelling or grammar page to make up in the middle of the week. Blondechick14 likes to do most of her week's work in the middle of the week so that she can have easier days on Monday and Friday. She has gotten behind sometimes and had to work hard to make it up, but now she's learning what it takes to manage her time better. (A valuable subject for an 8th grader to study, I'd say!)

Chicklet4 and Bantam2 are the wild cards of each morning. Sometimes they play so nicely together; sometimes they make great mischief and are huge distractions. All we can do each day with them is play the hand we're dealt. My ace in the hole is letting Bantam8 lay aside the books and play with them!

Whatever schoolwork doesn't get done before lunch carries over into the afternoon, and into the evening if need be--we have some world-class dawdlers here. After the morning, I'm not sitting down with them any more, I'm just available for questions and to check their work when it's completed.

Hope this was interesting!


Acting Gal said...

That was VERY interesting! ;)

Jenny in Ca said...

I thought it was really interesting! It's always nice to see how other families homeschool..we homeschool moms are always looking for useful hints on how me might fine-tune our own routines. Thanks for the peek!

Anonymous said...

Any chance you would share your abridged version of morning prayer? (not right now, of course! maybe when life "settles down" a bit?)