You asked, so I'm here to deliver :)
"A Day in the Life" of Sweetness and Light ~ back to school version. One of the things that has totally been working for us this new school term has been to create and maintain an uber-planned meal schedule that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner and mid-morning snacks for a whole month. I'm leaving weekends open for flexibility, but here's an example of a week's plan: Download Late Summer Menu Rotations Week 3 - 2010. It's been really nice having it all laid out, down to the snacks and remarkably, no one has been whining at me before lunch or dinner about when they get to eat next or what's for breakfastlunchdinner???? You know the drill ;-) So that's been working.
- I've been getting up by 6:30/6:45am which has enabled me to do any morning baking or snack/lunch/dinner prep before the kiddos come up/down for breakfast. Also, I've been setting the breakfast table the night before (I know it's a no-brainer and I'm sure everyone in the world has already figured this out but me) however, it's working and it's like a little special surprise every morning as I can do a centerpiece theme for feast days or just for fun stuff. Yeah Me!!
- Chore routines are well-established in our new digs and we're just incorporating them in to our regular day's schedule during clean-up and tidy time.
- The outdoor morning snack/break has been hugely successful. Not that we didn't do this before, but it's more fluid now and it's so nice to take a morning outside breather :)
- Everyone has their own shelf for books and notebooks, etc. and a separate display shelf for collectables and artwork.
- We are starting earlier than we have in the past and everyone really likes that.
- Everyone narrates directly after they have finished a reading, unless I've asked them to write a paper and this has been excellent!
Okay on to some real life:
6:30-7:30am ~ Mom up, sometimes showered and doing morning routine including breakfast prep, dishwasher unloading, and prayer time. Usually includes a quick email and reader check as well.
7:30-8:00am ~ Breakfast with children (sometimes Sean-Paul stays in bed until later, but always the older three and I, hubby makes lattes as I'm sure you will remember ;-)
8:00am ~ Begin lessons for older three children - Violet, Matthias and Seamus.
- Violet is starting her day with some Natural History (either a bird or flower research or biomes work).
- Matthias and Seamus are enjoying Weather & Climate related studies and keeping weather journals.
*Note: Because we use the Short Lesson concept, they all work through their subjects at intervals alloted on their weekly schedules. Violet's subjects are in the 30-45 minute range, Matthias 20-30 minutes and Seamus 15-30 minutes. This staggers things a bit and allows me to be able to work individually with each of them rotating throughout the morning. When Sean-Paul joins us (usually around 8:30 or 9:00 he just goes with the flow after he eats his breakfast) For brevity, Violet's time is indicated in parentheses.
8:30-9:00am (8:30-9:15) ~ Begin Religion work
9:00-9:30am (9:15-10:00) ~ Begin History
- Seamus Math
- Sean-Paul Free Work time
- Violet & Matthias finish up History
10:00-10:15am ~ All outside for quick walk/recess and snack time (even moi!)
- Violet and Matthias do their Algebra,
- Seamus gets in two subjects Reading/Literature/or Poetry and Language Arts which he usually does orally with me unless it's Copywork.
- Sean-Paul does a combination of Alphabet copywork and using some of our Language Materials that have been previously presented, like the Moveable Alphabet, a Pink Sound Bin or looking at books. (Invariable he will return to his Math work several times throughout the morning :)
11:00am-12:00pm ~ During this last hour before lunch:
- Seamus practices Cello and does some free reading,
- Matthias does his Latin lesson (some of it orally with me) and then practices piano for about 1/2 an hour.
- Violet is working on Grammar (mostly Compositions, Dictation and an Editing lesson) then she does her Latin and on one day (usually Fridays) she does French with me.
- Sean-Paul is listening to stories, or poetry and helping me do miscellaneous lunch prep or a laundry load switch or we go out on the deck to do some sketching.
12:00-12:45pm ~ Lunch, more outside time, clean-up from morning.
*At this point the younger boys are pretty much finished for the day with the exception of Seamus and Matthias doing some Chemistry together.
- Matthias Chemistry,
- Violet Earth Science.
- Matthias & Violet Reading, Literature & Poetry work (currently we're reading Pride & Predjudice together).
- Matthias is reading Twelfth Night.
2:00-2:30pm ~ Fine Arts -
- Violet is working through the Sister Wendy DVD's for Art History
- Matthias is viewing the Ancient works.
- Seamus and Sean-Paul usually have a Picture Talk time once a week at the lunch table, this is a really nice gentle way to introduce Art and capture their attention.
For Music Appreciation we have all been listening to Haydn Concertos & Sonatas.
*From 2:30pm on until dinner time, we are playing outside, catching up on chores, prepping for dinner if it isn't already started in the Crockpot. Seamus has cello one day during the week and one day during the weekend, so that changes his flow a bit, but it's in the afternoon, so he's mostly done by the time he needs to leave. Matthias' piano is now on the weekend also. Violet has resumed her ballet classes and they take up a large chunk of evening time with her personal chauffer ;-)
*Dinner happens between 5:00-7:00pm on any given night, and Violet just eats before or after her classes depending on her arrival time back home. We do miss her at the dinner table...
*Evening time is dedicated to kitchen clean-up, time outdoors playing with the dog, swimming or reading on the deck. If I need to do any lesson prep for the next day, this is when I try and get it done. I also check email or blog in the evening if hubby is working late (often). Many times we will have a special show to watch together with popcorn of course. Family Rosary happens just before everyone goes off to get ready for bed, brush teeth and begin reading or being read to :)
*Bedtime is 9:00ish with lights out for the olders at 9:30pm. I use this time between 9:30-10:00pm to set the breakfast table, breakfast prep (like making my pancake/waffle/or crepe batter or preparing an overnight breakfast bread or casserole). Then I head up to read before I pass out, I mean blissfully fall asleep.
Well, there you have it, let me know if you have any questions or want any specifics, I'm more than happy to answer questions here in the combox or in a private email! Many blessings and thank you so much for stopping by :)