Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Organization: A Typical Day

So, now that I've done all this work organizing, what does a typical day look like at my house?

8am: We're night owls, so we don't start very early. Ideally I wake the kids up at 8:00, they get dressed and straighten their rooms while I have my quiet time, and we all come down for breakfast by 8:30. In reality...sometimes we've all been known to snooze until 8:30 or 8:45 and barely make it down by 9, and I have to make time for my quiet time later in the day.

I throw a load of laundry in before breakfast many days.

Breakfast is cereal, nothing exciting. I tend to eat faster than my kids, and clean up the kitchen while they finish--empty the dishwasher, fill it, wipe counters etc... Sometimes I start a crock pot meal or grind wheat and get some bread rising. I wish I did these things more often, but hey, I do them sometimes!

9:00 The kids clean up their dishes, and then we go over to the couch for family devotions--usually around 9 or 9:30. When my husband is able to, he joins us, which I really love. He has so much knowledge to add to whatever we read, and great insights. He has chronic Lyme disease though, and often is sleeping during this time.

9:30 After Bible, around 9:30 or 10, my son reads history while I work one on one with my daughter. I have a "tutoring time" with each child. During this time we go over the previous day's work--what went well, what needs correcting, and any special instructions for today. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes for my daughter. Then I read history to her. She takes notes as I read, which helps her concentrate and remember things. She actually came up with this idea on her own after not doing well on a test. I love it when my kids think about how they best learn and discover how to help themselves!

If I have a busier day ahead of me, she'll read history on her own, but we prefer to share this time when we can.

Finally we do spelling together, and then she moves on to reading for 30 minutes. I usually move the laundry to the dryer at this point, after pulling out yesterday's laundry from the dryer. If my daughter and I finished early enough I have time to get it folded.

10:30 About 10:30 or 11 my son has finished reading history, and he comes down for one on one with Mom. We spend 10-20 minutes going over what he read in history, and then another 5-20 minutes discussing algebra. (He loves to tell me about his daily history reading! He'd rather dump algebra though!) Sometimes we also discuss science or a writing assignment. On lighter days I have him narrate from his reading. If it's a new math lesson day (with Math-U-See), we watch the dvd and work some practice problems, then he goes to work on math, usually around 11 or 11:30.

DD will work on language arts (either grammar or writing--we're alternating these topics this year) for about 30 minutes.

I might finish folding that basket of laundry about now. Or, if I have bread rising, it might be time to knead again now. Or my husband might be coming or going, depending on how he's feeling, so we touch base or he sees something that needs to be done, or he comes home with a few groceries and the kids and I take a break to get the bags and put them away. I also tend to make a pot of coffee about now, so I can enjoy a cup when I'm ready to sit down at the computer.

11:30 Time to start my online job answering emails for All About Learning Press. Sometimes I work for 1-2 hours straight, sometimes the kids need me to stop and help with a subject and my logged time is in 20 or 30 minute increments. I try to stay flexible here--I love my job but the kids and dh need me too. I strive to be interrupt-able!

12:00 Around noon my daughter moves on to science on the laptop downstairs (she's using an online curriculum that includes lots of experiments.) Sometimes she requires my help getting materials or setting up an experiment (like the time we made plasma grapes in the microwave), but often she does this independently.

When my son is done with math he moves on to science. On a good day he'll finish that by our 1pm lunch time.

1:00 Yes, we eat lunch at 1! It's a habit I started earlier on in our school days, when I wanted the psychological edge of finishing school by lunchtime to last another year or two! Gone are those days, we no longer finish by lunch time...but the 1pm time has stuck!

We all grab our own, or sometimes we cook for each other (it's fun to have older kids who can make eggs or noodles or other simple items).

1:30 On Tuesdays and Wednesdays we often play a game together--board games, card games...just two of us, all 3, or rarely my husband is able to join and all 4 of us play. Mondays are busier though--my daughter babysits from 1-4, and my son has a guitar lesson, so we don't play on that day. Fridays we only do a half-day of school (typically math, reading, and history as those subjects need the most time this year), and in the afternoons we go to a friend's house. Thursdays this year I've been writing in the afternoons.

2:00 After lunch the kids finish up school. My son will usually finish science and go for a bike ride or walk, then we do spelling together. Then he does lit and writing for 30 minutes each. Both kids spend about 10 minutes a day on Bible memory, 30 minutes practicing their instruments, and 15-30 minutes doing family service (a daily job like cleaning the bathroom, sweeping & mopping the kitchen or an entry-way, vacuuming etc...)

I try to have the kids take their folded clothes upstairs on one of their trips up. If 2 or 3 baskets are waiting to be folded, we might all have a folding party in the afternoon for 20 minutes and get it done together.

Typically I go for a walk after lunch, have my quiet time if I missed it earlier, work again in the afternoon, or help my dh.

4:30 Usually it's 4:30 or 5 when we're done with everything. That's also when I typically remember that I need to cook dinner soon. I have dreams that one day I'll be that mom who pulls meat out of the freezer the night before and menu plans weeks at a time, but that's rarely me. More often it's my son's question of "what's for dinner?" that brings me out of my internal world and reminds me that people are going to be hungry! Sometimes my daughter cooks dinner, occasionally even my son does (I even pay them to do this!)--sometimes they tell me what they're hungry for and then I don't have to decide what to make!

6:30 After dinner we clean up--sometimes I do it, sometimes the kids do. Evenings might be small group Bible study, watching a few shows together, a family game night, time to talk a bit, youth group for the kids, time to run errands, and so on. On busy days I might work online again after dinner.

9pm We usually do read-alouds around this time. Since my oldest is in high school, I don't know how much longer I'll be able to keep up this tradition, but I'm holding on to it as long as possible! We all enjoy it. After this, I correct school work. The kids go to bed around 11, and I go to bed around 12.

Next time I'll discuss curriculum for Organization: My Teacher Supply Box

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