Well of course it was to be expected that sooner or later reality would set in. Our first week of school couldn't have gone better and this week was, well, . . . the first two days we spent at my parents' so we could attend my grandparents' estate sale (this following a crazy-busy-fun weekend). We were able to do school while we were there, and spend time with cousins and grandparents and run around on the farm and buy my grandma's Lifetime cookware. Fabulous.
Then we came home.
We didn't get home until ten Tuesday night, I woke up Wednesday to mountains of laundry and not an egg or slice of bread in the house. We went to the grocery store first thing and piled out of the van only to realize that one child wasn't wearing shoes, and of the five random flip-flops in the van, all of them were lefts. This is the way the second half of the week began, and it didn't get much better.
After this week I learned some good things.
1. Before week one began the laundry was done, house cleaned, menu planned and groceries stocked. I approached the first week as though I were starting a new job, and was able to focus all week only on school and writing. I know that this won't always be possible, but as much as I can I'd like to begin the week with all housekeeping details complete.
2. Some trouble spots I need to solve:
-activity bags to keep Annie interested
-a good plan for the afternoons
-a predictable, steady schedule to fall back on when unusual weeks happen like this one
3. I love audiobooks! We listened to audiobooks in the car and during quiet time. Some of our school books came with cd's and we listened to these for transitions, or just to give the kids a new voice. We brought home poetry, science, Beethovan, and story cd's from the library and the kids listened to all of them.
Even though this week was a bit rough for me, we did have fun learning.
While at my parents' my brother's girlfriend Liz came over to make cheese with Sam.
It was super easy to make and turned out a soft, mild cheese. I would love to do this again and try new kinds of cheeses.
After two weeks and knowing a little better how to plan, I have come up with our learning rhythm for the year. I really appreciated Heidi's Unrealistic Routine post, where she mapped out the "routine she will never stick to." It gives me hope to know that other people have idealistic intentions that they don't quite fulfill always, too. I love to dream and plan and can be frustrated that I always fall short of my own expectations. I am learning to find peace in that gap.
So here is our Unrealistic Routine which we will never stick to, but keep trying anyway:
5:00 I get up, read my Bible, make coffee, writing time
7:00 Kids up, start laundry, put classical cd on, everyone dressed and teeth brushed, beds made, kids empty dishwasher, read aloud during breakfast
8:00 kids playtime, I check email, switch laundry, prep for the day
9:00 School begins, everyone together (Josie plays with toys from her play basket, Annie participates)
Circle time on the floor: date, weather, devotions, scripture memory, poetry, a bit of geography or current events
10:00 snack, little girls (hopefully) go play, work with Sami alone the next hour:
11:30 Break, lunch, clean-up, outside time
1:00 Josie napping
History two days, Science other two
2:00 Send An and Sami to quiet time, audio books or quiet play on the bed
I prep supper or clean-up, check email, etc.
3:00 Josie awake, snack time
Wednesday: Nature Study
Thursday: *hopefully music lessons
4:00 Outside time
5:30 Family supper, clean-up
6:30 Exercise while watching the evening news (*this seems to be the best time to exercise. My friend Nikole does 25 min. of crossfit daily that she finds on pinterest, and she looks amazing! I am copying her).
On Fridays everybody helps clean the house early so we can then head out for field trips or gatherings with our co-op.
Friday afternoon we rest, I make pizza Friday night, Jim puts the kids to bed, I take a hot bath and try to feel human again.
Here is the curriculum we are using this year, all based on recommendations from The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise.
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind
Handwriting Without Tears
The Story of the World
The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading
Literature: read books daily
Life Science: First Animal Encyclopedia, The Kingfisher First Human Body Encyclopedia, Green Thumbs
Poetry: Poetry Speaks to Children, A Family of Poems, Here's a Little Poem
Art: Drawing with Children
I am still hunting for a good character-building book or curriculum, maybe a foreign language, and hopefully music lessons.