Finally—a new 2013 routine

Finally, and it definitely feels like finally, we are getting into a groove around here. After many failed attempts at setting up a schedule for myself and our homeschool, I think I’ve finally settled into something that will work—as in, we’ve been able to successfully stick with this one for a couple of weeks now!

Being flexible is a definite strength of mine, but my strength can also be my weakness. I can be so flexible that I have no shape or structure at all. And I hate when that happens. So after a year and a half of being flexible through late pregnancy, giving birth, and adjusting to life with baby #3, “finally” is no overstatement.

Welcome to a day in our lives…

6 a.m. My alarm goes off, and I stumble out of bed (or try to shortly thereafter). I pour my cup of coffee with cream and an 1/8 cup of sugar, and yes! It’s finally caffeinated coffee! I get out my Bible study journal, Bible, and prayer box. Sipping on my coffee, I pray and then journal through a book of the Bible (finishing Hebrews right now).

7 -7:15  I finish my study time and begin getting dressed for exercising.

7:15-7:45ish I exercise. FINALLY, I’ve found a time and workout to fit my “life with littles” day. Awhile back I’d purchased these “10 minute solution” exercise videos that offer five 10 minute segments. I can piece together a workout to fit the time I have. My goal is for 30 minutes, but if life happens and duty calls I can easily adjust my workout. Love it!

8-9 Everyone is up by now. The kids make their beds and feed the dog before eating breakfast.  I empty the dishwasher and begin making breakfast for everyone and a bottle for Littlest. I’ve also started filling one sink with some soapy water. My intention was that the kids could throw their oatmeal bowls into the water to keep the oatmeal from crusting before I could wash the dishes, but Middlest has decided that she loves washing dishes. More power to her! I got her a stool and let her have at it. She rinses in the soapy water and puts them in the dish washer.

Once the kids finish breakfast, they dress and begin morning chores. Oldest wipes the bathroom counters down; Middlest sweeps the crumbs from under the table with a small broom and dust pan. I finish feeding Littlest his oatmeal and apple sauce mixture and scarf down a few nourishing bites for myself. We say “good-bye” to Daddy, and I inspect chores.

9 – 9:45  At 9 the alarm sounds for school and the kids are learning to be ready for that sound. I start them off with what we call their “pocket pages,” independent work pages that I have placed in their notebooks at the beginning of the week. I explain directions for the different pages, and they get to work. Middlest works at her desk in the schoolroom. I’ve moved Oldest to his bedroom with a timer for this particular task; he seems to work much better without the distraction of his little sister. Littlest goes to his playpen for a little independent time before his morning nap. And I get a shower, dress, do my hair and make-up, etc.

The “alone” time they have is not really that long, long enough for me to shower and dress (about 15 min. or so) and then I check to see how everyone is doing. I leave them to finish my hair and make-up but am available for questions during that time.

9:45-10:20 We all meet back up in the schoolroom (except Littlest—he’s napping now) for  “Assembly Time.” During this time, we do our pledge, sing the national anthem, and go over our calendar. We review our Bible memory work, our timeline of history, our history flashcards, and our science facts. Each day I’ve been adding just a couple of minutes of science, reading a short paragraph and going over our memory work (more on that to come). Depending on time, we may sing a few songs together as well.

10:20-10:40 Oldest sets to work on his phonics flashcards, new history facts, and his spelling list. I work with Middlest with her reading and math.

10:40-11:00ish Middlest chooses an activity (playdo, shape puzzles, or a computer program) while I work with Oldest. After several months, she is doing MUCH better at not interrupting us during this time. She will curl up in my lap to hear the story that Oldest is reading or join us to see what new math concept he’s learning; I allow her to come and go as she wants as long as she doesn’t distract. Oldest and I work on his reading and language concepts, then transition to math. For reading, he only reads the A Beka reader if I don’t have anything else for him to read. Otherwise, he will read a title from our Tapestry plans or read the Bible story that is part of our Tapestry lesson for the week.

11-ish to noon This time is approximate because there are days when Oldest needs a little more time from me to understand a new concept or to work on problem areas. But around 11 or 11:15 we usually finish up, and we all begin Tapestry together. Littlest will sometimes join us around this time as well. During this time, we work on maps, lapbooking, or read our history titles from Tapestry.

We finish up around noon or 12:15 everyday. It feels so good! I make lunch, the kids play, we eat, the kids play, I finish up my chores and feed Littlest. We have a little play time together, and then the youngest two go down for naps. Oldest begins his quiet time, and I either finish my tasks or have an hour or so for computer work, blogging, etc.

4:30-10:30  I begin supper prep and our evening routine begins. Bedtime is the one aspect of my routine that I really need to work on. 10:30 is my goal but one I rarely meet right now. I’ll be honest that sometimes it’s 11 or 12 before I make it to bed. And yes, that makes the next day much more difficult. I am working on this.

But to have the day running so smoothly is a huge, HUGE blessing. {Sigh of relief}

So what adjustments have you made half-way through the year? Are there any finally‘s that you are rejoicing over?