A quick confession, I recently considered preschool for Benton. Seriously considered it. I wondered if he need a place of his own and if the social situation could help him improve his speech. So, I visited the local Waldorf school and thought it was lovely. Everything they said to sell me on the program, I could believe in. By the time I got in my car I was thinking about enrolling both Benton and Oliver and felt terrible about it. I fundamentally believe kids do not need preschool, so why was I suddenly feeling like our home was not enough for my kids?
After that visit, I came home and talked with Dan and I felt inspired to do better. By better, I mean that I felt like I was just treading water this past year. There was so much to do, as we settled into this house. Dan and I talked about what we had imagined as homeschooling parents, and why I thought we were not there yet. Between moving in and back out for a remodel, and back in again, plus having a nursing child, it was very difficult to stick to any sort of schedule, but we've moved on from all that now. I don't know how many times this year I tried to pencil out a schedule. I could never figure it out. There was just too much going on. That is how I came up with Read, Create, Play. I just had to keep it simple.
Well, now that things feel a little more predictable in our house and our daily life, I was able to sit down and come up with a schedule. It is a little for the kids and a whole lot for me. There is so much to do as the mom, I have a hard time devoting my full attention to my kids. I mean there is always laundry to do, dishes to deal with, cleaning and then there is all the stuff I feel like I am constantly trying to put away.
Anyway, in case you are curious, here is a pretty honest schedule. It is not exactly what I typed up, but when we get there, I'll share that one. :)
8:30 am - wake up, kids pick 1/2 hour show to watch while I check my email and then start breakfast (coffee first)
9:00 am - hot breakfast, usually we have eggs and toast or oatmeal
9:30 am - kitchen cleanup and sometimes a 2nd cup of coffee
10:00 am - Focused Learning time - this when I want to give my kids my full attention and really be a resource for them. We head down to our playroom and read books, play games, do some art, whatever. Sometime a question will come up so we've look for more info or videos on the internet. Sometimes they do their own thing without me, but we always start with reading aloud. I pick some books related to a theme for the week and they pick books too. Lately, Ollie reads a few books to me, which I am really enjoying. If they are busy playing without me, I might start some laundry or tidy up the playroom.
Noon - They are usually ready to do something different at this point and lately, they go outside while I make lunch.
I wrote out a schedule for the rest of the day, but really, it is still fairly fluid.
1:00 pm - might head out for our a.l.l. activity, meet friends or to the library. If we stay home, the kids are usually outside or playing on their own.
2:30 pm - Quiet hour - Linnea takes her nap, the boys get 1 hour of computer time and this is my quiet hour too. :) I am usually on the computer, sometimes I watch a little tv while I fold laundry. There are lots of things I should be doing, but I need a little down time too.
3:30 pm - Oliver and Benton usually work with playdough, draw or write in their journals. I am usually moving around tidying up around them or checking and responding to emails, making plans for a.l.l. or blogging. Ideally, I would journal with them. Hmm, need to put that on my to-do list.
4:00 pm - Right now they are big fans of Wild Kratts on PBS, so they watch that at 4pm and I try to remember to turn the tv off after it is over. I am always trying to clean up my house, but it is never really clean, because there is so much to do and I am easily distracted.
They might go back outside and Linnea and I will go out for a bit, but then I head in to start figuring out what to feed them when they come in hungry. Linnea pretty much hangs out with me.
6pm - dinner and Dan is done with work and we all settle into our evening routine of family time and eventually getting ready for bed.
I love this warmer weather because the boys are outside so much. Maybe this coming winter will be a little easier on them than their first winter here. Anyway, it is not too exciting and, as any mother knows, there a ton of things that don't fit into any schedule, but I know it is kind of nice to see what other home learning families are doing.