Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I can rise and shine, just not at the same time!

To say that we are a family of night people would be an understatement.  My favorite job was working overnights at the grocery store when I was in high school, because it meant that sleeping until 2pm was totally legit.  Because I am now an adult and live in the daytime world, I have to get up earlier than I would like, but we make it work.  When we were in public school, the first bell rang at 7:35, which meant we had to be up by 6:30, to get everything done and be at school on time.  It was awful and everyone hated it. Fighting, crying, and yelling were all common occurrences before 7am.  Not the shiniest way to start the day. :(

Now, since I'm setting the schedule, it is totally different.  RF gets up around 7:30 and gets ready for work.  Some mornings, I wake up, but more often than not, I'm still crashed out.  My alarm goes off at 8.  I throw the dog outside and wake MF up.  She complains about how tired she is and then gets on with her morning stuff.  Bathroom, teeth brushing, eating breakfast, getting dressed, and feeding the cat all need to be done before 9am.  If she gets done early, she can get online, lay around, go outside, or anything else she would like to do.  She also has the option of getting started early on school work.  For the first several days of school, she picked that one.  Recently, she has been choosing the internet, which is totally fine too.

During that same time, I'm also getting ready for the day, including getting dressed, and then I spend the rest of the time house walking.  I've also made myself the deal that I won't waste time on the internet, unless I'm walking, until I make 10,000 steps, so I use my phone to check email and browse facebook, while I'm walking.  That way, I'm killing two birds with one stone and I've checked in, so I'm not tempted to be online while I'm working on school.

At 9, MF starts school and WF gets up for the day.  This lets him sleep the recommended amount and helps prevent conflict by not having them trying to share space in the kitchen and bathroom each morning.  It also gives me time to work one on one with each of them, while the other is self-sufficient. He has to get himself ready for the day, eat breakfast, feed the dog and clean up any messes the dog made during the night.  We'll see how this changes over the next few years as she starts to require more sleep each day.

While he is getting ready, I work with her on spelling.  We do a lot of stuff together, but spelling really needs to be one on one.  We are using All About Spelling and, while I really like it, I can see why it isn't used in public schools.  It just isn't suited for group work, even small groups.  Once her spelling is done, she goes to her room to work independently on things.

He has the same options she does during "breakfast" time. If he doesn't choose to get started early, I continue with my walking until he is ready to start or 10, whichever comes first.  When he does get working, we do spelling first.

Depending on where she is at with her work, he will either work independently in his room or we will come back together to work on a shared subject.  While they work on things on their own I will walk, which means I'm passing their rooms at least once per minute, so I'm able to monitor their work and be available to help or answer questions they might have.

Most days, we are completely done with school by lunch time, so our "morning routine" encompasses our whole school day, but some days, there is stuff to finish up after lunch.

The only day this is different is on Fridays, when I occasionally have coffee with some friends.  I've found that our days don't run nearly as smoothly on those days and, although I love seeing my friends, I'm seriously considering giving that up.  I'll miss my friends, but it is more important that school goes well and the kids are learning like they are supposed to.  The days are still a lot easier than when they were in public school, but it is more difficult than the days when our routine is in place.

What does your morning look like?

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