One of the things that freaked me out a LOT last year was how much less time it seemed to get our work done at home versus how many hours they were at school. It didn’t seem that I was doing enough. Once I figured in all the extras at a school campus including, recess, line up times, lunch, waiting for the whole class to be done, etc. I calmed down. I have restled with scheduling a lot, perhaps more than anything else. It’s tough to find a balance.
How do other mom’s handle it?
Do the kids need a rigid schedule?
Do they not?
You can imagine all the questions and options.
I think I fall somewhere in the middle. For right now, in my ninth month of pregnancy…this is what we are doing and for this season it works great.
First problem to battle for me is I am NOT A MORNING PERSON. I can try and try to be one but I am not. So, I have fallen into this routine and it works good for all of us involved.
The standing rule in our house forever has been no one is allowed out of bed until 7 a.m….If they wake up before this, they can read, play, or do something quiet on their beds. It’s my personal favorite rule of our household. It’s always been this way and it is followed by all.
SO, remember our chore chart? It took a break over the summer, but it has returned…new and improved. Now the kids are required to have their chores done (usually 2 a piece), breakfast eaten, and be up and dressed by 8:30. I then have quiet time to get up and get dressed with some peace and quiet for myself. It works great. We then begin school shortly after that. I usually put a list of the independent assignments, along with a couple worksheets for my 6 year old, on the school table before I go to bed. This allows me to get some wash started, return emails, or take an extra long time to get ready in the morning. Then when I am awake, we complete the assignments together that need to be done in that way. Sometimes at about 9:30 we hit the park for a break for them and more time for my brain to begin functioning and then return home ready to dig into school. We usually have our school day completed by 2:00.
What used to happen was the kids would wake up around 7 and hit the t.v….then I would come down stairs at about 8:30 or 9:00 ready to go, only to find 3 slugs laying on my couch with bed heads and jammies. It was frustrating for everyone. This year with giving them the chores and morning routine, it keeps them occupied and helps us all begin our day a whole lot calmer. Everyone knows what is expected of them. That is the key.
I try to balance my interaction with them, with independent time. I feel both are super important. I do try and shake up the schedule to keep some variety and interest, but keep it structured enough that they have some expectations to follow. It’s a big fat balancing act for sure. One that almost certainly will never be perfected.
Again I think it’s key to try different things and figure out what works for you. There doesn’t seem to be a right or wrong way to do this and I think it is safe to expect that things will constantly be changing. I have accepted now that it is part of the drill and it has really released a lot of stress from my day.
One thing that has been top priority for me this year is to abort the words HURRY UP from my life. I hate them. If we plan well and stay on top of things, that will allow us plenty of time to get things done and get places we need to be. Then hopefully, those words should be spoken few and far between.