We’ve been back in school (Flying Butler Academy) for two weeks now, and have settled into a routine. Every year I create a basic schedule for the day, and this year I decided to try something different- splitting the school day up into sections. Other than the fact that we don’t start anywhere near the time I have on the schedule (I based it on the girls getting up at 7, and they’ve been getting up closer to 7:30), we’ve been staying close to it, and it’s been working well.
I get up around 6:45 and take a shower and get dressed. Things really go so much better if I’m up before the girls are. Some days, remembering that is the only thing that keeps me from going back to sleep. I check my email and Facebook and look over my to do lists, and basically get my brain in properly.
The girls get up between 7-7:30 and have breakfast and get dressed. I put in a load of laundry now.
First we have our “Inspiration Hour”, which does not take an hour. We say our pledge (“Butler, butler, flying butler!), read scriptures, and do one of the following- artist study (this month is Van Gogh), composer study (we’re learning about the orchestra), or Shakespeare (intro to his life and times). This takes anywhere between 15 minutes and 1/2 hr., and then we take a break. When the girls finish a school segment, they get to put stickers on a sheet they have to track their assignments for the week. At the end of the week, if they have all of their stickers, they get to put a big sticker on the page. Last week, when they got their big sticker, they decided that they needed to give speeches.
Tiny pretended to cry as she thanked all the little people. It was hilarious.
During the break, the girls play a little, and I hang out the laundry to dry and start cleaning. For 1/2 hr we tackle a room of the house. The girls have jobs to do in the room (for which they can earn money), and I clean the rest.
Then we get back to lessons and do spelling, social studies/geography, and math. This takes about an hour, then we take another break for about 15 minutes.
When we come back from the break, we do Language Lab, which consists of grammar, writing, and handwriting. It takes about 20 minutes. By this time it’s around 11, and the girls are free until after lunch. We eat around 12.
After lunch, we do Special Subjects, which is Life Skills on two days of the week, and science on two. (On Mondays we don’t have Special Subjects because the girls have Japanese class in the evening.) This takes about 15 minutes.
At this point, we’re done with school. We have the rest of the day for the girls to play and for me to get things done. On days that we are going to go out and go somewhere, we can fit in a grocery trip before lunch, or we can take out some of the breaks in the early parts of the day and move Language Lab and Special Subjects to later in the afternoon. Then we can go out around 10 and have until around 2 to be out and about.
We go a big grocery shop once a week, and stop by the bakery to get bread 3 or 4 times a week. My parents are here with us for a couple months, so once or twice a week we go out to see sights around Tokyo.
On Fridays after school is over, I prep for the next week- replacing the girls’ finished assignment sticker sheets with new ones, cutting out anything that needs to be cut out for art or music or geography, and making sure I have any supplies that we’ll need for science. I also make notes about what we did that week for my school records.
I start making dinner for the girls around 4:45 and they eat at 5. (My parents and I eat with B when he gets home around 6:45.) They take a shower after dinner and then are free again until 6:30 when it’s reading time. They read to themselves for 1/2 an hour, and then I read to them from 7-7:30 when it’s bed time.
I’m liking this schedule because school isn’t rushed, and we still have time to fit in everything. Last year I always felt like I was rushing to get through school or leaving the room to move laundry or something (and then the girls would start daydreaming and I’d get frustrated), and none of us had very much fun. But with the breaks scheduled in, I know I’ll have time to get the laundry moved and still give my full attention to spelling, or whatever subject we’re doing. There is still complaining, (Tiny this morning: “I don’t want to do math! It’s easy and I can do it fast but I JUST DON’T WANT TO!”) but there’s less of it and we’re all enjoying ourselves more.
Random tip for the day- if your kids need to learn the countries/continents/oceans of the world and are aural learners, I highly recommend Geography Songsby Kathy Troxel. They are RIDICULOUSLY catchy, but not obnoxious, and within 3 listens your kids will be singing, “The continent of Asia has Hong Kong in China, Taiwan, Macao and Japan, and Mongolia. North Korea and South Korea are in this beautiful laaaaand.” over and over and over and over and over again.
Apparently she also has a states and capitals album and one about grammar, along with albums for addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts. But not division. No songs about division for you. The math songs don’t sound as strong as the others, but I’m going to try the multiplication songs and I’ll report back.
Time for lunch!