I did get the idea of slowly easing into the new year from some veteran homeschool moms at the WTM boards. It has worked well and now I'm glad to see that we are in full swing! I must admit that our days are COMPLETELY full and I miss the more laid back days of kindergarten.
Today I was able to fully implement some changes I have made to our schedule. Previously, I had been starting school at 9am. I have found, however, that the kids are done with breakfast and chores by 8am. Morning is when they are fresh and happy, so I decided to start school at 8:30am at the latest. Today, we were up and doing our lessons by 8am!
Other changes that are making a big difference:
- Starting school with devotions and religion lessons. This seems to get us more focused and the kids are more compliant knowing that all good works are for Him.
- Implementing a "recess" after snack time at 10am. The kids get to run around outside and play until 10:30...and I get to ring a bell to bring them back in!! It's a great way to make sure they get some morning exercise in.
- Start lunch at exactly 12noon. My kids are like clockwork when it comes to eating and having lunch on the table at noon saves me from major whining.
- Start quiet time and nap time at 12:30pm. Having 30 minutes of free time before quiet/nap time usually just wakes the kids up more. This overcomes the obstacle of getting them to wind down.
- Use our Time Tracker for quiet time. Isabella usually spends quiet time asking every 5 minutes if it is over. The solution? Use our Time Tracker to let her know when her time is up (we usually just use it for piano and free time).
- Alternate helper days. The kids are always fighting over who gets to help with dinner. I've now scheduled days for them to help. Marco gets Monday and Wednesday; Isabella gets Tuesday and Thursday.