It's quite simple, really.
But, since it would require change from me, I was blind to it before today. Well, I probably wasn't really blind to it, persay, more like "selective sight".
What was this grand light bulb that went off today? Ready for it? Here it is:
The path to a (near) perfect school day starts with Momma. It starts with me not turning the computer on at all until school is over. It starts with me getting up at 6:30 and focusing on me before the girls are even up. It starts with me being fully planned and prepared.
I think the number one key in the above statement has to do with the computer! I've written out plenty of schedules that all include the same stuff, but I've always had my tea with the computer. Like "back in the day" when parents would drink coffee with the morning paper. I had my tea with the morning computer ~ email, blogs, facebook, etc. The problem with that formula is that, while it was very enjoyable for me, I couldn't stick to any schedule when I did it that way. Why? Well, because I spent entirely too long on the computer, of course. It's crazy how quickly this little thing can eat up your time. I know you know what I'm talking about! You're reading this, so I know you have the same habits! :=) It's all good. I just had to make a shift in focus, in priority for my morning. And, I'm here to tell you that it worked! And, it worked beautifully.
So, would you like to know how that "perfect" day went? If you could care less, skip this. But, I know when I was starting out homeschooling (or even now when I come across a blog of a Momma that really seems to have it together) I always loved to see what actually happens in other people's homes. As a guide. Do not, I repeat, Do Not allow yourself to get sucked into comparing yourself and your day to the people you read about on the computer! Remember that if you really were a fly on the wall in your favorite blog's home, you'd be surprised to see that not all days look like the pretty blog she has put together! Comparing ourselves to other Mommas gets us nowhere but down!
Anyhoo ... here was our day. I may need to record this for my own future use since it worked out so well. LOL
Momma had tea & took out the recycling
Wrote out the day's plan onto the white board
Placed all needed materials in the girls boxes
Kids still sleeping
(planned to do this by 7:00, but you know how that goes)
Momma worked out (30 minuted DVD)
Kids still sleeping
Momma ate breakfast
Momma cleaned up the kitchen
Momma started a load of laundry
Kids started to wake up, but didn't come out yet
Girls got dressed, made their beds, etc.
I made my bed and we headed out for our walk
We all three took the dog for a walk around our neighborhood
Momma took a shower and brushed her teeth, got dressed
Girls ate breakfast and fed and watered all three animals
** I think it was about 10:00 when we finally got started. I'd planned on 9:30, but it all worked out. From here on out, I'll just put the 15 minute increments ... Of course we always go over a minute or two and someone has to pee, so really 20 minutes needs to be allowed for each "chunk". And, as always, we started with a prayer to God for patience and perseverance and for a good day. Truly, our days ALWAYS go better when we pray first! Amazing how that works ...
The Hippie The Princess
Copywork Reading lesson with Mom (15)
Math with Mom Handwriting Practice (15)
2 pages Phonics
Reading Literature Aloud ~ The Hippie read the first story to us both (15)
Math workbook Mosaic Letter "C" (15)
Together ~ Read poem "A Comparison" by John Farrar
Recalled last week's story about the Apple Blossoms (30)
Cut into an apple to see its "blossom"
Drew the apple half and its blossom into our Nature Notebooks
Ate the apple pieces (with peanut butter) for snack
Together ~ Made story characters out of Sculpy
** The Hippie made the Wolf from the story about St. Francis
taming the wolf
** The Princess made the Sly Fox and one of the 3 pigs
** By now it was 12:30 pm ... they had an hour to go play before lunch at 1:30, read aloud at 2:00 (from Rudyard Kipling's "Just So Stories") and nap/quiet time at 2:30 ...
I continue to try to figure out that "perfect" schedule. And, I continue to fail. But, today, it all just fell into place. I really, truly believe the keys were two things:
1) My not turning the computer on at all until the girls were working with the Sculpy (gotta have music in the background)
2) Taking our walk before breakfast so that they could eat and do chores while I was in the shower rather than wait around for me
We'll see how it goes next time. I know what I have to do now. Ignore the impulse to "check the computer" every time I'm waiting on one of them. I'll have to train myself to do a dish or fold a towel or something instead. :=)