A partial week, anyway, and only a partial schedule. Many years have taught me that it doesn't pay to go from zero to one hundred percent overnight. I won't start up with my co-schooling partner till September 14th, so till then we'll work three days a week; and this week, we are only covering some of our subjects.
Yesterday (Tuesday) we began by practicing waking up on time. Everyone out of bed by eight-thirty. That was hard for some of us.
And then, eating breakfast. New thing we are trying this year: My daughter-who-can't-face-food-till-later officially has permission to skip regular breakfast and get herself a snacky breakfast later in the morning. She has a limited set of things to choose from, though, because if you're going to choose to eat in the middle of the morning, I want you to do it quickly and get it cleaned up. She can have Uncrustables, cold cereal, a packet of instant oatmeal, yogurt, or one of her best-beloved snacks, a mini-can of tuna. So far, so good.
The first school-thing I do in the morning is set up checklists for the 9yo and the 11yo. On the first day they only had a couple of things: take a math test to see how much they needed to review, read for 25 minutes (9yo: Witch of Blackbird Pond; 11yo: Lord of the Flies -- hey, he liked Hunger Games, so why not?), and meet me for 30 minutes to discuss the Acts of the Apostles, which we're going to study together this year. Today was similar, except for math review instead of a test, and no Bible study. Instead I gave them each an "extra" -- the 9yo was to spend time playing the recorder, the 11yo to spend time working through a drawing lesson from a book.
My high school sophomore sat down with me to work on precalculus. I won't be able to do a full lecture for him this hear, but I can spend ten minutes or so previewing each of the upcoming lessons. We are using an older Dolciani book, Introductory Analysis, which starts out pretty straightforwardly with set theory and logic. It's the perfect sort of book for us because it has all the odd-numbered answers in the back, meaning I can assign the odd problems and he can check them himself, and then I can use the even problems to see how he is doing. Four lessons per week.
This year, I have finally been pushed by time constraints to a set weekly lunch menu. Tuesday will be pizza and fruit. Wednesday will be bagels and cream cheese with cucumber slices. Friday will be either quesadillas, or (if I happen to have leftover pasta) macaroni and cheese. I will continue to rotate through this until the kids stage a hunger strike.
(Monday and Thursday are co-schooling days, so that menu is a little more variable. H often makes salmon cake, and I often make spaghetti and meatballs, so let's just say that'll be the default menu.)
The most fun part of my week was working with my brand-new kindergartener, who is excited to have his own school desk right next to my easy chair.
I didn't make him get out of his pajamas, which suited him just fine. Whereas all the other kids are ramping up slowly, I started right away with the full schedule for this 5yo.
It feels marvelous to him. He has never had so much one-on-one time with me. Ninety minutes every day! A math lesson with a real worksheet! (He took it so seriously, and colored his squares so carefully, telling me all the while how he was working very hard to color very neatly.) A pre-writing exercise with a dry erase marker! Practice reading words! And -- this never happens -- half an hour to cuddle in my lap and listen to stories.
We shall see how long the novelty lasts... but for now, it feels good to work with him.
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Tonight: date night at the cheap family restaurant around the corner, thanks to a gift certificate from a friend!