It’s the start of another school year for us, and I apologize for not getting this out sooner.
This year, however, we have a more complicated schedule as three of our children are being homeschooled (The Eldest, Child #4, and Child #5), two of our children are attending a Catholic Montessori grade school (The Twins), and the other two (Child #6 and the Baby) are just. plain. busy.
So, how do I manage it all?
With a good schedule and a lot of grace. (And coffee, of course.)
Our New Schedule
Some of you may be curious as to how my day now looks, so I’ll break it down.* Maybe you’ll glean an idea or two that might work for you. Maybe not. All families are different and have different needs, after all.
Wake-up! My husband and I still pray the Morning Office and end with about twenty or so minutes of silent prayer. The three oldest children set their watch alarms and join us at 6:30 for a few minutes of their own silent prayer. This time ends at 6:40 when the coffee maker beeps to signal that it’s ready for us, at which point I run for the kitchen and thankfully pour myself a big mug full.
The older children commence Early Morning School, which consists of math facts, Latin, or handwriting. The Eldest, however, does Saxon Math with my husband.
The only thing different about this time is that the two children attending the Montessori school must practice their piano in the morning, after their school work. They only put in fifteen minutes each, but this is important because after being confined in school all day, who would want to sit down at a piano when getting home later on? Not these boys.
While the older children are working on things that do not require my help, I sneak in a few minutes of computer time and then get ready for the day.
My husband and The Twins leave. The rest of us eat breakfast and commence Morning Time. This looks pretty much the same as it did last winter. While the children eat breakfast, I read the Mass readings and then we recite our poetry.
Right now The Eldest is back to working on a Shakespearian soliloquy, Hamlet’s “To Be or Not to Be.” We had started this one earlier in the year, but had to take a break to memorize The Destruction of Sennacherib by Lord Byron for a program she’s involved with called. Catholic Schoolhouse.
Catholic Schoolhouse is a group of students who meet once a week and do some really awesome stuff. (How’s that for an explanation?)
The little children are working on the Ten Commandments and the 46 books of the Old Testament. A few years ago I came up with a jingle for it, to the tune of Jingle Bells. It’s linked it below. (It’s certainly not professional, as I simply sat down one day and recorded with talking babies and banging toddlers in the background.) Feel free to use it, if it’s helpful.
You’ll notice that the first five books – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy – are missing. That’s because the children already know them in order, as the law books. You might also notice that I moved 1 & 2 Maccabees to follow the history books. I wanted to impress upon the children the 4 kinds of books in the Old Testament: Law, History, Wisdom, and Prophetic. As a former teacher of the Old Testament, I found it helpful to be able to distinguish between the different kinds of writing. All the other books are in order, however.
After breakfast clean-up and piano, it’s time for Mid-Morning Prayer. I moved this time up a bit, because it seemed to flow a little better with the baby’s schedule. Remember, during all this busyness, I’m somehow nursing and caring for a baby and a 2-year-old.
During this time, we’re singing two hymns and learning a new prayer penned by St. Therese. We finish this time together with a review of all our Latin vocabulary.
The Eldest works on her Latin from Classical Academic Press. Child #4 does Math and Spelling. Child #5 sits down with me, and we learn to read.
Lunch time! This year I have to have a longer stretch of time here because The Eldest participates in an online class on writing through Schole Academy twice a week, which happens to be during lunch. But this class has been wonderful for two reasons: 1. She loves it, and 2. I don’t have to do a single thing for writing and rhetoric anymore.
During lunch we still listen to audio books from Audible. Currently we’re enjoying Tan’s The Story of Civilization Volume 1, as we’re studying the Ancient World in history.
And that’s enough for today!
*Care to see how my day looked last winter? Click on “A Day in the Life Series” in my tag cloud on the right.