Friday, July 23, 2010
Our "Pre"School Day
Today is what we are calling our official first day of the new school year. I got the idea from reading Managers of Their Schools so this isn't original with me. I loved the concept and decided to make it work for our family. I began planning this in my head months ago. When I finally set a date for the start of school, my mind went to work.
Underdog gave me the weekend last week to get all my planning done for the year. Now, to be honest, I didn't fully finish it. Being new to the textbook realm as well as new to using a program for planning school, I didn't want to schedule all our work and then have to change everything if I messed up. So only some of our subjects are planned out for the full year. Others have only been given direction for six or 12 weeks. We also ended up making changes in a few areas so I had to figure out how to make those work with a day that is schedule more around textbooks. But I spent my weekend getting as much done as possible and felt such a weight off my shoulders.
The rest of the week was dedicated to getting school ready for my preschoolers. I have already discussed how I don't like to do preschool with my kids BUT they pretty much demanded it of me. I nearly had a mutiny on my hands this afternoon when my 3 yod thought we wasn't going to be included in our "school" day.
So what did I first day of school look like? I will have to use words because we were so busy today we forgot to the take pictures.
We got a late start to our day this morning and I was a bit flustered. I try to follow the ideas of Managers of Their Homes with the schedule BUT I have found I do much better with a routine type schedule than having it done hour by hour. The only part of our day that must stay in line with the time is the early morning. We weren't there though. It hit me later, however, that this was Friday. Once school gets started our Friday will be different so we don't have to be as strict with the morning schedule as we do the rest of the week. That helped me relaxed and I started having more fun.
JB is in charge of breakfast and this morning she came up with the greatest idea. It's based on a recipe that I got off 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray. The recipe is called "Green Eggs & Ham." JB decided it would be fun to take our sausage and fill up muffin tins with it. Then we added a small pat of butter and then cracked a whole egg on top of it all. Then we baked it for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. It was awesome. She's officially named her new breakfast "Sausage & Egg Muffins." Having the muffins bake for 15 minutes allowed us to get started with the next step in the day: cleaning.
Fridays are going to be our House Blessing days. I got the idea from Fly Lady (what little I used from her.) We simply dust, vacuum, and a few other odd jobs around the house. Everyone gets involved, including the toddlers. We had enough time to tag team the downstairs before breakfast was ready. We ate and then moved upstairs to finish. Now, normally I would be fully involved in the cleaning but I realized that I forgot to finish putting my books on hold with the library. So, my kids finished everything out and I got the books placed on hold. We were finished by 9:30am.
Once we finished cleaning we come to the central purpose of the "pre"school day. . .meetings with mom. These are individual meetings with mom to go over their new curriculum, give out school supplies, and discuss the daily schedule along with mom's expectations. Again, this came from Managers for Their Schools. Once we finished with the assignments, we sat down to talk about their concerns for the year. Some of them had more than others. I wrote these down to share with dad later on. And then I prayed over them and for their school year. This was, by far my favorite part of the day. I think next year I will have a special scripture picked out for them that I will use to pray over them throughout the year. I thought of that idea too late this morning.
We continued our day with our typical lunch and naps. Normally, our afternoon consist of everyone but the babies reading for 30 minutes and then playing quietly alone for 45 minutes. After that I do read alouds. But, because of what I had planned the rest of the day, I needed my 3 yod to take a nap today. So I decided to take my reading book into his room and "help" him go to sleep. I was doing well until I decided to get on another bed to read. I ended up napping with him. It felt so good to get a nap in. I have been fighting with a pinched nerve in my shoulder for over a week now. Between that and getting ready for school, I think I was pretty tired. I woke up to a 9 yod trying to get his swim stuff ready without waking the two of us up.
The next part of the day was going to be dedicated to just having fun as a family. We all got our swim suits on and headed to a really fun pool in another city near ours. They have a slide and very cool wading pool for the littles to play in. When we arrived there, it was nearly deserted. After investigating we found out that there had been thunder. Federal law states that when there is thunder and lightening, a public swimming pools must close down for 30 minutes. It can then re-open if there has been no further activity. There was about 15 minutes left on the shut down so we hit the nearby park until they opened. Once they opened up again, we got in and got in the water quickly. Dad and mom each took a turn taking a dip in the big pool and then returned to be with the littles. The bigs all got to go down the slide a few times. Then the thunder came again. By the time they re-opened after this closing it would be time for us to leave. So with much disappointment, we headed home. The plan from that point was to pick up pizza for dinner. The pizza along with a movie would pretty much conclude the "pre" school/family fun day.
It's been several years since I have been this excited about starting a new school year. With the arrival of baby after baby, I just seemed permanently burned out. God has been gracious though. He has allowed Leeli's timing to fit perfectly into how we seem to function as a family. It usually takes about 12 weeks for fully adjust to our new little life. We will get to 12 weeks the 2nd week of school. And it truly does feel like we're finding normal.
This has been such a great day. I think we'll be doing this every year from now on.