Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Frequently asked Montessori Homeschooling Question Number 13
Q13: I wondered if you would be able to share a typical "school day" schedule at your house? Do you require certain things (chores, dressed, eat breakfast) before they can come to school?
A: Kal-El wakes up around 5:30 or 6. My husband wakes up at 6:15. Me Too wakes up around 6:30 or 7. My husband leaves for work around 7:15 and the boys wake me up as soon after he walks out the door (They either come get me or start fighting. Both are effective.) Kal-El plays quietly anywhere in the house he wishes in the morning until someone else is awake. Once his brother is up they play together. They enjoy a chat with my husband in the morning. He might give them a handful of cereal if that's what he's having. The fridge is always stocked with clementines and the boys can help themselves if they are hungry.
Breakfast is not served until 8:00. It is also not served unless their beds are made. I do not require getting dressed. Pajamas are fine all day unless we are leaving the house. Me Too tends to get dressed and make his bed immediately upon waking. Kal-El almost never gets dressed unless required and has to be reminded to make his bed every morning. When I wake up I clean my room, the bathrooms, throw in a load of laundry, and then cook breakfast. I check my e-mail, the weather, and maybe read a few blogs in the morning while they eat some of their breakfast. Meals are a long-lasting olympic event for the boys and I don't have the patience to sit with them the WHOLE TIME. I join them a little later on. Lately we have been reading the Bible/devotions during the end of breakfast.
After breakfast we do the craft or activity portion of the devotion. We also talk about the calendar. A friend of mine with two boys gave me a great idea this summer. She settles all arguments between the boys according to the date. If it is an "odd" day her oldest child's "day" if it is an "even" day it is her youngest child's "day." If it is your "day" you have to "go first" that day whenever there is a dispute about who should "go first" and you get to "choose first" whenever there is a dispute about who gets to "choose" something. This solved SO MANY problems in our house. We use a toy library system and sometimes they fight about wanting the same toy but don't want to share. Whose day is it? They fight about choosing a television show. Whose day is it? No one wants to be first to get their haircut or get in the bathtub. Whose day is it? This means it is very important to the boys what the date is. Since we have been learning about calendars lately looking at the calendar has become part of our breakfast routine as well.
After breakfast I clean up the kitchen. Often times the boys will find their own way into the school room at this point. In fact, I often get called out of the kitchen because they want me to show them something and then the kitchen NEVER gets cleaned up. All of a sudden we are in the middle of a work session and the kitchen stays as it is. Other times the boys start playing again. I generally start school at 9 a.m. if it hasn't already begun on its own. If it is 9 a.m. and the boys are playing super nicely together I might just wait ten minutes until they inevitably start fighting. Then I can say (when they just as inevitably come to me to tattle) "nevermind, it's time for school anyway." If they are playing nicely on their own I might ring the school bell to get things started. As I mentioned in a different question, I keep an antique school bell in the room on the shelf (it was great for walking the line when they were younger). It is a beautiful way to get things started when they haven't begun on their own. Kal-El has turned the concept of a "school bell" on its head and loves to use the bell to call ME to the school room at random times to show him something.
Occasionally the boys will tire of school on their own after about three hours. Most days they would keep going forever. Four hour work sessions are common here. I take the temperature of the room starting around noon. When I think it is about time I slip out and start making lunch. Lunch begins anytime between noon and 1:00.
After lunch I need some time for my own personal sanity and the boys need some time APART for their own sanity. They choose something from the toy library and play in their own rooms for an hour-and-a-half. This is the time of day I generally put away the load of laundry I did, blog, read blogs, shop online, or Keep up with the Kardashians.
Usually around 3:30 the boys are ready for a snack (we are still working on Halloween candy) and then they practice the violin. Afterwards they might play, wander into the school room, beg me to do chemistry experiments, or watch a TV show. We eat dinner around 5:30. After supper is more of the same.
We start getting the boys ready for sometime between 6:45 and 7:15. They usually go to bed between 7:00 and 7:30. My husband usually puts them to bed. I might be on the computer or cleaning the kitchen during that time. I usually make some kind of material for school EVERY NIGHT. Often times I do it while sitting on the couch with my husband while we watch a movie. Other nights, I might make things for an hour and we both read all night. Sometimes he really wants to watch some hideous man-show so we go our separate ways and do our own thing. I am also known to hit the bookstore to do some reading or go out with my sister. I am also always tearing our house apart and remodeling things.
As for chores, the boys are responsible for getting themselves ready to go places, getting themselves ready for bed, making their beds, clearing the table so we have room to eat meals, clearing their own plates after meals, and storing their own stuff where it belongs. I don't assign other things because we have a standing "help when asked" policy as a membership requirement in the family. They help with lots of things whenever we need them to.
Two things obviously missing from this daily schedule are me exercising and doing housework. It should therefore no surprise that my house is not as clean as it should be and I am not as thin as I should be. It's obvious to me that the answer is to get up at 6:15 when my husband gets up and exercise before he leaves for work...easy to say, hard to do.