I was supposed to be on a schedule by now. I started the week with high hopes and my alarm set. My long term goal is 6:45, but as an interim step, I set my alarm for 7:15.
Monday morning came and the alarm sounded. I promptly hit snooze a time or two, but I was out of bed at 7:45. Not great, but not terrible. Monday proceeded decently. School happened.
Olivia was up sick on Monday night/Tuesday morning and I blew through my alarm and slept until 9am. I worked with Olivia on her subjects, but I have no idea what Grace did except not school. She had a doctor's appointment and that was the end of that day.
On Wednesday, we had a bank appointment in the morning and school was shot for the day. I did get a bunch of discount meat on sale at the grocery. Yay.
On Thursday, we had a friend over and school was shot for the day.
On Friday, the girls went to Grandma's and school was shot for the day.
We need more structure for schooling. I need to know what we are going to do before the day starts instead of just flying by the seats of our pants everyday. If I have to make them wait on me, I lose them. Sometimes they leave mentally. Sometimes I turn around and they are out playing in the street. Read-alouds have fallen right out of the day. I want to print out activities for them, but by the time I get to the computer with the printer, Marian is usually napping. The printer is right next to where she sleeps and there is not an option to move anything. Getting upstairs is harder than I thought it would be. I need to have everything printed before the day starts. I guess I should do a mass printing over the weekend to be ready for the entire week. That means I need to figure out where to keep this stuff until they need it. I need to carve out school planning time.
I have not moved forward at all in the kitchen project since I burned the skin off my hands a week ago. Not because I am waiting for my hands to heal, they are just fine. I still need to clean the stove and the closet under the stairs and the pantry. But somehow the times I think I am going to move on in the kitchen just don't seem to happen. I have achieved the level of keeping the sink and countertops relatively clean and clear, but can't seem to move to the next level yet. The kitchen floor is tragic.
I have not taken over the meal planning or cooking yet. This needs to happen. Like this weekend. I cannot function when I have to decide what to make on the spot. I need to know ahead of time otherwise we will eat spaghetti sauce out of a jar every night of the week. This means I have to carve out time to meal plan.
Laundry is behind. I have figured that two loads a day all week keeps us up-to-date with the laundry and yet I am behind on the laundry.
The alarm is helping me get out of bed before 8am, but I still haven't gotten up as early as I would like. Mostly because I am not going to bed early enough. Because? Because I am awake at night and nothing is making me go to bed. I don't think anything will ever change me feeling energetic at night and stupefied in the morning. I move so slowly in the morning. I putter around, barely thinking, and do the things that must be done, and then, before I know it, it's lunch time. It seems like as soon as I get finished with all the things that have to be done, it is time to cook another blasted meal and everything gets paused for two hours.
I have sketched out a rough draft of a schedule that I need to refine and finalize and print on card stock. Card stock means I am serious. Right? We must find a rhythm to our days. And, like it or not, I am the one who must set the tempo.
I feel like I have been dropped into a compressed timeline where regular people would have had years to develop a routine and rhythm and coping skills. I am simultaneously trying to learn to efficiently keep house and clean and manage four children and manage myself without a dictated schedule and learn how to cook and homeschool two kids at once. I don't really have years to learn this. It has to happen relatively quickly. I know it is unreasonable to expect to be an expert a month into it, but right now I am flailing.
Take a deep breath. No one expects you to figure it all out after one month.
You are probably right that you need school planning time. Make that time first: a block of time with children occupied, or if necessary, sleeping. Create a short block of planned school time (20 min reading, plus a math page?) and slowly expand outward as you develop the expectation that this block will happen every day.
Or start reading about how great unschooling can be. It'll help you feel that all is not lost just because you weren't organized for a few months.
Oh, on the meal planning thing? Maybe try making a one-week menu that you can live with for a little while and just repeat it? At least in my house, this year, Tuesday lunch is frozen pizza, Wednesday lunch is bagels and cream cheese, and Friday lunch is quesadillas. Sunday dinner is cheese and crackers and cut veggies, Monday is chili by default, Tuesday is eat the leftovers, Wednesday is shop and bring a rotisserie chicken or some other ready-to-eat thing from the store, and Saturday a kid makes dinner. So there aren't many "different" meals
i have to plan, you know?
A lot of my frustration comes from the fact that I long planned for this first full week in October to be the start of real school instead of loosey-goosey whatever. And then the week arrived and we spent most of the week out of the house and I wasn't even prepped for it.
I think I will develop a default meal plan. So I don't have to think about it.
When I home schooled, in the 80s and 90s for about 10 years, fortunately, there were no blogs out there to intimidate me.
I decided that they really needed to read well and to like reading and mathematics and to be able to jump back into math classes when they went to a regular school.
I gave the two home schooling children a list of math activities to do each day (listed in a paper binder, a math one for each and a reading one for each) and we did reading together and a few reading-type activities that they worked on and then talked to me about. They had answer keys for math and could tell me what they needed help on. We lived behind the library and we could get books easily to follow their interests.
We had religion classes in our parish. I paid an art teacher friend to give them art lessons. We paid for music lessons. We belonged to swim teams and local sports teams. Two other children were in public school.
Sometimes, when my husband had a day trip for work to Washington, DC, we would be dropped off at a subway station and go to whatever museum interested us.
I think it would be worrisome and guilt-inducing to have all the blogs that make what other families are doing seem so impressive.
I hope my simple way of managing can help you in some way.
All four of our children have had ups and downs but would be considered successful in the eyes of the community.
I dunno, comments of 'it's so easy, here's what I did' and scrounging the funding for all that extra stuff would be intimidating for me. If I intimidated well. Which I don't.
Your first year is going to be nuts, Jenny. Embrace it.
Another thought: I *plan* to eat leftovers every other night--so I only cook every other night. I'm homeschooling 4 (K, 2nd, 4th, 4th) and have 2 younger (2.5 and 7 months), and my window of afternoon-productive-time overlaps with piano practice and bath time for all the bigs, so I can *either* cook *or* do something like vacuum. I find it makes me a lot happier to only need to cook every-other-day, and no one complains about eating leftovers. Anyway, just another meal-planning thought.
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