This is week 3 of the 4 "big" kids being in school. And we are settling into our new routine. I must say it's really great being back on a schedule...especially at bedtime. I love 8:00 bedtime!
This year I've changed things up a bit. Mornings are super hectic when getting 4 kids ready and fed, a toddler who wakes up but shouldn't, and 4 daycare kids being dropped off. This makes for a very hectic 45 minutes, but each day I'm learning new things to do to keep it as smooth as possible. I do as much prep the night before as possible (pack lunches, set clothes out, shoes by the door, agendas signed and backpacks all ready). I have started waking them up about 5 minutes earlier so I can get them started before my first child arrives at 6:30. I give them 2 choices for breakfast and then they each have a few responsibilities to take care of before the bus arrives around 7. Jenna has it a little easier since her bus doesn't come until 7:45 so she usually writes and listens to her IPod for a little peace and quiet.
Afternoons have been changed dramatically. I let the boys come home and play and have snack for about an hour and a half before starting our "quiet time". Around 4:00 the daycare kids start going home and all are gone by 4:30. So during this time I am prepping dinner, cleaning up, and preparing for the next day while I have the boys sitting getting homework done. This way we can put on some quiet music and I can be available for homework help. If they do not have homework or finish early then they are allowed to leave the table and find a comfortable place to read a book. This quiet time usually last 30 min. to an hour. With the exception of Chase everyone is taking to it very well. I am trying to find quiet things for him to do that will hold his attention so he leaves the big kids alone and they aren't whining at me telling me they can't concentrate. This has been great because we can eat around 5/5:30 and then begin our evening activities. This week baseball starts for 3of them so this schedule will be very important to make sure all hw and reading is done.
And then baths/showers and I begin clean up and prep for the next day so we can do it all over again.
So what's your school year schedule? Any tips on more exciting lunches? And more importantly what do you do with your toddler to keep him quiet while the others are working?