7:30am My alarm goes off and I silence it quickly. I want time alone, so I most definitely do not want the kids awake yet. I let the dog out and curl up on the couch for some Bible reading and quiet time.
8:00 My husband's alarm goes off and he gets ready and leaves for work. The kids are starting to awaken and head to the kitchen for breakfast.
8:30 At this point, I awaken everyone who isn't already up. Breakfast is followed by "chores". Everyone is expected to be dressed, groomed, and complete their assigned chore (feeding the dog, wiping the table, etc) by school time.
9:05 School is supposed to start at 9. So by now I am circling through the house, repeating, "Hurry up. Are your chores done? School is starting NOW."
9:10 Everyone meets in the living room with their Bible and we start our Circle Time. This involves Bible reading, memorization, hymn singing, ASL, and other such matters.
9:30 After Circle Time, everyone grabs their basket and meets at the table. They each have their own "schedule" and get started with little fanfare. This day, Daniel needs his pencil sharpened and Abbie dumps her basket as she tries to climb into her chair without setting the basket down first. These are minor bumps that I smooth and we go on. This part of the school day is probably the most stressful for me. It's my job to keep everyone moving forward while I help with math questions, listen to the little ones read out loud, teach spelling, Latin, Grammar, and iron out technology issues. This is the part of the day where crankiness can flare quickly and send the rhythm of the day up in flames. The most powerful weapon in my arsenal is "free time". Any child who has finished a block of work quickly enough that he/she must wait on another child to complete his/her next item on the schedule is given the chance to go outside and play until Mom or the computer or keyboard is available to them. Not only does this motivate the child who could possibly gain free time, it also motivates them to keep others from getting free time. Kaytie won't dawdle over her typing if she knows Nate is outside because he is waiting on her to finish. She wants him working just as hard as she is, so she stays focused!
11:30 - 11:45 By this point, Daniel and Abbie are finished with all their work and are outside or in their rooms (their choice) amusing themselves. I often have to remind them not to be noisy and distracting in the dining room as I teach Kaytie and Nate spelling or Latin (depending on the day) and we read through Who Am I?
12:00 Kaytie and Nate are finished by now, and the dining room is cleaned up. I start fixing lunch and whoever so desires helps me. Our lunches are usually pretty low key: sandwiches, bagel-pizzas, bean burritos. We go for quick and easy, but we like variety, so I menu-plan our lunches right along with dinners.
1:00 Lunch has been eaten and cleared away. The kids have "quiet time" in their rooms. This means, basically, "Don't be loud. Don't fight. And most of all, Don't Ask Mommy Any Questions." I Facebook, blog, or read a book. ((peaceful sigh))
2:00 The kids meet me back in the living room and I read aloud from our current history book. Then we do all of our "fun" school: science, geography, Spanish, P.E., and art. Then Daniel and Abbie go off to play and I walk Kaytie and Nate through their Grammar lesson.
4:00 Our schedule goes to 3:15, but we have yet to actually finish that soon. It's much more likely to be four or past by the time the last child finishes their last project and clears off the table. Once school is completed, the kids have a snack. Then everyone amuses themselves while I do some housework and try to mentally recover from another school day.
6:30 I start supper (on a good mental health day, but let's not talk about that, ok?) and usually the kids are standing in line for helping assignments.
7:00 When Daddy comes home, we eat and the kids help clean the table. Then the kids play, show off for Dad, or, if it's cool enough, we walk to the park.
8:30 The kids pick up their toys.
9:00 If they are finished picking up, they get Wii time. Then they brush teeth/ put on pjs/ etc. and head to bed. They are allowed to read in bed because some of them need less sleep than you would think for people of their ages. Some of them seem to need less sleep than I do. But I want them in bed anyway on the theory that they are more likely to get the sleep they need if they are actually lying down than if they were up running around.
11:30 This is my bed time! :)