Monday, September 16, 2013

Trying to Find Our Groove

We have naturally fallen into a nice school morning routine, everyone has their own time to wake up at their own pace and to get their morning needs taken care of without having to wait on each other. Mornings run pretty smoothly around here, you wouldn't be able to tell this was a new routine for us. After school is another story, in a word chaotic.  We don't get home until 4:30, so that puts us behind on when dinner can be started (I leave at 2:30 to pick up the first kid, so throwing something into the oven before leaving doesn't work). All 3 try to sit and do their homework, but with different study  habits they distract each other and spend more time complaining than getting homework done. Some of their assignments are on the computer, so after struggling to get through homework they argue over who gets to do the assignments on the computer first. I've tried splitting them up, having one on the computer hollering for help while the others are doing homework (and I'm attempting to throw together something for dinner). On top of what is sent home from school they have things to do for me, Easy-Peasy reading lesson, Khan Academy math lesson (or math flash cards with me), spelling/vocab word practice, and handwriting practice. Also I like to get them outside everyday for about an hour just to get some fresh air and run.

 The boys are awesome about getting both the school and mom work done, we just can't seem to  get the timing right this year. We have tried couple different routines, so far nothing has worked well enough to where we're not feeling rushed. So our goal for the week is to figure out an after school routine that will work for everyone.

As if Monday mornings aren't hard enough, I had the pleasure of starting my Monday at 3:36 a.m. (I went to bed at midnight). I just can't seem to catch a break, Jacob hasn't gotten sick at all over the weekend but now Joey's insomnia seems to be kicking in. He did let me doze off and on until about 6:30, when I finally started my day. Through the night when he'd wake me up, I'd work on some different rotations of our routine. I have a couple to try, but I think we may finally have a one that will work for us.

I rely on our routines as much as the boys do. I love for things to be organized and predictable (as organized and predictable as it can be with 3 boys). It's comforting to know that my kids know what needs to be done and have a set plan as how to go about accomplishing it, and to know that all things for that day will get attended to. They like knowing that after doing w, x, y, they can complete z without having to check with mom or have a brother underfoot. By having routine in place they are more independent and aren't following me around asking "when's dinner?" "Can we go outside?" "Who's turn on the computer?", and I can focus on the things I need to do like making the dinner and being available to help each kid one-on-one with any homework questions.

They help me come up with when things need to be done for two reasons 1) When your part of something its easier to claim it as yours. 2) They know what works for them better than anyone else. Example, Jacob likes to get everything done at once and not have to think about it again; whereas Joey needs to break things into smaller tasks and have mini breaks so things don't become overwhelming. (Jordan is fine with waiting to the last possible minute to do what needs to be done.) To help with getting use to the new routine everyone has their own (color-coded) list taped to the wall in the kitchen (I also love lists! I have them for everything!!!)