Bambini Homeschool 7: Getting Ready for Adventure
What do you do all day? The longer my kids are home with me, the more I seem to get asked this question. There are a million different ways to teach preschool. A million ways to be a stay at home parent. A million ways to be a parent in general. I don't have all the answers for everyone, but I know what works for us. I thought I would share what we do by breaking down the parts of our day and focus on one each week. Today I'm sharing about our early mornings.
7:00-9:00AM Getting Ready for Adventures
Our mornings begin with singing and chatter. Always. Both of my kids have inherited a mysterious morning gene that neither my husband nor I possess. They wake up singing and talking, first to themselves and then this trickles into the hallway where they start planning their day. I usually wake up when Nick leaves for work (way too early) and read emails, look at Instagram pics, do some yoga, and sneak in a shower before they are awake. Not being a morning person myself, I've found giving myself this time to wake up before they are up is crucial to my overall morning mood. Once they are up, their jobs are to;
*attempt to be quiet
*use the bathroom
*put their pajamas in the washing machine
One of my top tips for getting your kids out of the house on time is getting dressed before breakfast. We have what are declared "stay home" days when someone is sick or just every now and then for fun, when pajamas are an option and our routines are more loose, but in general getting dressed is a condition of joining everyone for breakfast. It is just what comes first in our house.
Then we move to the kitchen. I do a few chores (start a load of laundry, open curtains, etc) and start making breakfast. While I'm doing that, our twins are responsible for:
*unloading the dishwasher (except for sharp things)
*setting the table
*then they usually help make breakfast
*watering their plants will get added to this list once we plant more.
Our breakfasts are usually uncomplicated. Smoothies are our number one go-to, especially on days when we're trying to get somewhere. We also have simple things like cereal and bagels. Since our twins and I are all huge fans of baking, one morning a week we usually bake something together. This week we made muffins.
Art is often a part of our mornings. A couple mornings a week we use our journals and other mornings a simple prompt is at the table. We do this either while we are waiting for things to bake or cook or while we are eating.
During breakfast we have our morning meeting. This is informal. Even when they were babies I talked to them about our plan for the day. I have vivid memories of my son when he was about 13 months old looking at me questioningly at breakfast and saying "plan." These meetings include:
*Weather: right now this is an informal discussion that involves practical things like looking out the window at the sky and looking at the forecast on my phone together.
*Calendar: we started using the one pictured made for us by Wisconsin friends in January. We are working on the months, days of the week, numbers, and checking the calendar for important events. This month we are also working on patterns as we cross off each day.
*Plan for the Day: We talk about where we are going and related topics (such as what books they want to look for at the library or what we might find on our nature hike) and things we all want to do today. We usually write these plans down.
*Read a Book. We read books all the time. That is likely going to be the most repeated activity throughout these posts about our days, but I think it is the most important. I have no doubt that their language skills, appreciation of books, creative storytelling, and my daughter's awesome (and hilarious) habit of narrating her activities are from these daily readings. I usually pick the book(s) at breakfast. Sometimes they are related to something we are going to do, sometimes they are just fun, sometimes they are from our Author Study basket, sometimes it is a collection of poems. Right now we are reading this lovely series by Cynthia Rylant and we're all a little hooked so it was the primary choice this week.
When everyone is done with breakfast, then we get ready to leave the house. I tidy up the eating area and make sure I have everything I need for wherever we are going. They are responsible for:
*Bringing their dishes to the dishwasher.
*Taking a toilet try.
*Putting on their shoes (and coat if needed)
*Helping gather anything they need (ie. library books, swim suits, etc)
Then we are ready for adventure!
9:00-11:30 Morning Adventures
11:30-1:00 Lunch + Group Time
1:00-3:00 Nap + Quiet Time
3:00-3:30 Snack + Table Invitation
3:30-5:30 Play Time
5:30 Daddy's Home + Family Time Begins
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