Monday, August 8, 2011

Last Minutes Planning and Preparing

Hard to believe but the summer is gone. We start school this week - we are waiting until Thursday so we can ease into a routine. I have worked like crazy getting stuff ready. My house is clean, the laundry room is organized (I know, totally unrelated to school but I needed this done for myself), the art table is ready to go and the school lesson plans are done through November.

I still have a couple of things to do this week:
1. Lots of laminating (some BCC stuff and some school stuff) - this is actually almost done. I will finish it tonight.

2. I am doing some Montessori stuff with Daphne - I just need to decide how to display her activities and what to do when she is finished with her school time. I want her "school time" and her play time to be separate so I may just have to clean all her stuff up everyday. Not sure how I feel about this but I don't know what else to do. I am open to suggestions.

3. Our meals are planned for the next 10 days or so and most of my grocery shopping is done. I will just need to go to the produce stand at the end of the week for more fruits and veggies.

4. I need to try to put together some sort of schedule for myself when it comes to housekeeping and cooking. I would love to have 2 days a week that we do either a crock pot meal or something that is made ahead in the freezer. I need a weekend to cook, though. Maybe I can convince my sister to cook ahead with me. She is really good at that! My goal this year is to not obsess about my house. Yes, I want it clean and picked up but it doesn't have to be perfect AND the girls can help. We have tried chore charts in the past and for some reason as much as charts and list work for me - we couldn't be consistent about it with the girls. I am still thinking about that. They have been great about helping with some things this summer - folding laundry, sweeping the kitchen, emptying the dishwasher, and making beds - so I hope to just keep that up for now and figure out a schedule later.

5. Today I worked on snacks. We have never done a morning snack - unless we were out somewhere. The girls don't usually eat until 7:30 and we would eat lunch between 11 and 11:30 and then they would have a snack around 3ish. However, with Lucy in kindergarten now, our schedule needs to be a little different. Lucy shuts down around 2:00 in the afternoon. She doesn't nap - but she NEEDS time away from everyone else. We joke (not to her, but between ourselves) that she shuts down physically, mentally and morally. If she doesn't regularly have that time to rest/relax by herself, she forgets all the rules/values that she has been taught and just acts on impulse. That being said, she needs to be done with school work by lunch time. I know that some kids her age still go half day, but when I am teaching both girls different things,
some things may take longer and she will have breaks during her morning while I work with Norah. My plan is to have a schedule snack time for each of them. While I work with Norah on one subject, Lucy can take a break and have a snack and the same for Norah. I didn't want to have to stop what I am doing with one to get a snack for the other girls, so I put together a bunch of snacks for the girls to grab on their own. I wanted the snack to be substantial, though, not something that would give them immediate energy but make them crash 20 minutes later. So, they will each choose a protein and a carb for their morning snack. They know that if they have a favorite, once it is gone, that is it for the week. They will have to choose something else.
The protein options are - roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seed butter, cottage cheese, and string cheese. Their carb options are - goldfish crackers, rice cakes, several fruit options, carrots & cucumbers (with dip, of course). They also have a couple of options that covers both macronutrients - greek yogurt with fruit mixed in and trail mix (I used sunflower seeds instead of nuts). I marked the protein options with a 'p' and the carb options with a 'c' and anything that includes both I put 'p&c.' I am hoping that by giving them a hearty snack mid-morning that we can wait until about 1 for lunch and then Daphne will go down for a nap and Lucy will be ready for her rest time. They will still have a snack after rest time if they are hungry - but it will be lighter - just to get us to dinner.

I am sure I have several other things to take care of - just can't think of anything right now. Kevin is staying home tomorrow so we can have one last hurrah before we start school on Thursday. I bought the girls school supplies over the weekend and wrapped them in a bag. We will give them their gifts tomorrow - since they don't have the anticipation of going off to school we wanted to do something fun for them.

I will try to take some typical first day of school pics this week. Stay tuned!


Sarah G said...

Looks like you are good to go! I'm glad you were able to get so much done over the weekend. Having snacks all prepped is such a great idea. Have a great start to your school year. Can't wait to hear how the first days go.:)

Alison said...

Like the "convince my sister" part. : )

I am hoping to try to freeze ahead some breakfasts as Will's new pre-school will not serve breakfast. This is a HUGE change for the child that wakes up at 5 AM and eats, eats again at 6:30 with his brother and was then served breakfast at school at 8 AM!

I must know... How was Aunt Alison's famous chicken?

jenny said...

i just started reading your blog. i think after the post i just read i need to read it more often! talk about organized! :) look forward to reading.

heather said...

So glad you got so much stuff done while the girls were done! (and I'm sorry I didn't get around to calling you back-- my aunt & uncle were in town and the weekend got away from me!)
I love your snack planning!
We start school Thursday too!!

Coincidentally, I'm in the middle of writing a blogpost about housekeeping and chores. I was going to try and get that done today... we've made lots of strides this summer as far as kids helping will all that and while we have yet to see what sticks for the school year, maybe something will stand out to you that might work for you and your girls too.

Let's chat soon!

Jackie said...

I am praying for all of you as you start your first day of school. It sounds like you have done all you can to make school a fun, healthy and educational experience for your girls. They are blessed to have such a special mom.