Yesterday I had had enough, so I made a schedule. I told the kids:
me: "I made a schedule for us to follow"
A1: "It won't work. You always make a schedule and then you don't follow it."
me: "But this time is different"
A1: "That's what you always say."
me: "Yeah, you're right. But let's just try it."
And so, I stuck with the plan.
I woke the kids at 8am. They ate breakfast. I drove everyone to school tables by 9am with a prodding fork. One of them sat down and began her work. The other one ate a pickle. I set the alarm for 5mins to allow time for anyone eating a pickle. She finished her pickle and sat, waiting.
A1 and I did long division. And boy, did we divide. You should've seen all the things dividing. Actually, we ran into a bit of a snafoo with Partial Product Division and Decimals. Three math problems took us 45 minutes. On the bright side: Partial Product Division *really* enforces those place value skills. I think I'll discuss this one on my other blog, because it's worth noting. Meanwhile, Z was waiting at the kitchen table, and Georgie was getting into a baggy of goo (green gooey stuff made from glue and laundry soap).
9:25 am and I took a short break from Long Division to find the missing student. I fork-prodded her into the schoolroom and gave her Math. At 10am (when we're supposed to be moving on from math), we're still not done with math. I cut our division problems short and had A1 finish some of the other problems on the page.
10:15am Z was ready for a break. Good thing I scheduled her to have time with lil' sis! We're 15 mins off my schedule. Note to self: 4 long division problems are waaaay too many right now. Z and Georgie donned tutu princess gear. I did Spelling, Daily Paragraph Editing, and our new Grammar program with A1.
10:45am Time to switch off. Only, A1 convinced Z to do Spelling together. I gained 15 mins with the littlest one. 11am We're 30 mins off schedule. I have A1 watch Georgie while I do Daily Paragraph Editing and Grammar with Z. DPE went fine. The new Grammar? Not so good. Z couldn't figure out to do and had a tantrum. (She was supposed to be listening to me. Instead she complained, "I don't know what to dooooo!" Argh. LOL). Finally, we got to our first sentence. We're supposed to use these little clue cards to label the sentence. We got through all but the last word of the sentence. I discovered that Z was folding her clue card into a paper airplane. Ugh. I gently reminded her of the $6 price tag for the cards. She got teary-eyed and left the room.
I forgot to mention all of the toddler meltdowns interspersed with calm, happy moments of tossing goo around the room. Or how many times I picked up goo, only to rediscover it in little blobs on the floor. Or the giagantuous Temper Tantrum when A1 was trying to watch Georgie, but Georgie just wanted her best buddy Z to play with her.
We trudged on. We survived to see lunch. We finished around 1pm -(ish), which was the plan. I realized what the real purpose of a schedule is: to gently steer us back to the plan when everything goes offcourse. Without the plan, I'd most likely have forgotten where we were, or given up altogether. The plan gave me a general outline to follow.