This has been our daily schedule, followed four days a week:
I think this is 4 - 4.5 hours work but it's hard to be sure because of the problems we've been having.
The order of activities is working well. I would like to insert daily copy work or dictation in before the "Independent Work". Things get problematic when one child finishes an activity before the other is ready to start the next, and during the break. In those free moments, the kids get absorbed in a book or a game or playing on the computer or playing cards or playing outside, which they then don't want to stop. If they decide to have a snack, it turns into a main meal which can drag on for more than half an hour.
I'm not immune to this myself: if the kids are both busy working, I'll take advantage of the time to write an email or do some other chore, which then ends up taking longer than the kids need to finish their work, so they go off and read or play etc. Then when I attempt to call the kids together for the next activity, there are moans and groans and complaints: "I want to finish my chapter," "I'm hungry," "I'm tired," "I don't want to."
Our "four hour" work session ends up taking all day and the complaining tires me out and depresses me.
The solution I would like to try is to restrict activities available during free moments to things that are easy to break off or don't take long. What comes to my mind is several activities that should be part of Josiah and Tessa's climbing training but have been neglected:
- Cardio exercise, e.g. jog around the block.
- Yoga / stretching.
- Exercising antagonistic muscles (i.e. muscles not used climbing - exercising them helps prevent injury): press-ups, dips, shoulder presses, reverse wrist curls.
- Climbing drills on our home boulder wall.
- Climbing strength exercises: pull-ups, dead hangs etc.
Alternatively, the kids could do their chores during free moments so they don't have to do them later.
I think if we are more disciplined, i.e. can keep the work session to around four hours, there should be no need for a major meal during the work session. We start almost immediately after the kids finish their breakfast, so a snack in the middle should comfortably see them through till the end. In that case, the "break", instead of being a long meal, could be just ten minutes preparing a small snack and then I could do the literature read aloud while the kids eat. That would eliminate the difficulty I have calling the kids back to work after the break. I can easily grab my snack while the kids are working.
I will also need to restrict the activities I do when find myself free while the kids work: nothing that I am not willing to stop at a moment's notice. I dislike breaking off tasks part way through - so unsatisfying. But there are some things - mending, crochet - that lend themselves well to being picked up for a moment and dropped again.