I have an idea of how the ideal would go with our home school. It looks like this:
We eat lunch in our house between 11:30 and 12:00. The kids eat constantly until they are done and then clean up their dishes. They go straight to the potty (a rule after each meal at our house.) They choose books and let me know that they are ready for me to read to them. We read. I snuggle Noel and Eliza one at a time and put them to bed.
Amy and I go downstairs and quickly clean up the family room. By one o'clock we start kindergarten. We happily do each activity, starting with our opening routine and then mom class, have fun with a variety of activities Amy chooses including snack time, recess, and rest time as well as a few others. Have a lovely closing routine with Amy sitting by me while I blog, helping me remember all the things we did and all the funny things she says.
A little while later, Noel and Eliza wake up and we do dinner and our evening routine, with a little play thrown in because there's plenty of time before bed.
What really happens:
Most of those activities take way longer. Kindergarten rarely starts before 2, sometimes 3 or even 4. Things are interrupted, and the kids sometimes fight.
Today I decided Noel could stay awake just long enough to have mom class. I wanted to print and laminate some things for Joy School. Eliza had just gotten up and wanted to nurse. Noel had pooped in her pull-up and was whiney. Amy, Noel, and Vidalia got in Vidalia's bed and were squishing each other. I printed some stuff, and then the printer jammed. Then THE called twice and wanted me to find something for him. It was getting a little crazy. I finally got Vidalia changed and put to bed, Eliza nursed, and Noel snuggled and put. I came downstairs to finish mom class and start school only to find out that Amy had kept Eliza from eating bad things and had cut Eliza's hair. So we talked about that.
Finally we started cleaning up the family room to officially start school. That was taking forever but making progress when I realized Eliza never got lunch. So we went upstairs and had snack time, also working on dinner a little so it would be ready when school was over. We finally got back downstairs, prayed, drank our water, and looked in our book about brain exercises to determine what we were going to do for the day. It was a drawing with chalk activity.
So we went outside and looked all over for the chalk. Couldn't find it. Visited with a neighbor. Asked around for some chalk. Finally found a couple pieces. Drew with sidewalk chalk for our exercise.
First activity (I guess that's what it was) was bikes. Noel woke up. They rode around. Eliza pooped. Eventually we made it around the block.
Noel's activity choice was tic-tac-toe (which was really draw on the whiteboard) and dance and sing a little. It has turned into a free play free for all which is fun. Finally I'm blogging and wrapping up. It's now 6:15.
Even though kindergarten (and the rest of my life) almost never goes according to the ideal I pictured, I am working on going with the flow. Obviously I can't ignore my other children and their needs. We are not going to always want to do all the things each family member wants to do. Still somehow we learn some stuff and have fun. Today was fun too. I am glad that the chaos didn't stress us (read:me) out too much to have fun.