I think I'm going to change our schedule.
We don't have school for a full day anyway, since we're only doing kindergarten right now, and I'm only really teaching 1 child. I give the two little ones a few worksheets here and there, and do some flashcards and alphabet rhymes, but that usually happens in between other things. So we have plenty of time to spread things out. I've been trying to do everything in the morning, since our school room is upstairs, right next to the toddler's room, and when he takes his nap in the afternoon, I don't want any of us to be up there making noise.
But today, as we were trying to do math, which was our first subject today, my 5-year-old was not being very attentive at all, her mind was wandering, and it was taking forever to get through the lesson. I started to scold her, but realized how noisy the 2 little ones were being, banging toy cars on the desks, laughing and talking, getting into everything. I had to keep telling them to quiet down, and that kept distracting me. So I couldn't blame my oldest for having a short attention span. I started thinking how much more effective and efficient our math lessons would be if they happened during nap time. The middle child (who has never napped) could entertain herself quietly enough while the youngest slept. None of my children are problems at all when they're by themselves. Then my oldest and I could work on her math downstairs in the play room or bedroom, in peace and quiet.
So I think we're going to start doing just history, science, art/music, and Bible in the mornings, which are read-aloud and/or hands-on subjects that the little ones can participate in much of the time. Then we'll take a mid-morning break, for snack time and/or play time outside, before the temperature gets too hot (it's been summer for a while down here in the Houston area). Maybe I'll even exercise then, and incorporate gym class time. I'm thinking I'll even take one day a week to insert our grocery store run in the morning, instead of trying to do it on Saturday. (Walmart is great on weekday mornings, but not so great on weekends.)
After lunch, I'll put the littlest one in his room for nap time, get out some worksheets or coloring books for the middle child, and then do math with my oldest. There's a desk in the play room already, so I'll just bring down our math stuff for the lesson. We'll also do handwriting, phonics and English-type stuff then, which is mostly worksheets and could be largely independent if she's focused and not distracted by the little ones. If I tell her she can play again as soon as she finishes her work, she might even be more motivated to not dawdle.
I will miss having the afternoons totally free from school, where I tell the girls it is quiet time or send them outside, and get some time just for me to do some work. But then again, I'm constantly having to get up and re-tell them to be quiet, so maybe doing some school work will actually make things even quieter for nap time, and maybe it will make our school hours shorter, and more efficient.
So, that will be our schedule. For a while. Until the littlest one stops taking naps.