We have successfully completed the first day of our school schedule. I am happy to report that the schedule seems to be working as I hoped it would. Everyone had enough time to do what they needed to and we were not having to race from activity to activity keeping one eye on the clock. Relaxed and productive. My plan for occupying the smaller set even worked pretty well. All three of them enjoyed their activities and the special toy I brought out kept them all busy while I was able to work with the older ones. L. got a little squawky toward the end while I was trying to read aloud, so I will have to fine-tune that, but on the whole I was pleased. I'm hoping I have enough toys and activities rotating through that it will take a good long while before they get old and stop keeping the littles attention. The best part for me was being able to open up my notes and see what I had already planned. It was bliss to not have to think constructively at the spur of the moment. I'm thankful I spent all those hours doing the hard thinking a month ago.
But there was one decision I made that I think was key to our relaxed morning and one I should have made several years ago. Want to know what it is? I purposefully put a note on the computer saying we wouldn't be turning it on until after lunch when our work was done. This was really much more for me than for my children. I find it far to easy to check my email quickly between activities (because there might be vital and important matters happening - insert sarcastic emoticon) and then discover that in answering "just one email" I have lost 20 minutes. The temptation was proving too great, so I decided to pull the plug, so to speak. (I had already decided to not answer my phone during the morning a long time ago... that helps as well.) To further reinforce my decision, when I did look at my email after lunch, there was really nothing there that demanded my immediate attention. It feels good to wrest some control from the machine. As a result, any posts on this blog will be much more likely in the afternoon these days.
Of course, hiding away on the computer is very, very tempting when I have bills to pay (and which I have put off having to face to the point of feeling ill) and trying (desperately) to retain a calm and composed attitude in the face of a child who is spiraling down, down, down in anticipation of the dreaded birthday anniversary which will be approaching, though not soon enough for my taste. I am feeling beset by the father of lies again... it must mean that we're getting close to actually sending our dossier in for H.'s adoption. (And my anxiety has returned as well.... even typing that and knowing that I still have some more paperwork to deal with causes very real panic to well up inside of me.)
On a lighter note, we are finishing up with our Australia books this week as well. Is anyone interested in a detailed list of what we did? I'm happy to write it out if it would help someone, but sometimes it's difficult for me to judge what people want to read about. I'm going to tackle those bills now and be able to cross one stressful thing off my list.