Afternoon Insanity | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Afternoon Insanity

Back in Utah, the kids were in school from 8:55 until 3:30. (Well, Bria was. Chloe had 1/2 day Kindergarten last year.) Here in Michigan, school begins at 8:15 and lets out at 3:21, so that is about 30 minutes longer in school or so? (Listen, I don't even understand Bria's 4th grade math, I'm not going to be able to figure this out without a calculator!) And then you add the bus time in, and they leave the house around 7:40 and come home around 3:30.

Bria has always done her violin practicing in the morning. She's a fairly early riser, so she was always up before 7:00 and there was plenty of time for her to get dressed, eat, make her bed, brush her teeth and still have 45 minutes to practice. Now, she has an entire hour less time in the morning, so practicing has to wait until after school unless I think I want her to get up before 5. And believe me, I don't.

Chloe had afternoon Kindergarten last year, so she just practiced her piano sometime in the morning before she left for school, provided she actually woke up. Since she is my late riser, sometimes she wouldn't get up until 10:30 or later! She has actually done amazingly well with the early schedule this year, but she still drags in the morning, and I don't think her faculties are quite with her. Like yesterday, when I told her to go upstairs and make her bed and brush her teeth. She came down 15 minutes later, just in time to leave for the bus. I have no idea what she actually did up there because when I went up to put clean laundry on their beds, Chloe's was completely unmade and I had already deduced from the smell of her breath while standing at the bus stop that she hadn't brushed her teeth, either.

Anyway, afternoons have become hectic, and my least favorite time of day. And I also feel like the kids don't have any time to just play and be kids. With Bria on the violin for 45 minutes and Chloe on the piano for 30, homework, a couple after school chores (all quick and easy, like putting away clean laundry), an after-school snack, and then any lessons or commitments we have to be to, dinner, baths (which have now been cut to every other day or *gasp* less), reading requirements (imposed by teachers, not me), bedtime routines and anything else there is just no time for a little R&R before they have to be in bed and start all over again in the morning.

Add whatever Sophia needs to the mix, and it equals chaos.

Yesterday was especially awful for us, because the bus was 20 minutes late bringing them home. Not only did that mean that I stood out in the freezing cold for that long, it just made the afternoon that much more crazy. So crazy that Bria got to bed an hour late because she was working on her book report, which is just code for "gigantic craft project using only all-natural or homemade materials with a brief summary of the book." It wasn't due today, but she really wanted to turn it in and get the extra credit. Which I support 100%.

There really isn't anything I can do about it, except give up music lessons, which I'm not willing to do, so I won't complain anymore. I just need to figure out how to make it completely streamlined so that there is no time wasted, and hopefully time left over for them to have a little fun.

I guess that means I'd better make the after school snack right now.

23 comments :

  1. If anyone can find a way to make it work, it's you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good luck! and I was going to say the EXACT same thing as above. So I will just say Ditto to Kristina!

    ReplyDelete
  3. School gets out at 3:21? What? Good luck making it all work!

    ReplyDelete
  4. PHEW.....tired just reading this, and we only have ONE after-schooler. I also find late afternoon to be somewhat hellish...my mom used to call dinnertime "Arsenic Hour". (Because you feel so crazy you want to put arsenic in the food....hee....hee....I guess you have to have her sense of humor to find that as funny as I do.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. WOW. This has sooooo been on my mind lately.

    My oldest is in a full-day kindergarten; he leaves at 8:30 (school starts at 8:45 and he rides his bike) and gets home at 4:00. That leaves .... NO TIME.

    When you figure it out, let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I feel your pain! Its a similar hullabaloo around here too. At least it's easier for me now because they're all in school all day so I can get stuff done while there gone. You'll be there soon (which is good and bad of course).

    And we're just starting to add music lessons. Bethany starts piano next week. Fortunately, her teacher is our next door neighbor. That neighbor also teaches violin so if we want to go that route with one of the kids, we can. We may even do a trade because my husband is an accomplished drummer and her son wants to play drums. So does our son but I'm not sure if he'd take instruction from his own Father the way he might from a different teacher so we'll have to figure all that out.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh man, that's a tough one. I'm guessing this is why you related so well to that whole Julie Beck 3 shifts advice. :) You WILL figure it out, I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is hard to feel like we don't get much quality time with our kids anymore. Good luck to you with figuring out what will work best for your family!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hmmm..that's sounds busy. Do they practice music everyday? If so maybe cut that to 3 days out of the week and then give them time on the weekend to practice. If they have spelling word or something, I just quiz Lael WHILE she's in the bath. You'll figure it out I'm sure. You're doing great!

    ReplyDelete
  10. And I just read an article about how the President wants to lengthen the time that kids are in school each day (I believe the article said til about 5PM or so) as well as shortening their summer break. All in the name of keeping up with the Joneses. (i.e. the rest of the world) Doesn't that just sound like fun?

    ReplyDelete
  11. My sister's kids used to have a similar schedule. She always ended driving them one way to school (or back)to save time. ~~Joyce

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, you make an after school snack? Good for you. Doesn't cross my mind. Well . . . actually I guess it goes in a way, but with 1/2 day kindergarten, it's lunch time when Zoie gets home.

    Anyway, I sort of understand your situation. My schedule is so different now that Zoie's in school. Who knew reading and practicing piano would take so much time?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sorry for all the extra stresses. I hope it all settles out soon.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I understand your crazyiness! This year I had to cut out flag football season for the boys. It was a hard choice to make. I still feel like a one legged man in a bum kicking contest!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Whaaaat? You pick them up at the bus stop? Can't they walk home?
    Honestly, that might solve a lot of your problems -- if you could have time to prep stuff for them.
    Our routine isn't squished, courtesy of our extremely short school day. but I have instituted 10 minutes of snack/get our wiggles out time before we jump on homework for C.
    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think you already stremalined! You can streamline more when they all have left and are married!! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have a solution...ditch the school! ;o) I love all the fun time I get to spend with my kids as homeschoolers.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I completely understand. It really can get insanely crazy. You will establish a routine that will work for you and it will become a little easier every day. However, it just gets worse when they get to be teenagers! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Kanoa is only in Kindergarten, but I am already getting a taste of the craziness of having school aged kids.

    Definitely make time for fun.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Just this morning my husband and I were talking about practice for the kids. We really believe in doing it before school, but sometimes things come up and it has to get put off, and then after school something else comes up and it can't get done, again. Ugh. A constant battle, huh? But it is so worth trying to fix the routine over and over. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh, I feel your pain! We don't do music and our school day isn't even as long, but the kids get TONS of homework. Lately I just let them be outside for 1/2 hour while I'm making dinner before they come in and set the table etc. Every other second of the day is scheduled for something. Ugh. And it really is go, go, go, from dinner at 5:30 through till bed at 8 (which often stretches almost to 9).

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow, sounds like my house. I like to give my kids free time, to well, just be kids. Then we don't get much of anything done.

    Hard for me to figure out how to balance everything and I don't even have any kids in music or sports.

    Good luck to ya.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm jealous that Bria is actually working on her projects. Right now Mikelle is fighting tooth and nail on any writing assignment (and it doesn't matter if it's a fun one. If it's an assignment, she'll fight to the death not to do it. But if she wants to write something that isn't an assignment - she'll write till' the day is long.). It took 3 hours to get a 5-[paragraph essay "journal" assignment out of her the other night. I don't see good things on the horizon. This next quarter, her teacher is starting to record all writing assignment. The first quarter was to get them used to doing them. (shoot me, now)

    ReplyDelete