Monday, March 2, 2009

An afternoon in the house of....

I came home from school today a little bit exhausted and some what overwhelmed by what the afternoon beholds. Usually they are something i have come to cope with and sometimes even enoy the craziness of but today i struggled probably as a combination of being out all afternoon and tiredness from not sleeping so great!

I decided i would write this blog, more out of my own curiosity of learning more about how you "do" the craziness of afternoons and i thought if i went first hopefully YOU - yes you, reading this blog - will follow my lead! Since i love photos i decided to narrate the afternoon with pics!

The girls finish school at 3:10pm and we leave home at 2:45pm to get there early enough to collect the school bags and chat to some mums. We are usually home between 3:30-3:45pm depending on how much time the girls spend playing on the playground whilst i chitter chat with the mums!

Once we are home, there are some rules in place! The girls know that they have to bring in their school bags and the first thing is lunch-boxes are to be put on the bench ready to be cleaned out for the next day. Also the diaries need to be put on my desk along so they can be checked for notices and signed.

School diary!

Once this is done they are allowed to have an afternoon snack and drink. If they haven't finished their fruit from their lunch box for that day this is the first thing that has to be eaten, and generally i try to keep this afternoon snack to fruit or popcorn or something light! Between 3:45 - 4:30 is snack and unwind time.

Around 4:30pm we start doing the homework. I have really noticed having 2 at school when it comes to homework time. Caitlyn (in prep) seems to have a fair bit to do at the moment, i guess it is because they are learning so many new things they are trying to reinforce them at home as well.

Tonight we started off with Catilyn's "golden words". For those that dont know these are the 12 most common words used in english. We first did them off the sheet just going through them in rows.

Caitlyn is doing alright with these, its really hard going back to basics with one of your children when you are used to the other being able to read anything easily!! It is also hard not to compare you children to each other, i really try to catch myself in thought before i ever actually say things out loud. Its not at all that i think one is better than the other, but their differences can often be noted. I also try to stay out of the conversations that parents often engage in about how their particular child is doing, although i have generally found this only to be so in prep, the parents in grade two couldn't care less about comparing their child's reading ability with anyone elses!! I guess its the uncertainty that sending your precious child off to school brings, that you are looking to see how your child falls in the "ranks" of the rest of the class!

Anyway back to it...golden words. I found some flash cards with these words on them (actually i think it is the top 100 words which is great because i think they learn the top 200 in prep). I use these cards as well, most nights, just to check Caitlyn is learning the words by sight not by the place they are on the paper!!!

Next Cailtyn "reads" to me her reader for the night! Thankfully these are really short and basic as she is still learning to "read" and we will do the same book twice just so it sinks in a little (i hope!!)

While Caitlyn is doing this Hannah is on mathletics. Hannah loves mathletics and as she is a "computer nerd" (lol) i do not need to encourage her to be at the computer.

Hannah at her computer doing mathletics - notice for anyone who uses this she is actually in the section where you buy clothes etc for your person! This is her favourite part im sure!!! :-)

Caitlyn also starts her mathletics on my computer once she has finished her words. I need to sit with her still to direct her with what she needs to do (today it was sorting numbers in order both forwards and backwards!) Caitlyn also loves time on the computer (often the computer is the source of any arguing between my girls)

By this stage it was around 5pm and bath time. I usually shower the girls then they watch tv or play games whilst i cooked dinner but tonight they wanted a bath. In the winter time i use my slow cooker a lot which i just LOVE! It means i get dinner on when i get home from school in the morning and frees us my time to do other things in the night! I really should start using that again soon (any good recipe ideas for slow cookers id love to hear them!!)

By 6:15pm they were sitting down at the table eating dinner. We usually eat dinner around 6:30-6:45pm as this is when George gets home but today and tomorrow he is working in Sydney so we ate a little earlier. Usually when he is away we opt for really easy dinners that i know the girls are going to eat too! Just makes the night flow smoother if i dont have to face the battle of getting them to eat dinner alone!!

Around 7:15pm its brush your teeth and get your drink time!! Once the girls are in bed they usually spend time reading and talking with George and telling him about their day. As he isn't home tonight (they got to talk to him on the phone before bed!) i did the story and listening! We aim to have the younger 2 lights out by 7:45pm as they are both completely tired by this time.

Hannah will often read for an hour or so once in bed, she does her reader then and usually will read one other book at this time too. As she loves reading and it helps her unwind i don't mind her doing this. George might listen to some of her reader but generally since she is such a good reader she will read to herself. (i know bad mum alert!! DISCLAIMER - id like to make it clear at this point that i do listen to her read as i stay for reading 2-3 mornings a week!!)

So, thats an afternoon in our house! Its not always exactly the same, but generally follows a pretty similar pattern during the school weeks!

I would LOVE to hear from any and all of you (whether that be through a reply or your own blog) about a "typical" afternoon in your house! Maybe you can give me ideas on how to make mine run smoother or more efficient or offer different ideas i may not have had! That is what i love about this "blogging world" people of all different backgrounds and family dynamics who you can learn and grow from!!

Thanks for reading, but since you have taken the time to read this mundane post, please take the time to reply :D


  1. And it sounds to me you do an awesome job!!

    Love the post and love the pics - looks very calm and relaxing!!

    Oh and I cant wait to have my slow cooker on again! Bring on the yummy winter dishes. I am a bit over the summer ones.

  2. Hey You are an awesome MUM.... Wow you have inspired me to become a little more organised, However, Lets see how we go !!! Mine is a little more chaotic, As i tend to spend more time with zaccy...i bought those words for him and they are good cause they are blue and children who find it hard to focus (zac) hey are perfect !! Because I dont live round the corner, Your blogg is a great way to red wats going on in you life ! I love it !!! You do an amazing JoB !!! Well DONE xxx

  3. Wow lou - so organised. Ariel's in Grade four but still doesn't have a lot of homework so our arvos are a bit more "whatever". definately similar in that Ariel has till about 4.30 to chill and then do homework, but mostly her chill time will be reading anyway. Then there are the crazy days when A has dancing from 5 - 6.30 which is a pretty inconvenient time for us as we usually eat around 6... but day to day we make it work, and little Paytie tags along.
    I'm so jealous of your slow cooker - got to get me one of those! great post lou - thanks for sharing about your world xx

  4. I have a couple of great slow cooker recipes which I will post on my blog at the end of this week :)

    Love your routine, something I will need to work on in my house before the Due in August arrival gets here.