Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mix-and-match schooling logistics

Okay, I know it's not going to continue to be this challenging, but can I just complain for a moment about the organizational challenges of having all these kids doing all these extremely different but fairly rigorously scheduled things?

My Yesterday
7:15 up and make lunches
7:45 awaken Sophie, make and drink my coffee
8:30 run Sophie to school
8:55 dash home to awaken Noah and Fiona
9:40 run Noah to school
10:00 - 11:00 Fiona's violin lesson
11:40 pick Noah up from school
12:00 make lunch, talk to Erin on the phone
12:30 homeschooling time with Fiona
1:45 drive to school with Noah and Fiona to pick up Sophie and two other teens
2:00 - 3:30 drive to Nelson for choir rehearsal
3:45-5:30 grocery shopping and many other errands
5:45 pick up six choir members for ride home
6:00 ensure choir members have munchies for ride home
6:15-7:45 drive home, dropping choir members off on the way
8:00-8:30 help Erin trouble-shoot various logistical issues on the phone from Montreal
8:30-9:00 supper
9:00-9:45 bedtime readaloud
9:45-10:30 computer / email time
10:30 bedtime

Today (Wednesday) isn't quite as bad, but included two sessions of coaching / teaching group violin classes, some private violin lesson teaching, all the to-and-from-school driving mentioned above, and additional time helping Erin with chemistry equations over the phone.

I'm just not used to it. I suppose it will get easier. But gosh, now I understand. For years I've heard homeschooling moms complain about the time constraints and hassles of having kids both within and out of school. Yes, I get it.


  1. Just a suggestion from a family where both parents work full time, where the mum (me!) has done most of the school and activity runs for 2 children with different schedules and for 8 years at different schools on top of full time work for the past 15 years, and with no family closer than 70 miles away: get everyone up at the same time and drop Noah off at school at the same time as Sophie. Your school sounds accommodating to individual schedules - could he go to the library and work there before his classes start? If you didn't want to leave Fiona home alone she could go too. Trust me - you need to take care of yourself or else you'll be run ragged.

  2. Well, the problem is that this hour in the morning is the time (in part) that gives Noah the freedom of a part-time homeschooler, something that seems really valuable for him at this point. Another family who lives on a bus route was sending their part-timer on the schoolbus and within two weeks she decided she might as well just enroll full-time, because she was there close to full-time. Sitting in the lobby or library at school was unproductive for her so she might as well be in class earning credits.

    Neither M's nor Noah's out-of-school learning has been much of the sort that can be done quietly in a school library. For Noah it's primarily viola, choral music, digital media editing, physical chores outside at home, trail-biking, film studies, philosophy/critical thinking discussions he takes part in on websites that are blocked by the school ( and such) ... and the chemistry that he's working through with my teaching and scribing (chem is the one course where work can't be easily written on the computer so he needs a scribe). He doesn't really have enough homework to fill that time, and prefers to do what he does have in the evening.

    In another week the two kids will be finished with the mapping project they're doing and I can send them down the hill on their bikes at least. For now they can't carry their maps in their backpacks. For a month or two before the snow flies bikes will hopefully work for the morning trips.

  3. Anonymous9:03 a.m.

    I know...I know. It's grim. I try to make it a policy to never mess with a sleeping teen!


  4. I am finding with both kids in school this fall I am absolutely exhausted! I thought it was going to work the other way and I'd feel more rested lol. Maybe it will get easier when K gets home from camp and I have a bit of help with all the lunch making, homework helping, chauffering, etc ......

  5. Wow, you get to sleep in so late! My Tuesday is this:
    5:15 Wake and exercise if I am feeling up to it
    5:40 Wake if not exercising. Dress, make lunches, get 3 kids up, breakfasted and as many of them as possible practised, work out what bags we need in which car.
    7:15 Drive to work. Kids get driven to school by their dad.
    7:30-2:30pm Work (other days it is 1 hour less, and the extra-murals start earlier)
    3-4pm Fetch kids, home to play for an hour, help with practises if they need it or practice myself.
    4:15-4:45pm Drive all kids to choir and wait till choirmaster arrives
    5pm Zip home with small kids to make supper for kids and start adult supper. Leave small kids with nanny
    5:15 or 5:30pm Deliver my eldest' supper to church
    5:45-6:45pm Adult choir practice
    6:45pm Drive my eldest and some others home from choir
    7-8pm Put small kids to bed, feed eldest if he is still hungry, put him to bed, finishing touches on adult supper. No time for read-aloud on Tuesday, normally would at this time.
    8-9:30pm Adult supper and chill-out time
    9:30-10:30pm Bath, computer time
    10:30pm Bedtime

  6. I guess what I was noticing, Beccy, was how many trips to school I'm having to make: generally four separate trips a day. That's all new to me. Because it's on top of whatever homeschooling activities I'm doing with Fiona. I don't doubt you are busier, but the frequency of those little trips is really awkward for me, interrupting what used to be a nice daytime flow.

  7. I hear what you are saying about the school runs. I was doing a similar thing before I started working and was forced to streamline things in a way that was more doable for me, and less accommodating to my children.
    How long does it take to get to school, and is it possible for either Sophie or Noah to get there themselves, even if just some days? Or Chuck do one of the runs? That should stop you driving back and forth all the time and give a better flow to your homeschooling day with Fiona.


This blog is moving to archive-only status. Please consider posting comments instead at the active version of the blog at

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.