I’ve been working lately on getting a shower as soon as I get up. It’s hard to get going in the mornings, mostly because of Charlotte. If she’s awake, it’s hard to figure out what to do with her to keep her happy while I take a shower. If I wait until she’s sleeping, then I lose a lot of the morning. So I’ve been trying lately to take a shower as soon as I get up. It seems the time when Charlotte is most likely to stay happy for a while. And then, at the latest, I can eat breakfast while I nurse her, so that when I put her down for her nap, I’m ready to really start my day. That seems to help with getting things going.

Of course, today I slept until 9. No idea exactly how that happened. The kids are on a later schedule because of the time change (I’ve been moving them 15 minutes earlier a day, although last night they got to bed really late because of AWANA), so that’s part of it. And I think the late night might have made them sleep later (even though it’s usually the opposite).

I feel like we’ve been rushing through the end of P3/4 (the current year of Sonlight we’re on) because I’m excited about P4/5 and want to do the year that’s a bit more scheduled. And then somebody on the forums posted a schedule she created for P3/4. And, while it would be work, I’m thinking that I might try to do something like that for the remaining part of P3/4, and also including “What Your Preschooler Needs to Know,” which I bought, thinking to go through it before starting P4/5. I’m really excited about P4/5, but at the same time, I’m don’t want to start it too soon.

Looking ahead at K, the year that follows P4/5, some of the books have a pretty high maturity level. A lot of parents recommend not starting K until kids are at least 5.5 or 6, and that the older the child, the more they get out of it. So I think that I’m going to try to at least wait until the fall of 2012 to start Emily on K (which is the year she’d start kindergarten if she were in public school). I can try to stretch out P4/5 a bit, reread books from P3/4, do the “Needs to Know” book, and I also found a website with a list of great books for kids, so I might try to make a schedule with those books.

Of course, Sonlight’s core doesn’t necessarily align with reading/math level, so I can certainly work with her on those things separately, at whatever level she’s ready for. So I bought Singapore’s Earlybird math books, and I’ve started with “A Reason for Handwriting,” and I might start the Language Arts K a bit early, we’ll see about that one.

It seems strange to think about doing handwriting with a 4-year-old, but the thing is that she loves to write and does it all the time… but she forms some of her letters wrong. And from other moms, I know that it’s *really* hard to fix later. So I’m trying to make a game out of it, but at the same time work on getting her to do the letters right from the start.

I’ve got the kitchen pretty much completely decluttered at the moment. The counters are blissfully clean. The top of the dishwasher now has a wide, low tub, and I put coloring books and paints in it, so they’re convenient but also out of the way. I love it. There’s something about empty counterspace that says to me, “Don’t just leave those dishes in the sink, wash them! Unload the dishwasher!” So the kitchen is staying quite clean at the moment because I’m staying on top of everything. We’ll see how long that lasts, ha ha. The table still has some junk on it, but I’ve gone through a lot. Our new tablecloth arrived, so I have inducement to get the table finished and try out the new tablecloth.

Steve’s desk *was* clear, until I started using it as my “stuff to Freecycle” area. Of course, all the stuff there will be going, and anything that doesn’t get taken will go in a box to be saved for the next donation pickup, so it should be fairly easy to take care of.

The homeschool stuff is all cute and organized, at least for now, in two boxes on their sides on top of the piano, one box as a “shelf” for each grade level. However, they’re full to the brim. I think I need larger boxes. I need to get to an office supply store soon, or possibly Walmart as I have some returns for there, so I might take a look at what they have in the way of bins. Although ultimately I’d like to have the stuff in a cabinet, so maybe I should just deal with this for now. We’ll see.

I also moved the couch and the armchair and swept all the junk out from underneath. Then cleaned the living room. So that’s not too bad, even though it did get cluttered again.

I still have about a million loads of laundry to fold. I’ve been getting my clothes unfolded out of laundry baskets for the past week. But, then, it’s actually much more convenient then needing clothes from the bedroom when Charlotte naps in there. And my sweaters don’t really wrinkle. So it’s a time-saver!

Oh, and I even vacuumed out the minivan today. So it looks very nice and pretty. I forgot to clean the front window, though, which really desperately needs it. Maybe I will try to do that tomorrow morning on our way out.

I also got the bedroom dressers cleared, put down pretty dresser scarves, and put up little framed photographs. And picked up everything off the floor (not too bad, as that room is mostly just for sleeping anyway).

Only four days left to work on the house before my parents come to visit! Eek! I’ll probably try to make tomorrow my last decluttering day, and then use the last three days for cleaning and shopping. One nice thing about *really* cleaning is that I find it easier to keep things looking nice if the original state is really clean. Like the counters. So I find it much easier to be neat in a house that is already neat. As opposed to our house, which always seems to have a ton of clutter that we don’t know where to store. So that’s a goal to work towards, I think.

Oh, and I got foamboard today. So I’m going to be starting on a calendar for ElisaEmily, with pieces for the months, the seasons, the weather, and various activities (dance class, AWANA, etc.). It should be fun.

This evening, I’m going to start making a lesson plan for P3/4. I’ve decided that I’m going to try to hit most of the books a second time, add in some activities, and add in the other books I’ve come across, workbooks, etc. Just because I have the books for P4/5 doesn’t mean I have to use them immediately, of course. And part of the reason I was anxious to start was because I wanted the schedule. So stretching out P3/4 a little longer, adding in some activities, etc., should satisfy that. I do want to start with some math activities, some handwriting, and maybe go ahead and start the K language arts program, as it looks like it’s just about right for where Emily is now, and might be way too easy, especially at the start, if I wait until I’m ready for P4/5.

So, that’s what I’m off to do. Somebody posted a sample schedule on the Sonlight forums, so I’m going to start with that and make my own. Wish me luck!

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