We are having a very clean and peaceful morning.
I know most people think the phrases 'summer holidays' and 'clean and peaceful' don't go together but with a bit of planning it can be done!
(I'm also one of the rare, crazy mothers who does not admit to hating having the kids home. This isn't about me being 'holier than thou', it's just a different, and I think more successful, coping mechanism. I could go into great detail, may do so one day, but for now, suffice it to say that I don't think whingeing about it makes it any better, and there are several advantages to spending time with them!)
So we have set up a little at-home school.
Rajio Taiso is at 7am, so we need to get up at 6:30 and get dressed. After Rajio Taiso is finished, we will come home and do chores.
8am Breakfast, followed by dishes.
9:00 - 9:45 Ichijikanme/First Period. Japanese summer homework
9:50 - 10:35 Nijikanme/Second Period. English
10:35 - 11:05 Naka Yasumi/Morning Break. Plus morning tea
11:05 - 11:50 Sanjikanme/Third Period. Japanese summer homework
We knock off for lunch and......
Don't do any more work at all that day! This is a far better use of our time than watching TV all morning then struggling to get the energy to finish the endless summer homework. I also hope it gives them, from midday at least, that all-important FREE time to do whatever they please, wherever their will leads them.
Japanese homework includes loads of sheets of kanji and math drills, and the famous 'Natsu no Tomo' the little booklet of summer ideas and activities. English includes penmanship, journal, spelling drill and some print-outs from the internet.
For chores, Amy and Lena have to clean the genkan and bath every day, and help with setting the table and doing dishes, as well as putting away their own clean clothes. I am going to work on cleaning out the shed and the spare room with the aim of turning it into a study/office. We will do shed/genkan in the early morning when it's still cool, bath probably when they have the bath.
Erica's naptime after lunch will be our downtime, they can watch TV or movies then, or play games on the computer, or do craft activities. I have gathered some ideas for fun craft, and I'll do some shopping for supplies, but I usually just leave them to do what they want, rather than exhausting myself setting up an elaborate craft activity, only to have them hate it or do it for only a few minutes before wandering off.
All this is in line with what the schools expect the students to do, so I have support for my ideas from that direction. The schools exhort students to stick to a schedule so their daily rhythm doesn't get too messed up. Amy had to write a sample schedule before term ended, so when I suggested the morning school to her, she was very happy to comply. Even Erica joins in, though her 'benkyo' (study) this morning was a Wiggles puzzle and an ABC block tower. We helped her with clean-up during the morning break, and she is now studying the physical properties of selotape.
My study includeds editing essays, checking email(SUCH hard work!), proofreading the AFWJ journal, learning to use the desk-top publishing software for the AFWJ journal, Japanese, learning to upload and edit videos from my new camera, sorting wedding photos for a 10th anniversary album, and researching places to go during the summer holidays!. And facebook scrabble.
For the first week of the holidays, we are putting in a huge effort to get the summer homework done, so we will be freer during August to travel around, go on day-trips and overnight trips, have movie and popcorn days, go to the pool and whatever else we please. We'll probably skip Third Period from then on, but continue to study English and work on the craft activity they need to hand in at the ned of term. Anyone in the vicinity who fancies a fun day playing with the Yokomatsu girls please let me know!