Tuesday, September 13, 2016
My life as a dance mom and afternoon routines
Last week was an easy one with only a few days of school and dance. And no homework, unless you count all the paperwork I had to complete. I only had to cover two books, and I was surprised at how effortlessly my hands went through the motions. Apparently, the act of covering a book was deeply ingrained within my refluxes during my years of schooling. So, anyway, the real deal hit us this week. I quickly established a routine for after we walk in the door from school as I know all to well how easy it is to fall into a chaotic situation.
The first to-do for the girls is to place their lunch boxes on the kitchen counter so I can clean out the food containers. Next up is homework. For this week, it appears that they will only have a math sheet and their nightly reading. They each have a reading log and must read (books, magazine, etc of their choice) for a minimum of 20 minutes a day. I don't really consider this to be homework as they already read for at least 20 minutes each night. That's a routine we established from the get-go, years and years ago. And what's wonderful about that is how it's become a habit and is not forced at all. (Wish we could say the same for math homework.)
I review their math homework, which takes less than ten minutes for them to complete, and then we go over anything that is incorrect. They learned multiplication at the end of last year and that is continuing into this year. By the end of the year, they need to have their multiplication tables memorized, so they will be spending a short amount of time (even just five minutes) each day reviewing multiplication facts. I even made up special flash cards that have little rhymes or tricks for remembering certain facts. For example, 8 x 8 is 64 now shut the door. I swear that's how I learned when I was in elementary school!
It looks like spelling homework will be introduced next week. Allie and Anna also have to complete at least three activities each week related to the book(s) they are reading at home. These aren't overly taxing. For example, one of them is to list three words that describe a character in the book.
I quickly learned that on the nights the girls have dance, I need to cook a simple meal. I've been preparing what I can while they are in school to reduce my time in the kitchen later but some meals just take a looong time to make.
As I was rummaging through a basket of outgrown dance shoes last week, I came across a pair of ballet slippers from the girls' very first year of dance. So tiny!
And look at them now. Well, two of them. I have one who cooperates on her own schedule.