It's been a struggle trying to do any schoolwork in the mornings because we eat breakfast about 8:00 and Grandma won't eat until 10:00. This wouldn't be an issue except that she sees no problem with feeding all the kids a second breakfast and getting all the dishes dirty for the second time each morning. It wasn't so bad over summer vacation because I could clean the kitchen once she was finished and then start lunch (although there were days I did not want to spend my whole freaking day in the kitchen!!!!). Now that we're into school it's much more of a problem because 1.) I don't want to spend my whole morning cleaning, and 2.) we do need to get some school lessons in between bouts of stuffing our faces.
Today we conquered the problem (at least mostly)! I let the kids get a quick snack when they woke up (not until 7:30 this morning!). They ate fun stuff like grapes, string cheese, and granola bars. It was highly nutritious. Then, while the little boys were watching cartoons I pulled Chris aside and had him do his math problems. Amazingly the boy blew through them in no time at all. I think he's going to have a bit of an aptitude for math (certainly not a gift from me). We were done with snack and math before 9:30 (plus wake up and stare at the wall time). Then when Grandma was ready for breakfast I fed the whole family. There was only one set of dirty dishes.
After math we had free time while the kids watched cartoons, colored, acted like general PITAs, and played with the dogs. About 11:00 I broke out the Sing, Spell, Read & Write box. Sam immediately came in from the yard and pulled up a chair. So... Sam is now finished with the 1st lesson and is getting very good at singing the A to Z Phonics Song. Chris zipped right through all of that as well (I think we're doing quite a bit of review before we get to new material, but I don't want to miss anything crucial). They both did the name writing worksheet and colored the A a apple page. It's kind of funny that I never did worry about what Sam and Jake were going to be doing while Chris was doing school. Now it seems that Jake is going to play in the yard and come sing songs when he hears music playing. Sam is going to jump right in and do the lessons with Chris. Perhaps I should invite Sam to work on math with us tomorrow (we were sneaky this morning so that Jake wouldn't come and play with our blocks).
I promised Chris that we could paint after lunch today and he's been talking about it ever since. He's a bit irked because I told him we're finger painting and he thinks that's for kindergardeners. He also thinks that it's not fun to get his fingers dirty. So... I feel his pain. I think it will be good for him to paint with his fingers and get a bit dirty (in the garage, not the house). He keeps coming in while I'm typing to argue about it so I think he may not get to use a brush all week. It just doesn't pay to argue with your mother :-)