It's normally dh's job to take J to his charter school every morning. I get to pick him up every day. But every Tuesday morning it's my turn to take him.. This allows dh to get to work to prep for the day (TNL meets for worship in Tuesday nights rather than Sunday morning). This means I get the other two boys up early so they can come along on our drive to J's school.
It's been my habit to just wake them 5 minutes before time to leave, grab their blankets and let them ride along in their pajamas. Breakfast came after we returned home -- when they were a little more awake.
Last week I had them get dressed because I knew we'd need to stop for milk on the way home so they could eat breakfast. And then it hit me.
We should do some of our schoolwork at the coffee shop.
What a fabulous idea it was. After saying good-bye to J we arrived at our local haunt at 8:00 and ordered hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles. By 10:30 we were done and an amazing sense of freedom ensued.
What's wonderful about doing school at the coffee shop?
1. The boys aren't making a mess in our house.
2. All of my supplies have to be in my bag which means I'm little more prepared.
3. I am not distracted by email or dishes or laundry or the general mess that is our house = They have my full attention.
4. They are excited to get up early!
5. They have a comfy couch with a family bathroom in a direct line of sight (meaning S can go on his own).
6. There are games that S can peruse when he's tired of the activities I brought for him.
7. We all take a game break together.
8. We're done before lunchtime.
9. We're already up and dressed so running an errand or two is completely possible.
10. I have at least two hours in the afternoon to get other things done and to give S a nap.
We can't do it everyday. What we can accomplish there is a little limited -- we leave home projects with many parts, book research, internet activities, etc. But we can bring markers and colored pencils, math, our read aloud book (have to wonder who else is listening in from afar), and most other things.
I think we may have just saved our homeschool week from end-of-the-year doldrums.