Basically, the original routine which I had planned for schooldays FAILED. Firstly, the kids didn’t like having to wake up so early. It was very, very rushed to send them in to bed by 8.30pm, so they were going to bed late AND waking up early. Mornings were a big rush too, in order to accomplish so many things. Which meant we were rushing in the mornings and rushing in the evenings. All the time I had with Kor Kor was spent rushing. It got so bad that Kor Kor requested to stop going to the playground. He wanted to just lounge around at home and read his books and fool around.
I fought it at first. Playground time very important!! But I soon surrendered. It was already very challenging to make them hurry, what more hurry to go somewhere he did not wish to go! And indeed, our mornings improved tremendously. So much more relaxing! Kor Kor was right. Sometimes (often?) we should follow children’s instincts.
But I was not ready to give up their playground time yet. Decided to let them play at the playground on the way home after fetching Kor Kor in the evening. 30 minutes is better than nothing! Of course, it means their bedtime would be pushed back… they now go to bed between 9pm and 9.30pm… But I console myself that Kor Kor is older now and can handle a later bedtime, while the younger two can nap in the afternoon.
So far, this routine has worked brilliantly. The kids really enjoy their daily playground time, and because we are there so regularly nowadays, they have made new friends too.
As our mornings are more relaxed now, I have also managed to start exercising every morning. I wake up at 6am, prepare breakfast, eat mine, and go out for a run while they are still sleeping. Usually, when I come back 30-40 minutes later, they still haven’t woken up haha. I then prepare some fruits for them and myself, do some lunch prep, take a shower while they eat breakfast. Then Kor Kor reads/plays a while, dilly-dally a bit, and we start our homework session around 9am. (Didi and Meimei eat more slowly, so they continue eating while we do work.)
Actually there isn’t much homework. He just brings home the work he doesn’t manage to complete in class, plus we prepare for spelling tests (weekly for English, fortnightly for Chinese). I also read to Kor Kor during our 45-minute session. I limit it to 45 minutes, six days a week. Sometimes, he hasn’t fully mastered the spelling lists, but I decide to let it go. He then continues doing whatever he wants while I prepare a simple lunch. By 11.45am we are out of the house.
After school, it’s playground, dinner, shower, milk and short bedtime reading by Daddu, then off to bed. I am glad Kor Kor has been quite responsible in packing his schoolbag every evening. He then leaves any homework etc on his study desk to do the next morning.
That’s our life for now! Hope you are also doing well in your primary school life : )