We were a little nervous about the prospect of doubling the number of children in the house and all the extra logistics. Turned out we didn't need to worry at all - the kids got along well and our visitors were a credit to their parents. Even a bout of illness causing Erika to throw up for a couple of days - pretty much our worst nightmare - wasn't too bad. She's one pretty independent eight year old capable of climbing out of her bunk in the middle of the night to throw up in the toilet without even needing to wake anyone up. She mainly didn't need looking after - though of course we tried! - just wanted space to sleep and read her book. Most importantly: No one else got sick! I am very much looking forward to my children becoming more independent when they are ill...
Here's what our school day schedule looked like:
6:45 am Played Raffi's Rise and Shine through our phone system / baby monitor. I can't believe it took me all year to think of using an alarm, as not only did the girls get up and get dressed ALL BY THEMSELVES every single morning but Elizabeth has continued to do this ever since her cousins went home! Then they ate breakfast and we did our morning routine. The girls were so efficient they even had time to play a bit in the morning. Towards the end they started doing piano practise in the morning so as to have more time to play in the evening.
8:10 am Everyone out the door to wave Elizabeth off at the bus stop
8:30 am Bundled remaining kids into the van and drop to their school
11:30 am Picked Maria back up from school
3:30 pm Picked Erika up from school
4:10 pm Parked the van and herded the kids out to pick up Elizabeth from the bus stop
4:30 - 5:00 pm Supper!
Then some time for piano practice, reading practice / homework and play! When it stopped raining the kids had a chance to play with the next door neighbour kids
7:00 pm Bedtime. We read a chapter of Mary Poppins every night before bed. In retrospect I would choose a shorter book next time - turns out that although it only has twelve chapters (which seemed quite doable) some of the chapters are MUCH longer than others.