It's obvious that I need to look at our daily flow and tweak things around a bit.
Getting the boys to bed by 8:00 p.m. is getting impossible. Even if we are home they don't want to go to sleep when it is so light out. Right now we can settle them down by 8:15, but we have another month of increasing daylight. I imagine by June they'll be settling in at 8:30 p.m.
Of course, I can't wake them up too early when they haven't been asleep long enough. It just backfires on me with cranky overtired boys all day.
So, the morning routine gets a later start. I can adjust for that.
The boys don't like the routine the way it is now. They get about 15-30 minutes of free time while I finish my morning chores, so they are set in their play by the time I want us to walk (or do a circle and movement activities).
I could give them an extra 30 minutes to complete their play and gather them at that natural ending point. It would work; it just shifts our lesson time a little later and gives them less free play before lunch. But the weather will soon be against us, and therein is the real dilemma - they want that cool hour in the morning for outside play, and I want it for our walk.
You see, when the walk is happening, it works very well. We are energized, and the natural rhythm of walking opens us to skip counting, rhyming games, etc. very easily. When we get home we are warmed up and it is easy to slide into movement exercises. Then we have a small fruit snack and are ready for our morning lesson.
I have to ponder it all, and decide which is most important and how it will work best. We often walk at other times of the day, and hike, and bike, so we are pretty active. I could reinstitute a a more formal circle that could be done indoors, thus avoiding the heat. The real point is to connect as a family, and to get our hearts beating so that our minds are ready for learning.