Welcome to our final week of participation in the Not Back to School Blog Hop! So far, we have talked about our curriculum, our homeschool set up, and our first day. This week, we get to share a ‘typical’ day.
We currently have four children, a 7 year old 2nd grader, a 5 1/2 year old K student, a 3 1/2 year old preschooler, and an on the move 18 month old who wants to do everything the older ones do. Homeschooling our four precious children can sometimes feel like a circus – Yes, you might even call it a 4 ring circus!
It is difficult to admit this, but I am hoping that it will encourage someone else… I have experienced a very trying and tiring first month as I tried very hard to fit everything in that I wanted to do with the kids. It created too long of days and too little down time for both our kids and for mom! I was a few weeks into the start of the year and I was already feeling burned out – Definitely, NOT a good way to start. I felt that I was daily performing in a circus act in which I was dropping all of the spinning plates!
I am still adjusting things and trying to make our weekdays more manageable. Here are some things I have done, so far…
– cut down on the number of days we planned to do certain subjects (specifically grammar, structured writing, and science)
-moved the much wanted weekly nature walks to an ‘as the opportunity arises’ basis
-simplified spelling (I actually did away with the separate workbook and am now using words from what she is already learning in her ETC phonics book plus a couple sight words each week.)
-said ‘no’ to additional things outside the home that sounded beneficial and good, but would have added stress to our week
-worked on developing a good ‘flow’ to our day (We are finally starting to get into a good routine! We are not on a timed schedule, but we have our flow from one activity to the next.)
As a note, ‘workboxes’ take a large portion of our mornings as it involves the older girls doing independent language arts and math as I rotate meeting with them (for reading, spelling, etc.) and their younger brother for preschool. Once they finish their workboxes, they are free to play as they wait for the others. We do MFW Bible, History, and Science all together. Art and music, is generally, just with our 2nd and K children with the younger two coloring and/or listening in.
To someone walking in, our days may still seem to be somewhat disorderly, but it IS organized, thought out, AND the kids are learning.
So, without further ado, here are the stars of our show…
In Ring 1, we have our 2nd grader!
Here she is working on some independent language arts or math from her daily workbox…
reading and writing in her Bible notebook…
and reading aloud to mommy (and our toddler, if she can sit still long enough).
Ring 2: Our kindergartner!
Our K child doing some independent work as well…
She loves to read and share books with her younger siblings!
Ring 3: Our preschooler!
He can be found doing hands on educational activities or playing as his big sisters work with mom…
I am also discovering that I need a large dose of grace for each day – both for myself and to pour out onto my kids. There will always be diaper changes, discipline issues, a little extra loving from mom needing to be bestowed on our toddler, and occasionally asking an older sibling to play or read to the littlest one – things that sometimes just don’t seem to fit when we are in the ‘school’ mode. I need to remind myself frequently that we are, first of all, a family that happens to school at home. I can’t let the curriculum and academics take precedence over love of family and relationship building within the home. It truly does ALL go together and, no, it is not really a circus here. Hopefully, on most days, it could be called a well coordinated balancing act.