Slowing Down "well...sort of"

I have been so looking forward to slowing down enough to begin homeschooling. I usually sign the kids up for camps and week long lessons during the summers because it feels like a short enough time span that I can easily commit. A season long of running 4 kids plus a baby back and forth to practices and games is WAY too much for our family to handle. Summer time camps and lessons are so laid back w/out school during the day, it's a win--win! So.....needless to say, we've been in the van ALL summer. Elliette-6hr a week reading camp, Lola-ballet camp, Justus basketball camp, Justus and Elle- drama camp, Justus, Elle, Jude & Lola- Tennis and storytime at the library, Wednesday $1 movies, Wed. Parker Park Events ............and I'm dying!

So as we're slowly starting to wind down the summer....this was our first week of homeschooling. John and I decided that we would go ahead and start July 1st instead of waiting till school normally starts on Aug. 15thish. We want to be able to take off 'guilt free' around the holidays and slow down when we need feel the need to do so. The kids didn't really seem to mind either. They've been out of school for a month now and are starting to get bored. It's just gotten too hot to stay outside all day and we don't swim until late afternoon when the sun starts to go down. So we spend our morning 'schooling'.

So far....all the kids are loving the routine of the day. I have always thought that my kids crave and thrive on a strict routine. It's like they know what to expect everyday and there's no need to 'think about what they're NOT getting to do or what they wish they were doing.' They're also not sitting in front of the TV in a mind numbing trance that's only broken with pestering a sibling during commercials!! All the pent up energy from watching TV usually surfaces in aggressive pestering!

'A Day in the Life'

Our day starts out with coffee with my husband as the twins gradually make their way downstairs. They are the first to wake up in the morning.

After John leaves for work around 7:00 I start getting breakfast ready and put in a load of laundry.

Around 7:45 the twins and I wake up Justus and Elliette. That's always fun for the twins! They all 4 brush teeth, hair and get their clothes on for the day.

8am we wake Eva up and dress her for the day.

At 8:15 we all sit down to breakfast at the same time! (The same time being essential for us! Otherwise some are finished before others and chaos breaks out for some reason??!!)
While the 5 kids eat breakfast, I read a chapter from our Children's Bible. We discuss together items throughout the chapter (I've learned a LOT from these discussions!) This seems to really start our day off on the right foot! We also have a scripture verse a week that we all recite together each day. I'm stunned that my 26month old can even do the recitation by the end of the week!!! WOW!

8:45 Everyone helps clean up the kitchen. Justus and Elliette take turns with who empties the dishwasher and who fills it. Who clears and wipes down tables and who sweeps. I usually give the twins a rag and let them wipe tables too. I put laundry in the dryer and start another load.

9am Upstairs to the schoolroom. I've found that if I'll start off with the twins pre-K lesson they are very content after their lesson to let me work with Justus and Elliette. They play really well while I'm working with Justus and Elliette with Eva in the playroom. If they get bored I'll start a craft for them while I'm working w/ J & E. Eva loves to do whatever, whenever as long as she's included.

  1. We are using Math-U-See for Justus and Elliette.
  2. Justus is studying Spanish using Rosetta Stone.
  3. We are doing the 3-4th & 5-6th grade Listen, Remember & Do workbooks (really easy-just a good break-up the day kind of thing.)
  4. Elliette is doing a Reading Packet that we'll finish in about a month. Then we'll be back to using Susan Barton (Multi-Sensory learning to read for dyslexic children).
  5. Justus spends 45min silent reading in his room. He takes Adventure Book tests over the novels for comprehension. (http://www.adventurebooks.org/ a great reading incentive program).
  6. They both have writing journals.
  7. They both have cursive writing workbooks.

We have lunch around 11:30 and J & E do their independent reading while I'm putting the babies to bed at noon. We work together on reading and comprehension during naptime till about 1:30. After the babies wake up, we do chores together, craft time, storytime and swim around 4:30 every day!

I'm still exploring options for history and science curriculum..........if anyone has suggestions???

I have spent more quality time with my kids this week than I have in a long time. It's not that I wasn't with them before, I definitely was.....it's just that we are talking and learning together during school time. We've never experienced that before. We've talked about the day, talked about problems and feelings but never have we learned together and worked together so intimately. I am so looking forward to more!

Just thought I'd post a glimpse into our 'day in the life'!


1 comment:

Ginger said...

Dia, I'm visiting via Kellie's blog. Your family is growing up! Wow! I love the family photo.

As for homeschooling, I have a friend that homeschools her kids (both teens now....9th and 12th grade) I could ask her for suggestions on history and science. She's a part of the homeschooling group in Jonesboro, so you may already know them...the Grahams.

Anyway, good to catch up with you!!