This nugget about my life should firmly place the lid on the box in which I have been placed in your minds.
Boiling chickens for homemade chicken broth-CHECK
Cod liver oil chasers at breakfast-CHECK
Sugar = Death (even though it secretly slips in often)-CHECK
Norwex to avoid chemicals in the home-CHECK
Essential oils and juicing instead of antibiotics-CHECK
Church going folk-CHECK
and the clincher…
This is my third year homeschooling my little flock. The first two were REALLY difficult for me. Last year, while on a walk with a dear friend, I confessed to her how much I was struggling with teaching my kids (and flat out being at home all the time).
“This has got to be the hardest year, with a 2nd grader, kindergartener, a three year old and a one year old. Attempting to teach the older two as the younger two tear the house apart, make piles, fill diapers while leaving crumbs in their wake seems nearly impossible to me.”
She, being a few years ahead of me, encouraged me with these words, “Next year will be just as difficult, but then it will get easier.”
Thankful for her honesty, I braced myself for an uphill battle as we began our school year. To my delight, it has been a rather pleasant journey thus far. As we begin our fourth week of school, I find we have fallen into a gentle routine.
Much of the activities on this schedule have been placed on it by the words of veteran homeschooling moms, authors of books about The Montessori Method, The Waldorf Method, The Classical Method, as well as books on how to teach so kids will actually learn.
Geek mom who loves to read-CHECK!
5:30AM I eagerly awaken to greet the day (Read: groggily stumble out of bed to the caffeine source).
- Start coffee and stretch while it brews. (You have just witnessed my complete workout routine; my body is jello.)
- Read Bible & pray that God fills me up to overflowing so there is a little trickle left by the end of the day.
- Establish lucidity.
7:00AM Kids burst forth from their rooms in happy song (right…).
- Make beds, get dressed, brush hair & teeth.
- Bible time (6 & 8 year olds-mostly looking at picture Bibles) in their room. One mom of 8 says to her children, “No Bible, no breakfast!”
- Release the chickens to roam (kids).
- Adults devour food quickly in order to read the devotion before energy hits little bellies.
- Review and recite memory verses.
8:30AM School begins-place phone on vibrate somewhere I won’t hear it.
- Pray together that God teaches my kids what they need to know and that He helps me to teach them in a manner in which they best learn.
- Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Writing, Journaling, Reading) & Math in this first segment of school. (I don’t sit well. As a result, I knit while the girls read to me. Consequently, Mom, your blanket is almost finished.)
- Younger kids play with play dough (Translation: throwing it around the house, sticking it in eachother’s hair-etc.) or some other toy that is only available during school hours.
- Help boys pick up morning disaster.
- Switch laundry, dishes, attitudes.
11:00AM Back to School
- Science, Geography, History, or Music (#1 on the violin, #2 on piano).
12:00PM Break (for sanity & lunch)
- It can go two ways: 1. Girls begin their chores while I make lunch OR 2. Girls make lunch while I mentally talk myself off the cliff.
- Boys are still working on bringing the sandbox into the house, leaving legos in places where I step on them, and begging to have access to any sort of mindnumbing media.
2:00PM Naps/Finish School
- Boys to bed.
- Finish whatever subjects need to be finished.
- Send the girls off the play while I sit and stare for a bit.
The rest of the day fills up nicely with:
- Quality time with my boys so they feel more like my children and less like dust.
- completing chores
- making dinner
- answering emails, text messages, phone calls
- cleaning…always cleaning
- Await the arrival of Fun Dad (find an article about him here)
- mommy’s workout routine (Parts jiggle that shouldn’t.)
- regular bathing
This is not a concrete schedule. The times are fluid. I count it as a victory when two out of five days of school unfold as outlined above. On days we need to go to town (an hour away) we are listening to the math jingle CD, the audio version of our history text, or the girls’ music CDs. If we cannot bear to hear Twinkle Twinkle on the violin one more time, the girls will read for 30 minutes.
We log between three and six hours of school per day depending on the day, dispositions, various lessons, coop, or practices.
If you are a homeschooler, would you like to share your schedule? Guest post, perhaps? 🙂