We started back to our homeschool yesterday. It was perhaps a bit later than I had hoped for, but considering we had all been sick, it was nice to be able to make the decision to put the school away and cuddle up on the couch for movies and tea.
With the new year, I wanted to take a look at what we were doing for school and try to make some changes where they were needed. The biggest change that I was looking to make was including more for my youngest in the form of books specifically for him. He is very good about being quiet and listening (or quietly playing) while I am working on school with my daughter, but I know that he has been waiting for his time to come.
Now, what my plan is, is to start school with my daughter first thing in the morning. While they are eating breakfast, I read them their Bible stories. It is the perfect time to do this, when their mouths are full and can't interrupt me! Then I put on their "Sing the Word" CD, which they both love. They dance around and sing Bible verses. Great exercise and enjoyable for me to watch!
We then sit down and do our book reading. We go through all the books that we have for that day, and typically spend a bit of time on a longer chapter book as well. Once we are done with our reading, Emma will sit down and work on her math and writing, as well as work on her readers. This is usually the most intensive time of our entire homeschool day. We will work until she wants to stop with math, and I have a set number of writing worksheets to do during the week. If she finishes them all at the beginning of the week, great, otherwise we work at them a little at a time until they are all gone. The same with the reading. I don't want to force it with her, she is only 4 after all. So, we work until she has had enough.
After we are done with Emma's school, we sit down and work through Jack's stories. Emma will sit and listen as well, because these are some of her favorite stories and she remembers them well. Often when we read these stories, she will make it a point to "read" them to Jack, because she had memorized them so long ago. It is nice to see them interacting this way.
Yesterday, all of this "school" went from about 7am until 10:30am. I was very impressed that the kids stuck with it for so long. I think the fact that we are not doing one thing for a long period of time, and we move around quite a bit, helps. Then it is time for a snack, and then craft time which is when I start preparing lunch.
Overall, this worked out very well for us (on the one day we have done it so far!). I think that the key to this is for me to have all the books ready to go before the morning starts. So, after we finished school today, I took a look at tomorrow's schedule and got everything ready. As long as I also wake up before the kids (knock on wood this will continue!), I can see this routine working out very well for us.
After lunch we have a rest time where the kids will watch a show, and I will do a bit of cleaning and start thinking about dinner. Now, if everyday runs as smoothly as yesterday did, well, I will be a happy woman. I'm not holding my breath of course, and will make changes as I need to in order to serve our family the best.
Have you changed your rhythm since the start of the year? Do you like to start fresh on January 1st re-evaluating what you have been doing since the beginning of the year?
Linking up at Mama Moments, Hip Homeschool Hop
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