Once more...our always changing schedule

*** CAUTION ***
This post is that one with many nice pictures that may seem we have it all together and we have a very smooth time homeschooling and our life is ideal. And it's not that we don't have a wonderful life, we do, but when you take nice pictures and write about your days, it may seem too perfect. It's the virtual world curse I guess.

To illustrate with an example, this morning before all these pictures were taken, my friend came to visit a little bit because she forgot her camera and my youngest daughter was on the stool by the sink and when she came down the floor tile was wet, she fell on her back and head and I had a horrible scare because we didn't know if she landed on her head first and how grave it was. Fortunately it wasn't anything serious but I was numbed for most of the morning until after lunch when we got a creative and productive time. The weather is so nice now in Houston, that I can hardly believe we can go out and eat, work, read, sit, think, pray, observe, and enjoy being outdoors.

As we were reminded in our hs group this week, the most important part of this journey for many in which I include myself, it's not the facts they can parrot, but the working ethics we have, and if we are establishing those relationships with God, people, and His Creation, which the most perfect schedule can very well leave out, and the most faulty one can include if that's the attitude and heart of the parents.

Some of the reasons why I post about our schedule and I include pictures are:

* Because if I write about what we do I get a better idea of what is working and how to improve.
* To inspire another person who may want to see how some of us plan our weeks and days.
* To encourage anyone who is at home doing many things at different times, always joggling her schedule, and feeling they are not doing enough, or having a bit of a burn out just a month into the new "school year", or thinking that they need a complicated or expensive curriculum, those who do not give themselves enough credit for their efforts.
* To share a bit of our life with YOU, my friends.  

Monday/Lunes
Tuesday/Martes
Wed./Miércoles
Thursday/Jueves
Friday/Viernes
Bible Reading
Bible Reading
Bible Reading
Bible Reading
Bible Reading
Read Aloud: poems, books
Read Aloud: poems, books
Read Aloud: poems, books
Read Aloud: poems, books
Read Aloud: poems, books
Copy work/ Writing/Draw
Experiment
Play with words
Copy work/ Writing/Play with words
MEP 1/ games math
MEP 1/ games math
MEP 1/ games math
MEP 1/ games math
MEP 1/ games math
Nature Walk/ Nature Journal
Library
Literature and Poems
Activity with hs group
Cooking/Art/ Experiment

During the day and week we do all of this, we don't follow the days strictly, and the times of the day we work on this vary, but it's usually in the mornings or early in the afternoon while the youngest naps, and sometimes after dinner. Even some easy going Saturdays we may be doing some of these activities.

Every day we read some Scripture, some days my oldest narrates the reading and the youngest talks about her lesson in class on Wednesdays and Sundays. They both ask amazing questions after my readings or spontaneously, and sometimes they request the Bible account to be read. I like to read from Psalms and Proverbs too to them.

While they have breakfast I read some poems and usually some books. Then if we are not going out to walk in nature and play at the park, we may start the day with some math games, some writing, drawing while I read aloud, or some project (writing thank you letters, painting, making something). I have some phonics and a math books and some days my oldest does one or two pages of those, or we may do math orally and reading with games too. The games are to read syllables, to cut out a nursery rhyme, hide the words, find them and put them back in order. We do reading also by pointing to words during some of our normal read aloud time. I know when to stop, it's when she starts moaning.

I have two boxes, one with the binders and books, one with math manipulatives (dominoes, cards, unifix cubes, counting bears, our lids and caps, a bottle with pennies, tangrams, a graph, rulers, crayons, markers, pencil, glue, etc.) and we get things from there to work on those.

I have some books downstairs and upstairs by my bed I keep the library books.I like the fact I cleaned most of the twaddle, now at quiet for the oldest/nap for the youngest time, if my youngest brings me some books from our shelves I'm always pleasantly surprised by titles like Bread and Jam for Frances, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, or Where do kisses come from, and books by Richard Scurry.



When we come back from a nature walk and just twice this September, my daughters draw and make an entry into their nature journals.

We visit the library once a week. Once a week we get the play dough or paint out to create. Once a week or more we cook together.
If we have friends over to play or we can go to play outdoors and enjoy the good weather, the books stay on the kitchen table. Even spending lots of time outdoors we still have time to work on these things. Something very important to share it's that my oldest who just turned six, is really showing signs of maturity. She even asked me to do some lessons today. She is enjoying sitting at the table time as I call it, and motivated to work on things she wasn't before, not only academically but house chores. Today she even put the cushions on my bed, and came downstairs announcing she wanted to sweep the driveway. Even the books, she is asking for stories from The Children Book of Virtues that have quite a lot of text without many picture support. Her sister is either playing alone or sitting with us and doing her thing too. She is pretty driven, she loves writing, drawing, reading and being read, anything and everything.

I have talked about being INTENTIONAL before as a key to success. Intentional doesn't mean rigid or too loose, it's that balance that looks different for each family, but that inner feeling of doing good because you are truly not being selfish and devoting children their needed time with a pleasant attitude. It's that constant reflexion, not feeling bad if you slide, and keep on keeping on. I think that frame of work is present this year. We are focused, having time to be alone, with friends, outdoors, working, reflecting, relaxing, learning. And I like to keep working at routines (ALWAYS :-), even if they change every cycle.

I'm starting to see that all that habit training is worth the time invested. Once more, we don't have everything together. Though we are very blessed and I can tell they have wonderful health, we also have our deplorable moments, many bad habits we need to change, lots of weaknesses for sure, tough days, doubts, desperation, uncertainty...but the whole scope of things is starting to take shape for us. I'm totally LOVING our unique arrangement as homeschoolers and seeing my daughters thrive with our life journey.


• I try at all times to listen to music, sometimes I check what they are studying at Ambleside Online, what composer, sometimes it's just random classic for now, and some folk songs. We also listen regularly to church hymns in the car mainly.

• I need to do better with art study. I need to find my path to it. Some blogs explain very well how to do this, they have a proposed artist too at Ambleside Online, but I think it may work better to buy or try to get not very expensive set of art prints and do it downstairs like this. If I try to show them the paiting on the screen, they get distracted and it’s not working. The paitings are intended to be printed, but I never get around this part. I need to figure out how to do this.

What will stay: our weekly (instead of daily or to the hour) way of planning, our reading Bible, poetry and wholesome books, our way of playing with math, our nature walks and creating together.

What I'd like to improve: our artist study and don't forget the composer/folk song study. Maybe focus on one hymn per month from the ones we like and we can sing the chorus and most of it together.

What will evolve: the reading/phonics instruction. I'm not doing it ALL the time, she is asking for some, I'm adjusting to the girls all the time. Narration. So far my oldest is taking baby steps, I'm nor requiring it at all times. As the readings get more steady (I'll try AO year 1 and see if hopefully several books at once, with reading short chapters or paragraphs every day works for us. I've heard those who read one book cover to cover and move to the other one. It's not CM idea, you need to read in small portions to reflect, ponder, assimilate what you've read. But we'll see how this goes).

Things that will be incorporated: hopefully a more steady diet of the AO Year 1 readings next fall and required narration. I'm also thinking about some instruments such as a recorder, a keyboard, or whatever the good will store has available.

Things that we'll quit: so far I'm fine with all we get to do. There is nothing I want to stop doing permanently...unless you could quit cooking and still have food ready in a magic cauldron, which is not possible, huh.


7 opinion(s):

Pam said...

Doesn't it feel good to become a bit more organized, or to figure out a better plan? When I was five years into schooling it definately did not look like it does for me over a decade later.
And grace. What stood out most was that you made sure to give out grace by your disclaimer at the beginning. I so long to inspire, but not intimidate or weigh down. It is so hard to have 'grace seasoned with salt', to 'build each other up', to let our communication 'be that which is good..ministering grace unto the hearer'. Good posting and God bless!

Marvan said...

Wonderful post, thanks for sharing!

Ellen said...

I love reading about your activities, your plans, your ideas and thoughts. It really helps me to see what you're doing and how you're doing it, despite the differences in our dc's ages/stages. It's the *philosophy* that counts.

Silvia said...

Thanks Pam. I agree with you. It's a path we make as we walk it, we get ideas, encouragement, and can share our joys and worries with each other even if we don't know each other in person.

Thanks Marvan, your posts inspire me quite a lot, and to relate this to what Ellen says, it doesn't matter our children ages, what matter it's that we share some things in our approach, philosophies, struggles and joys. To me it's great to take a peek at your homes too, Pam, Ellen, Marvan, and other friends.

wonderinthewoods said...

Wow, Silvia, you are accomplishing so much with your girls and it sounds so fun. I love how you are thinking about them and what they need instead of pushing forward. I love that idea of evolving. I have some things I am dropping for now, but we will come back them. Six months ago H said he did not like poetry. Yesterday I asked him which poetry book he would like for this year and he asked, "What is that?" Then I read from one book and he lit up like it was the first time he'd heard a good poem. LOL So you just never know what will spark and when. I will have to remember to keep trying things every few months. Have fun Silvia!!

Silvia said...

Thanks Pam. I agree with you. It's a path we make as we walk it, we get ideas, encouragement, and can share our joys and worries with each other even if we don't know each other in person.

Thanks Marvan, your posts inspire me quite a lot, and to relate this to what Ellen says, it doesn't matter our children ages, what matter it's that we share some things in our approach, philosophies, struggles and joys. To me it's great to take a peek at your homes too, Pam, Ellen, Marvan, and other friends.

Pam said...

Doesn't it feel good to become a bit more organized, or to figure out a better plan? When I was five years into schooling it definately did not look like it does for me over a decade later.
And grace. What stood out most was that you made sure to give out grace by your disclaimer at the beginning. I so long to inspire, but not intimidate or weigh down. It is so hard to have 'grace seasoned with salt', to 'build each other up', to let our communication 'be that which is good..ministering grace unto the hearer'. Good posting and God bless!

 

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