The Gift of Snow
We had a surprisingly slow start back to school this past week. I usually love a soft start to school, but since joining a new homeschool co-op this year, many aspects of our day have been out of my hands.
Our first day back to our homeschool co-op was canceled due to winter weather, along with the first day back to choir and the first day back to Boy Scouts. From my perspective, it was a beautiful thing and gave us the chance to ease back into school and experience the relaxed learning of our old days (before getting so busy).
For the first time this year, we participated in Sketch Tuesday together (the assignment was to draw hot cocoa or tea, we added in the cookies):
After he designed the Alien Minifig, he had to write ten adjectives to describe the creature. I pulled out a handy source for interesting word choices and this is what he came up with (remember, he’s an eight-year old boy, what did I expect?)
My alien is(has):
The next worksheet was about verbs and he had to write five things his Alien could do and then draw a picture. This week he’s supposed to write a short story about the Minifig.
Our four-year old enjoyed Signing Time while I taught her brother math, and when we ran into a deaf gentleman working at the grocery store, she remembered a few signs from the videos.
Extra Time for our Favorite Part
Along with adding in a bit of daily math, grammar, and copywork, we enjoyed the luxury of not having a destination to rush off to after lunch and instead I read Little Women while the kids made Rainbow Loom bracelets, created with beads, and built with Legos. They were quite spoiled this week since their Dad read an hour of the first Harry Potter every night, too.
The week was not without challenges. And next week the hectic schedule will more than make-up for the slower start this week, but I’m still thankful for how one snow day changed the course of our week.
Our Soft Start planned for Wednesday, became a Non-Start that rolled over to our Official Start today!
We broke out the brownies and popcorn to celebrate the start and finish of Day 1!
After our slow, to stop, to slower start, I especially needed to mark our success with some chocolate.
I thought I’d give a brief view into what our first day looked like, particularly for those of you with multiple (and little) children. Our children are 11, 9, 6, and almost 3.
Many new homeschooling mama’s have asked me if I have our day scheduled by specific times. For example, 8:30am-math, 9:15am-history.
I don’t organize our day that way and I never have. I think there are too many variables to guarantee exact times and I would feel like I was behind before we even finished breakfast.
Instead I have a list of our subjects and assignments for the day and a general order and plan to accomplish them. It works for me and allows for flexibility. If most of the assignments get done, even if I have to shift the order, it’s been a good day.
A Peek Into our Window on the First Day
(as I said we don’t schedule times, the times below are from looking back to the day that’s already happened)
Between 8 and 9-We all get up and I get a shower while the 9 and 11 year old get dressed and get started on their individual school work like math practice sheets and cursive.
9am-The kids eat eggs and grapefruit while I attempt to read the Bible and a book on art. Squishy interrupts constantly and tells us long toddler versions of the Bible story so she’ll feel included in the conversation and I finally decided to postpone the art book until later. Bible and breakfast are completed.
9:45ish-The kids go off to finish morning chores, such as brushing teeth, tidying their rooms, wiping off the kitchen table and sweeping the kitchen floor. I grab yogurt and check my email.
10ish-Since the girls have already gotten some assignments done, I instruct them to go play with Squishy for 30 minutes while I help 6 year old Drummer boy clean out his school bin, do his handwriting, and read aloud for to me for 15 minutes.
Confession: the girls’ play gets very loud and completely distracting as they decide to play hide-and-go-seek throughout the house. I confine their play to the back bedroom and things settle down.
Mid morning snack-We’re all at the table again and I finally get to read that art book from breakfast.
11:30ish-Instead of an hour of room-time for Squishy, I give her and her brother the privilege to watch a Scholastic Video and I work with the girls on their cursive (which is copying the first stanza of our hymn for this week) and introduce Simply Grammar to the 11 year old.
12ish-The girls finish their cursive and I head into the kitchen to make soup for lunch (we didn’t have anything quicker on hand).
12:30ish-We sit down for lunch and I eat my soup quickly so that I can try to read some of Little Lord Flauntleroy, our newest read-aloud, while everyone (meaning, Squishy) is occupied with food.
confession: Squishy interrupted every two minutes, exactly like Bible time that morning, so I finally gave up on reading. I need to trouble shoot that problem and see if it can be rectified presently or if our longer reading times just need to happen during naptime for the greater peace of the reader and the listeners.
1:30ish-The kids have played a bit and Squishy is settled down for nap. The three big kids sit down with me to do a history review which includes updating our timeline.
Confession: I had planned on doing this history review in the morning and starting a bit of our new history unit during this afternoon time. The review was moved to this spot and the new history moved to the next day. The kids squabbled over who got to put which timeline pieces on and Mama started to get grumpy.
2ish-The boy plays on the computer in Microsoft Word while I do math with the girls.
2:30-The weather is sunny and actually warm, so I send the kids out to play and I make brownies and sit down to write part of a blog.
Confession: the blogging was a “yea, we made it” indulgence since I really had other things to do, but instead sat down to the computer and a spoonful of chocolate.
The end of Day 1 of our Winter/Spring Semester!
Do your days ever go just as you planned? Do you schedule specific times for school subjects? Your ideas and thoughts are always welcome!