Friday, March 20, 2009

hi girls!

Hi friends, fellow moms & teachers of the next generation. I miss you all! I hope you are all doing GREAT, and continuing to be inspired and energized by one another. Are you still going to the park for connection times, and exercise for the littles? I truly miss the mommy-connections, and I think of you all often!

The Old School days sound so amazing - I hope you have enough help & creativity to share the load. You gals are pouring your very lives into those sweet kiddos - and its so worth it! We have gotten into a great routine over here too, using our mornings to learn - and afternoons to play & create. Of course, I have many other things sprinkled in throughout my day, but this schedule seems to work well for now. I love that homeschooling is so flexible, since our lives tend to be quite unpredictable. I was wondering if any of you adhere to a "schedule" - or a fixed routine of subjects, time table of the day, or anything like that. If so - I would love to take a gander. I wonder if I am missing anything....or oblivious to a topic that might be helpful. Asia will be 6 this June, and Eden will be 4 soon too. Anyhow....please share your knowledge and expertise with me!

Also, please let me know if your kids might want to be pen-pals with our girls here. We'd love to correspond with you anytime. Hugs, Ali


Blessed said...

Wow--are your girls learning Chinese too? So cool! I will think about what you were asking and post a response later. It will be interesting to hear how different moms are structuring their day--although I have a feeling most of us are pretty unstructured! ; )

Blessed said...

Ok, so I will give you the gist of what we do, Ali:

Every morning after their morning routine (make bed, get dressed, put away pjs, brush hair) and breakfast, Gwynneth starts with math. We use a workbook called Math Steps, which I really like, although we realized a month or so ago that what they call "level 3" is really for 2nd grade, not third. Whoops. So we upped the pace, and G does 2 pages of math from the workbook every day! It is feasible only because the concepts are easy right now--learning the times table, beginning fractions, review of basic geometry. But we get the math out of the way first (sometimes she does one, takes a break for a few minutes or moves on to another school project for a while, and then comes back and finishes the second math page) and then we move on.

When we finish a math book, we have a math party and play math games, make food, etc. Fun! So that is incentive to keep going with the worksheets. Also when we finish a book we take a several week breather and do other kinds of math--games, whatever.

So after math, we spend the rest of the morning on whatever else we are doing at the moment, or she helps me with some chores and finishes school in the afternoon during quiet time. Her list for the day recently has looked like this:

-2 pages math
-1 page handwriting (she has been learning cursive)
-write short report (rough draft--five points) on documentary we just watched
--quiet reading of a chapter book (mommy chooses) during naptime
-help Bronwyn learn her ABC's
-work on next step in ongoing art project
-if we have time, watch next nature DVD

TLC Macey (our dog--tender loving care)
vacuum the living room
pick up one bucket of leaves outside

If she is feeling motivated, she can get all this done easily in one day and still have time for classes, like martial arts, and play time. If she is dawdling, she will take the whole day just to do math and one chore, but I am not very good about playing games to motivate kids. I tend to just do the basic, "if you get ___ done in the next 20 minutes then you can play Barbies with your sisters for a little while" and sometimes even that does not work.

But mainly I structure the day around
1) getting math done first, while the brain is most fresh
2) urging her to finish a certain amount of school/chores before we need to head to the next activity, like martial arts lessons, or lunch, or her baby brother's nap.
I don't care if she gets it all done by a certain time, but I hate it when it seems like we are dragging things out all day and not getting much accomplished. Or when I am cranky at her for not focusing and not getting much done.

BUT we have discovered something fun: G really, really likes staying up later than her siblings, and since she is old enough to do so and still be rested, sometimes she asks if she can stay up and finish school after they are in bed. It is great--she knows that she can only stay up as long as she is working, so she happily--happily!--does a worksheet or finishes a piece of writing or does a learning game on the computer and is sad when we say it is time to go to bed. : )

McNabb Clan said...

that was the longest comment in history. :) thanks for taking the time to share all that! its very helpful...and makes me feel more sane too. :) you are doing a great job Lisa! hugs to your girls+baby boy!! love ali