I've thought to myself about a dozen times this week, "I love this schedule. This is actually working really well. Oh my gosh. Yay!" all the while simultaneously recalling our first week of school last year when nothing seemed like it was going right. Let me tell ya, it's nice to not feel like quitting life by mid-afternoon. Really, really nice. Rainbows and unicorns nice.
I love our new house, and I'm finally (slowly!) making these spaces feel more like ours. Love, love love, the huge world map of Mitch's Great-Aunt's travels (the kids' Great-Great-Aunt!) that we framed and hung this weekend. Even if this room wasn't our school spot, I think I'd love it there.
We originally set up the school area in the basement near the computer. The kids each had their own student desk, and there are tons of shelves down there...seemed logical. Then, it seemed like toward the end of last year we were hauling school upstairs to the kitchen table nearly every single day. Even with the baby monitors, I just didn't feel like I was close enough to the nappers who were all the way up on the 2nd level. Plus, I like to multitask. Don't tell the homeschool police on me, ok? I like to start dinner, run a load of dishes, write a grocery list, etc. etc. etc. while the kids are working. I like this whole scenario times one million when it's snowy outside. It just feels so right to have something in the oven while my big kids are working at the table and my littlest ones are napping. Homeschool Heaven.
So...I really wanted to make the dining room into the school room. This summer I moved the desks upstairs, added a shelf, and thought it would work pretty well. My husband did not like that idea. He really wanted a table in there. So, this is our compromise. I sold the desks, bought a table (actually, he bought a table one night after I fell asleep before 8pm in a West Nile Virus induced 12-hour coma- wow!), consolidated our shelf by about a million percent and left the stuff we don't use daily downstairs. I think it's working.
It will be nice to have an extra table for when we have company. However, just last weekend we had my brother's family over and we ended up eating in shifts and sitting on the bar stools and standing around with plates in our hands while the kids ate at the kitchen table...so...
Rowen and Maeson (on the afternoons he's home with us) are doing legit preschool with Ryleigh as their teacher. Maeson will sit all afternoon and color, circle things, sort stuff, make patterns, fill out worksheets, make crafts. He will be an excellent school student next year. Rowen on the other hand, while very proud of his binder full of work, can tolerate about one worksheet's worth of instruction before he's done. He will be less of a book learner, is my guess. All three are in love with this arrangement for now.
Reise is getting the hang of having to be on more of a schedule during the day as opposed to what she did last year: doing whatever she wanted while Ryleigh and Rugger slaved away working their fingers to the bone at the table. :) Ha! I kid. But, seriously, she does feel the change. She's been saying things like, "I'm wasting all my time on this!" She has things to do like change her baby's clothes or do Alece's hair. Very important things, and she isn't super fond of being tied down to a schedule of chores and work! She is very proud of herself for all that's she's learned so far. I'm pretty confident she'll learn to read. Eventually.
Four whole days into the new school year, and the three big school'ers are out on an all-day field trip with Gma Sue today. They did their morning school before they left, and will likely (unless they're out super late, who knows!) finish their afternoon stuff when they get home. Just sayin'. If you're going to call the homeschool police on me for being a multitasking slacker teacher, we may as well get everything straight.
This is what the two preschoolers and I did all morning while the baby napped:
I'm told I am the "best train track builder, EVER". We played several games of Memory Match and Hi-Ho-Cheerio, and ate drive-thru Chinese for lunch. My charges are all asleep for the afternoon, so without any school to manage, I'm going to go do something crazy like clean all 4 bathrooms in a row...or mop the kitchen floor...or maybe just sit still and eat a Snickers while I scroll thru my Twitter feed. One of those things!
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