This week in review is the back to homeschool edition that got really long! After a wonderful Christmas break everyone got to work on January 1st. First order of business: Fix our mornings.
The last two months with a tired pregnant mommy and three weeks of the flu among the ranks our wake up time slipped and routines faltered. Our morning routine was slogged through most of the time but there were still days where a child or two were in pajamas at lunch time. And mommy wore sweatpants more than once instead of getting dressed for the day.
Remember – every family is different! My sweet sister’s family functions on a late morning wake up with afternoon being the prime homeschooling time. It is perfect for them. Do what works for your family.
For us being back on our morning routine looks as follows:
Mommy wakes up around 6am. Peace and quiet are hard to come by at any later hour of the day. Makayla’s alarm rings at 6:30am and she can get up or read in bed until seven. At seven Mommy turns on lights in bedrooms and everyone gets up. Some wake cheerfully, others not so much. Everyone gets dressed and comes down for breakfast. Chores are done as soon as each child finishes their breakfast. This includes:
- Dishwasher unloaded and reloaded.
- Kitchen wiped down.
- Pick up items on floors.
- Floors swept or vacuumed on main level.
- Both bathrooms cleaned.
- Laundry started.
- Pets fed indoor and out.
- Bedrooms cleaned.
Many hands make light work! The only things on the list I do are wipe down the kitchen and every 3 days I am the one doing laundry (the other days children do their laundry). Now it is 8am and children play or even start school so they can finish early.
School hours are 9am-10am, then 10:30am to Noon. The half hour break is snack time. My younger grades are easily finished by noon. Makayla may have one thing left to do after lunch. It depends on how diligently she works or if she gets pulled into a project.
We are continuing to use assignment sheets. The children have freedom to choose what order to do their work. The only rule is you need to be working during school hours. Thanks to assignment sheets my children are largely self-directed, able to start and complete many assignments on their own while I focus on small groups, work one on one, or meet the needs of my sweet little ones.
Real life changed the rhythm of a few school days this week. Wednesday I had a prenatal appointment and ultrasound that sent me out the door at 6:30am and not home for four hours. Here is the next little blessing growing away: The next day Mason’s physical therapist arrived on our doorstep at 8:30am. She’s a sweetheart and all the children except Mason look forward to her visits. He knows she’s there to make him work hard – poor guy. He’s doing well making slow but steady progress, strengthening muscles.
While we prefer to get school done in the morning we’ve learned to be flexible for days like these. In January alone we have five medical appointments, with a sixth tentatively planned if Mason’s leg braces are finished. If my children were at school all day they would miss out on so many things, one being a real, working knowledge of life with younger children and medical needs. Instead they are a part of real life which is full of interrupted plans. Homeschool adapts. We trickled some assignments over into the afternoon and cancelled extra practice in math facts.
Makayla has started to cook dinner a few nights a week. She took over when I was making pancakes one day this week. That’s when she told me she wanted to cook more often. I’m all for that! I took a picture of her prep work on the next meal she did: She was making jambalaya and polish sausage soup. My husband and I love spicy jambalaya but NONE of the children do. The polish sausage soup was for the children. Tonight she’s making dinner again (yes, I realize the novelty will wear off soon, until then I’m letting her take over as much as she wants). Her plan:
Tater Tot Casserole (adapted from the Duggar family).
- 1 lb ground beef, browned (or beans!)
- 3-4 cups vegetables (broccoli and carrots tonight)
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 packet ranch dressing powder or seasonings as desired (onion, garlic, salt, pepper are our usual)
- 1 bag tater tots (about 32oz)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Layer browned beef and vegetables in a 13x9 baking dish. Put tater tots on top. In a bowl mix cream soups, seasonings, and milk then pour over top of tater tots. Bake for 1 hour, then allow to sit for 10 minutes on stove top before serving.
Walking Update: I have walked 6 miles for my children this week and still have a mile today and a mile tomorrow.
Books Update: Check the Books Read 2013 tab to see what I’ve read this week, plus what I’m working on.
This post is linked to Five Things for Friday.