I thought now would be the perfect time this month to keep my goal to blog about homeschooling. Henry's charter allots three weeks for Christmas vacation, and didn't technically resume until today. I decided instead to take the week before Christmas off so we went back last Monday at the same time as all the other adults in the house.
Going back to school, even when it's done in your home, is hard after three weeks of just playing and having a very limited, and flexible routine. This past week was pretty pathetic, and Friday I basically said to Hades with it, and let them run wild. I told myself we would start fresh on Monday, and so we did!
It's been a struggle to figure out a schedule with Leo's sleeping habits not being totally consistent, and Thea's interests changing, and often coming back to bugging Henry or needing to have his attention and help playing. It's also hard because Henry seldom wants to do any assignments without my presence. I knew that needed to change so I went back to what I had tried at the beginning of last year, but hadn't worked hopefully because he was still just a little too young.
So today I made a list for Henry of all his 'morning work' and told him it needed to be done by 10 and any time left before then once he finished was his. Thankfully he was game and he did some phonics, math, reading, and piano (this one I helped monitor a bit but less than usual) by himself. It was so nice to be able to get some cleaning up and organizing done for that hour! Thea and Leo even played together in Thea and Henry's room which does not happen often. Hopefully I won't always have as many things to catch up on in the morning and I can dedicate some of this time to more direct play with Thea and Leo. Afterwards we read 'Little House in the Big Woods' together then pulled out the watercolors and paint until Johann got home for lunch.
After lunch Thea put herself down for a nap in her bed, I did a little folding while Henry worked on his own book about one of the characters from this cool book we got them for Christmas. Then Leo decided he wanted to help me fold which meant it was time for me to put him down for his nap.
Once Leo was down, Henry and I got to finish up a lesson we had started last week from Moving Beyond the Page and then read another chapter in 'Little House in the Big Woods.'
Hopefully we can follow this basic schedule from here on out on days that don't involve morning routine changes:
*Breakfast-get dressed-brush teeth-comb hair
*Henry independent work-Thea & Leo time with mommy for half-half mommy time to organize (or you know, shower, on those days when it doesn't happen earlier)
*Some free time-reading together-art projects
*Nap for Leo-more in depth lessons with Henry-busy bin or other activity for Thea
*'School day' done!
If I could have things my way, we would get all the school work and lessons done first thing after breakfast and not have to worry about anything after 12pm every day, but I've realized that's just not realistic with two small ones that are not being formally schooled yet and will not just play quietly while I teach Henry. It also doesn't work with doctors appointments or trips to the store in the morning etc. This way I'm hoping to protect the one on one time for teaching Henry so that when we're going over an important lesson or concept there is consistency because we need to be home during Leo's nap time basically every day anyway. Day one down, here's hoping day two goes as well!