Thursday, August 6, 2015

Organization...or Lack Thereof

I really hate setting routines. I'm not a big scheduler, I don't do the laundry the same day every week, and I don't like the pressure creating a schedule puts on me. There are a few things we do at a certain time every day or week but these are things that MUST GET DONE to keep our sanity and maintain family harmony.

1. 4 PM every day is clean up/chore time. I picked this time so that I wasn't constantly getting after my monkey's to clean up AND the house would be perfect for my hubby when he got home from work. (He loves an orderly home, and he gets a little bent out of shape on the weekends when the kids destroy the house...)

2. Family Night, every Monday evening. Now, even though this is "scheduled" we don't have a specific time that it occurs...once we're all home and ready to be together, we have a scripture lesson, sing some songs, pray together and eat a treat!

3. Church, every Sunday. This is a scheduled time, and we're always there.

So, how do I get any teaching done, when I like to be spur of the moment? First of all I take advantage of all those built in teaching moments my kids love to throw at me. Like, "Mom, why can't I see my shadow anymore?"

But the main way we get stuff done is I make a big check list of all the things I want my kids to work on for the next several months.

As you can see, some of these are very specific activities that will help teach a skill like letter/sound recognition. We worked on this list for several months until I felt as though most of the skills had been mastered. Then I make a new list with more difficult tasks.

And I just found a great article from Amongst Lovely Things about check lists to make on a daily basis. I am TOTALLY DOING THIS! I also really enjoyed this article about Decision Fatigue and why having some sort of schedule matters to homeschooling parents!

This is what my daily checklist will look like for my school aged kids, the starred items are most important and MUST be done. The others are optional but I'll expect them to do at least 2 of them...and then when they tell me they are bored I'll redirect them to their lists!

And if you love making and keeping schedules, I found this for you from Confessions of a Homeschooler! (you can see her entire post here)

"Here’s our Basic Kindergarten Schedule:
  • 8:30am   – Breakfast / Family Devotion Time
  • 9:00am   – Calendar Time & Daily Learning Notebook
  • 9:15am – Bible
  • 9:30am – Math
  • 10:20am – Phonics
  • 10:40am – Language/Grammar
  • 11:00am – Spelling
  • 11:20am – Reading
  • 11:45am – Vocabulary
  • 12:15pm – Lunch
  • 1:00pm  – History (M/T), Science (W,TH)
  • 2:00pm – Art (Tues), Music (Wed), Piano (Thurs)
  • 2:30pm – Typing (Mon), Literature (Tues/Wed)
  • 5:00pm – Sports start!"
For younger kids, who need more activity based learning opportunities, and can't just sit down and do a math workbook, (Or you want to find a fun math review game, etc.) all of my activities have come from pinterest. There are so many good ideas, it's free to use and you just have to search the topic you're interested in. You can follow my boards here.

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