Monday, October 1, 2007

You mean I can do that??

With two babies in the house, both of whom can be demanding, I've struggled with putting a schedule together. I want one, because Mini-Me seems to thrive with a schedule. A schedule would also help me in planning and mental preparation.

It was just difficult because I expected a schedule to be very decisive about when to do what. You know the kind I mean:
8:00 - breakfast
8:30 - Bible
8:45 - Math
9:30 - Phonics
Everything had a time slot. I couldn't do those because both my little ones would often need attention. I actually considered it a shortcoming in me. I mean, I should be able to control diapers and feedings, right?? Oh, and outbursts....and skinned knees...and munchies...

I've been reading the book "Things we wished we'd Known" compiled by Diana Waring. It's been an interesting book. I've not really gotten far as I"m trying to read one persons account at a time. It's compiled like a devotion might be. Each family writes an essay that might fit into one big category. I like that I can sit down and read each essay in a sitting. It's almost a devotional in that aspect. Something that could be read over with Hot chocolate or tea in the morning - or a sandwich during lunch...or those times that I lock myself in the bathroom.

My "aha" moment came with the article written by Madelaine Smith, entitled "Hanging Haman: Exploring the Bible One Day a Week". I loved what she wrote about Studying the Bible one day a week, I really did.

Here's what she wrote that opened my eyes:
"At home, we could do one subject a day, and that's what we did for the
first eight years. Math was our exception since the girls, 8 & 9 years old,
felt their brains might explode if they did several math lessons a day. Since
they were usually only required to do every third math problem anyway, math did
not take much time, so we still had about tow hours to do our one big subject
and finish by lunchtime, a goal we maintained until high school."

I read that and thought: You mean I can do that?? I realize that's a silly statement to make. Homeschooling is all about overcoming and adapting. Modifying to fit the needs of the student and teacher. While I knew all that, I felt like I was falling down the on the job if I didn't give my kids a rounded school day.

After reading that segment, I realized that the best times of school work, where we got the most accomplished, happened during the end of the school year crunches. The reason we got so much accomplished would be because I'd push through one subject a day. (Push through sounds like a military maneuver, but it wasn't ever a knuckle down kind of happening. When doing more than one lesson in, say, phonics, I can only do the repetitious stuff once. In math, I can practice reading a clock, once out of three lessons as opposed to once every lesson. Then we adjusted the work levels, too, on the paperwork. While one was doing work, I'd teach the other.

(Handwriting is still a painful topic around here.)

So I felt a new freedom after reading this and realized that I could do a schedule like this:
Monday: Speech Therapy & math
Tuesday: Phonics, Bible & History
or something like that ---
I always want to start my day with Bible I'm hoping this will help us get into a routine of Bible reading and History.

Mini-Me is already adjusting to this type of schedule, last week, while I was still writing all this down, I wanted to pick up on a math lesson and she said "But it's Tuesday (or whatever day it was) and we're supposed to do phonics."


The only downside I see to this is that when the day is tough, I still don't get done all I want to get accomplished. We're working on it though and I know it will come in time...because I've also had the revelation that I am, really, quite organized - but not organized the way I think it should look. That's another topic for another post.

Overcoming and adapting - Homeschooling at it's best.

A Comfy note: I started this post yesterday and just now finished it. I don't know why I can't change the date on my post, ah well, It will help my feeling of being in a time warp.


Wabi Sabi Me said...

Yeah! Don't you love it when someone confirms what we already know? It's nice to know we aren't crazy LOL!

And please don't be so hard on yourself about organization. Check out "Organizing from the Right Side of the Brain: A Creative Approach to Getting Organized"
by Lee Silber

Monkey Giggles said...

Amen sista!!! I had struggled with the schedule issue too. It's funny, well inteneded friends would tell me "I HAVE to do this and you HAVE to do that". I finally stopped listening to them and started listen to GOD and my children. Do what is best for you and your family.

We switched curriculum's two years ago and it was the best thing I did for us.

Have a happy, smiling day!

Anonymous said...

I have this book too. I had many similiar revelations while reading it.
It heleped me to loosen up a LOT and to stop feeling like I had to get *everything* done every single day.
Now we only do English and math each day. All the other subjects are once a week.

Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

Ya know, I've never thought of doing only one subject a day. It would be great though, giving us time to really get into something and not feeling rushed.

Classic MaMa said...

A new "big" thing in public education is called block scheduling. When I taught 11th grade, before Bubba was born, my day was split up into 4 sections of 90 minute classes. The kids would only have 4 classes a day. The school systems rave about it because it allows teh kids to focus more on one subject and to have more time to do projects and such within that subject. Plus, they could only really have 4 tests in one day, not 6 or 7 as they could before. My point is, yeah, if the big-wigs in education can shrink the learning day to a few subjects then so can you. ;) Enjoy yourself in the freedom that this is giving you!!

ComfyDenim said...

WabiSabi -- It is SO VERY nice to know I'm not crazy. Despite what my brother says. I'll be looking for this book at my library. I'm very encouraged. I need to pop over to your blog and tell you something ... be there in a minute..

Giggles -- Well meaning friends aren't always helpful. :-) Thanks for the cheers!! I love having you on my side.

Angie - We can get so much done during a day when I'm not trying to get shift my mental gears so many times. Especially if I look at it each subject multiplied by each child. That's a lot of gear shifting - just for me. And for them. I know I'm going to enjoy this!

Coffee Mom - I never thought of it either except in times of desparation. *LOL* We spent time today in History knowing that we would have time to do Math this afternoon - and now Daddy's going on a trip -- and we had to get a few things done instead. But we're overcoming and adapting!!!

ClassicMom -- You mean there are paid professionals that thought this up? Wow.
I need a pay raise.
Thank you for your encouragement!! I always like it when we can have a comment chat. :-)

Tracy said...

It is so nice when you find something that makes your life a little easier...and that is the beauty of can flip things around and do it however works for YOU and your kids!

Sharon said...

I so respect you Mommies who home school. I am glad God gave you a little break through to make life easier.

TobyBo said...

I am interested in seeing how this works out for you. I have kicked the idea around but have a problem with a really short attention span myself, as you have probably noticed with the way my blog flips around...

TobyBo said...

hey, I just have to know, did you take that great picture of forks in the pocket yourself? it is inspired.

KarenW said...

I like concentrating on just a few subjects. Right now my high schoolers are doing American History, American Lit and Physical Science. We'll focus on three more subjects next semester.

Mrs. Darling said...

My schedule consists of Math and Reading and Languange Arts every day. All other subjects are twice a week with semsester long projects once a week.

I have to have those first three subjects every day because Tink has problems with her short term memory. My only hope of her ever learning to read fluently is to get everything out into long term memory. Thus we dog away every day on the important things.

applesofgold said...

Hi Amelia! Thank you for all the great comments you left me-I really enjoyed reading them. And thanks for the congratulations, too! That's funny that you were looking for more info on my blog due to the widget on the sidebar.
I loved this post! It just isn't possible when you have a family and a home to cover every single subject each day! We've done something similar. M/W/Th are 3Rs days and T/F are Konos days. There's other things we fit in on lighter days, too-like nature study and art study. We just put them wherever we can. Holly