Archive for the ‘Homeschooling’ Category

Happy New School Year!

Monday, August 1st, 2016

This is always an exciting time of year.  Planning is complete, new books have been purchased, and the new school schedule/routine is in the final tweaking stage.  Ready or not, our first day of school begins in about nine hours!  This year is going to be very different for our family.  Half of our school-age children will be at home and half will be in school.  Our girls have been home now for a year and a half.  They’ve come so incredibly far over the past 18 months.  They’ve learned to speak English, they’ve adjusted to a new culture, food, and family, they’ve made friends, and they completed a year of homeschooling.  But the fact is, they’re now 6, 6, and 8 and they have no prior education and the past year has been very difficult.  Books and methods that have worked with my other children have not been successful with the girls.  None of them are reading yet, despite trying very hard (Mom and children!) and the longer they’re home the more overwhelmed I get while realizing just how much they’ve missed by not being in a family for the last several years of their life.  As a result, we decided to put the girls in school for a year.  At the end of this school year we will re-evaluate.  The ultimate goal is to bring them back home.  We’re a homeschooling family but right now, this year, we’re calling in reinforcements!  We live out in the country.  Our local public elementary school is in the middle of farm land and peach orchards.  There are less than 250 students in the entire school and they have wonderful intervention specialists that can help us identify where the girls need special help and can get them started with the right tools for success. To be quite honest, I also had a bit of a revelation a few months ago when trying to decide what would be best for the girls for the coming school year.  I’ve never been able to just be their mom.

My other five children have been with me since birth.  I was able to nurse them, sing to them, help them crawl, walk, and talk.  We had fun at the park while casually learning to count and sing their ABCs. I rocked them to sleep and watched them blossom from a baby, to a toddler, to a school age child.  When our girls came home last year after a long adoption process and grueling waiting period we went into survival mode.  We went from four children to seven overnight.  Our daughters didn’t speak a word of English and were coming out of some very traumatic life experiences.  Josh and I were playing the roles of teacher, counselor, referee, nurse, chef, chauffeur, disciplinarian, oh, and parents.  Right around the time that the girls became pretty fluent in English we began our new school year.  They loved having Mommy as their teacher and they soaked up everything I was pouring in.  However, there was so much that simply wasn’t clicking.  I was treating them as if they were on a preschool/kindergarten level but the reality was they really weren’t even there yet.  I began to see that they were missing a solid foundation.  My stress level began to rise as I put pressure on myself to start building that foundation from scratch at a much older age than usual.  My relationship with the girls became strained.  You see, I fell in love with my biological children a day at a time from the moment they were born.  It’s pretty easy to love a tiny little newborn that grew in your belly for nine months.  It’s a pretty different story when you bring three little strangers into your home and family.  Three little strangers, whose pictures you’ve clung to for three years, faces you’ve prayed over and imagined what life would be like when they’re finally home.  Well let me tell you what its like when they finally come home.  It’s hard.  Homeschooling is hard.  Parenting is hard.  Homeschooling and parenting three new strangers who are now living in your home, part of your family, and call you Mommy is hard.  I love my daughters more than life itself but love is an action, not a feeling.  The emotional love often doesn’t come until later, sometimes even years later.  I’m just being honest and real.  So when I began to struggle with feeling loving toward my girls I suddenly realized that I have yet to just be their mom.  After lots of prayer and researching our options we decided upon our local elementary school.  For the first time since I met my daughters, I am going to just be their mom.  Their education will be in the hands of three sweet, qualified ladies just down the street Monday through Friday from 8-2.  I look forward to getting to know my girls on a new level without the pressure of also being their teacher.  We will paint fingernails and have makeover slumber parties.  We’ll go shopping for new clothes and watch chick flicks together.  I kind of feel like I’m going to be the mom of four daughters for the very first time.  We’re all pretty excited.

Well this post evolved into something completely different than I originally intended so I’ll have to write about what we’re doing in our homeschool this year in another post.  However, I want to end with this:  I absolutely love having a large family.  I love adoption and I love our unique family.  As crazy as it is sounds, there’s already talk around here about “the next one” and sweet baby Charlie is only six weeks old!  I always said I wanted nine children so maybe there is one more baby or child that’s meant to be in our family.  Only time will tell.

Fair-Weather Education

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

My boys were quite disappointed to find out that, although their regular school friends got another day off today because of the snow and ice, we’ll be returning to school as usual.

I had to remind them that we took the entire month of December off and will be finished with co-op at the end of March. Or how about last week when we spent the majority of the week in our pajamas and played long games of Qwirkle when we finished school before noon.

Today, we slept in until 9:00am. Of course Joshua woke up much earlier and didn’t feel the need to wake anyone else. When I was making breakfast he came in the kitchen and said,

“When I got up earlier than everyone else, I decided to find Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands on the map in the school room.” (his georgraphy for this week)

That’s what a momma wants to hear!

Right now I’m finishing my cup of coffee and the boys are sitting at the table coloring.

I picked up a Lite-Brite for the boys for Christmas. It was only $10 at Target and it was a huge hit. I only got one, so the boys take turns with it, but Owen seems to like it the most and it’s helping him learn his letters at the same time. He can now fill in all the “O”s, “G”s, “W”s, and “Y”s by himself. We’re working on “R” for red and “V” for violet (purple).

Josh will likely work late tonight and the rest of the week to make up for their snow day yesterday. I have a roast and veggies in the crock pot and I look forward to a quiet, thought-provoking day with the boys.

P.S. I did my second 5k workout last night on the treadmill. It was much easier than the first workout. It’s amazing how quickly your body adjusts. Tonight is my favorite form of inspiration: Biggest Loser!

~audrey

Updated Master Schedule

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

As I’ve said before, we used the Maxwell‘s scheduling material to come up with our Master Schedule and Chore Packs.

Our Master Schedule is simply a tool. There is never a single day that everything on everyone’s schedule gets accomplished. However, if we get off track during the day, it’s an excellent tool to refer to in order to help me reel us back in and continue being productive. It’s also a great way to make sure your time is accounted for on those days when you feel like you got nothing accomplished whatsoever!

MOMMY
JOSHUA
JESSE
OWEN
6:30am
Exercise/
Quiet Time
Sleeping
Sleeping
Sleeping
7:00am
Shower/Get Ready
Sleeping
Sleeping
Sleeping
7:30am
Breakfast
Get Dressed/Breakfast
Get Dressed/Breakfast
Get Dressed/Breakfast
8:00am
Chore Training/Clean up
Chores
Chores
Chores
8:30am
Bible Study with the boys
Bible Study and Prayer
Bible Study and Prayer
Bible Study and Prayer
9:00am
School
Spelling
Spelling
Color
9:30am
School
Reading with Mommy
Flash Cards with Owen
ABC Flashcards with Jesse
10:00am
School
Workbook with Owen
Reading with Mommy
Workbook with Joshua
10:30am
Snack
Snack
Snack
Snack
11:00am
School
Math
Math
Blocks/Puzzles
11:30am
School
Memory Work
Memory Work
Memory Work/
12:00pm
Lunch
Lunch
Lunch
Lunch
12:30pm
School
Language Lessons
Language Lessons
Play with Trains
1:00pm
School
Copywork/Writing
Copywork/Writing
Math Manipulatives with Mommy
1:30pm
Fly Lady (cleaning, pay bills, emails, etc.)
Play outside
Play outside
Play outside
2:30pm
Play (games, puzzles, computer)
Play (games, puzzles, computer)
Nap
3:00pm
School
**Extra School
**Extra School
Nap
3:30pm
Music
Piano
Computer
Nap
4:00pm
Music
Computer
Piano
Nap
4:30pm
Whole House Sweep/Dinner Prep
Dinner Helper
Dinner Helper
Dinner Helper
5:00pm
Dinner/
Clean up
Dinner
Dinner
Dinner
5:30pm
Family Time
Family Time
Family Time
Family Time
6:00pm
Bath Prep
Games with Daddy
Games with Daddy
Games with Daddy
6:30pm
Bathe Kids/
Teeth & Jammies
Bath/
Teeth & Jammies
Bath/
Teeth & Jammies
Bath/
Teeth & Jammies
7:00pm
Story/Bible Time
Story/Bible Time
Story/Bible Time
Story/Bible Time
7:30pm
Prayers with Kids
Prayers/Bed
Prayers/Bed
Prayers/Bed
8:00pm
Kids in Bed/
Bedtime Chores
SLEEP
SLEEP
SLEEP
8:30pm
Evening Routine/Plan for tomorrow
SLEEP
SLEEP
SLEEP
9:00pm
Read…aahhhhhh…
SLEEP
SLEEP
SLEEP
9:30pm
Read
SLEEP
SLEEP
SLEEP
10:00pm
Read
SLEEP
SLEEP
SLEEP
10:30pm
Lights Out!
SLEEP
SLEEP
SLEEP

Hope that helps!  Let me know if you have any questions.  It’s very trial and error in the creation process.

Happy Monday!

~audrey

What A Great Idea

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

These days, with six children, my organizational tendencies come and go…mostly GO.

However, I have been despising a certain pile of magazines on the floor in my room for some time now, and I decided it was “high time” to do something about it. My friend Mary inspired me when she showed me a notebook she had created for all of her take-out menus. She simply gathered their favorite take-out menus and put them all in sheet protectors in a nice, neat notebook. She’s even done the same thing for friends that were new to their area and weren’t familiar with the restaurants. I thought, “Hmmm, what a great idea. I may run with that!”

My pile of magazines consisted mostly of Family Fun, Better Homes and Gardens, Parenting, and Southern Living. Over the years I have dog-eared my favorite recipes, projects, crafts, decorating idea, etc. I decided to take the plunge and finish this project, knowing that in the end the magazines would be gone and I’d have the best of all of them in three organized notebooks!

I started by tearing out all the great ideas. I organized them by crafts, activities, holiday, recipes, and just plain great ideas (decorating, parenting, party planning, etc.). I purchased three notebooks and a few packages of sheet protectors and got to work. Here are the finished products. I’m quite happy with the results.

I hope this helps someone out there who has been hoarding magazines for fear of throwing away a really great article or idea!

Happy Organizing!
~audrey