This has been one of those bright little homeschool days when everything works out. We’re off to a much better start after our Christmas break, and I thought I’d share some of the things that have been working for us. It’s up and down, mind you…nothing is perfect. But here are some of the things that have made our days brighter…
*Starting at the same time every day. I know this is probably a given for most of you, but for awhile there we had gotten off our schedule and some days were starting later than others. We’ve got our schedule written on the white board in the dining room, and have been good about starting at 8:00 each day…sometimes breakfast gets eaten while we work, but that’s OK.
*We start every day with Bible study, Memory Verses, and a prayer. Again, it’s probably a given for most of you…but it sure makes the day go better when we start on that note. Saving it for later just doesn’t work! We are going through the Gospel of Mark right now, and then reading through a concordance along with it (Zondervan’s Handbook to the Bible…great text and many wonderful photos to go along!).
*The kids are on a chore schedule, which includes help with meal planning and preparation, laundry, and care for the pets as well as general keep-up with the house. It helps that each child knows exactly what they are responsible for each week, and that they change to a new set of jobs weekly so no-one gets burned out.
*We’re getting outside more, and have worked a half-hour of “P.E.” into each day. Even if it’s just a short walk with the dog, getting outside helps everyone’s mood. The P.E. is often just doing a half hour of exercises on the Wii Fit we got for Christmas…it’s really sort of creepy in an A.I. sort of way, but it does help with balance and some of the activities really do give you a workout.
*I’m trying to be more flexible with the curriculum and remind myself frequently that the curriculum is here to serve us, not the other way around. It’s way too easy for me to get stressed out over things and forget that a lot of the learning we do goes on outside of the set curriculum, when the kids go pick up a book and read more about something because it’s fascinating to them, or when we go to the library, or zoo, or museum. We have a lot to get through each day, but it goes much faster when the kids can look forward to having some fun and self directed learning each day.
These thoughts are nothing new and nothing unusual, but I’m enjoying the moment and reflecting on how being faithful with a few small changes can make a big difference. It’s so wonderful when I remember to step back and be thankful that we’re able to homeschool, and that we have many friends who are doing the same and can help with ideas, play dates, and joint learning ventures!