Our Homeschool Day: Mid Year

Much has changed since we began last August.  Much has not.  I thought I would touch base with how we are handling homeschooling, public school and babies now.

Last October we said good-bye to our sweet Squeakers and hello to our dear Lulu.  Lulu is in 2nd grade and attends our local public school.  She has an amazing teacher and is doing well there this year.  But these changes did bring about changes to our schedule.  We also started caring for a sweet Gerber Cutie baby boy at the beginning of the year.  We are a full house of 5 at home plus grand baby Haddie who comes most days.

So here is a semi typical day in our house:

6-6:15a.m. I get up and get myself ready (This has been my biggest change since Lulu has come.)

6:30-7:10 a.m. I get Lulu up and ready for school.  I walk her to the bus stop and by 7:15 I am back in the house.

7:15a.m. Haddie Arrives

8:00a.m. Breakfast

9-11:30a.m. Schooling (babies have play time and one has nap time): My kids are so hands on right now that I have to sit with each one.  So I am rotation who I am working with.  Sometime I can get two working at the same time, but till we hit an independent stage again, this is hard.  Exhausting.

11:30a.m. Free Time

12:00p.m Lunch

1:00p.m. Quiet Time (mom’s time)

2:00p.m. Rotate Reading Computer & iPads (30 minutes)  (Will also continue another schooling work that needs to be done.)

3:00p.m. Outside/free time (Lulu comes home)

4:00p.m. planned activities

Dinner and Bedtime (Robby and AnnieQ will also do some of their schooling at night-time.  It works out better for us and them)

We also do weekly dance, music lessons, confirmation, church activities, and visits with DHR in our schedule.  With in all this time, I weave in a lot of time for me to read and do some extra work.  We have about 6 weeks left in most of our school work because we have not taken any major breaks this year.  So after the kids scale down I will focus on key elements they need to work on and give them more time for freedom to explore and grow on their own.

As far as a school area this year, it just didn’t happen.  And you know what, it is working without one.  I really stressed about it at the beginning of the year.  And while yes, I could be more organized with the schooling stuff (I have a missing math book right now!!).  But we are working through everything we need and every where is our learning area! Doing what fits our family is the key.  Next year that may look totally different!

Click to see our Spring Schedule.  Remember this is only a guild line for our day.


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Where Am I Hiding?

Most days, when I finally see that glimmer of hope, I slowly quickly make my way to my bathroom.  That is my hiding spot in my house.   That is where no one expect for toddling babies may enter.  That is my zone.  A place where I can regain a moment of getting me back and enter back into the trenches of being a mom.  Some days it is easy and other days it is down right hard.

Where else can you find me these days?  You can find me at our church, Ascension Lutheran church.  I am a DCE by degree (Director of Christian Education) and ministry flows through my blood as much as being a mom does.  You can also find me at the DHR building with various appointments and meetings. And soon I will be teaching my second round of GPS classes for prospective adoptive and foster parents.  You can also find me at various other places with 6 kids in tow.  6 kids.  And every now and then you will find me in Target with those six kids.  Most of the time you will find me alone.

But lets face it, with 6 kids, most of the time I am at home, teaching, cooking, cleaning, and keeping our lives organized.  In trying to keep our lives organized, in keeping my life organized I am using Passion Planner this year. I just got mine a week and a half ago and love it!  I still keep our iCalendar up to date, but Passion Planner is more.  I am still working on how to tweak it just for me and my needs…I still have a few more ideas.

Where else am I hiding? I am online quite a bit.  You can find me on Facebook or Twitter .  I have a small addiction to Pinterest. I love my Instagram account.   I tried Snapchat-yeah no.  I also wander over to Google+ also-still learning about the great hangout features!

But the place I am hiding the most, is in the presence of God. In Him I can just be.


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Giving God the Glory Glory

I have been up since about 3ish.  Wasn’t because of the baby.  Although the baby did wake up.  The reason is really not all that important to blog about.  But I was unable to go back to sleep.

So I wandered out to the kitchen.  Made myself a cup of coffee and enjoyed the stillness of the morning quietness till I started hearing whispers from the bedrooms.

I have been reading.  A little bit of this.  A little bit of that.  I have been reading a lot lately.  Tucked into the spare time I have between balancing my kids, their schooling and my other commitments.  I have given up playing my iPhone games to read extra.  I can get lost in my readings.  Some stories, some learning books, some life lessons.

My favorite to read though are scripture verses.  I have a new habit of just randomly picking someplace of my bible app and reading from there.  I discover so much from the bible that way that I had never seen before.  It is kinda of fun and addicting.  I been pondering writing a devotional series titled: Random lessons and stories from the Bible. Ha like that one I am sure has been done before.

I have been all about reading.  Not much about writing.  My words have failed to find me lately.  Maybe I have not been listening to them.  Maybe when I put words down on paper, they become to real, to raw and I don’t want to deal with them.  Words are powerful and many read them.  Words written can make life seem perfect, and I am far from perfect.  A sinner more like it.

But every morning I try to give God the Glory Glory.  That is my goal.  My focus.  Even if only for a few minutes.

I have started new Accountability Binders and Chore list with my kids. I got the idea from over at thirty handmade days. And I got my chore list idea from my friend.  We have always had morning and evening routines.  The first thing on their morning routine is give God the Glory Glory.  I want them to learn how to start their day out focused on God.  Because some mornings are not so Glory Glory.  And we have to work through them.

So have you given God the Glory Glory this morning?


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5 Things You Need to Know about a Homeschool Schedule

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Just like our homeschool room, our daily schedule changes every year and through our the year it evolves. Because my little kids need more structure I added more things into our schedule this year. Plus I separated Robby from them in learning time. I have him starting at 9 and they start at 8. This has worked well so far. Creating our schedule is aways a challenge to see what is going to work.

Here are 5 things you need to know about creating your homeschool schedule:

  1. It is a guideline. So adjust as needed.
  2. Kids thrive on a schedule, but it is good for them to learn how to create their own schedule. I gave Robby freedom, besides morning chores, till 9:00 am. He is a little lost because I have already started teaching the little kids, but he is starting to use his time better.
  3. There will never be a perfect week of homeschooling. It is OK. Your kids are learning how to adjust to things just like you are.  It is a life skill.  It has taken me years to accept this.
  4. Make a schedule that works for your family. I use to try to use everyone else’s cause they looked so perfect. And then I realized that no one else had kids like mine. So I had to create a day that worked for us.
  5. Schedule time for yourself. The first schedule I made for this year, I realized I don’t have much time for myself to get anything done. I have to fix this.

So what does a day look like for us? Well so far this is what I would what it to look like! But I have not yet had a full day that has followed this!

Homeschool daily schedule

 

nbtsbloghopcalendar2013


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10 Random Thoughts That Float in My Mind

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  1. I talk to myself a LOT. No really- I am the one in the store mentally talking out loud going through my check list. My kids will look at me and say, “mom who are you talking to?” I smile and respond “my mind.” My mind is a dangerous place to be.
  2. Like when the thought “If I can “just” do this” enters in. Folks “just” is a dangerous word in the females language. It starts in the mind when she see something on Pinterest or a magazine or a blog. And the mind says “if I can just do this.” If this is then verbally express-the husbands know they are trouble.
  3. Why can’t the towels be hung back up. I don’t know if this is a problem in your house, but 6 kids using one bathroom, oldest 19 now. How hard is it to hang up wet towels? This questions floats in my mind often.
  4. Sometimes random narrations go on in my mind. I can write things or argue issues. I sometimes wish I had a recording button because these normally happen when I don’t have anything to write down my thoughts.
  5. Scripture and prayer. I try to always have God’s word everywhere to read and ponder on. These verse will float, echoing in my mind. Song will be singing praises, and prayers always being said.
  6. What homeschooling curriculum I am using this year? It is summer time and this is always floating through my mind. Robby is going into Jr. High- little kids 1st and 2nd grade. What is going to work best for us with our situation.
  7. What is going on with our world? Some issues really hit me and I feel like I want to be the changing force with it. Others just make me mad. All day long I can stew about these issues.
  8. Church. This is always on my mind. More than I can explain. Ministries-how to make them happen, what needs to be done, how to pray for them. Am I making the right decisions? What more should I be doing?
  9. Should I have another cup of coffee? I love coffee. The taste. The smell. (hold on I got to go get some)
  10. How to make our house better work for all the people living in it. With 8 people, including our young new family-how do I organize all. How do I keep food together? How do I keep cost down with furlough going on? Are we moving? Or not? How should I organize the homeschool room?

Someone once said a women’s mind is like a 1001 tabs open on the internet. Yep and these thoughts sits with us all day, till our husbands come home and we want to talk about them. All at the same time-sometimes like a flood. And our poor husbands think-I was only gone for the day!

What random thoughts floats through your mind?

 

10in10

 

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Living with Explosive Children-20 Tips to Help

Living with Explosive Children

I love my children.  I would not trade a moment with them in for the world!  BUT our daily lives are not quiet and at any moment of any day my children can explode!

Now I don’t mean like in a cartoon, where you will see “BOOM” all around.  And I am not talking about every day tempers or melt downs.  I am talking from 0 to 10 in seconds.  I am talking one thing can set them off.  I am talking about having to parent with another voice inside guiding me when these out burst occur.  Even this does not fully describe them.

When I read about other homeschooler families-I see order and every now and then I see things go crazy.  In my school day, ever day my children have explosive behavior.  Screaming comes with our territory, and objects being thrown are not uncommon. Now before I go on, let me make this clear.  This does not make my kids bad!  My kids are amazing kids, sweet, servant like, love God, willing to help, gentle hearted. But there are moments-I hold on for the ride.

For example:  AnnieQ (7) was playing with Play dough.  Her plastic knife broke and I told her to just keep using the broken side because we would be cleaning up soon.  That was a trigger-just like that she threw the knife, threw the play dough, her attitude change, she started screaming.  I could have given in-Yes.  But even then she had hit a point of no return.   So at this point I put her in time-out, on the way to time out she destroyed stuff as she went along-not to mention the  high pitch scream.  Mind you this is all from a broken knife.

She started screaming louder now she was horribly  hungry and has not eaten anything all day.  Now she has, they got Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch, as been snacking all day-even had fresh pineapple.  The screaming is beyond what I can handle right now.  So I make a PBJ sandwich and warn her that she will also be going to bed early.  When she saw the sandwich she started crying I want real dinner.  Not this.  And other note: my husband was at a church meeting and I wasn’t planning on making dinner-sandwiches worked well.  She screamed for about 20 minutes how she wanted real dinner.  I finally walked away.

She finally ate the sandwich, apologized and got dressed for bed.  And just like that she was fine again.  I deal with about 2-3 explosions like this daily from her.  Triggers can be simply asking her to find her shoes, cleaning, doing school work, to many unknown things.

Another example is Isaiah (5-almost 6).  Isaiah, Isaiah, Isaiah.  (Yeah many days are like that!)  I know little boys are active and active and well active.  But there is something else about him!  One day we can get math done, no big deal, but if my breath smells to much like coffee-it will be a struggle. (And he likes my coffee-even drinks it!) Like today, they were outside playing and Robby got some mud on him.  Isaiah came in all mad.  I told him to shake it off and go back outside till he was done playing.  He then went, and got undressed, had other clothes and was getting ready to take a shower.  I stopped him cause I told him if he took a shower he wasn’t going to go back outside, that he was done for the day.  And there it was-the ugly explosion -screaming and words.

The other day I had to carry   drag him out of Home Depot, because he wanted to show me something and could not wait till I was done.  This turned into a whole scene, which now everyone knows we were in the store.  I just calmly go pay for my items I had already picked out, respond fine when the cashier still ask “how are you today?” As I am dealing with a screaming child.  How do you think I am? “Fine.”

These explosion are daily in our lives.  Mostly from the two younger ones.  I have worked with a lot of kids.  I have learned to deal with it, and I am working HARD not to respond with screaming.  But that is hard.  Frustrating.  Some days I feel like all I do is scream-other days I bite my tongue to be better.

So our days with our children-are not always perfect but precious.  Our plans get changed and one thing shifts everything.  Many people see my kids as active and bad.   I see small children being raised to be adults who love and serve the Lord.  That that they do, love and serve the Lord.

A Note: None of my younger children are diagnosed with Explosive Disorder.  While there are things we are watching, my younger adopted children are still young-and many different issues could be causes this.  I am not in anyway a Dr. qualified to give out medical help-but more of a parent giving out ways to live with this help.  If you find you have a child that displays this-get help.  I have been told about a great book to read-it is on my list.

 


Here are 20 tips to help deal with explosive children.  Maybe you use another term.  Some are basic parenting.  If you have more, share them in the comments below!

Tips to Help

  • Keep track of Triggers
  • Use the same discipline where ever you go
  • Have a schedule, but be flexible
  • Remember it is not you
  • Love them
  • Tickle them.  (I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes attacking the screaming with tickles work-you just need to know when)
  • You take a breather when they get to much
  • Just know people will not understand you kids
  • Do not get mad at the people who don’t understand-educate them
  • Reward your kids every time you can!
  • Know what battles to pick
  • Teach breathing exercises
  • Train children it is ok to be mad, but not ok to hurt people or things.
  • Give them ways to be mad and express it
  • Know people will stare.  Smile back
  • Starbucks-for you.
  • Make sure your husband and you are working as a team.
  • Get outside help when you need it.
  • Allow children to be children-they need lots of outside time
  • It is OK to use iPhones or iPads to get peace-but use it wisely.

 


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Getting back to the real world.

We had a nice vacation.  I believe it is the first one where I was able to really sit back and enjoy myself.  And while there were moments with the kids, and the trip back was really hard in terms of staying awake, over all this has been one of the best trips our family has had. It started with a good, but short visit with my family, then three days at Disney and off to our five night cruise.  Maybe just a bit too much of “away” time cause today I am having a hard time getting back to the real world.  It is nice being waited upon, and coming back to be the one who is doing everything.

I didn’t want to get dressed this morning, but I finally did.  And I thought I would do lots of pictures and blogs, but my pictures are taking a long time to down load.  And then I should start laundry and unpack.  And once I can get on the other computer, I will put Jeremy’s outline for the week down.  I need to create a week menu so I can go shopping.  And still need to get the pets.

But it is Holy Week and I have tried to move my focus not just on getting back to the real world, but focusing my focus on the real world.  Holy week is for the real world.  It is for the lost and found.  It is helping me focus what I really want to get done this week, what is important to get done and how we will do it.

I have the activities I want to do with the kids this week.  And we will have eggs to dye.  And I have baskets to put together-have some neat ideas for those!  Yes I think it is time to get back to the real world.


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Keeping the House…

…One day at the time.  I love that saying…or maybe one moment at the time!!  That is the name of my new home journal notebook.
I love going to the web page Notebookingpages.  In it there are lots of great ideas for notebooks for the kids, young to old.    Since she follows much of what I believe in homeschooling I really have enjoyed her site.    She has had many freebies on it along with notebook pages you can purchase.
She has recently started a new adventure called the Home Organizations Notebook for us moms who are so totally not organized!!  When she announced this I just happen to pop over to her web site not knowing about this.  I was looking for calendars and a few other organizational forms just in her freebies.  And I found this….with gobs of forms and promises for new forms, I paid a small fee, but so worth it!
So I have created my journal…well I have the skeleton of it done.  (yes I know you all are thinking when did she do all this…I think same thing of you guys to, when do you do it all!!:):))  I have tabs for …Homemaking-(cleaning and stuff like that), Family-(calendars), Business (For that business that is going to make a lot of money…any suggestions:)), Personal (my stuff, bible studies, prayer journals), Ministry-(I love this…cause I do lots at church),  Meals & Recipes, Financial (I don’t to the bills, Dan does but I have some ideas for this area).

I still have much to do to organize this and as I do I will share with you all fun thing.  If you would like to check this out goto Mom’s Tool Belt.  There are some free samples there for you to check out.  Let me know what you think.

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