Friday, August 31, 2012

Our days

Our days consist of crazy and chaos.  They consist of kids who wake up way too early in my opinion, tv watching before, during, and after school, lots of "I'm hungry" during the day, play fighting, real fighting, whining, crying, kicking, hitting, laughing, cooperative play, the most amazing imaginative stories, and watching my monkeys learn new things and the light in their eyes that comes with it.

Our days are not neatly ordered.  We don't wake up promptly at 7 and take a family nature walk, we don't eat breakfast promptly at 8 combined with a reading of the bible, and we don't start with with math, move on to spelling, tackle grammar, writing, and reading directly in those orders.  There is nothing wrong with families who run this way, it just doesn't work for us.

Our days are waking up when we can.  Today I got up at about 7.  Yesterday it was closer to 8.  Today I fed the kids at about 9 yesterday it was closer to 8:30.  Some days we start school at 9, some days at 10.  But I have discovered that I have a small method to my madness.  Which is something, considering that I previously didn't feel like I did.

My method is this: I have a list of subjects to cover with Kayd every day.  We do four days of school a week and we pick at random which day each week we aren't doing school.  The first week we took off Thursday, last week we took off Friday, this week we took off Wednesday.  Some days I wake up and just know it's not a good day to do school so we don't.

I have Kayd start on his writing, once he's finished that I give him his grammar, calendar notebook, drawing journal, and if he's not watching a video that day his math assignment.  I give him a set time to complete the work and then I leave him alone (I do answer questions if he has them though).  He's thriving on this routine.  When I have a moment to sit with him and do it we do his spelling and if it's a video day he does his math.  Sometimes I'm available directly after he finishes his independent work, but sometimes its an hour or two or three later.  As he completes each subject I mark it off my list for that day.  Voila, by the time he goes to bed he's done a full day of school wherever it fit into our day.

Now with the younger kids things are a lot looser.  They love doing learning activities but keeping them all on task is challenging, and sometimes they all need help with this or that at the same time.  I will admit that the younger three get formal school as little as 2 days a week sometimes.  But I'm not going to stress about it because they learn through their play.  Kayd learned through his play and he's none the worse for the wear and right on level with all of his 2nd grade work.

Sometimes while Kayd does his independent stuff I work with the younger two or with Colton.  Sometimes I'm cleaning the house because lets be frank - four monkeys make a LOT of mess.

I want to be real.  Here's me being real.  Our days have a very loose routine but they never look the same way two days in a row.  And I've stopped stressing out about that.  We learn what we learn and we're thriving and that's what matters.  Our days are chaos.  And that's ok, because there will be a time in the future when the chaos will subside and routine will be more prevalent (or so I'm told) and so for now we embrace the chaos.  And if that means baking cookies for no reason other than we felt like it then wahoo!

Joining up again this week with the final week of the "Not" back to school blog hop - if mine is too informal for you be sure to go check out all the other day in the life posts.

Not Back to School Blog Hop

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