Trying to figure out how to occupy two little ones while trying to get almost anything done around the house is a challenge! Rarely do we find an activity or a task which occupies a toddler’s attention for more than a few minutes at a time. But oh, when we do find something! It is such a blessing to our entire family. I thought I would share some of the simple things I am doing currently to “do” preschool planning while we are also doing homeschool.
I am in the planning stage of teaching G Shakespeare, following the Ambleside Online schedule of one selected Shakespeare play per term. And there is almost NO guidance of how to go about this on the Ambleside website. Forum-diving has proven none too helpful.
I must admit my excitement about teaching Shakespeare – the real-deal Bard stuff – is a bit over the top. As such, I have spent a bunch of time looking into just how to go about doing it. And I have reflected on what has worked well for us in our early explorations of Shakespeare.
Similar to a multitude of other things in our homeschool journey, I am taking the dive-right-in approach. We shall sink or swim based on the sturdiness of the small raft I fashioned in the form of these rough schedules I have crafted.
I am sharing them here. Not because I have gotten it all figured out and am ready to tell the world of my brilliance. Rather, humbly, I offer these rough schedules as a way to cast a small amount of light down the tunnel.
You know those things you do in your daily routine that make you feel like you are pretty smart? They are usually the solutions you happened upon after banging your head against a wall (problem) for a while. Or maybe they are the things that you thought of the moment you laid eyes on an object (cue lights and music) – and you instantly saw a solution.
Maybe it is pride…well, yes it is pride, but I glory in those solutions. I just love when I find something that makes me feel like a genius. When something makes life just one tiny measure easier. (How does one measure ease anyway?)
Our homeschool is dotted with solutions such as these. They are little genius-level hacks that make me delight in the doing of our daily tasks. And honestly, until I mentioned them to other moms, I thought they were so mundane that everyone was doing them. Turns out they aren’t that common.
I am a relatively organized person. And I would have thought that would extend into my homeschooling experience. But in the midst of starting homeschool for my girls I had two little ones underfoot. Add to that the fact that homeschooling can be a complete upheaval of all homemaking routines. I spent the first 2 and a half years of homeschooling floundering without a sure foundation to ground us. Every once in a while, we would settle into a homeschool routine. And then life would shift and I would no longer have my feet underneath me.
It was, in short, a struggle. Some things would get done regularly. Other things would get put off for another day (Ahem…1st grade math…ahem). And my kids knew that if they worked me hard enough, the whole day could be put off. Often I felt like a homeschool mom failure.
As if the internal struggle wasn’t real enough, I also had two students who put up a MAJOR fight on most days just to get through the little bit we were getting done. I understood that the early years of elementary learning are supposed to be loose, but this was not exactly what I pictured. I needed a solution – on some days I thought I needed magic.
We are unabashed book lovers. This home is FILLED with books of every sort. And we are approaching our homeschooling situation with a sort of mash-up of literature-based, classical, and Charlotte Mason learning. (I love a good homeschool book list!) That means we
While I will never leave my first love (in regards to reading): physical books; I have discovered a secret book weapon. And it is ROCKING my world lately.
You see, with 4 kids in our house (all under the age of 7), I read a lot of books. Check out some of our favorite books here. The books we read just aren’t always books for me. I read picture books, chapter books, living books.
I recently went to a homeschool event – a sort of training. It was my FIRST experience with anything homeschool.
I have known a number of homeschooling families throughout my life. I have gone through the phases of thinking it is the weirdest thing ever (my junior high self), to thinking it seems like a pretty good idea. My thoughts on homeschool have run the gamut and have settled on this:
We are going to do it. And I am excited. Then nervous…and excited…and nervous.
I have shared these thoughts here before. Aren’t they deep?
Anyway, back to the homeschool event. I saw it ALL there. And I talked to all kinds of moms preparing to teach their children at home this year. There was a tiger-mom. There were the overwhelmed moms. I heard a powerful testimony from a mom to a boy likely “on the spectrum.” I heard from mother’s of 6, 8, 10(!) kids who homeschool.
Prompted by questions, these women would begin to share the practicalities of their homeschool days. To a woman, each had a book they recommended for this homeschooling journey. I began to make a list.