Our School Journal: Entry 29

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…

I’ve had a small burst of energy this week, which has been so nice. I can’t remember the last time I felt like getting up and doing something. I’ve actually cooked two big meals this week (ham and wild rice soup and lasagna), and I’ve more or less re-established a morning routine. Of course, it’s nothing like my old 5 or 5:30 in the morning routine, but even getting up at 6 or 6:30 is an accomplishment I’m quite thankful for at nearly 30 weeks pregnant.

I’ve thinking about homeschool choices for next year—already. I’m trying to get the hard part done before the baby comes, that way I’ll be ready to just grab my list and purchase what I need, when it really is time for such things.

In our homeschool this week…

We have had such a fantastic week this week, in part because of the contribution of my new iPod that my husband got me for Christmas (I’ll get into that more next week). It has really streamlined things for me.

We’ve hung our new calendar and the little one has been learning the letter M this week. We’ve also started our tour of China in our geography studies, and my son has really gotten into topography. He was so eager to see what the atlas said about China. Of course, it helped that China had a new color to discover. About half of China was purple on the atlas. My son eagerly looked at the key and read that purple indicated mountains. Then, I asked him about the other half of China, which was colored with the familiar yellow we’d seen on most of our countries so far. “Grasslands!” he shouted, without even needing to look at the key.

I’ve also picked back up with our math curriculum this week, after our hiatus with flashcards. He worked his first worksheet in weeks. Of course, it would have to be a graded sheet for his first one (naturally). But I fixed that—just X-ed out the grading box, and we were good to go. It felt very good to be able to do that. We’ll pick up grading later on. For this first sheet, I was just thankful to see him nail the addition section.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

I think the greatest lesson I’ve learned (over and over and over again), in my brief experience on this side of the homeschool spectrum, is that I am in charge of the curriculum; the curriculum does not control me. Every time I’ve made the tough decision to part ways with the curriculum, we’ve surged ahead in our homeschool. It’s a lesson that has held true through our rough start in K4 and through each of our skirmishes this year in K5.

We always make our way back to the curriculum; I’ve never just tossed it entirely. But I feel very comfortable following it loosely, using it to keep track of where we ought to be but dividing the lesson work as I see necessary. And my kids have absolutely blossomed in response.

My favorite thing this week was…

My son asked me this week, “Mommy, is baby going to do school with us, or are you going to hold baby, or is Daddy going to do our school?” What a great question! My answer? “Probably a little bit of all of that.”

Things I’m working on…

I’ve actually had a brainwave this week and am trying to sort through the details in my mind for a “Daddy-Show-and-Tell Day.” My kids always ask to do “show and tell,” something my son learned about while attended daycare before I started staying home. Of course, “show and tell” with Mommy is just not quite the same, though the kids still love it. I think they are just thrilled to be able to bring a toy into the school room (a big no-no any other time). But I have felt that it lacks the same profitability.

So, I’ve been thinking…I want to put together a demonstration day for Daddy that includes a “show and tell.” We could do our demonstration either once a week, or once every other week. Songs we’ve learned, flashcards the kids can do perfectly, and art presentations would be a part of the program each time. And I want to create a “show and tell” form that they can fill out to help them think through what to say, almost like a mini speech exercise. Then, they can officially “show and tell” their toy for Daddy using the statements we’ve gone over together. What do you think? Any more ideas?

Questions/thoughts I have…

I have two questions for you this week:

1. How do you divide your time with younger students? I’m still not very successful at this. Most of the time, my preschooler works on her own, as her work is not necessarily my priority. She’s more or less playing along with us. But next year, she will require more dedicated attention. And I’m not positive how I’m going to do that, as my son will still require lots of attention. For those of you who have small ones, how do you divide your attention between, say, 1st grade and K4?

2. Freezer meal ideas? I’d like to start freezing a few meals in preparation for when the baby comes, but I’ve been a little stumped about what meals to freeze. Any ideas?

I’m praying for…

my daughter in 31 days of Praying Proverbs 31. Join me!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Tapestry of Grace, which will be our core curriculum next year, is giving away one year’s worth of plans! To enter, just “purchase” a FREE “Love TOG” ticket. Then, in the comments section of the “order” please include my name (Tracy) and email [tracyglockle (at) gmail (dot) com]. If your entry is selected, we both win free year plans! How awesome is that!
Have a great weekend!
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12 thoughts on “Our School Journal: Entry 29

  1. I freeze a lot of small meals for my husband’s lunches. He does not like pasta after it’s been frozen, but freezing the sauce by itself works good. Brown rice freezes well and so does chili. I also find having frozen cooked meat [like ground beef or chicken chopped into chunks] really helps me get a meal on the table fast. I dump it frozen into the dish as it’s cooking.

  2. Sounds like everyone is learning in your home. Juggling the different age learners is definitely something I’ve had to work on and continue to work on. I’m sure you’ll find a system that works for you.

  3. You’re going to love Tapestry of Grace!! Well, I love Tapestry of Grace, so I think everyone will. 😉

    For the littles, K4 is still young. You might just let her go with Montessori activities and such, and not worry too much about the formal school. Or, you might stagger it. Do your 1st grader while she’s asleep, and do her school while he’s having some project or other activity time. By 1st, he should be able to keep himself occupied quietly long enough to let you focus for 20 minutes or so on you K4, and that’s all you really need. Also, for my K4, I’m using computer based phonics. We’re doing Easy Phonics now, but we’ll go back to Funnix to finish up phonics when that’s done (EP is only 15 hours long). They’re working really well for him, and, once he got the basics down, he’s able to work on it a lot on his own. Especially the Easy Phonics. He uses Funnix for math, as well.

  4. Way to go for having any energy at all with homeschooling and being pregnant! Good for you! 🙂

    As for dividing my time, I find that a challenge, as well. My kiddos are in 8th, 7th, 4th and 2nd. I do as much as I can with them together. I can delve deeper into something with the older kids, but I do have to admit that I do a lot with them altogether. I tried doing 4 different subjects with 4 different kids and it just felt like a school building: “take out this book, take out this workbook,” and that is precisely what I want to get away from. 🙂

    Hope you have a great weekend!
    Many blessings,
    Lisa

  5. I have a K4 and a K5 plus a one year old. I teach one main lesson and tailor their work according to age and ability. I then sit them next to each other and help as needed.Will
    I love the show and tell idea! I think we will start something similar. We do a once a month oral report to the homeschool group. But this will be good public speaking addition!

  6. I have a lot of freezer recipes on my blog under Feed the Freezer. I love the convenience. I try to double or triple meals as I go. Trying to do too much in one day absolutely wears me out.

  7. I do some freezer cooking, I am pretty new to it still. I have some recipes that work well. Homemade pizzas and quiche do well for us. Lots of muffins, waffles, and other breakfast items. I am still working on some of the other things.

  8. Congrats on the ipod – how fun!! My kids are younger so I teach Goofy when my girls are napping in the afternoon. We do preschool all together in the morning with more challenging activities for Goofy. I plan to keep the morning time all together & do more history/science with fun foreveryone and use afternoon for reading/writting/math as the kids get older so babies can always be napping & they have more of my time. Let us know what you end up doing – I love seeing how others organize their time!! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great weekend,
    Beth =-)

  9. I had a book at one point for freezer meals…wish I could remember the name of it. Anyway, I try to have pre-cooked hamburger in the freezer. This way I can make tacos, nachos, spaghetti, etc at a moment’s notice.

  10. You know, I need to listen to myself tell you anything about freezer meals 😉 Lasagna does well, I would thaw it throughout the day in the fridge though. The ground beef is a great idea, so would chopped chicken.

    I had such a rough time homeschooling while pregnant. It is so hard to even move that last trimester 🙁 I do TOG and I have the kids do their reading or easy things while I focus on my preK student. I always focus on the child who is learning to read. Maybe staggering the kid time?? it’s just hard with little bitty ones and a nursing one. We have 5 fairly close together and there are just going to be days where it’s insane. They do pass 😉
    finally stopping by from HMJ

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