Saturday, December 13, 2008

School Starts December 15th

I'm starting a homeschooling unit for my oldest son. I'm really excited to give it a try and excited to have to get a schedule going in my life. (My youngest son slept 'till 11am yesterday...he has a cold, but seriously, 11AM!?!) I do a lot better when I have a project going. I feel more purpose-filled. It's exciting and the big nerd in me LOVED purchasing school supplies. New No.2 pencils sharpened and in a canning jar brings a smile to my face.

So, here's the curriculum that I'm using, and the books and CDs I'm incorporating into the curriculum:

The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes - Kenneth N. Taylor
(in the morning with breakfast)
Letter of the Week Preparatory Curriculum - Katrina Lybbert (free online curriculum)
ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts - Susan Hunt
Hide 'Em In Your Heart Vol. 1 CD - Steve Green
Hide 'Em In Your Heart Vol. 2 CD - Steve Green
My Good Night Storybook - Susan L. Lingo & Kathy Parks
(our bedtime reading)

I'll be posting my plan for the week every Monday morning (that might help me organize my week).

I'm also incorporating the routine from FlyLady. FlyLady helps to organize your cleaning and get you on a daily routine. I used it for a good 3 months before Phin was born and then again when he was about 4 months (and sleeping through the night). About 2 months later, I got the flu or we went on a trip (somehow I got sidetracked) and haven't gotten back into the routine. So, this is the perfect time. The FlyLady site is really overwhelming but they have FlyBabies start-up to get you going. It's really been a great resource for me. And as with most of the resources I use...I only use the things I like and can fit into my lifestyle and scrap the rest.

Here's our daily routine for Mon-Fri (the times aren't as important as the order):

* Mom up
* quiet time at the table
* exercise
* shower & get dressed
* swish & swipe
* make bed (if DH isn't still occupying the bed)
* put laundry in washer (don't start it yet because children are still sleeping)
* empty dishwasher
* start baby's breakfast
* review lesson plan
* check email/blog

* wake the boys (especially the baby; oldest is usually up by 7:30a but won't be allowed out of his room until 7:30a; thanks for the advice, Monica)
* start washer
* breakfast and read "The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes"
* baby down for nap

* school: table time, reading time, music/movement
* check laundry and start dryer

* snack
* free play (wake baby if needed)
* Mom prepares lesson for tomorrow
* check email/blog
* get lunch ready

* lunch
* boys down for nap
* fold laundry
* Mom's to-do list: Mon- weekly home blessing; Tue - free day (nap?); Wed - menu plan, clean fridge; Thur - clean out car & pick up laundry room; Fri - desk & file
* boys wake
* snack (if boys have folded laundry to put away, do during this time)
* "free time": Mon - baking; Tue - 1:45-3p library; Wed - sewing; Thu - 1:45-3p library; Fri - errands
* free play
* zone cleaning & prepare dinner

* make sure dinner is in the oven
* wash prep dishes
* check email/blog

* oldest set table
* eat dinner
* clear table
* sweep
* bedtime routine & boys to bed

Mom's before bed list:
* look over tomorrow's lesson plan
* check calendar
* check email/blog
* pick-up kitchen
* lay out clean dish/hand towels
* start dishwasher
* pick-up living room
* lay out clothes for tomorrow
* get ready for bed

* in bed

I know that seems really detailed, but I'm a detail kind of girl. Like I said, I posted our main times but the stuff in between can be flexible.


Some notes on our routine:

1. I haven't done this in the past so I'm hoping this will work. I'll let you know if I have problems in certain areas and if some things aren't worth the hassle (two days to the library; putting the baby on a schedule, etc).

2. I plan on having the baby nap during oldest's school time. Our baby is a good sleeper and seems to need a lot of it, so I hope this works.

3. Check email/blog has been put into the schedule several times. This allows a lot of flexibility. I don't plan on looking at the computer everytime it's on the list, but if I run out of time to check it during one part of the day, I will have an opportunity to check it later. Once I have the routine down and make any needed adjustments, I hope to remove some of them.

4. "Free time" is actually scheduled time, but I want to have a plan each day. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, free time will be more on a time-based schedule than a routine. Our library has a 20-minute storytime on Tuesdays. The remaining part of the library time will be for play and finding books for next week's lessons. On Thursday's the library has family craft time. It will be nice to have dad along for that since the baby won't enjoy the crafts as much as the oldest, so we can split up.

5. I have a women's Bible study on Thursday mornings from 9:30-11a and the oldest usually comes along with me and joins the children in the nursery while baby stays home with dad. I'm not quite sure how to do this since the oldest usually gets some "Mommy-time" when I'm finished with the study. Maybe we can just have lunch together so I can get him home in time for his nap so we can scoot to the library later in the day.

6. On days that we are out and about(Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) in the afternoon, I will take them to the park during free play, weather permitting. This will be more difficult during the winter months, but my sister-in-law does it with her little boy and I think it's worth it to get some fresh air...and not just for the kiddies.

7. We put our oldest on a bedtime routine and it has been working great. He knows what is expected of him when we tell him that it's time to get ready for bed. I also made a little print-out for him that goes on our fridge. It has the bedtime routine with pictures so he can look to see what's coming up next. (We babysat a set of twin boys for our friends, before we had kids, and their boys went to bed so well when we used their routine.) I like the idea of a routine vs. a schedule because it's not as dependent on the time.


kkvernen said...

I think it was our boys you were talking about :) Our boys are now 5 and our little girl is two and we have never, ever had a problem getting them to bed. This is not to toot our own horn, just a shameless plug into how wonderful it is to have a bedtime routine!!!

The Deals said...

Just reading your schedule makes me tired ;-)

Jessica said...

You're right, Kristi, those were your boys!!

Anonymous said...

How is this schedule working for you? I was considering Flylady but it did seem kind of overwhelming!

Jessica said...

My schedule is working out pretty well. I think I need to switch school time to the afternoon when he wakes from his nap. He just wants to play in the morning. Or maybe after lunch before nap time.

FlyLady can be overwhelming. I'm sticking to these four things:

1. Monday's Weekly Home Blessing Hour. It's helped me get the basics done each week. (I have to mop and vacuum again later in the week.)

2. Weekly Zone Cleaning. This helps me to not be overwhelmed by cleaning the WHOLE house! I'm a profectionist and some times it causes paralization and I can't get anything done.

3. 15-minute pick-up. Seriously. Set the timer and get to work. It's amazing what you can get done in 15 minutes.

4. Swish and swipe. I do this every morning in the master bath and in the afternoon for our family bath. It just keeps things looking clean.