Gone is the every thirty minutes planned out schedule. I just can't keep up with that. With Benjamin, who isn't on an exact schedule, more of a routine that is flexible, I just can't plan out what my every thirty minutes is going to look like. A general plan though is good for us all so I'm on day two of this schedule. We'll see how it goes in the long run but it is basically what we have been doing, just written down. It has been nice for when we get off our routine, ie, someone had a major attitude and needed a talking to or there was a blow-out diaper, or someone pee-peed all over the toilet and bathroom floor, you know, these kinds of things, I was able to go back to the schedule which is posted on the large tack board in the kitchen and get back on track---Lovely!
One of the big changes I made was to schedule a "quiet time" for everyone right after breakfast. Here is our stack of Bibles/Journals/Prayer books for other countries:
Each child has their own Bible and prayer book. The prayer book is just a book about other countries and what their prayer needs are. Micah and Andrew can't read but they can see the pictures and see the different cultures of people. Micah will look through the pages and pick a certain page of people that he wants to pray for and then he will ask me who they are. It really is just an idea book for them until they can read. I just want to get them thinking about the world that doesn't know Jesus during their quiet times. For my non-readers they just look through their storybook bibles at the pictures. The pictures remind them of the bible stories they already know. I guess my goal is to establish for them the importance of a daily time with the Lord where they read their bible and pray. And I have the added bonus of getting to have a quiet time myself! This has suffered greatly in the past few years because I feel like I have to wake up early before the kids which I just can't make myself do, or I try to do it at night when my eye-lids feel like lead weights and reading the bible just makes them heavier. Not so good. We just spend about 15-20 minutes. Andrew just kind of sat in his chair today and I had to correct a few times for being noisy but that is okay. I don't expect my 4 year old to sit down and have a "quiet time" very well. But in time I think the habit will be established and he won't have any problems. Luckily he is a pretty easy-going child and sitting down and looking at books for 20 minutes isn't hard for him.
One of my children is really struggling right now and so his academics have had to go on hold. I am focusing in on his character and more importantly his heart. The only official schooling I'm doing with him is math, which using math-u-see makes it pretty simple and straight forward, and then we are doing sequential spelling, and I am picking out passages from some of the books we are reading for dictation. The books that I read aloud I have him narrate back. I am also trying to get established the habit of doing our special classes that we just do once a week like Nutrition, Chemistry, Art and Composer study. These have just fallen by the wayside so I'm excited to get in the habit of doing them.
I'm also teaching Isaac how to crochet. This has been fun and I think bonding for us. He really wants me to teach him to sew. I told him that will be next.
Another thing we are going to do (I think...we are praying first) is adopt a grand-parent. In our county there is a government funded organization that helps out the elderly in our community. You can actually adopt an older person that is house-bound and may not have family in the area. We are very excited about this! I have always loved the elderly and I would love to be able to be a blessing to someone around here that is lonely. I think it will be a great opportunity as well for my children to help and serve as well. They can do household chores and things like that for them.... I think it will be great!
So anyway, we are putting the Sonlight curriculum aside for now and making things simple. That way I don't feel stressed and I can focus on what really matters. Here are some of the chapter books I'm reading to the boys:
PS: If you read my blog, will you post a comment? I'd really like to know if people are actually reading this! I kind of started back because a friend of mine (that I don't see very much!) told me at book club that she wanted me to keep me blogging! I had no idea she read my blog...so it was an encouragement to me to keep it up...
Okay, off to watch the first of a DVD set with Steve. It is a Vision Forum set on discipling your family with a "multi-generational" vision... I'm excited!
PSS: I super-glued my fingers together last night. It was really frightening. Steve told me to just rip them apart. Just to let you know, don't try that. It really hurt and they didn't come apart. Soaking them in acetone based nail polish remover finally worked after about 45 minutes! So now you know what to do if it ever happens to you! :)