Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fe2h2o - How do you do it??

Fe2h2o, a question about homeschooling for you. (Well, multiple questions if you have the time...)

How do you fit it into your day? How do you keep Bilby entertained whilst educating Puggle? How do you structure your day ... obviously flexibly ... but which components do you try to fit into each day?

We're getting a lot of challenging behaviour at the moment, some of which I am sure is due to boredom. Plus I am feeling that I'm not teaching the kids much (other than cooking and cleaning). I am trying to work out how on earth I can get more structure into our days whilst staying on top of the housework.

I am also trying desperately to get some routines into place so that the kids are contributing to the clean-up and not just the mess-up!!!

Sorry about all the questions - I can imagine how busy you are and how tired you are too!!! How is cygnet going. Hopefully giving you sufficient sleep....?

1 comment:

Fe said...


I don't do cleaning? Seriously, it's something I'm _working_ on (and working on with the kids, which I'm hoping will help _me_ establish the habits), but other than laundry and kitchen stuff... not much else happens.

I'm also fortunate that they both (for the most part) still nap. Bilby pretty much has two hours after lunch, and Puggle has that as Quiet Time—and probably naps 50% of days. When he doesn't nap, he stays (pretty much) on his bed, and 'reads'. They are in the same room, so occasionally he does wake Bilby because he's too loud... but _generally_ it's not a problem.

Homeschooling is very laid-back at the moment (Puggle's only 4, so there's no _need_ to hurry... it's mostly about me developing the habits). I do have a plan, basically books I'd like us to read, and songs I'd like us to sing. The art stuff has pretty much fallen by the wayside the last few months, I rearranged things for a craft day, and haven't put them back. Next year we'll start with some maths stuff, and I'm not quite sure how that will work...

I put a lot of stuff up on the TV cabinet, so we can just do it whenever we're sitting on the couch. The books we're reading are in one box, with post-it notes marking where we're up to. That makes it easy to just carry it to wherever we are, and read on... I'm hoping to be able to take it outside, when it's warmer and more pleasant to be sitting still.

The theoretical art stuff (and the sand tray, moveable alphabet and the yet to be thought of maths will go there too) are put in the corner of the dining room (on the sewing cabinet) for him to do as and when he chooses.

Bilby tends to want to do what Puggle is doing. So usually while having Mat Time (reading and singing) I'll also read a couple of books to her (hers are much shorter:-) ). We usually end up sitting on the couch for this, and she'll often play with something on a mat in front of us as well. She's sometimes starting to listen in to Puggle's stories, and even occasionally join in songs. Next year, I plan to include some books specifically for her (nursery rhymes and french language picture books).

Art wise, I really need to set some activity trays for Bilby to do while Puggle is doing his thing. But as I said, that's pretty much fallen by the wayside. I may (assuming I get some brain back from Cygnet prep) try to sort some of that out in the next month... but I'm not too optimistic.

I was working towards Puggle being independent in sequences of around-the-house type stuff before Cygnet's arrival, but the last three weeks sickness meant that I put a lot of that on hold.

Mostly, the kids do a lot of playing together. I try to keep a limit on the toys they have available at any one time, and I send them outside if at all possible (rugged up/wet weather gear if necessary). They explore our garden... There are any number of holes dug (we're trying to discourage them from undermining the house though!), they do a lot of jumping on the trampoline, and climbing on the swing set.

I have a post in my head (still to actually type:-( ) about my efforts in establishing routines for them. But there's some good ideas online... I was going to start Bilby with a job chart like the one in the sidebar (under 'Charts') but she seems much more interested in a job pack like the ones I've been working on with Puggle (that's what the post is mainly about). I don't want the kids to end up with the same lack of familiarity of how to 'keep-house' that I have! Really, I'd be happy if all they were learning at the moment was domestic stuff (Puggle loves to cook:-) ), but I do also want to get myself ready for the next few years (and I'm _not_ an unschooler!)

All seems to be going well with Cygnet... not too much disruption to sleep—that's all come from being sick:-( Now that we're all getting better, and the car is almost, sort of sorted out, we're getting back into a rhythm... and that's helping. Mind you, we're having some challenges with re-establishing behaviour... after weeks where it has been just too much to deal with:-(

I've actually found the iTunes/iCal thing to be a big help to our day... means I don't have to watch the clock at all, but the music cues certain actions... I'm still working on 'Dinner prep music means pack all toys up, so we'll be ready for Dada's return/dinner/bath/stories/bed'... but _aside_ from the packing toys bit, it is working:-) And because it's automated, it kind of removes it from _me_ saying it's time to do something... so they're (he's!) less likely to balk...

Umm... this is really long:-) There's a few topics that have been on my mind for a while... so I guess I was just ready to dump:-)

Did I actually answer your questions?

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