|Posted by AFarmhouseFull on April 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM||comments (2)|
I have been trying to come up with an easy way to do "A Day in the Life of a Homeschooling Mom of 6", but doing a video just isn't going to happen! I attempted it today and I got to about 7am (when all the kids started waking up and rallying forces) and I just didn't have the time to capture much of anything on video.
(Link to my account - click the photo)
Soooooo.... since I have just re-discovered Instagram I thought I would give it a try that way. Next week sometime I will be Instagram-ing an entire day to give you a glimpse of what goes on in a busy homeschooling home of 8. If you would like to take a peek inside our day just follow me on Instagram. (My handle is "afarmhousefull" and I am a public account so just hit the follow button and you will be automatically following me.) I am hoping to do it next week so keep a look out. I will start it out with a Instagramed note of some sort so you know I have officially "started" my day.
This should be interesting...... I will see ya there!
|Posted by AFarmhouseFull on January 17, 2013 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
We are working our way through astronomy here at the farmhouse. The kids are really enjoying it and I have incorporated more projects into our history and science lessons than in the past. At times I feel like the extra projects are a lot of extra work on my part (because they ARE), but they really do help it "stick" in the kids' minds. This week we talked about the moon phases and names for each different phase. Using one of my Pinterest photos I decided to do this little project:
If you will be doing this with your kids here are some tips to make it turn out great:
|Posted by AFarmhouseFull on December 4, 2012 at 4:50 PM||comments (2)|
Continuing my recently (well…okay…NOT so recently) started “homeschooling series”, today’s topic is our daily school schedule. Over the years our schedule has changed quite a bit and I have posted past schedule that we have used in previous blogs. I usually review our schedule every fall (beginning of the school year). I look over what works and determine what changes are needed to better suit our needs for that year. I also tend to look at things in the spring as well because with little kids things change quickly. Also, ever since I have been homeschooling I have been either pregnant or nursing and each requires different adjustments.
We are currently finishing up our 8th week of school and our routine is working out nicely. While it very rarely goes EXACTLY like it is written below, this is our daily plan. Things come up, of course; a baby needs nursed, a boo boo needs kissed, an attitude needs gently corrected, a squabble needs resolved, a tween needs a heart-to-heart…..the list goes on! But that is what life is with 6 kids – the schooling is only a part of it.
Here is what our daily schedule looks like now.
6:00-7:45am –Wake. I usually pry my eyes open between 6 and 6:30 (lets be real here….. occasionally it is 7:00….but then I pay for it later!). Just for the record I am NOT a natural morning person! After I wake up and nurse Ezra, I get ready (dress, makeup, hair, tidy bedroom/bath), have a cup of coffee, and look over the day’s events (meals, appointments, etc.). I would love to say that I have a quiet devotional (like I did before having Ezra), but quite honestly, in this short season of my life (nursing a small infant and getting up in the middle of the night), it isn’t happening in the mornings.
7:45-8:45 – Breakfast. One day (or two, if I am being extra nice and/or lazy!) a week I let the kids have “crap” cereal. I used to never buy it, but after protesting Mike (my husband likes his sugared cereals) in the cereal aisle one day I self-righteously grabbed a box of his “crappy” cereal and compared it to my “most-certainly-more-healthy” cereal that I usually buy and low and behold there was NO difference in the sugar content….. So now the kids get to pick out a
“crappy”“fun” cereal once a week and it is a treat. Other days we serve eggs and toast, yogurt and fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat waffles, bagels and cream cheese, etc.
8:45-9:30 – Chores. After breakfast we all get started on our chores: unloading dishwasher, dusting, trash duties, wiping bathrooms, swapping laundry, etc. I will clean the kitchen at this time, trying to have it looking tidy and neat when done. Then we all make our way upstairs (where the bedrooms are) and do our personal hygiene. The kids brush their teeth, dress, put away their laundry and clean up their rooms. We have a chore pack system so they remember all the steps. I will share that with you in another post. I dress Ezra and Georgia and help Faith where she needs it. I also make the younger ones beds and supervise. I throw in the first load of laundry and then we head back down stairs to a clean kitchen/living room to start the day (SUCH a nice feeling!). If the kids get done unusually early or I have to nurse they have a little free time.
9:30-11:00 – Morning school. The little ones are included in a “morning circle time” that includes prayer, The Pledge of Allegiance, scripture memorization, calendar and some form of poetry reading and/or Psalms. Then the older kids get to work on the things that are more independent (handwriting, spelling, reading, typing, math facts) and I help Michael (my kindergartener) with his handwriting and math and we do a lesson in phonics. The little ones play in the other half of the basement (within eye and earshot) and in some dire situations (where they are not playing very well together or are unusually loud) I put a short educational DVD on for them. Once I finish helping Michael I will do a short phonics lesson with Faith (my pre-Ker) and then I will usually play with/read to Georgia, Faith and Michael and help where needed with the others. After school we do a “3 minute clean up” and head upstairs for free time.
11:00-12:00 – Free Time. After school I swap laundry upstairs and take care of any diapers that need changed. We then have a little free time before lunch which can include playing outside, board games, a walk or just hanging out inside.
12:00-12:30 - Lunch. I will usually read our literature selection at this time. We just finished “A Wrinkle In Time” and are now starting on “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH”.
12:30-1:00 – Chores and Outside Time. The kids have 1 small chore to do after lunch. Currently AJ and Michael stack wood in the garage for the woodstove, Maddie loads the dishwasher with lunch dishes, Faith feeds the chickens and Georgia and Ezra just look cute. Afterward they usually play outside for a bit. When it is extremely cold I back the van out of the garage and let them have “open gym” in the garage.
1:00-1:30 – Naps. At this time I take the nappers up and lay them down for their rest time. Our 2 year old and 4 year old currently nap. While I am upstairs (after I lay them down) I fold the laundry and start another load if I am needing to do a little extra. Sometimes I get it all done; other times I will finish it when the kids are doing their nightly chores.
1:30-3:30 – Afternoon School. With the little ones down we dig into our historical fiction book we are working through (current selection: The Broken Blade). Our historical fiction book corresponds with what we are studying in history. After reading a few chapters we start math and grammar. We then finish up with history or science, alternating days.
3:30-4:30 – Media Time. This is the chance the kids get to play Wii, watch PBS, play on the computer, nook or ipod. They sometimes choose to play outside or do other things but it is their 1 hour of screen time if they choose to use it. If they have any school work left over from the day they must complete it before they engage in any media time.
4:30-7:30 – Family time. This time is not scheduled. While I cook the olders have a half an hour of reading time in their rooms without their youngest siblings. The younger ones ususally play or help mommy in the kitchen. We usually eat at about 5:30 – 6pm. After we eat dinner everyone helps clean up.
7:30 – Bedtime Routine. Depending on who needs baths/showers (we alternate: littles one day, olders the next….otherwise there is not enough hot water!), we bathe the little ones and have the kids run through their nightly chores which is basically PJs, teeth, and clean room. They gather in our room when they are done and we do a bible study with them which ends in our nightly family prayer. Right now we are working through the shorter catechisms in a book called Training Hearts, Teaching Minds.
We try to get the littles in bed by 8-8:30 and the olders by 9.
Before I go to bed (I am usually in bed by 11:00-11:30pm) I will tidy the kitchen/living room (I LOVE waking to a clean/organized house…make my day go SO much better!), workout (if I get to….lately I have been SLACKING!) and shower.
That’s what is working right now…..hope I didn’t bore you to death!
|Posted by AFarmhouseFull on November 4, 2012 at 3:45 PM||comments (2)|
Over the years our "school room" has been moved around to many places. We have used the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, and the extra bedroom in our basement. Because we are a very relaxed family and I love the idea of incorporating learning into our everyday lives I tend to have inner turmoil over having a "school ROOM" per say. I like the notion that school should happen where ever we feel inclined to learn at that moment. Although the reality is that with eight people, at least three of which that have major focusing issues (Andrew, Faith and myself) and the many distractions of our household (read: 6 loud, busy children), we NEED to have a separate, purposeful room for our school work. Because of these exact reasons I have used my basement school room more and more over the last few years. While at one time it was used mostly as a playroom, its main function now is that of a school room. I have given you glimpses of it each year we have used it in prior posts. It is always evolving to better suite our needs. This is what our room looks like this year! This is a 360 degree photograph of our basement school room.
|Posted by AFarmhouseFull on November 2, 2012 at 3:25 PM||comments (3)|
This year we have three children that are "officially" homeschooled and I am doing Pre-K with our fourth child. Here is our curriculum choices this year:
Andrew, 9, 4th grade
Maddie, 7, 2nd grade:
Michael, 5, Kindergarten
Faith, 4, Pre-K
Subjects that we do together:
What are your curriculum choices this year?
|Posted by AFarmhouseFull on October 30, 2012 at 12:45 AM||comments (2)|
We FINALLY started school! I had planned to start late this year due to my little bundle of joy arriving right at the beginning of the year. I figured that the school year would feel a little disjointed if we started and then abruptly stopped after just a week or two into the year. So we waited till after delivery and our “baby moon” that allowed us time to snuggle all day with Mr. E. (which by the way I LOVE to do!).
Since we have started I thought I would share with you a couple of school related posts:
This is my 6th year homeschooling…..Yeah, you read that right! It kind of scares me! I will have to say that I didn’t really find my groove until the last 2-3 years, so if you are new to this, take heart. You CAN do it!
A recap of our homeschooling career:
Fall 2007: I started homeschooling AJ in Pre-K when he was 4 (he has a late birthday so most of the year he was 5). We were not really convicted yet about homeschooling. We started out with workbook based learning which was probably a bit too tedious and “table-worky” (read: he had to sit still) for our very active and young son. I struggled with doing too much too soon and expecting it to be much more rigid than it needed to be. (We had three kids at the time, 4, 2 and 10 months and I was pregnant with our 4th much of the school year)
Fall 2008: Our second year of homeschooling I was a little too intimated to do “real” school (since he was a 5 year old “true” kindergartener now) because we had just had our fourth baby RIGHT before the start of the school year. So with a newborn, a 19 month old and a just recently turned 3 year old, I bowed out gracefully for a semester and sent him to a GREAT Christian school about 25 minutes away. God used this time to really convict me about homeschooling. We ended up bringing him home in the middle of the school year and continued his education through Kindergarten at home.
Fall 2009: Our third year I had a first grader and four year old that wanted nothing more than to read read read! She practically taught herself and could read (at three!) and was darn near the same level as my 1st grader! So, I taught 1st grade and a very advanced preschooler this year with a 2 (almost 3) year old and a 1 year old toddling around!
Fall 2010: Our fourth year I really started to get into a nice grove even despite the fact we added another baby in September, right after we started school. I had a 2nd grader, a Kindergartener, and a 2 year old, a 3 year old and a newborn.
Fall 2011: Being that it was my fifth year homeschooling, my confidence in what I was doing soared. I was no longer in those “easy” early years where I could just “wing” it. I planned better because of this fact and we had quite a great year. We had a 6 week break in this school year because I (surprisingly) found out I was expecting and was throwing up for a good month or two at the beginning of that pregnancy) We just adjusted the school year to allow for some summer catch up. Another awesome perk to homeschooling: flexibility!
first day of school
"The Fall of the Roman Empire" party
Fall 2012: This year, my SIXTH, I took the things that worked out so great from last year (planning) and ran with it! I planned the WHOLE year, down to the projects we were going to do. I gathered all the supplies I would need before the school year. I also made library lists that included call numbers of the books and asterisks to mark the books I would have to request from other libraries so that I remembered to allow extra time to get them. I mapped out the kid's independent reading and our classic literature selections as well as our historical fiction books that will coincide with our history studies. Although I am only 3 weeks into this year, I can see it will be such a blessing to have it all organized! This year I have a 4th grader, a 2nd grader, a Kindergartener, a Pre-K, a 25 month old and a newborn! I am actually finding out that it is totally doable after feeling somewhat exhausted this summer from trying to figure out how I was going to make it all work (teaching 3 completely separate grades, teaching one to read, and keeping after a toddler all the while nursing a newborn round the clock). It works out better in real life than it did on paper, THANK GOODNESS! It CAN be done! When I feel something is not doable I have to remind myself that God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called!
Are you homeschooling?
How long have you been doing it?
|Posted by AFarmhouseFull on March 21, 2012 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
Are you sick of “Random Recaps” yet? I am! I have been really neglecting to photograph ANYTHING (except with my handy iPhone) and so much has been going on around here!
Of course EVERY child in our house now sports skinned knees (and elbows and ankles and toes!) due to the newfound love of the concrete pad!
|Posted by AFarmhouseFull on March 2, 2012 at 1:15 PM||comments (1)|
I am alive….I promise! I have been so bad about updating this blog; as I usually am when I feel like puking 75% of the time! Another random recap and then tomorrow I will post about our boy’s bedroom redo. You know the bedroom that, if we end up with another girl, will have to be re-redone to accommodate 2 girls when the boys get moved to the basement bedroom! Yep that one! And then later in the week I will post a couple of bathroom re-do pictures!
But for now this is what has been going on in our lives for the last few weeks:
We have made the move to a larger car to accommodate us all this fall. We purchased a 12 passenger GMC Savana with a sliding door (LOVE that sliding door out here in the windy Midwest!) and love the big beast of a van in general! It definitely sucks gas like nobodies business, but it is amazing to have some room, even with just the 7 of us! I had to purchase two (expensive) high backed boosters for Michael and Maddie to compensate for the fact that it doesn’t have head rests. As for AJ he fits fine without one and because he doesn’t have the added “lift” that the booster gives his head is below the seat bench. As he grows we may have to weld some head rest on the seats, but for now it works. Faith is going to stay 5 point harnessed in until she outgrows her Radian 65 car seat and Georgia will move up to the other Radian 65 once the baby is here. Car seat musical chairs! LOL!
I am 12 weeks now and I am starting to feel a little better, although I thought after a few days at 10 weeks I was on the upswing….it came back. I am hoping that since the 12 week mark has passed it will only get easier from here. Over the last week or two my belly has started making an appearance and I am in maternity jeans now fulltime (wow, I forgot how comfortable they were! LOL!) I had my first midwife appointment and the only thing that needed further investigation was my TSH was a little low. After a double check at my T3 and T4 levels everything looked fine. They attributed it to a high HGC count (which is apparent with my severe morning sickness). Hormones are one area I don’t have any troubles with. When I get pregnant, my body kicks into PREGNANT overdrive! I guess that is a good thing because it means it is doing a good job of maintaining the pregnancy until the placenta takes over producing hormones in the second trimester. I have an ultrasound in March and I am excited to get a peek at my little bambino. I have been praying for a happy, healthy, easy pregnancy and an EASY GOING baby! LOL! Care to pray for me too? Would love the extra prayers!
Oh my, oh my! Yesterday it was SOOO nice. I got the apple trees, peach trees, raspberries and blackberries pruned and cut out the old dead vegetation in the front flower beds. It was so amazing to be outside with the sun warm on my bare skin! The kids were out most of the day and the all the fresh air did them a world of good too. Yet another thing I LOVE about homeschooling; all day recess on days like this! Heck, we can make it up on the rainy Friday or Saturday to enjoy this kind of blessing!
Speaking of School….
We took approximately 2 weeks off during my real sick time and are getting back into the swing of school again finally! We are still working our way through weather in science and just finished reading about the Islamic Invasion of Spain and are embarking on the great kings of early France (Charles the Hammer and his grandson, Charlemagne or Charles the Great). As for the 3 R’s; Maddie is a super advanced reader and she is a challenge to find books that challenger her and also interest her. She is 6 mind you, so she still wants books about princesses and ponies and some of the books that are at her reading level are just over her head (doesn’t understand the jokes, etc.), so I am trying to go through each book and help her with the more complicated themes. AJ is finishing up his cursive curriculum and is doing really well on it! I was a little worried, but he seems to have a knack for cursive writing! Michael is doing really well with his phonics program and while he is not yet (officially) in Kindergarten he is reading small sentences and simple words quite fluently. He is moving right along and I am very pleased with what he is accomplishing!
I don’t thing our bees made it through the winter! After the hot, dry (droughty) summer and after an early swarm (I think?) they just never recovered enough to get through winter on their own. I also didn’t help when I failed to give them a fall feed when I knew that their numbers were low! Bad bee keeper! Oh well, you win some and you loose some, but you always learn. I plan on trying again in a year or two. This year will are going to focus on the chickens, the kids, getting a little ahead in school (so we can take a long break when baby is born) and the large garden. Also with running a business out of our home we really have to focus on what is important and putting food on the table (both by the garden and by the business bringing in money) is very high on that priority list!
This is the year….it is do or die! Please pray with us that we can really get things moving along well this year. Last year I call a huge success, especially given the circumstances (a drought during mowing season and no snow during the plowing season!) but this year is really our do-it-to-it year. Last year, being our first year, we encountered all our start up costs at a time where there was little to no income. Last year we carried the business by our savings. This year we need the business to carry us. Because we have followed the conviction of being debt free we have incurred all those costs that come with starting a business from our savings account. This year I hope to be adding to the savings instead of subtracting from it. Because of the pressure on this year’s spring/summer season I am keeping a light load here at the home base. I am not sure what this year will bring, but I am hoping lots and lots of work and new clients, so I am preparing for such by keeping the home front streamlined enough that I (heavily pregnant and in the heat of the summer) can maintain it myself when my husband is busy working on all that new work that we am hoping for!