January 14, 2017

Life and Lists


My kids love checklists, which is just fine with me. :)

If I can have things written down in a list-format, my mind feels so much less cluttered.

It was a little crazy last month though as I found myself actually creating a shower schedule for the kids because I didn't want to be bothered to tell them to take a shower (none of my kids' favorite activity, yet, by the way) and have the whole conversation ensue about why they need one and that they smell and etc.... So now I just say "Shower Time" and they all go and see who's supposed to take a shower AND if they're supposed to wash their hair or not. It's kind of silly, but it's one less thing I have to think about, and that helps me. It also lessens our confrontations a bit, I just say "Refer to the list" and they can't argue with the paper.

A little bit about how I organize our homeschool... I have started to look at the following week's work on Friday while the kids are working through their independent school. Saturdays are often planning days, but more and more my goal is to leave Saturdays and Sundays completely free from looking at schoolwork.

My second daughter helping frost cookies one afternoon
Each of my reading children has a notebook where I write down each day's assigned work. Everything I want them to do before free-time, tv, or computer games goes on this list. Anything in red type is what they will definitely need me to teach them. So they know that they can go ahead on anything else independently. We usually try and do all of our read-alouds either during breakfast and after French lessons (which happen 3 mornings a week), or all after breakfast. For a season I saved our read-alouds for the evening, but then I was finding myself too tired to really enjoy it. The kids save their independent reading for Quiet Time, which we have for 40-50 minutes after lunch. This is the time of day when everyone needs solo time (that is, I tell them they do); I try and rest a bit, and it's generally quiet in our house. My kids have grown up with this, and a couple of them instinctively whisper to me if they need me during Quiet Time. It's wonderful. Of course we have many days requiring my constant reminders that it's truly Quiet Time. :)

Kindergarten--we use "A Reason for Handwriting" to practice penmanship
My kindergartener is probably still my most tricky to include in our school day. For the most part, he's very independent. He has advanced Lego-building skills for his age, which keeps him pretty busy. But I do sense he wants my attention more when he sees me busy with the others. There's a huge temptation to let him play endlessly on electronics (since he loves them), but I try and curb that with limits and other activities, painting, play-doh, puzzles etc.


This week we had a dentist appointment in the city. This was a huge event for us, as we haven't yet had the courage to visit a dentist in Madagascar. We usually save dental work for our furlough. But my oldest had a permanent tooth which had grown in front of a baby tooth, so the baby tooth needed pulling.

This visit to the dental clinic went extremely well--Praise the Lord. The dentist was patient and very gentle, and my daughter overcame a few dental fears that day. Due to our long afternoon at the dentist, we brought some schoolwork with us--a great advantage to homeschooling!

Showing us the tooth the dentist pulled, and where it was


My garden is giving me many new things to watch and see every day. These hot peppers are ripening nicely on a front window-sill of my home. We love to dry them and then grind them into flakes to sprinkle on rice or chicken.

On my Side Table

The Outlaws of Sherwood: from Sonlight 9th Grade Classical Literature program
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell: recommended by The Modern Mrs. Darcy.


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