June 2, 2017

Little Routines Can Make a Big Difference

We've been finished official "school" since mid-April already, so once we were over the jetlag and adjusted more to a Canadian routine, we broke out the school books once again.

I'm not a round-the-year-homeschool-mom by any means. I think we all need an extended break once a year. However, I find it helpful if there's some structure in our day, even if it's part-time.

We are spending much of our time indoors, despite a summer-tease last weekend! The rain has returned, and the temperatures have dipped down once again. So we've instituted a Mon, Wed, Fri school morning, to keep the wheels in our brains turning, and the free-for-all playtime not entirely free. Total free-time for anybody can be overwhelming, and for children especially when they aren't living in their own home, has the potential to be taxing.

Yes they're whining about school. No, they're not completely thrilled with having to do some school 3 mornings a week. But I believe they'll be better off for it. And they seem quite motivated to spend 30 or 40 minutes on homework before having free-time on electronics. In fact sometimes, I'm finding that after the homework is done, they are so happy to be finished that they go off and find toys or ride bikes, leaving the tablets and tv shows in their distant memories. (Only sometimes.)

Electronics, or screen-time, hasn't yet become a free-for-all commodity in our house. No one owns their own device yet, and we don't feel that we've reached a stage where time can be managed well without some guidance or boundaries. (Especially my 6-year old, who would probably live on the tablet if we allowed it.) So when the tablets go on, or when the tv is turned on, there are limits in place that everyone abides by, or else the privileges are lost. At this age, it's pretty simple, and it's worked in our house so far.

Our morning of homework looks like this:
Grade 6: Saxon 7/6, SpellingYouSee, free reading
Grade 4: Singapore 4A, SpellingYouSee, free reading
Grade 3: Singapore 2B, SpellingYouSee, free reading
Grade 1: Singapore 1A, SpellingYouSee, free reading or read outloud to one of the parents

As our furlough schedule allows, we are trying to continue reading our read-aloud as the kids go to bed. Furlough tends to ebb and flow with busy evenings out, and quieter ones in.

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