Friday, December 2, 2011

Schooling Dilemmas

I come here looking for tips, tricks and advice from my fellow moms who school your kids at home...I have been at this for three months now and have tried a variety of different things to make school work best for our family. I have tried the, get everyone up early and work on a schedule type day, the do school with one child while the others play and then alternate kids day, and the relaxed let them take all day kind of day. I have yet to find something that works perfectly for raising and educating a 2nd grader, a preschooler and a toddler.

I had been feeling defeated and pulled in so many directions that I feared I might lose my mind. I prayed and prayed that God would give the clear direction, and I think He has. Yesterday I woke with some strong convictions. One about ME getting up early even if and especially if no one else does. A typical morning here has me getting up with Howard to send him off and make sure he has his coffee, breakfast, lunch, then I typically go back into my bed and read subsequently falling back asleep only to wake when Hope (who has yet to realize she can get out of her big girl bed herself) screams my name like the house is on fire. I have to admit...waking up to that doesn't set me up for success. Then Ben typically wakes to the alarm of hearing Hope yell MOOOOOOOMMMMMM! We snuggle and watch Dora and wait for Luke to get up and then we have breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, make beds and begin school.

The Lord has reminded me yet again that while I love my warm bed in the still dark morning, that my days go better when I get up early, send Howard off, get myself dressed, get a cup of coffee and pray and read before the children get up...when I have had he opportunity to start my day with Him in the quiet peace of the morning it definitely has an impact on the entire day, yet that soft warm bed entices me.

Another conviction I believe He is alerting me to is my use of the TV. Obviously during school time we can't have the TV on but I have been so guilty of leaning on the TV to entertain Hope while we do school in lieu of finding her appropriate activities to do. Yesterday we spent the day TV free and it was so fantastic.

I also need to stay off the computer myself. I am often times lured by the computer to check Facebook or a deal site and then find myself snapping at the kids when they want to steal my attention from my laptop. They deserve ALL of me not just my leftovers.

So, I've set some goals for myself for the next few weeks...I've written them down so I can reassess in a week or two. Here they are:

1. To get up early no matter what and get my day started with God and prayer so that I can be fresh and ready to greet the three blessings He has given me the way they deserve to be greeted. To greet them with a smile, a hug and a prayer for the day each morning.

2. To have ALL meals planned out to avoid the chaos of what's for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and to include the kids in preparing the meals.

3. To not rush through school and take a more "team work" approach...allowing the kids to be included in all lessons if it interests them and allow them to teach each other more.

4. To include the kids in more of the chores of the day to allow them to take ownership of our home and see first hand the work that it takes to keep things up.

5. To include family devotion time each day as we do our Advent Challenge.

6. To stay off of my computer during the day...allowing for time checking messages and blogging in the morning before the kids wake or in the evening after they are in bed.

I hope to check in at the end of next week and see if our days are more peaceful and if I've followed through. :) What are some goals you have? What helps your day go better and more peacefully?


asplashofsunshine said...

While I do not homeschool my children, I am a mom, and a teacher too. First of all, don't beat yourself up!!!! Forgive yourself for what you perceive as being less than perfect. You'll progress further to what YOU want and what will work for your family. Public or private schooling may be the best choice for your family down the road, who knows. These are the formative years for the kids, which staying at home could be a fantastic thing, or not. Same with schooling outside the home. Do what works for you, and don't apologize to anyone outside of your family for choices you make! Good luck in all that you do!!!

fortressmom said...

We are a homeschool family of three like you. Our ages are 11, 9, and 3. It's a challenge sometimes to find what will work best, but hang in there. It is certainly easier to do if you've had a chance to wake yourself and get your mind in the right place before trying to guide the kids that direction. Mine being older are more self directed in several areas, so it's easier to work with the little guy during those times. I always try to have a tot pack or sensory bin for him that ties into our theme with the older girls as well. There are fabulous ideas all over the internet for them, but my favorite is is great as well. Just a few hints that may help a little.