11 February 2010

What We've Been Doing

Here at the Happy Elf Homeschool, we've been following a "schedule" since Monday. It's had mixed results. It sure isn't nearly so strict as the schedules you'd find in a larger school, but I am learning just a little bit about WHY those big-bad factory institutions schedule things so strictly in the first place (hint: it's called "getting the stuff you planned to do ... done").

I am discovering that there are small time-wasters during the day, little rabbit trails we keep hopping down, and that sort of thing. And that was wonderful and good while the children were little and needed to learn so much about the world; however, it's not necessary now to interrupt our studies for further investigation on a topic that pops up quite so frequently. This week I scheduled an entire day for cooking, chess games and assorted "fun" or elective subjects after our math was done. When I did that, I found out that the children really need a bit more direction than your average third and fourth graders would. I think doing the math first thing in the morning is a good idea, but I also think one other subject thrown in later in the day might balance out the mostly unstructured "fun" stuff. It would also give me an opportunity to play catch-up with whatever we might have been lagging behind in that week.

I'm posting a few pictures of what I do with the younger children while the older ones are doing a more self-directed activity. I can get all kinds of little boxes full of blocks or baby things (spoon, bowl, bottle, blanket, etc.) and let them play with each thing for a bit. Then I will switch the children's activities so that each has a turn doing a puzzle or matching bears or whathaveyou.


  1. Oh My Goodness. Look at the little lady Rose is becomming! She is definatly looking more like a toddler then a baby now..
    She is so cute Mrs. C!

  2. Shelly, she's reallllly "two" right now. It's her way or she'll pout/ scream/ throw things. Mom and Dad are working on training the little chick to quit it with the 'tude! But she is rather feisty. More than a little.

  3. I love the idea of playing with toys at the table. We just bought a little toy organizer. My goal is to separate toys. Anything that doesn't fit in the ogranizer is being sold. Too much stuff!

    We had a tude problem today as well.UGH!

  4. We use ice cream containers and they fit puzzle pieces or small sets of blocks, etc. well. Trouble is, we have about 50 of these things...

  5. You are such a good teacher/Mum! The kids look so happy. that's great.

  6. Mrs.C,
    Both Rose and Woodjie look quite content. It sounds like your idea with the boxes for them is going well.
    We live by a schedule here because that is what both boys crave. Personally I love to follow rabbit trails and would prefer a much more relaxed day. I have learned to be a lot more organized then I once was however and I have learned to be a lot more disciplined in how I use my day. It amazes me how much God has used homeschooling my kids to change other aspects of me life.
    I hope your schedule works out for you. I have so much respect for moms with larger families. You are amazing!


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