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Thread: Help organizing day!

  1. #1
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    Default Help organizing day!

    We are 3 weeks in and I am having trouble seeing the forest through the trees! We have once again attempted group "table time" and once again determined that this is not feasible. I have figured out I can do two out of three at the table. (But only the right combo of two). My son and younger daughter can be together or my girls can be together. My oldest two can not be together.


    For any lurkers... our family consists of "only" 3 children. Ages, 4.5, 6 (on Friday) and 8. We are doing SC3, MPK and ScC. I thought Jr. K would work better originally, but the pre-planned 4 days is working better. She has also already completed "Counting with Numbers", so the numbers and alphabet lessons are spot on for her. We will likely do very little of the enrichment in Scc or MPK.

    My son is solidly in FSR B, easily in lesson 24 of R&s math 1.... we have not started copy book. I have sc copybook by accident, so we are just going to do that one. We will combine then for Bible, Catchesism, and enrichment (Sc3).

    Other scheduling info. We are " free" M,W, F. On Tuesday afternoon we watch a boy my sons age. I could still work with either daughter, but last year I spent it doing chores. They play so well together! Thursday afternoon is gym/swim from 12-2, 3 minutes from our home. Saturdays are optional school days if we decide to do a field trip another day, since Dad works most Saturdays. We do need to fit in cleaning and food prep at some point and we have re-instated quiet time, daily, as much as possible! All kids rise between 7-7:30, bedtime is 8-8:30.

    Any suggestions?
    Last edited by howiecram; 08-28-2017 at 03:06 PM.
    Christine
    (2016-2017)
    DD (8/09) SC2
    DS (9/11) SC-C
    DD (2/13) - soaking it all up!

    (2017-2018)
    DD (8/09) SC3
    DS (9/11) SC1
    DD (2/13) -still soaking it up, using Jr. K workbooks and R&S workbooks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Noth Park Colorado
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    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    I feel for ya Christine!

    Imagine your day...on the couch. That's how we're rolling over here, post-surgery. Ugh!

    Ive been round robin-ing over here. Get one start with math, move to the next, etc.
    Married to DH for 11 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS9- Simply Classical 3 / Grade 2 Classic Core, DD6- Grade 1 Classic Core, DD 4- Simply Classical C

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Northern Indiana
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    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Round-robin KILLS me so I work with everyone individually (for the most part). If your oldest is able to work independently on some things (or sit next to you while she works), that could speed things up a little for you. Otherwise, I would plan on 4-5 hour days.

    For cleaning, we have breakfast and then chore-time. Chores take 10 minutes (garbage, wastebaskets, wipe down the guest bathroom, sweep -- each assigned to various people) and then each person chooses something from our "10-minute list" which has all those things that we would never get to otherwise (wipe down one set of cabinet fronts, door trim in one room, etc. -- my 9 and under crew love doing these). I throw in laundry and start any slow cooker dinners as part of chore time. Then we move on with our day. After lunch everyone is required to put away food and clear their places (still working on this one) and I switch laundry. After dinner, it's pick-up the living room/school room and clean the kitchen (dishes, garbage, spot-clean floor). Anything beyond this just has to wait for Saturday.
    Last edited by jen1134; 08-28-2017 at 04:42 PM.
    Jennifer

    2016-2017
    DS-13 & DS-12 (mix of MP5 & MP7), DS-10 (4th for New Users), DS-8 (MP K), DD-6 (MP K), DD-4 (FSR), DD-2

    2017-2018
    DS-14 & 13 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M),
    DS-9 (?)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC2)
    DD-2-1/2

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Quote Originally Posted by jen1134 View Post
    Round-robin KILLS me so I work with everyone individually (for the most part). If your oldest is able to work independently on some things (or sit next to you while she works), that could speed things up a little for you. Otherwise, I would plan on 4-5 hour days.

    For cleaning, we have breakfast and then chore-time. Chores take 10 minutes (garbage, wastebaskets, wipe down the guest bathroom, sweep -- each assigned to various people) and then each person chooses something from our "10-minute list" which has all those things that we would never get to otherwise (wipe down one set of cabinet fronts, door trim in one room, etc. -- my 9 and under crew love doing these). I throw in laundry and start any slow cooker dinners as part of chore time. Then we move on with our day. After lunch everyone is required to put away food and clear their places (still working on this one) and I switch laundry. After dinner, it's pick-up the living room/school room and clean the kitchen (dishes, garbage, spot-clean floor). Anything beyond this just has to wait for Saturday.
    Yes, I think I had delisusions of a "math" block, etc. It is not working. The last two years, I just hyper focused on the oldest, and fit the next child in after. We did not do anything intentional with my youngest. She is bright and learning by osmosis. However, she needs to be supervised, intently and she tends to litterally hang on me while I am working with the other two. I would like to give her a devoted time and probably follow the age old advice to start with the youngest. My son at 4, finally had the right combo of toys and could play independently well. (Cars, legos, magnatiles, etc.). My youngest has not learned to be alone..... she can do 5 min. So, she demands a lot of attention in unproductive/destructive ways. I am working on "quiet" bins.... hoping to rotate those. On the flip side, today she opened up "everywhere we go" and colored, nicely for 20 min... that was new! She likes the workbooks, but not so much the coloring. I still have several Montessori "practical life works", but she did them as a 1-3 year old....so she probably needs new stuff.

    I don't mind schooling all day - it's just bringing them back after letting them go is such a challenge! My older daughter can work solidly for 1.5-2 hours, but I can't neglect the others for that long.....

    I know, said every homeschool mom...
    Christine
    (2016-2017)
    DD (8/09) SC2
    DS (9/11) SC-C
    DD (2/13) - soaking it all up!

    (2017-2018)
    DD (8/09) SC3
    DS (9/11) SC1
    DD (2/13) -still soaking it up, using Jr. K workbooks and R&S workbooks

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Quote Originally Posted by howiecram View Post
    Yes, I think I had delisusions of a "math" block, etc. It is not working. The last two years, I just hyper focused on the oldest, and fit the next child in after. We did not do anything intentional with my youngest. She is bright and learning by osmosis. However, she needs to be supervised, intently and she tends to litterally hang on me while I am working with the other two. I would like to give her a devoted time and probably follow the age old advice to start with the youngest. My son at 4, finally had the right combo of toys and could play independently well. (Cars, legos, magnatiles, etc.). My youngest has not learned to be alone..... she can do 5 min. So, she demands a lot of attention in unproductive/destructive ways. I am working on "quiet" bins.... hoping to rotate those. On the flip side, today she opened up "everywhere we go" and colored, nicely for 20 min... that was new! She likes the workbooks, but not so much the coloring. I still have several Montessori "practical life works", but she did them as a 1-3 year old....so she probably needs new stuff.

    I don't mind schooling all day - it's just bringing them back after letting them go is such a challenge! My older daughter can work solidly for 1.5-2 hours, but I can't neglect the others for that long.....

    I know, said every homeschool mom...

    I would definitely start with the youngest; it might help eliminate some of her clinginess during your time with the other kids. I've also found that clingy children need boundaries on their clinginess. "You can't sit on my lap, but you can sit next to me", "I can't pick you up, but I can hold your hand", "I can't read to you right now, but you can do ________ next to me". Gradually, you can increase the distance/time of these things.

    Now is the time to do this though. If she continues as is, it will get MUCH harder to school in future years!

    Also, I don't know what your schooling area looks like (separate room, living room, dining room, etc) but I've found that it is absolutely essential to keep all children in that area during school time. Remember what Montessori said about teachers keeping an eye on the class at all times, regardless of who they were working with. The kids' sense of that presence is what (eventually) keeps things in line. I'm still working on this too!
    Jennifer

    2016-2017
    DS-13 & DS-12 (mix of MP5 & MP7), DS-10 (4th for New Users), DS-8 (MP K), DD-6 (MP K), DD-4 (FSR), DD-2

    2017-2018
    DS-14 & 13 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M),
    DS-9 (?)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC2)
    DD-2-1/2

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Quote Originally Posted by jen1134 View Post
    Also, I don't know what your schooling area looks like (separate room, living room, dining room, etc) but I've found that it is absolutely essential to keep all children in that area during school time. Remember what Montessori said about teachers keeping an eye on the class at all times, regardless of who they were working with. The kids' sense of that presence is what (eventually) keeps things in line. I'm still working on this too!
    Ahhh, I just accidentally discovered that this week! I've been trying to have my oldest work on her "independent" work a little too independentally. After a week of beating my head against the wall, I let her join me and little sister in the school room for little sister's 30 minutes of Molly and Mama Time. I work with little sister in one corner of the room, and big sister wears headphones and works on math and copybook in the other corner of the room.

    I'm not much help on scheduling 3 kids since I only have 2, but what's been working (By working I mean we don't all want to kill each other by lunch) is 45-60 minutes of morning time all together, then I do a 30 minute block with my K-er while the other one does independent work, then we switch and I work with the 1st grader for 30 mins while the K-er does independent work. It's hard to find 30 minutes of K work that doesn't require help though! I've made her an "extra work" basket of sight word flash cards, banagrams, cuisenaire rods etc to try to keep her busy, but if she wonders off to put her baby dolls down for a nap I can't say I always call her back

    After this solid 2 hours, my oldest is DONE mentally so we usually go outside (or she swings/climbs on the indoor swing) and then we make lunch. There's usually something that hasnt gotten done so while i have her at the table for lunch or later on for snack we try to finish it then. Enrichment type things and read alouds happen when they happen. We may still be finishing the grades we started 1 year+1 week ago. Whatever man. I'm gone most afternoons for language class and I'm sure you have other life happening as well. These kids of ours are getting a rich education.

    Maybe since you have 2 that work nicely together you could schedule 30 min blocks working with those 2 while the other does independent work or plays, then switch and do a block with the leftover kid while the other 2 work independentally?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Quote Originally Posted by howiecram View Post
    We are 3 weeks in and I am having trouble seeing the forest through the trees! We have once again attempted group "table time" and once again determined that this is not feasible. I have figured out I can do two out of three at the table. (But only the right combo of two). My son and younger daughter can be together or my girls can be together. My oldest two can not be together.


    For any lurkers... our family consists of "only" 3 children. Ages, 4.5, 6 (on Friday) and 8. We are doing SC3, MPK and ScC. I thought Jr. K would work better originally, but the pre-planned 4 days is working better. She has also already completed "Counting with Numbers", so the numbers and alphabet lessons are spot on for her. We will likely do very little of the enrichment in Scc or MPK.

    My son is solidly in FSR B, easily in lesson 24 of R&s math 1.... we have not started copy book. I have sc copybook by accident, so we are just going to do that one. We will combine then for Bible, Catchesism, and enrichment (Sc3).

    Other scheduling info. We are " free" M,W, F. On Tuesday afternoon we watch a boy my sons age. I could still work with either daughter, but last year I spent it doing chores. They play so well together! Thursday afternoon is gym/swim from 12-2, 3 minutes from our home. Saturdays are optional school days if we decide to do a field trip another day, since Dad works most Saturdays. We do need to fit in cleaning and food prep at some point and we have re-instated quiet time, daily, as much as possible! All kids rise between 7-7:30, bedtime is 8-8:30.

    Any suggestions?
    Hi, Christine.

    No real help here, but just a word of encouragement. You have another two years or so with full wiggles and energy, but in two years, you will have more serious students at ages 6.5, 8, 10. For now, you are doing your best to keep everyone safe, courteous, and well-taught!

    Your overall schedule looks like a good mix of home structure and socializing. We liked the MWF/Sat work schedule too. Tuesday & Thursday provide a little social break for everyone there. The plan to do chores while your children play with their Tuesday "guest" sounds like a great idea.

    On MWF/Sat you can work with your two older children (but not together). You can pair your older daughter with your youngest on something constructive (Rose could read simple books to your youngest?), while you work one-on-one with your middle student.

    In addition to your Tuesday chore day, your family cleaning, meal prep, etc. could be accomplished in concentrated ways on Saturday afternoons.

    As your oldest becomes more solid in her schoolwork, she will be able to work more independently. By then your youngest will need the concentrated time. This will be good timing. All much to juggle, but you can do this!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    This thread is making me anxious and calming me down, both at the same time. We begin school on Tuesday. I am dreading it. We took the Summer off (aka Major Burnout) and my Pavlovian response to school starting back is anxiety, crying, whining, avoiding and dread. BLUH

    #transparency
    "Do not let the past disturb you -- just leave everything in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and begin again with joy."
    ~ St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    "Pray, hope, and don't worry."
    ~ St Padre Pio

    Boy Wonder: 9, Simply Classical, Level 2
    Girl Friday: 7, MP1
    Silly Cowboy: 5, JrK drop out
    Pink Baby Bunting: 1, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita View Post
    This thread is making me anxious and calming me down, both at the same time. We begin school on Tuesday. I am dreading it. We took the Summer off (aka Major Burnout) and my Pavlovian response to school starting back is anxiety, crying, whining, avoiding and dread. BLUH

    #transparency
    My son took an hour to do his math yesterday. They were driving me crazy today and I suggested they race each other to see who could finish first. They finished in 10 minutes! Not sure I can explore this always, but it is a measuring stick! . (And a glimmer of hope). We were totally off routine today as my oldest slept in by almost an hour. My youngest and I worked through most (including activities) of her work that time. She did, in fact, not be so clingy for the other two' lessons.......

    That being said - thinking of schooling only M/WF/S was the line through the trees I needed - this really simplifies things for me. Tue/Thur morning will be catch up activities we don't usually do - maybe some delve deeply........I always struggle with Thursdays - anyone else?
    Christine
    (2016-2017)
    DD (8/09) SC2
    DS (9/11) SC-C
    DD (2/13) - soaking it all up!

    (2017-2018)
    DD (8/09) SC3
    DS (9/11) SC1
    DD (2/13) -still soaking it up, using Jr. K workbooks and R&S workbooks

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita View Post
    This thread is making me anxious and calming me down, both at the same time. We begin school on Tuesday. I am dreading it. We took the Summer off (aka Major Burnout) and my Pavlovian response to school starting back is anxiety, crying, whining, avoiding and dread. BLUH

    #transparency

    Breathe, mama, breathe. I felt so unprepared (despite HOURS of preparing) and today, our first day, went absolutely beautifully! Seriously, I couldn't have asked for a better day. I don't expect that to last beyond today, but it was nice while it was here
    Jennifer

    2016-2017
    DS-13 & DS-12 (mix of MP5 & MP7), DS-10 (4th for New Users), DS-8 (MP K), DD-6 (MP K), DD-4 (FSR), DD-2

    2017-2018
    DS-14 & 13 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M),
    DS-9 (?)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC2)
    DD-2-1/2

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Anita, your children have come so far. Streamline your teaching to the basics for a time, if that would help. Plan your own creative art time (early mornings or late evenings?), even if only once a week. As anyone knows who saw the tiny painted wooden saint dolls at Sodalitas, you are a talented artist. I hope you can find something outside of a long to-do list into which you can "lose yourself" at least weekly. For me while raising young children, it was scrapbooking. For you, it might be your painting or even the less-prep version of adult coloring. Reread your good advice to all of us, and then plan some non-school time for what you love.


    And Jen, I love this:

    Quote Originally Posted by jen1134 View Post
    Breathe, mama, breathe. I felt so unprepared (despite HOURS of preparing) and today, our first day, went absolutely beautifully! Seriously, I couldn't have asked for a better day. I don't expect that to last beyond today, but it was nice while it was here

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita View Post
    This thread is making me anxious and calming me down, both at the same time. We begin school on Tuesday. I am dreading it. We took the Summer off (aka Major Burnout) and my Pavlovian response to school starting back is anxiety, crying, whining, avoiding and dread. BLUH

    #transparency
    I think many of us are actually overachievers? It is so hard to live up to something unacheivable though! Can we help you? Where are you starting this year out at? What do you see as being YOUR biggest hurdles? I know you have "got" this, but let us know what worries you the most!
    Christine
    (2016-2017)
    DD (8/09) SC2
    DS (9/11) SC-C
    DD (2/13) - soaking it all up!

    (2017-2018)
    DD (8/09) SC3
    DS (9/11) SC1
    DD (2/13) -still soaking it up, using Jr. K workbooks and R&S workbooks

  13. #13
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    1,551

    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    For anyone dreading the new school year, consider this -- not just for our children. Even though we all qualify for the Intermediate level, I recommend Beginner for exhausted adults. The numbers keep our thoughts from wandering or degenerating into complaint as we write. The simplicity of the format makes it achievable. The practice of daily enumeration reminds us of all we have each day in the smallest of things.

    Yesterday for me:
    1. A nursing home worker named Carmen (whom I now love) unexpectedly encouraged my daughter who had become very anxious when supervisors left for the day.
    2. After I arrived at the nursing home and let Michelle cry a little, Michelle pulled herself together and led a rousing game with the wheelchair-bound residents in the activity room all by herself. She awarded prizes. Michelle left beaming. So did the residents, as they were wheeled back to their rooms.
    3. Her ballet class started again for the school year, so I was "forced" to relax for 30 minutes yesterday and just watch, listening to Tchaikovsky, seeing the beauty, and straightening my posture.
    4. I received a beautiful article to a new magazine we are creating. (More on this to come.)
    5. My son told me he loves me.
    6. Last night my husband and I laughed so hard at something together, we nearly cried.
    7. At MP we're nearly ready to do the copy editing on Myself & Others.
    8. We heard from a new person with a 6yo who has Down syndrome and wants to begin Level B.

    I could, instead, list the things dreaded and despised from the day, but most days this would be much less fruitful. It is our "default mode" to dwell on these anyway.

    A wise, warm, friendly, bubbling-over homeschooler of children with special needs once these shared other tips for burnout (aka discouragement and fatigue):


    Plan For Success:
    Get up earlier than your family while things are quiet. Get dressed first thing and program the coffee maker the day before so it's ready for you. Clear the kitchen every evening, so breakfast is uncomplicated. Invest in a slow cooker and a menu plan to ease dinner preparation. Use plastic cutlery and paper plates for one daily meal. Employ strategies to help things run with ease. This keeps tempers even and the home peaceful. Victory takes planning. Plan to win.

    Manage And Delegate:
    It easy it is to get overwhelmed. Time management is key. Set a timer. Focus on your task and move directly to its completion. When the timer sounds, move promptly to your next task. Typically, the first hour of school is the most difficult; keep going. Take a short break mid-morning and an hour for lunch. Use this time to check email or texts. If you struggle, take a break and regroup. Salvaging a schedule is easier than we might perceive. After school, insist on quiet time for the family. Keep noise and stimuli to a minimum. This gives everyone time to refresh and recharge. Afterwards, do something physical -- gardening, walking or participating in sports. Staying active fends off depression and anxiety and relieves stress. Keep dinners and bedtimes early so the family have time to relax each evening.

    Take Your Time:
    Take care of yourself and your relationships. Isolation turns quickly to anxiety and depression. Intentionally connect with people, even if it seems difficult. Join up with others for a favorite hobby. Volunteer for the needy. Get out for evenings alone with your loved one. If you can't take a weekend, take an afternoon or just a few hours -- even staying home and enjoying the quiet while the children are out. Select Scripture passages to read, illustrate or pray with each day. To combat negativity, record your wins and blessings every day, as well as barriers to progress and how to effectively prepare for them. Focus your energy on success, not fear, and remember: your life is now, not "someday". -- A.V.

    Outside help is good when physical depletion becomes evident. Nutritionist, personal trainer, therapist, doctor, priest/pastor, girlfriend(s) -- all of the above?


    Praying for you, Anita, and for all who dread the new year. This is a battle not just for our children but also for ourselves:

    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Thanks, y'all

    I spent the last few weeks (months, on and off) removing the wallpaper in my kids' bathroom. What started out as a challenging project has turned into a bit of a nightmare. I love working with my hands; I love taking something ugly and turning it into something beautiful; I love painting; I love picking out and installing just the right accessories (and seeing how frugally I can do that). But this project has been TAXING. I promised myself that I would work on it until the week before school started so that I could devote the entire week before Labor Day to lesson planning (pulling apart the SC/MP Lesson Plans and pacing them a little softer + adding in a structured religious education regime + fun things like crafts that we never seem to get to). My husband, bless him, just put up the second coat of Venetian plaster last night. All we have to do now is tidy up the edges, glaze the plaster and then I can get to work putting in the accessories.

    This would not be nearly as daunting if I actually had a moment to myself. The older kids are mostly fine. They're enjoying the rarity (around here) of getting to veg out in front of the TV for longer than usual. They know that's coming to an end on Tuesday and they're vaguely excited about starting school again. The baby, though? Yikes. She's into everything. And she's teething. And she's Velcro-ed to me most of the time. (All of which are adorable, in their way.)

    1) Monday I couldn't do lesson plans because I was so, so, so exhausted. Yesterday I couldn't do lesson plans because I was mentally fried, exhausted and running all over the place (the last of the bathroom project nightmare + taekwondo + a much needed nap + cooking dinner + a mountain of laundry + undone necessary chores). So I'm already "behind". (Even though I'm not?)

    2) My three older children have Taekwondo five days a week at differing times each day (why, I do NOT understand!) and my oldest has football five days a week. I am taxi service for Taekwondo. My husband is taxi service for football (bless him). Games are every Saturday. I have to make sure my children eat (nutritious food, not junk) before sports (again, at differing times -- sometimes dinner is at 430) and that they are all ready and out the door on time. It's a LOT. AND IT'S A NON-NEGOTIABLE. We want the children to get daily exercise. But they are not independent enough to do "normal kid things" like play outside unsupervised. And martial arts are incredibly good at instilling discipline, fortitude, perseverance -- and fun! But I'm tired.

    3) "School", for me, has definitely been rewarding. It has been immensely gratifying to watch my children grow, mature, blossom (and, in my son's case, learn to speak! WOW!). But ohhhhh myyyyy worrrrrrd ... I am carrying this load alone (well -- with God, of course). I'm not just their home room teacher. I'm not just their English teacher. I'm not just their Art teacher. I'm in charge of English, Spelling, Latin, Math, Reading, Science, History, PE, Health, Home Economics, Art, Music, Counseling, Religious Education, Engineering, Computers, Entertainment and Discipline. Holy crap. That's daunting, in and of itself. But add to that special needs? It's a lot of pressure. And no, we cannot outsource. My husband has been clear and firm about that.

    It also always seems that we are "behind". Pregnancy, PPD, life stress, busyness, doctors appointments, sports, relaxation (whatever that is!) chores, and sickness all interrupt our school day. But the biggest interruption is just plain attitude from my children. Screaming, yelling, hiding under the table, refusing to work, grumbling, complaining, complaining, "I hate school" (over and over and over and over), complaining, whining, complaining, and going slowly on purpose (staring in to space and just vapor locking on easy things like Math worksheets). I stay calm for as long as I can. Even in the face of disrespect. But I can only stay calm for so long. I often end up yelling and laying down the law. Because I have made my childrens' education my life's work and this is the thanks I get?! I know it's not personal. They're just little kids trying to get out of work in order to do something fun. But it's hard to remember that when they've not cooperated for 167th time in the space of an hour. It's easy to watch the school buses going past every morning or see pictures of my Godchildren in their Catholic school uniforms and covet the alone time their mothers get to pursue work.

    Yes, they are all well-disciplined. Yes, there are clear consequences. Yes, the consequences are consistently enforced. Yes, I have my husband's support on discipline. Yes, the children are expected to say Ma'am and Sir. Yes, my children are darling, polite, nonviolent, sweet creatures. But school brings out their Beast Mode.

    4) I have interests. I have inspirations. I have personal goals and dreams (... I think...). And they do not involve my children. That feels selfish. That feels like being a bad mother. But I will suffocate if I don't make time for those. I've learned that the hard way. I also want to spend more quality time (not just watching TV together) with my husband. These are two areas where the Venn Diagram of children and parents do not intersect. And they shouldn't. I think a counselor would call this having healthy boundaries. But with so much at stake (aka If I fail, they fail) it's hard to separate myself from my childrens' wellbeing. So as much as I enjoy doing things for myself, I still feel guilty doing them.

    5) We have two cats and a dog. They eat, they drink, they poop, they pee, they vomit, they need medication, they need to be walked, they need attention, they need grooming, they need shots, they need....

    6) I have a 3300 square foot house and a 1/2 acre yard.

    7) I have too much work to do and not enough time.
    I have too much work to do and not enough energy.
    I have too much work to do and not enough inspiration.
    I have too much work to do and not enough help.
    I have too much work to do and not enough enthusiasm.
    I have too much work to do and not enough undistracted brain space.
    I have too much work to do to enjoy my work.

    I need to take our school work and cut it up into small, enjoyable, chewable bites. School needs to be done every week day from 8AM until Noon. No longer, no shorter. (I have aligned our start and end dates with Latin Highlands -- Labor Day to Memorial Day -- and taken the local public school holiday/teacher workday schedule and applied it as well.) Everyone needs to be served -- including the baby and my younger son who has the focus of a hummingbird -- without me losing my mind.

    Does this make sense?
    Last edited by Anita; 08-30-2017 at 08:14 AM.
    "Do not let the past disturb you -- just leave everything in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and begin again with joy."
    ~ St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    "Pray, hope, and don't worry."
    ~ St Padre Pio

    Boy Wonder: 9, Simply Classical, Level 2
    Girl Friday: 7, MP1
    Silly Cowboy: 5, JrK drop out
    Pink Baby Bunting: 1, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,551

    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Yes! Especially this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita View Post
    I need to take our school work and cut it up into small, enjoyable, chewable bites. School needs to be done every week day from 8AM until Noon. No longer, no shorter. (I have aligned our start and end dates with Latin Highlands -- Labor Day to Memorial Day -- and taken the local public school holiday/teacher workday schedule and applied it as well.) Everyone needs to be served -- including the baby and my younger son who has the focus of a hummingbird -- without me losing my mind.

    Does this make sense?
    You have a LOT on your plate. With your husband away and working so hard, most of the responsibilities fall on you. I hope you look back on this season of your life and say it was the hardest, but you survived, and you and your children even thrived. One day at a time.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    712

    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita View Post
    Thanks, y'all

    I spent the last few weeks (months, on and off) removing the wallpaper in my kids' bathroom. What started out as a challenging project has turned into a bit of a nightmare. I love working with my hands; I love taking something ugly and turning it into something beautiful; I love painting; I love picking out and installing just the right accessories (and seeing how frugally I can do that). But this project has been TAXING. I promised myself that I would work on it until the week before school started so that I could devote the entire week before Labor Day to lesson planning (pulling apart the SC/MP Lesson Plans and pacing them a little softer + adding in a structured religious education regime + fun things like crafts that we never seem to get to). My husband, bless him, just put up the second coat of Venetian plaster last night. All we have to do now is tidy up the edges, glaze the plaster and then I can get to work putting in the accessories.

    This would not be nearly as daunting if I actually had a moment to myself. The older kids are mostly fine. They're enjoying the rarity (around here) of getting to veg out in front of the TV for longer than usual. They know that's coming to an end on Tuesday and they're vaguely excited about starting school again. The baby, though? Yikes. She's into everything. And she's teething. And she's Velcro-ed to me most of the time. (All of which are adorable, in their way.)

    1) Monday I couldn't do lesson plans because I was so, so, so exhausted. Yesterday I couldn't do lesson plans because I was mentally fried, exhausted and running all over the place (the last of the bathroom project nightmare + taekwondo + a much needed nap + cooking dinner + a mountain of laundry + undone necessary chores). So I'm already "behind". (Even though I'm not?)

    2) My three older children have Taekwondo five days a week at differing times each day (why, I do NOT understand!) and my oldest has football five days a week. I am taxi service for Taekwondo. My husband is taxi service for football (bless him). Games are every Saturday. I have to make sure my children eat (nutritious food, not junk) before sports (again, at differing times -- sometimes dinner is at 430) and that they are all ready and out the door on time. It's a LOT. AND IT'S A NON-NEGOTIABLE. We want the children to get daily exercise. But they are not independent enough to do "normal kid things" like play outside unsupervised. And martial arts are incredibly good at instilling discipline, fortitude, perseverance -- and fun! But I'm tired.

    3) "School", for me, has definitely been rewarding. It has been immensely gratifying to watch my children grow, mature, blossom (and, in my son's case, learn to speak! WOW!). But ohhhhh myyyyy worrrrrrd ... I am carrying this load alone (well -- with God, of course). I'm not just their home room teacher. I'm not just their English teacher. I'm not just their Art teacher. I'm in charge of English, Spelling, Latin, Math, Reading, Science, History, PE, Health, Home Economics, Art, Music, Counseling, Religious Education, Engineering, Computers, Entertainment and Discipline. Holy crap. That's daunting, in and of itself. But add to that special needs? It's a lot of pressure. And no, we cannot outsource. My husband has been clear and firm about that.

    It also always seems that we are "behind". Pregnancy, PPD, life stress, busyness, doctors appointments, sports, relaxation (whatever that is!) chores, and sickness all interrupt our school day. But the biggest interruption is just plain attitude from my children. Screaming, yelling, hiding under the table, refusing to work, grumbling, complaining, complaining, "I hate school" (over and over and over and over), complaining, whining, complaining, and going slowly on purpose (staring in to space and just vapor locking on easy things like Math worksheets). I stay calm for as long as I can. Even in the face of disrespect. But I can only stay calm for so long. I often end up yelling and laying down the law. Because I have made my childrens' education my life's work and this is the thanks I get?! I know it's not personal. They're just little kids trying to get out of work in order to do something fun. But it's hard to remember that when they've not cooperated for 167th time in the space of an hour. It's easy to watch the school buses going past every morning or see pictures of my Godchildren in their Catholic school uniforms and covet the alone time their mothers get to pursue work.

    Yes, they are all well-disciplined. Yes, there are clear consequences. Yes, the consequences are consistently enforced. Yes, I have my husband's support on discipline. Yes, the children are expected to say Ma'am and Sir. Yes, my children are darling, polite, nonviolent, sweet creatures. But school brings out their Beast Mode.

    4) I have interests. I have inspirations. I have personal goals and dreams (... I think...). And they do not involve my children. That feels selfish. That feels like being a bad mother. But I will suffocate if I don't make time for those. I've learned that the hard way. I also want to spend more quality time (not just watching TV together) with my husband. These are two areas where the Venn Diagram of children and parents do not intersect. And they shouldn't. I think a counselor would call this having healthy boundaries. But with so much at stake (aka If I fail, they fail) it's hard to separate myself from my childrens' wellbeing. So as much as I enjoy doing things for myself, I still feel guilty doing them.

    5) We have two cats and a dog. They eat, they drink, they poop, they pee, they vomit, they need medication, they need to be walked, they need attention, they need grooming, they need shots, they need....

    6) I have a 3300 square foot house and a 1/2 acre yard.

    7) I have too much work to do and not enough time.
    I have too much work to do and not enough energy.
    I have too much work to do and not enough inspiration.
    I have too much work to do and not enough help.
    I have too much work to do and not enough enthusiasm.
    I have too much work to do and not enough undistracted brain space.
    I have too much work to do to enjoy my work.

    I need to take our school work and cut it up into small, enjoyable, chewable bites. School needs to be done every week day from 8AM until Noon. No longer, no shorter. (I have aligned our start and end dates with Latin Highlands -- Labor Day to Memorial Day -- and taken the local public school holiday/teacher workday schedule and applied it as well.) Everyone needs to be served -- including the baby and my younger son who has the focus of a hummingbird -- without me losing my mind.

    Does this make sense?

    You know I've been here/am here. I think our kids can sense when we're overdone and they play to that. It's kind of a chicken and the egg thing. Are they worse because we're burnt out or are we burnt out because they're worse...or both? Is the complaining something new or has it been on-going?
    Jennifer

    2016-2017
    DS-13 & DS-12 (mix of MP5 & MP7), DS-10 (4th for New Users), DS-8 (MP K), DD-6 (MP K), DD-4 (FSR), DD-2

    2017-2018
    DS-14 & 13 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M),
    DS-9 (?)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC2)
    DD-2-1/2

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    1,295

    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Quote Originally Posted by cherylswope View Post
    Yes! Especially this:



    You have a LOT on your plate. With your husband away and working so hard, most of the responsibilities fall on you. I hope you look back on this season of your life and say it was the hardest, but you survived, and you and your children even thrived. One day at a time.
    Validation. Thank you. That's really what I need. Someone wise(r? ) who has been there and can objectively look at all this and say, "Yes. You are right to feel tired. You are working very hard." Because the overachieving, perfectionist -- and, let's be honest little martyr -- in me just thinks, "Keep going. Do more. Do it flawlessly. You have to keep up with 'everyone else'. They're way ahead. You're lagging. Don't rest -- that's lazy." I hate that voice. It's a liar and an enemy.

    But I am simultaneously uncomfortable with "little steps". I am a "giant leap" kind of personality. I think that's why God gave me these children who take such patience. (Chuckle) He, in His wisdom, took 6 days to make us and our world, and then He rested. And He waited thousands of years to send us His Son. He could have done it all in less than a blink. But He didn't. ... There's a lesson there. About time and rhythm and patience and growth and the satisfaction and beauty in "good". There is rest in "good". So I'm shooting for "good". (Chuckle) Not perfect. "Good." (And I'm trying to be okay with that. )

    Thanks for the ear.
    "Do not let the past disturb you -- just leave everything in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and begin again with joy."
    ~ St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    "Pray, hope, and don't worry."
    ~ St Padre Pio

    Boy Wonder: 9, Simply Classical, Level 2
    Girl Friday: 7, MP1
    Silly Cowboy: 5, JrK drop out
    Pink Baby Bunting: 1, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    1,295

    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Quote Originally Posted by jen1134 View Post
    You know I've been here/am here. I think our kids can sense when we're overdone and they play to that. It's kind of a chicken and the egg thing. Are they worse because we're burnt out or are we burnt out because they're worse...or both? Is the complaining something new or has it been on-going?
    Yes, I considered just this line of thought, Jen! (I think it's a combination of both.)

    The complaining is not new. It's been symptomatic of our homeschooling journey. When my son began school four years ago, he couldn't understand more than a few words I said and he would not sit still and attend to work for more than about a minute. So the push/pull is basically part of our daily schooling life. I know he would have failed in a public, or even private, school setting because he needed so much remediation and he was at the same time so, so, so inattentive and uncooperative. He reads, writes, adds, subtracts, does crafts and enjoys literature because of me. That is still flabbergasting to me! But it doesn't mean it's easy.

    In "chunking down" our school day and making it more manageable I am trying to employ a bit of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for our homeschool. We have many negative associations built up in our "experience database" for schooling. By retooling and re approaching our school work, I am trying to "rewire" that into a positive expectation. So instead of school creating a negative expectation, it will create a positive one. That's the goal, anyway.

    (Praying for you, btw )
    "Do not let the past disturb you -- just leave everything in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and begin again with joy."
    ~ St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    "Pray, hope, and don't worry."
    ~ St Padre Pio

    Boy Wonder: 9, Simply Classical, Level 2
    Girl Friday: 7, MP1
    Silly Cowboy: 5, JrK drop out
    Pink Baby Bunting: 1, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    712

    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita View Post
    Yes, I considered just this line of thought, Jen! (I think it's a combination of both.)

    The complaining is not new. It's been symptomatic of our homeschooling journey. When my son began school four years ago, he couldn't understand more than a few words I said and he would not sit still and attend to work for more than about a minute. So the push/pull is basically part of our daily schooling life. I know he would have failed in a public, or even private, school setting because he needed so much remediation and he was at the same time so, so, so inattentive and uncooperative. He reads, writes, adds, subtracts, does crafts and enjoys literature because of me. That is still flabbergasting to me! But it doesn't mean it's easy.

    In "chunking down" our school day and making it more manageable I am trying to employ a bit of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for our homeschool. We have many negative associations built up in our "experience database" for schooling. By retooling and re approaching our school work, I am trying to "rewire" that into a positive expectation. So instead of school creating a negative expectation, it will create a positive one. That's the goal, anyway.

    (Praying for you, btw )

    Thank you for the prayers!!

    I think you're on the right track in helping them to see school in a positive light. I had to do that for myself this year. That's part of the reason I start our school day with two things: 1) a one-paragraph Scripture reading from the Liturgy of the Hours (read aloud to everyone after the Our Father) and 2) my 2 year old and the Preschool program. That 10-15 minutes of watching pudgy hands folded in prayer, reading books, drawing pictures and singing Jesus Loves Me, is the perfect intro to my teaching day.

    We also have an "Afternoon Time" where we sit on the living room rug and review flashcards, talk about the language lesson from Copybook (nothing intense), and then do a read-aloud (chapter book, picture book, poetry...whatever strikes our fancy). Some days I might shake it up a bit with a Phonics/Math game instead of the flashcards. They've had hours of free time by that point in the day, but it still makes for a nice, simple "closing".

    I think it's important for us as moms to have "beauty-full" bookends to our school days. But that "fullness" can come from such simple, simple things!

    I wonder if you could set a new tone for your school days by simply having the kids snuggle up each morning for the week's enrichment book, poem or other picture books. No questions, no vocabulary explanations, no analyzing...just you and them enjoying a sweet book. The teaching part can be done at a separate time, but to start the day, just let them revel in the sound of your voice.
    Last edited by jen1134; 08-31-2017 at 02:07 PM.
    Jennifer

    2016-2017
    DS-13 & DS-12 (mix of MP5 & MP7), DS-10 (4th for New Users), DS-8 (MP K), DD-6 (MP K), DD-4 (FSR), DD-2

    2017-2018
    DS-14 & 13 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M),
    DS-9 (?)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC2)
    DD-2-1/2

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,551

    Default Re: Help organizing day!

    Jennifer, great suggestion. I just PM'd you with an idea.

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