"Anything, everything, can be learned if you can just get yourself in a little patch of real ground, real nature, real wood, real anything … and just sit still and watch."
~ Lauren Hutton
Snow painting with a homemade snow recipe.
Life is crazy, busy, frustrating, gleeful, sometimes sorrowful, enlightening, loving, creative and so much more. Now that I described some of the base feelings to it. Let's just say, sometimes it is overwhelming.
Two weeks ago, I fell while ice skating and got a concussion. Of course this happens right in the midst of a home we are swapping rooms around and going through many years of acquired "stuff". Stuff and loud noises gets my anxiety up. Yes, I am aware that we have five young children at home that we are homeschooling and one of our older children still home. Not to mention a small petting zoo of different animals.
With that being said there is probably enough laundry to use a 50 load laundry detergent bottle and keep me folding for 24 hours. It doesn't help that our two littlest mischief monsters, Jazlyn and Sophie change their clothes at least a weeks worth in one day. Way to be a team player, girls. Socks are still being found sprouting all over the yard. That must be the true sign of Spring.
This morning, during my cup of coffee I decided to scroll a little through Pinterest while the house was still quiet with the wee ones sleeping. Once they are all up it is game on! First load of laundry was already started and I had my cup of bulletproof coffee ready to go.
As soon as I opened my Pinterest home page a pin POPPED right out to me. It was one that was titled "The Three Day School Week, How to Homeschool...". Now, we have been homeschooling a little over a year. Sometimes things get a little crazy and off track in one or two of the categories of life. This isn't to any fault of one person or another. Just a very diversified family make up.
What I found interesting in Mary's post at Simply Be Wild & Free is that they use a 3 day home school schedule. This doesn't mean that there isn't learning all away around the week, just in different areas of their daily schedule. Currently, this is something I think we will be working on incorporating. Something needs to be giving on this teeter totter of back and forth for balancing life, kids, home, schooling, hubby time, and most importantly, MYSELF. You can't pour from an empty cup as the saying goes.
This is going to take a trial period to see if it works for our family. The three days will be filled with core subjects and learning. Then there will be a day of field trips, maybe a co-op, library, zoos, parks, etc. There are some mommas that want to get together at the Children's Museum and I am all in for that. The last day is one that when I read from her blog post and was like an instant "YES". It is a day for me. (Mostly. Except all the little ones are still with me.) But more of a free play, catch up for them, errands, doctor appointments, grocery shopping. This would be great so we can have some more down time on the weekends and Monday night after dance (which is sadly winding down for this year).
A more maintainable schedule is needed in our home. Once the two littlest princesses are done with their work, they cause quite the distraction for their two brothers. Plus not to mention destroy our home and their wardrobe in the process. *Sigh* It is work in progress.
Quite a few people have said it would be easier to send them back to school. Noting how much free time I would have on my hands. I seem to have this ability to fill my plate at the buffet of life. Cutting out what I feel is right in my heart is not one of them though. On that note it can take a couple years to get a smooth homeschooling routine down and find one that works for your family. I will not let myself get discouraged. Ok! Maybe a little at times but then you get back up and march on. We have come so far in this amount of time already.
After looking at Mary's schedule I realized there was somethings we were missing. One aspect was using my resources for field trips. We have a few amazing libraries around us. In the last couple of weeks we became aware of some of the programs they offer. Plus there is a free nature center 45 minutes from home, and we are members of the North Country Children's Museum. The NCCM offers classes and activities at different times on top of their free play and explore areas. On days at the NCCM, we could go to the library and get an hour or so in of volunteer work at the Potsdam Animal Shelter. That is a lot of learning for one day.
The "me" time will be on Friday of course. Everyone needs that at the end of the week. Just a time to unwind, take a breath, and take care of all those things that only get half done during the week. This is needed because some days I feel very frazzled. Again, no fault of anyone's. It is just a bit of my personality. Last week alone we had four different appointments scattered on different days. These days were three right in a row. Had me spinning like a top, around, round, round, round. Now that really isn't need in anyone's life.
The weekends we do slide a lesson in here or there if we need a make up day. This doesn't happen all the time. A great time to do a few chores as a family for quick tidying up. I like Mary's idea of "family history" as our children don't know a lot about their family. The downside of being adopted. Cuddles, snuggles, and spending time with one another in many ways. The last part would be Sunday. Attending church isn't something that we have done in many years now. Faith is important to us. It needs to added to our children's lives, too. Donald will be responsible for the Christian side, Roman Catholic and reading the bible and verses with them. I will be responsible for the Pagan aspect. Nature, the connection to it, the sun, and the moon, and those traditions. As they get older each will be allowed to choose their faith that they are most connected with. This is their decision and won't be forced on them. Knowledge of other religions that they connect with will be given.
Since we own a farm Sundays of course will have barn work in it and anything needed to take care of the farm. It will be our goal not to have any other kind of work than that if we can help it. Family is important and so is taking in a little R & R.
Once busy, the littles do amazing. They are attentive, creative, thirsty for knowledge, and work hard. Each one beams when they are praised. Extremely smart and show us that on most days. Sometimes in ways that might not be as favorable. Isn't that the way with most kids.
I apologize for such a long post. Before anyone asks, our children are socialized with their siblings, adults, our family members, the family we choose ("Our Tribe"), and any other people they come into contact with. They play well with children of all ages. Only issues is between siblings, that is to be expected. Donald and I have the support of our loved ones. Our school is pretty amazing in our decision. Truly, we wish that it was same story from other schools. The religion choices we make might not be everyone's cup of tea. That doesn't matter. Our lives, our home, and our family. Will posted and do an update on how this is working for us in our homeschooling and life journey. Please take the time to go the post that started this long one of mine. Blessed be! ~Kimberly~