Friday, February 26, 2010

When Our Routine Doesn't Work..."Today We Will..."

As a momma to 4 kiddos (1 school age, 1 wanting to be school age, 1 toddler, 1 baby) we try to stick to a daily routine.  Often, when I tell people we have a schedule, they tell me all the reasons I don't need to be structured since all my children are so young.  But honestly, everyone in this house functions better with some structure and knowing what to expect in a day!

I know, for me, once I set a schedule, I can easily feel frustrated and defeated the first time my schedule isn't followed.  And with 4 little ones, there is rarely a day where something crazy and unexpected doesn't happen, which throws everything off!

That's why the key for me is: ROUTINE.  I no longer try to keep a schedule that is planned out by minutes and hours.  I figured out pretty quickly that just doesn't work for us!

Instead, I just aim for routine...and there are days even that is thrown out the window and then I revert to my "Today We Will..."

My ideal routine (we end up following this 3 days out of 5):
--Wake up
--Eat breakfast
--Get dressed, Brush teeth
--Make beds
--Devotions (everyone sits on couch and "reads" their Bible)
--Prayer and memory verse (together on the couch)
--School--move into dining room/school room *more below*
(Liberty lays down for nap)
(Trusten is learning the calendar, the globe, doing Rod and Staff and Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons)
(Brahm is working on counting objectives, number recognition and Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons)
(Samuel is learning to sit quietly and play during school time!)
--Play time
--Lunch (and daddy's home to eat with us!)
--Group read aloud
--Naps/Rest time
--Pick up house
--Daddy home from work
--Family Worship

*School usually takes us about an hour--including and considering interupptions!
----We all start out talking about the calendar (day, month, year)
----Then we move onto the globe and just discuss it (they always have questions about "where is this?" "who lives here?" etc)
----Brahm and Samuel then start playing school (this means they cut paper and glue) while I start Trusten's R&S
----Then Trusten takes a break, while I work with Brahm on his objectives and TYCTR
----Brahm and Samuel are dismissed from table and Trusten works on TYCTR
----Very soon Liberty wakes up (note: because Brahm and Samuel are playing crazy!)

So then what about the other 2 out of 5 days when mommy is feeling lazy tired :) or Liberty isn't cooperating, etc?

Then we just focus on our "Today We Will..." list.
"Today We Will" is what we aim for on a crazy day.  (These things WILL get done, but in no particular order! )
**Have Breakfast
**Brush Teeth
**Quiet time with Jesus
**Trusten: Rod and Staff workbook
**Brahm: Counting and/or Letters
**Pick up house
**Family Worship

On days, like these, we play LOTS of Legos!

(Notice we don't necessarily attempt to get dressed, make beds and do every school lesson on "those kinds of days")

And if I can accomplish my "Today We Will" things on "those kinds of days", I'm happy!

Do you homeschool?  What do you do day to day?  Join the discussion over at Amy's Blog (Raising Arrows)!


Bri said...

Did you buy the Teach Your Child To Read stuff? How do you feel about it's effectiveness? We have discussed doing that with Carter, but don't want to make the financial investment if it won't help and I would love to hear your opinion/experience.

By the way...I love reading about your life! I pray that God blesses us with so many wonderful children! Of course, I am also thankful for the one we have now and I will be thankful if he is our only :). I always will remember when you said once (many years ago) that your dream was to own a 15 passenger van and look back to see all of your blessings filling it up :)

Grace said...

Brianah~I edited my post to include the whole name of the book (Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons). I don't know if that's the book you're talking about or not. It's very popular amongst homeschoolers...
Anyways, we love it and Trusten is almost reading totally on his own now.
You can start it at 3 1/2, but they suggest waiting until 4 or 5. Trusten is 5. We started it when he was 3 1/2 but took it VERY slow.
It's 100 lessons, but we do a half lesson each day.

Bri said...

I will definitely have to check that out! The one I was thinking of was the system that runs infomercials on tv :)

Cheri Bunch said...

I love your blog, Grace! You always bring back so many memories for me! Loved those crazy, crazy days! I miss them so much! Blessings! Cheri

Cheryl said...

This was great! I used to homeschool my two oldest before we moved to Blacksburg and started our church plant and I couldn't do it all. So I was given the gift of having my oldest three in Christian school. Gracie and Liliana, 5 and 2 are now doing school at home and I LOVE to hear about other moms "routines" who have little little ones.

So fun!


Nicole said...

I find routine very important with our 4 young kids as well! We have had "one of those days" for about 3 months straight now due to CONSTANT morning sickness with our 5th pregnancy! But our routine without morning sickness is more of a rhythm - minute by minute does not work well for us either.
Our rhythm is similair to yours:
Mommy gets up and ready
Kids up, breakfast, (bible during breakfast), cleanup, get dressed, chores, family activity or play, quiet time (while mommy fixes lunch), lunch, cleanup, lay little ones down for nap, school, free time, dinner prep, dinner, clean up and family time, bedtime routine and LIGHTS OUT!

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