Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome to our Home!

(Isn't this a beautiful view to wake up to?)

So here we are in our new home and getting back in the swing of things. With a new location and a new year there are a few things we have changed, but many have stayed the same. I thought it would be a good time for me to make a new post about our day to day and what we are using now.

Everyday is different, but in general we keep a certain order to our day.

My day has been beginning with my husband. When he rises, so do I. This was a goal I made for the New Year. It has been nice to spend some extra time with him when all is quiet and the day is new.Throwing on my fuzzy pink bathrobe, because every wife/mother should have one (also because I received one for Christmas, and it is very comfy!), I make him a quick breakfast, mix up some hot cocoa in his cup and set out his lunch. With a smooch and a hug I send him off. In normal weather he needs to leave by 6:20 a.m but since we have had snowy weather he has been out the door by 6:00 a.m. to give time for slower travel.

Once I get Hubby out the door I do one or more of several things:

(sigh) Who didn't wash the pots and pans?
Mmmm yummy rice pudding.

  • Personal Scripture Study
  • Shower (without interruption)
  • Get Dressed
  • General Clean up (often there are leftover dishes that need washed from dinner)
  • Lesson Preparation
  • Exercise (okay, I have really only done this once in the a.m., usually it happens late afternoon)
  • Make Breakfast
  • Check on Email, Facebook, and my favorite Bloggers
If there haven't already been sleepy-eyed cherubs making their presence known by 7:30 a.m., I begin turning on more lights and being less quiet. When breakfast is ready I make the announcement and get everyone to the table. We pray, we eat, we talk about our night and any silly dreams that occurred. I go over any important reminders needed for the day.

 After breakfast, every person is required to take care of personal needs (i.e. bathe, dress, brush teeth, make bed) and then move on to completing any other chores. Some have animal responsibilities and some have younger sibling care (making sure they got dressed etc.). Once those chores are complete they move on to other chores which we call Cleaning Zones.

(sorry for the picture quality, I took it in the early a.m. and there isn't much light in that spot)

I have divided our home into 10 areas (zones). Everyone is responsible for two inside Zones and one outside Zones. These areas need to be checked for cleanliness twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon (before dinner). If needed they are given attention a third time before bed.

We keep track of who has what Zone with a printed list I made and then put in a picture frame. I use a wet-erase marker to write the name of the responsible person next to the Zone. At our old house I also had a laminated poster put up in each Zone that listed the expected jobs for that area. It also had a division of just a "10 minute tidy" and a "Clean it good" list of expectations. I may get around to doing something like that again, but for now Mom just has to pay attention and give direction when needed.

Once everyone is ready (including Mom) we assemble at the dining room table for Scripture study. I have talked more about what we do with this time in our day here. Something new we have added is some calender time and memorizing the Articles of Faith (we printed off cards with words and pictures from here).

I have created a framed wipe-off bulletin board by gluing scrapbook paper to the back of a poster frame that wasn't being used. Inside I put a print out of the month, a copy of our weekly schedule ( I use the Simply Charlotte Mason Planner for planning out our year,months, and then weeks), and a couple of blank note cards to serve as background for other things I might write on the board (such as the current A of F we are working on). I use dry-erase and wet-erase markers on this (although I find that even the dry-erase needs encouragement from a wet-wipe to come off). I use the small sticky notes to mark special days on the calender (like Violet's b-day coming this week!), and I also circle what day it is writing the number in the center so everyone has a quick reference to the date.

After our morning ritual we move on to the rest of our lessons for that day. I have just recently organized every one's notebooks with a new system. They used to have it tabbed by subject, but now I have changed that to be by what day it is. I like the Charlotte Mason style where we number our days instead of calling them by name. That way if we don't start on Monday we can still do the same work, just starting whatever day begins our week. It helps me to feel like I am not messing up the week or missing a day by doing Wednesdays lessons on Thursday. This way we never feel like we are behind. Our week starts with Day One and ends with Day Five.

(I love sticky notes!!)(This is my son's folder)

Here is a quick example of what each Kiddo needs to do during the week for lessons:

Lyllian (age 10, grade 5)

(This is my oldest, and so she has different things that she does from the other Kiddos, the only things they share that are the same is when math, journals, and reading are expected to be done. This list does not include our Family Studies, those will be listed later) 

Day One:                                             Day Two:                                           Day Three

Math                                                    Math                                                    Math
Writing                                                 Writing                                                 Spelling
Reading                                                Reading                                                Journal
Journal                                                 Journal                                                  Reading
Piano                                                   Piano                                                    Piano

Day Four:                                          Day Five:                        The curriculum used:
Math                                                   Spelling                              Math-U-See  (Delta)
Writing                                                Computer                          100 Writing Lessons
Reading                                               Reading                             Writing Tales
Journal                                                 Journal                              Sequential Spelling (3)
Piano                                                   Piano                                Typing Instructor for Kids platinum
                                                                                                    Reading: Black Beauty

There are other things that play a part to her day sometimes, or I may pull out a different work book or print off a find on the Internet to supplement or excite a lesson she is working on.

I have also started to include something in their binders that can be done during the week when they are done with their work or while they are waiting for my help. This week for Lylli I printed off this:

I found it on Currclick, from Westvon Publishing  they are/were having a 75 cent sale on all of their items. I found a few worthy items for the price, this is one of them. Lyllian has an interest in rocks and geology (Here is a website connected with this product). She was very excited to find it in her binder and it was a great motivator. The pictures above show what she chose to do with it. They are suppose to be flashcards but she wanted to make it a book. So she laminated and bound the pages with the info and cut out the picture cards and put them in an envelope. That way she can take them out to study and flip threw the book to find the match. It also inspired her to pull this book off of the shelf to find some more info on rocks:

(I found this book and some others from the same series at a second hand store several years ago)

Family Studies
The subjects that are not in the category of the 3R's, we do together as a family. I get in these lessons at different times in the day depending on what is required. Sometimes we can fit in before lunch and sometimes it happens after (on busy, sick, shopping days this is the part of our day we cut out or shorten). I rotate and change things around throughout the year to keep it interesting, but here is what we are doing right now:

Everyday: Prayer,Scripture study with our Scripture Journals, singing Hymns. (I won't list these on each day outlined below).
Day One:  Mom takes time to get the lessons for the week lined up.
Day Two:  Science - we are currently doing Earth Science and our studies this month have been about water,ice, and snow. I do not use a curriculum currently for this, but more of a unit study approach.
                  Literature- Mom reads aloud something just for fun, or something that goes with another study. Our fun book we have been reading is "The Miraculous Journey of  Edward Tulane" by Kate DiCamillo.
Day Three:  Science
                    History- We are using "The Story of the World, ancient civilizations" (I did not purchase mine at this link, I bought my copy from half.com). Currently we are studying The Indus Valley (ancient India).
                    Geography- this is included in our history lessons, although we get quite a bit in within other subjects as well, or just out of general curiosity.
Day Four:   History
Day Five:     History
We also do a lot of home skills, like cooking and art projects that go along with everyday learning or just fun activities to fill the other time.

I have begun to try and have an activity or two out on our table for doing in between lessons or when they are waiting on me. Especially for my little preschoolers. Today I set out a box of scratch paper and a craft book turned to the page on "how to make a snowflake" and also a book Ephraim picked up at the library on folding paper airplanes. I have a plan developing in my mind to organized some boxes/bins/bags that have a ready activity for me to pull out in the mornings. Things other than blocks and puzzles that are already easy to pull out. I will share when/if I ever get this idea out of my head and working in real-life.

Check back later and I might have a more detailed schedule and curriculum list on one of my pages. I am also planning on trying to get My Library updated so you can see what is hanging out on my bookshelf or in my Nook. Sometime later I also plan on posting some recipes that we can't live without. But first I have to organize this:

Happy Day!

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