Tag Archive | Brave Writer

When the Class Needs a Re-do!

I feel like lately this is some VERY good advice when anyone feels overwhelmed or like the day is just not going right. So today I cut and paste and send a HUGE thank you to Brave Writer for her sage advice.

Six ways to start your day over

It doesn’t matter if it is 10:00 in the morning, or 2:00 in the afternoon, or five minutes before bedtime. You can start a day over at any point in the day. When it’s all going wrong—from sibling pokes to spilled orange juice to “Where is the math book?” to the dog peeing on the carpet AGAIN—you don’t have to wave the white flag and collapse into a quivering heap (though you TOTALLY have my permission to do that now and then—it‘s cathartic!).

You can declare that the day is in reboot and begin again. Here are six ways to reset the temperature in the home. Let’s count down to the most effective reboot practice.

6. Change rooms.
Move homeschool to your bedroom and do everything on the big bed. Toss pillows and blankets to everyone and put workbooks on clipboards. Cuddle the baby.

5. Get outside.
Bundle up and go for a walk with everyone. Or send the most rambunctious kiddos outside to find a pine cone or gather a bucket of snow to bring home to boil (for no good reason except to have a task) or to run six laps around the backyard.

4. Brownies.
They fix everything. (Keep a mix on hand for those days and resort to it.)

3. Have a shouting fest.
Everyone gets to scream for 2 whole minutes (set a timer) at the top of his or her lungs while jumping up and down and punching the air. Repeat. Until exhaustion.

2. Play music.
Dance. Sing. Wiggle. Involve stuffed animals. FaceTime mom/dad at work so s/he can see you.

And the number one reboot:

1. Poetry teatime.
Any time of day. Stop the math books, wipe up the orange juice, throw a few mugs on the table, grab the poetry books, and settle down. It changes everything. Promise! Every time. And you will feel like you did school, which counts for something.

I will say if not poetry a good story is an amazing calmer as well… I think I need to keep an eye out for some special mugs to make our teatime a reality! IMAG1255

Blink and the Week is Over!

April 22-25

Once we finished our day out with zoo fun and egg hunting it was right back into the school fray. England was our topic over multiple days thanks to a combination of Little Passports, Activity Village print outs (on right) and library books.101_7219

Of course we are hard at work reading Treasure Island. Though the twins have suggested at times that MAYBE with all the deaths and mean pirates that this classic is not really kid friendly. Oh the world they have yet to experience!101_7220

We are, of course, keeping up with our reading.101_7221

But on advice of the always amazing Brave Writer and other inspirational homeschooling blogs, we have started to take advantage of the sunny days. So in the afternoon we dropped everything to enjoy sunshine and fresh air.101_7223

101_7226To celebrate all that spring and sunshine the kids had their last Pizza Hut reading program pizza for the year! We are already registered for the following year and are eagerly awaiting the summer program (though that one is online only with website rewards instead of pizza). We accomplished a lot of reading and together time over some really good books this year!101_7227

Our next big countdown is a short one… Trinity turns SIX on the 26th with her birthday party on the 27th! So we kept ourselves busy for the rest of the week cleaning and thinking happy nice day thoughts. After all the 26th is a bridal shower and the bachelor party for Gavin’s godfather Cory and his fiance Karen. Of course all of the adults were invited to these events so there was some kid juggling as we tried to work out ways to have the girls at the morning event and the guys at the afternoon… but that is skipping over a whole bunch of school and family fun!! So back to our week…

Tuesday had us watching Wild Kratts…



Reading about pirates…101_7229

And the girls hard at work on Echo’s ladybug mask thanks to her Easter stash from Gammie.101_7230

101_7231Middle of the week has our soon to be 6 year old completing her adding and subtracting book! I decided that since I already had a copy of our beloved Canadian math series for grade one that it was time for her to hop right into it! She is so pleased that she is on the same book as Emanuel… Emanuel… not so much!101_7232

We did spend some lovely quiet time with our Dirty Jobs episodes…101_7233

More Treasure Island… really the portions that stand out to them in a chapter are varied and interesting! Actually, we continued the trend with ANOTHER chapter the next day… I think we are ready for individual book reports in the summer!! At least by the twins! Exciting!!101_7234

101_7236And the decent weather is holding!!! And with that, our week is over and one of our busier weekends begun! Wish us luck!101_7237

Schedule VS Routine

It has been an ongoing discussion in our family about the idea of a school routine. Both myself and Ken were completely public schooled and so when we think back to a school day we think of scheduled class blocks that repeat in a 5 day a week cycle. I personally feel a bit of guilt when I take a half day to deal with life, or give the kids a light day… after all, class was class and you went to it right? Thank goodness for Brave Writer and her amazing way with words… What we need is to treat our home as more than a schoolroom for certain hours of a day… it is a place of  life and learning and the reality of that is – we must be flexible within the rhythm of that life, of our family.

You can read Brave Writer’s amazing blog post in its entirety HERE. It is titled Don’t Trust the Schedule. But I must share with you a couple paragraphs at the end the really resonated with me:

We create the conditions of excellence and quality performance when we honor the rhythms of life at home, when we value the hot white fire of passion when we see it (rather than remarking, “But that’s not on the schedule today”). We sustain growth when we return to the comfort of the routine when all other energies are subdued. And we honor our human frailty if we toss routine, schedule, or structure when we are falling apart (sick, irritated, frustrated, in pain, exhausted, or bored).

Schedule is tempting. It holds the promise of “getting it all done” which we translate into our heads as “completing our children’s education.” Don’t be seduced by that promise. Mostly what I hear from parents under the pressure of schedule is “I’m behind” and “I feel like a failure” and “I’m terrible at staying on schedule.”

Of course you are. You’re at home. Be home. Embrace the properties of home. Love. Live. Be. Learn. Thrive.

We’re so lucky to be home. The best gift you can give your family is to be glad that you are, and to live as though home is the ideal space for learning to occur. Because it is.

I am often asked if we have a room to school, or more currently if we WOULD have a room if we could. (when we move etc etc) And I can proudly say NO our whole world is our school. Granted we have the bulk of our resources in a single place but every day we are realizing more and more that learning is not occurring at that table, in that chair or even in the house. Rather we are finding moments of clarity and interest in all things.

We have created patterns of learning that work for our family. No, we don’t do math at 10:15 and eat every day at noon… we learn and talk and laugh and cry on our own time in our own way. And as Brave Writer says: Who said there’s a certain amount you must finish by June? We spill into months, take weeks instead of days when the interest grabs us. We learn as we live and we live as we learn. That to me is the joy of homeschooling…101_4879