August 13, 2014

Getting Ready for the New Year

Getting ready for the new school year has been especially difficult this year for several reasons.  One) I hate the library system in Weber County and can't decide whether or not to order my books from Davis and plan on driving once a month to Clearfield, or toughen up and really transition to using a Weber County location.  This dilemma has resulted in my not requesting any books to prepare for the first few units of the new year and so I am much farther behind than normal at this stage.  

Two) I'm still trying to organize the new house.  While this is mostly done, it still feels like I can't cope with anything because I have stacks of books on my desk and boxes around my room, and my husband's piles of antiquated technology that he doesn't use but won't get rid of rounding out the disaster that is my bedroom/office.  I really can't handle clutter--it makes me feel like I am drowning.  

Three) I don't know how to tackle the Renaissance.  I know I want to do a lot with art (but I know nothing about art) and famous people like Leonardo (obviously) but I don't know much about anyone besides Leonardo.  I haven't found any good book lists to put together Miriam's, Cowen's, and Emeline's school reading lists, and I don't know about many good historical fiction books from my own personal collection or personal reading.  Because I'm not sure how to tackle the time period and because I don't have one hundred library books on the subject to browse through, I find it hard to progress to putting together an actual plan of study.

Four) I'm pregnant.  This is really the crux of the problem.  We found out we're having a girl (yay) and I'm thrilled about her and finishing our family and all that good stuff, but I really struggle when I'm pregnant.  I mostly just want to stay in bed and pretend I don't have children.  Accomplishing anything is a huge ordeal.  Thus, I'm waaaaaayyyyy behind.  

Now, you sweet people will tell me that the baby is the lesson and it is fine if we don't do much school.  I agree with you.  However, it is also true that children are happier with a schedule and limited free time.  Another truth is that I feel crummy unless I'm accomplishing something.  Type A and all that.  So for everyone's emotional health, I really do need to force myself to continue moving forward with all my homeschooling, children, and church responsibilities.  

Some of the worst parts of my to-do list have been checked off.  Two days ago I went through every stitch of clothing in the house (excepting the adult sizes) including all the hand-me-down boxes and created a master list of what we need for children this fall.  I hate doing that job, but God is merciful and my list of what we need is much, much shorter than I anticipated.  

I also did all the laundry and made the kids do another deep cleaning of the downstairs.  (One huge drawback to a larger home is that the kids can spread out and wreak more havoc in more places without my noticing.)  I think I even made dinner . . . nope, camping leftovers, but it was tasty.

Yesterday I did make dinner, thank you very much.  I also created a new chore chart and school schedule.  That was important.  Last year I implemented an idea I got from Latter-day Homeschooling and assigned everyone the same chores for a year.  It worked beautifully for us.  It has been a year and a house change and a new chore chart was desperately needed.  Here's what our chart looks like:

2014-2015 School Year Chore Chart

Keep bedroom clean every day
Morning chore: make breakfast Monday-Wednesday and also Friday
Evening chore: Help Eli clean and tidy the downstairs, mop steps by side door
Dish night: Friday
Supper Prep night: Monday

Saturday: vacuum downstairs, mop downstairs, downstairs bathroom, kitchen cupboards up, lawn

Keep bedroom clean every day
Morning chore: tidy bathrooms
Evening chore: dog poo, feed dogs
Dish night: Tuesday
Supper Prep night: Wednesday

Saturday: upstairs bathroom, kitchen cupboards down, lawn

Keep bedroom clean every day
Morning chore: tidy and vacuum upstairs
Evening chore: tidy upstairs
Dish night: Wednesday
Supper Prep: Tuesday

Saturday: dust and vacuum upstairs, water plant, mop dining room

Keep bedroom clean every day
Morning chore: feed dogs, tidy downstairs
Evening chore: tidy downstairs
Supper Prep: Thursday

Saturday: dust and tidy downstairs, scrub kitchen sink

If you'll notice, Miriam was assigned cooking breakfast for the year.  That will hopefully solve a pressing school problem: my not taking time to help Cowen and Emeline with their piano practice as much as I should.  With this new schedule, I can help with piano practicing while breakfast is being made, then Miriam can practice while the rest of us do the breakfast dishes and our most important subject (piano) will be done by 10:00 am and I will feel like we accomplished great things and feel more motivated to keep going.  Awesome.

Harriet does do chores, but it is mostly helping pick up books and toys and keeping her room clean.  I might hang up a chore chart with pockets for her to help her remember to brush her teeth and make her bed--things like that.  She'd like that.

Our school schedule isn't very different from last year except for one major change--all three of my oldest kids will be working on language arts.  We've done a little spelling and handwriting in the past, but I don't start actual grammar/writing kinds of things until 3rd grade.  I didn't start Cowen in LA last year because I knew it would be easier to wait and teach him and Emeline at the same time.  So, the schedule needed a LA slot.  I'll tell you more about my LA plans in a different, less lengthy, post, but I'm pretty excited about it.

Here's Tuesday of our schedule.  If my hubby was here he could show me how to make an excel document look nice but I'm just going to cut and paste and hope for the best.

If any of you have any brilliant Renaissance ideas--lay them on me.  I hope your preparations are going much more smoothly than mine!!

Mom Miriam Cowen Emeline Eli
7:00 AM          
7:30 AM bath/dress/hair bath/dress/hair bath/dress/hair bath/dress/hair bath/dress/hair
8:00 AM :piano make breakfast :piano :computer work chores
8:30 AM :piano make breakfast :computer work :piano chores
9:00 AM breakfast breakfast breakfast breakfast breakfast
9:30 AM chores :piano chores chores chores
10:00 AM :Cowen read :piano :read :school reading play
10:30 AM :Eli read :computer work :Walk with Wilson :Walk with Wilson :read
11:00 AM :Eli piano :Spanish/French play play :piano/computer
11:30 AM :grammar/LA :LA :LA :LA play
12:00 PM :history/science :history/science :history/science :history/science :history/science
12:30 PM :history/science :history/science :history/science :history/science :history/science
1:00 PM lunch lunch lunch lunch lunch
1:30 PM devotional devotional devotional devotional devotional
2:00 PM :scriptures :scriptures :scriptures :scriptures :scriptures
2:30 PM :math :math :math play play
3:00 PM :math play play :math :math
3:30 PM   play play play play
4:00 PM   play play play play
4:30 PM   play Scouts play play
5:00 PM   Activity Days Scouts play play
5:30 PM dinner prep Activity Days play dinner prep play
6:00 PM dinner prep chores chore dinner prep chores
6:30 PM supper supper supper supper supper
7:00 PM   bed prep Dishes bed prep bed prep
7:30 PM bed prep :school reading bed bed bed
8:00 PM   read in bed bed bed bed
8:30 PM   bed bed bed bed

1 comment:

  1. I love Renaissance history, actually any history, I should have done what you did Ands, and got a history degree, only I would have studied an earlier time period. Lately the Neolithic is my favorite--but then I would just be an archaeologist. Hee. Hee. Anyway, not that you need my two cents, but some of my favorite things to learn about the Renaissance is the Reformation, including the Spanish Inquisition and the Huguenots in France. I just watched an awesome documentary about the Battle of Agincourt, which really led to the death of the knights and code of chivalry. Then there's a Joan of Arc tie in with that. The legends of King Arthur were first published during the Renainssance and might be easier reading than the Canterbury Tales if you were looking to tie in some literature. Also William Shakespeare, I just checked out a kids picture book version of The Tempest, and it's quite good. Don Quixote was also written--which also ties into the end of the knights, etc. Also I just checked out a book recently for my girls called To Be a Princess: The Fascinating Lives of Real Princesses, which has some princesses from that era you could read about. It was good. You have Ferdinand and Isabel and you could watch El Cid just for fun (kind of like Ben Hur--awesome). And then Christopher Columbus, the conquistadors and all that (are you going to study that separately though?). And the Ottoman Empire hit it's height and I LOVE the art from the Ottomans. So amazing. Anyway, I hate how Renaissance study seems always focused on Italy, yes, it started there, but that is not the entirety of the Renaissance. Anyway, I'll send you an email.