Last week was the first week in which I was doing two years simultaneously, as opposed to having the luxury of one child not yet started or another child off at a camp. It was a very good thing to start Year 4 last week, Peanut and I were able to work out some wrinkles in the schedule and be prepared for this week, when both kids are at home.
I was expecting the worst and we came out unscathed. Deo gratias!
I found it quite easy to flip-flop between Peanut and Moose. Moose worked with me while Peanut worked independently, then when I worked with her I sent Moose off on movement breaks. Moose finishes first, Peanut and I do a little bit more work in the afternoon and it all works out well. Even when Grandma stopped by to take Peanut on an impromptu walk, we still were able to stay on the course and not have any drama.
Some things that have helped me:
- Daily schedule
Amazingly, when I wrote out the daily schedule for me to follow (which broke the weekly schedule down into “things to do each day”), it turns out that the page numbers I “assigned” fall within the time required for a lesson, including scaffolding and narration and discussion. I was the most worried about this, because the last thing anyone wants to do is deal with elastic time. I was much more cognizant of starting and finishing on time, and as long as no one dawdled and attention was kept; we were golden. I imagine we may have to massage the pages read each day vs going longer, as I really start believing that it’s OK if we don’t finish the book.Because everything is written down, I’m not stressing about when to read X, as I know when it will be read. This means the kids aren’t stressed out because I’m stressed out, and we’re not shoving all the books on one day. Glorious.
- The habit of attention
Peanut seems to be over her dawdling habit, which is super because I don’t need her zoning out for most of the lesson time. Since she knows each lesson is 15-20 minutes tops, she knows she can give a concentrated effort and not have to worry about tiring, and that we won’t spent all day long doing school. Moose is coming along well with his development of attention, and he is beginning to understand that there are fun things to do in the house and outside once we are done with books. However, it’s not a reason to slop through and rush – privileges will be revoked if that’s the case.
The little girls have understood that when it’s School Time, it’s Quiet Time. They usually color, play with the Playmobils, play out in the (enclosed) backyard, look at books, or just sit and listen. Nugget sometimes takes a nap, sometimes he has a snack, sometimes he plays while I watch and read to the big kids. It is all coming together so nicely, I’m somewhat paranoid about when/if the other shoe may drop!