For starters, I woke up when the baby woke up, at 9am. The boys wake up earlier and eat breakfast, get ready, and play.
I fed the baby, showered, dressed and we were all at the school table by 10am. We gathered around the kitchen table. My spot at the table is always the same. The child I am working with one on one gets to sit in the chair right beside me (to my right). This leads me to my first point of discussion.
What to do with the children who are not working one on one with mom?
I let them read, color or do a math lesson.
Since there is only one of me and three of them, having books and art ready is what we are using to fill in the gaps of time so that we don't have wasted time.
My oldest son asked me if he could do his reading in the backyard. My response was ABSOLUTELY!
I had each of the boys narrate (say back to me in their own words) what they read. This is a simple exercise that helps them process and grow in communication.
The things that require mom are the reading lessons, handwriting lessons and some of the math lessons. These are the disciplined studies that we do first thing in the morning. The boys gave me a good hour of focus and now they are all three standing on the fence visiting with the neighbor (and I am taking a coffee and writing break while the baby finishes her nap and the boys are outside).
Here is what our lesson plans look like for this week.
The Children's Bible (daily readings): Creation, Eden, Fall, Cain
Child's History of the World ch 1 Creation
Leif the Lucky by D'Aulaire –Take 2 wks to complete
Aesop: The Wolf and the Kid
Tortoise and the Ducks
Just So Stories: Whale
Child's Garden of Verses: a poem every day
Paddle to the Sea: ch. 1,2
Among the People- rd 2 chapters of your choice
James Herriot's Treasury for Children: Moses the Kitten
I cannot tell you how freeing looking at this list is to me. There is nothing overwhelming to me as the teacher who also happens to be a mother with a lot of responsibilities to carry out in any given day. It is simply a list of stories that I am going to read aloud with my children. From these readings, I will choose a sentence or paragraph to have my children copy. This is called copywork and it is the model I am using to teach my children the language arts that they need to learn.
From this simple model, they will not only be exposed to good thoughts, but they will be copying some of the best literature available. No fancy workbooks were required for this. No fancy lesson plans. Just reading together with mom on the couch and then narrating back to me what we read and finishing up with copywork. And we'll add in math...
I will admit...we are saying yes to this direction and leading, but there is a big part of me that is thinking, "If this is all a big flop at least we are working through it during the summer months so nothing will be wasted." I hate that my faith is that wobbly, but I am just being honest.
The verse that has been in my heart the past couple weeks is one of my favorites.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.
This is what I have felt from the moment we ordered our books for the upcoming year.
Freedom, joy, peace and excitement! Which, I might add, has been my response EVERY SINGLE TIME God has led us in a new direction on our journey and we have been willing to follow and say yes!