Now that we have 5 kids we attract a lot of attention pretty much everywhere we go. With the fall in full swing we hear comments more and more…..
“you must be looking forward to that school bus!”
“do you get to nap once they are on the bus?”
“how to you manage to get the kids off to school?”
I’ve heard about 20 more, but you get the general idea. You should see the looks I get when I reply that we homeschool. Most people end the conversation right there, but I’ve had a few conversations with people who are genuinely curious about how I could possibly homeschool the 2 older girls with a preschooler, a toddler and an infant.
Want to know my secret?
Not mine sadly. I schedule our lessons around the baby’s and the toddler’s nap times. Although by lunch I’m usually ready for a nap too! Sweet Pea usually takes a morning nap from 9-10:30 and then both she and Little Man take a nap from 12:30-2:30pm so the bulk of our schooling is done around then.
This will be the first time in 3 years that I won’t have a newborn while trying to start school, and while I feel a teensy bit sad about that, if I’m totally honest it will be a LOT easier to get lessons done.
Little Man is starting to play by himself, which is awesome – and a huge answer to prayer. He’s also happy sitting on my lap, so he’ll be hanging out while lessons are going on. Our playroom doubles as our schoolroom, which means I can keep an eye on him and he’ll have plenty to keep himself occupied. Of course, I know we will have days where he will be inquisitive, so that’s when I’ll put on Pandora or use our Netflix subscription in the living room.
This will be the first time Sam will have lessons with Sophie and Bella, since with CC there is a class for 4 year olds. It helps that he’s heard the songs for the last 3 years and can pretty much sing Latin and Math all day long. I’m not going to do much with him – we’ll go over the memory work and he’s got his own States & Capitals Color the States book to work through. Letters, colors and shapes and he’ll be done in about 45 minutes.
I’m going to work with Bella on being more independent this year. She loves to have mommy sit right next to her while we do every lesson and while the snuggles are super cute and fun – I need her to begin more independent study. We are still working hard with reading and spelling too – she can read when she thinks I’m not looking, but getting her to read lessons with me? Ugh. It’s like literally pulling teeth.
Sophie has always been an independent learner, so this year I made her a daily planner with what she needs to complete and I’m leaving it up to her. She can do her lessons in any order (which is good since she and Bella rarely agree on what they want to do at one time) and when she’s checked off everything I’ll sit with her and we will go over her work.
To be honest, if we start our lessons at 9am we are generally done by 11:30-12pm. We have lunch, and then the littles nap while Sophie, Bella and Sam have quiet time from 1-3pm. At 3pm we’ll do art or music or run to the library. Since my kids are early risers (like 5:30-6am) they are ready to go when Sweet Pea takes her nap and they are motivated to get done by lunch so they can enjoy their quiet time, since it’s the only time they are allowed to use their Kindle Fire tablets.
Our days are packed from morning until bedtime, but it’s fun and only a tad exhausting – and I seriously love that I’m able to be with my kids while we learn and while we play. Sure there are moments when I wonder about the yellow school bus, but thankfully those days are few and far between, and usually when I’m losing it Ken is able to step in and help me keep it all together. Homeschooling (for us) is really a family affair.