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We’ve completed whole week and a half of homeschool already.  I’ve already got a good idea of what’s working…and maybe what’s not going to work. Crazy how time flies when you’re having fun.  So far we’ve:

  • started new curriculum
  • continued old curriculum
  • had school photos taken
  • gone on a field trip
  • started Boy Scouts
  • started gymnastics
  • met with our new homeschool group
  • aced multiple spelling tests
  • held six morning meetings
  • and nobody’s cried! (not me either ;)) #victory

To keep you all updated on what’s working so far, I’ve compiled a list (my favorite thing) lest I forget (it happens hourly).

Here's what's working in our homeschool so far this year.

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1. Desk Spaces

This summer we worked really hard on getting our homeschool room in order.  It came a long way this summer. We decided to use some unpainted cabinets from Home Depot (about $40 each) and some shelving to create a long desk for the kids to sit at.  Each kid has a cabinet to store all their books and it has been working SO well.  I admit, many of the “fab” ideas that I have don’t work so smoothly, but this totally is and we are loving it.
Over each desk space I have bulletin boards for my kids and this has been great too.  Each kid has their book list for the year (details on that tomorrow), an envelope for allowance for extra chores they do, their Language Arts loop (more on this next week), their spelling list, and whatever else they want to add.  I also gave them each a word to focus on this year and put that on a little chalkboard in this area too.

2. Our Daily Rhythm

I realized a long time ago that a daily “schedule” with rigid times to stick to don’t work as well for us.  We have a rhythm, a routine, and that does work really well for us.  We do use a visual timer to stick to a time allotment because otherwise, my kids would totally get distracted and math would take 4 hours.  This way  they can easily see how much time is left and they are much more focused and aware of how much time is passing (or being wasted) when they use this timer.
With getting up a tiny bit earlier now that it’s school time, my kids are able to finish a morning meeting, journal, language arts, and a math lesson by lunch time every day.  Afternoon is relaxed most days.  Some days we have activities we need to get to, but most days they read (I require at least 30 minutes each afternoon, they play Legos, they jump on the trampoline and play with friends when they get home from school.
Evenings are a little more busy right now.  The boys have started their activities, but it’s only once a week, or twice, depending on the week.  We are back to reading aloud each evening too and that’s one of our favorite parts of the day.  Actually, right now we are listening to an audio book together.  My kids love that.

3. My (more disciplined) Morning Routine

I was beginning to feel really bogged down with our daily routine by the end of the summer.  Sleeping late is ok, when its the kids–not for me.  Waking up after the kids every morning was starting to take a real toll on me and I needed to make some changes.  Basically, I really focused on what exactly I wanted to accomplish right away in the morning before the kids woke up; things for my body, my soul, and just for my home–like throwing in a load of laundry.
I’ve been working really hard at this and trying to be super disciplined.  I have always been a disciplined person, but I’ve really fallen off that wagon since moving.  But it’s getting better.
Basically, I wake up at 6am most mornings.  Our bedroom is near the kitchen so I leave my phone on the kitchen counter to wake me up.  I have to go shut off my alarm if it’s in the kitchen, right?
I drink a big glass of water, get my workout clothes on, throw in a load of laundry, and do a quick workout.  After this, I start the coffee and jump into the shower.  Getting totally ready for the day before the kids wake up is saving my life! . Really.  This usually leaves me about 45 minutes to have coffee, journal, go through my emails and write for a few minutes.
My kids wake up at 8am, and then we get right into morning chores and breakfast and try to get started with school by 9 or so.
It’s working really well, but I know that I could easily fall back into the routine of sleeping later and I don’t want to.  I love my mornings alone, but I also love my quiet nights too, so there is my problem, but I’m working on that too.

4. Kid Chores

I want to do  I wrote an entire post on what my kids do for chores, but needless to say, them having chores is keeping our home standing right now.  They each have a morning chore, a Zone chore, and meal chores and it makes it so much easier then having to do it ALL on my own.  More on this subject later, but I would love to hear what your kids do for chores.
How’s your school year going so far? What’s working for you? I would love to know!

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  2. I'm with Ashley. If our kids hear us up, no matter how quiet we are, they get up, too. Our youngest is three and still wakes up in the middle of the night, so getting a good night's rest is sometimes difficult. Help! I'm like you, I love my quiet evenings, but getting up early, not so much. But my day goes much smoother when I do. School is going great. The kids love it and that makes me happy. I'm enjoying our curriculum this year, as well.

  3. Looking forward to hearing about "zone chores"! Our house is standing, but honestly, it's because I'm doing the bulk of the work. I can't figure out a good rhythm for chores AND schoolwork! :/

  4. Love everything about this! When I read your morning routine though I thought "how does she get so much done?" Then I saw that your kids get up at 8, not 6:15 like mine ;). I've got to figure out how to get them to sleep later!

  5. This post sounds just like me. Minus the work out part (go mama) ?It's nice to read about other mothers and how they make their days work.

  6. I always love a good Week One wrap-up post. Ours was not so stellar, there were tears all around. I think I always try to do too much, and I've been cutting back and cutting back trying to find the right balance.

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