Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back to School

I ended up taking all of June and July off from implementing any kind of formal learning atmosphere.  June was spent deep cleaning my home and reorganizing and getting rid of clutter.  It's amazing how much easier it is to keep a house clean when you keep your stuff to a minimum.

July was spent with awful fevers, colds, stomach issues.  It literally began on July 1st for us and didn't let up until the first week of August.  The whole month was simply spent trying to maintain the basics, celebrate my husband's 40th birthday, and keep hope that all would be well again.

Today we begin again!

This learning year will look a wee bit different than other years have.  My oldest two children will be given a more formal schedule.  Nothing over the top...just clearer weekly expectations and goals. My middle two children will have a focus on learning/growing in their reading skills with lots of delight-directed learning from library books coupled with a science-focus.  My littlest boys will have time carved out with me each morning for play and good books and simple activities.  I am using this to actually build a schedule that will give me some individual time with each child instead of always seeming to deal with them en masse.  

I also realized how important hiking and camping and being outdoors is to our family, but that you wouldn't necessarily know that when you looked at how our daily time is being spent.  So I grabbed the calendar and filled in one day a week for us to head outdoors to a hike and filled in a few weekends for camping. I kept hoping that those things would naturally happen, but in a family this large, it just can't happen without a plan.

I could live a life of spontaneity in learning and exploring when I had fewer children, but more children means more structure and planning. It just does.  I tend to resist that, but am learning that life moves more smoothly for our big crew with more forethought and implementation.

So I have no big creative plans right now for our learning times.  Just lots of books and practicing the basics. My theme for this year for our children is "wisdom". We are going to read through the Proverbs every day and learn the difference between a life of wisdom and a life of foolishness.  Instead of focusing on what is necessarily right or wrong in a situation, I want them to ask, "what is wise?"  We will be learning this together...here a little, there a little.  I don't view this year with any great expectations or with a great deal of inspiration...I view it as a year to be faithful.  Faithful to teach, faithful to train, faithful to serve.  And I hope with a great deal of wisdom.


kristinwithani said...

I love it when you blog.

What a fun year ahead!

debbie bailey said...

That sounds like the perfect plan!

Rachel Hauser said...

Welcome back to school and blogging. We started our school year last week and the structure has been such a boon to all of us.

I hope to connect with you here and there through Arrows or what not. And, if you want a ride to Greenville to the craft show, I know Laura Roddy is driving up =)

gotjoy3 said...

Love the idea of a theme. I pray you have a wonderful days ahead.

Sara said...

Great ideas---I agree that with a larger family, there definitely needs to be more of a plan and a bit more structure than if there are fewer children. Also, scheduling "fun" activities is a fabulous idea. We did that a lot this summer, and it really helped. Thanks for sharing.

Andrea said...

I would love to hear more on how you are setting goals and expectations for your older ones!!!

Leslie said...

'What is wise' What is foolish'
What a beautiful concept to learn.

the wise man built his house on a rock.

Learning the nautral consequences of wise and foolish decisions.

Ali said...

That sounds awesome! Wish I could sit around your table and learn with ya'll as a model then I could return home and try it with my 3 kiddos! I LOVE the idea that you are going to go through the proverbs and decide is this wise or foolish? So amazing! Might have to try it at our home!

Enjoy the year and hiking and camping! Our family LOVES those two also but, hardly find time for them!

~ Ali

Daniel Lee said...

I used to do something like this when I got bored.

Start a game of hangman, get your word/phrase and get ready. First letter of the first word in a sentence the professor speaks and/or writes on the board. You don't need to get every sentence they say but it really helps to pass the time and you're still sort of paying attention too. To see more info please visit essayswriters.org/dissertation.