Showing posts with label big family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label big family. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Homeschooling Routines

 Every day looks different in our house. Every week looks different. We have many, many appointments each week.

I have  daily guidelines that help with those who need routine and yet works with our insanity...

1. I must get up, consume coffee and God's word, before any kids get up. (with much lost sleep lately, this has been hard)

2. I must plan to have atleast 15 mins of hanging out (reading, playing, talking, goofing) in the living room with the kids before we move into our day. (this has proved to be incredibly crucial to my relationship with my kids)

3. I have a schedule on the fridge for breakfast. The kids  favorite are Wednesday when we have baked oatmeal made by Fayth and Saturdays when we have pancakes made by Lee.

4. Hot breakfast is important. By giving the kids a good solid start to the day, they can manage their behaviors better. No sugar high/crash here!

6. The 3 oldest kiddoes feed the animals every morning while I cook breakfast. The fresh air and the hike up and down to the barn, really does wonders for them. . This has been a huge blessing.
Fayth helps me with Nesiah's morning routines and getting breakfast ready.

7. Each child has one a job they must do after every meal. (that will be another post)

8. I usually serve cereal or have "find your own" lunch. School is usually done and its often a crazy time of day.

9. Until about 9 months ago, we had nap or quiet time every afternoon. This has changed to allow the kids more play time, if they play nicely. If we are home days on end, then we do quiet time, which usually involves listening to audio books. A woman needs her quiet time! lol

10. Animals always need fed  at 4:30.

11. Evenings tend to be chaotic, as we  have one who fusses much at that time of day. I try, "try" being key word, to have crockpot meals or casseroles for dinner, so there is little prep or clean up.

12. We clean up toys/books etc before lunch and before bedtime. I have this need to have counters and floors clean in order to relax.

13. 6:15 to 7 is kids radio time. We generally are done with dinner and they listen as we clean up.

14. 7:15  is time for bedtime routines. (another post on life changing routines)

15. I try to be in bed by 9:45 as I am often up several times a night.

I find that this season in my life to be very hectic and exhausting. I have the older kids who have more emotional needs rather then physical needs, then I have the littles with more physical needs. Trying to balance everything has been a challenge. I find that organizing and detailing my life helps me to feel less out of control. But then when I have to constantly change things up, I still have days where chaos reigns!  

My children have from day 1, needed consistent routines. I need routines. I am a much calmer, happier mom when I have a "plan" and a goal for each day. The kids do better with a "plan" and a goal. Yes, I do ask them frequently to think about their daily goals/plans. I am raising future adults. ;)
Sometimes abrupt changes in plans are handled well, other days abrupt changes bring a frustrated mom and upset kids...

Some of my kids thrive on the chaos, others need calm.

This season of our life has been stretching, challenging and chaotic. Its has stretched me more then I could ever imagine.  Living at the beck and call of the caseworkers, birth parents, therapists, court hearings, and worst of all needing to "work" while loving, nurturing, guiding and teaching 6 kids, has def brought me into the most challenging time ever.

However, I have seen years of hard work and training paying off. My kids are incredible strong and responsible. They are also very good at adapting to strange and unusual circumstances. Which is very important in our lives.

I have been blessed with an incredible support system, more then I have ever had before. Neighbors who can babysit at the drop of a hat, and church friends who walk alongside us, mentoring, supporting, babysitting.

In this season, I have a constant flow of people through my house. Professionals and friends... Its is exhausting, but an oppurtunity to show God's love and share His many miracles in my life.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways, acknowledge Him,
And He will direct your paths.”

(Proverbs 3:5-6)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Weekly Homeschooling Routine...

Routine is incredibly important for my kiddoes. They need to know what is coming next, what will happen tomorrow. What to expect etc... Some of my kids even benefit from having me walk them through different steps of coping skills to deal with unexpected and unwanted interruptions so that they don't erupt.

The benefit of routine has been huge since our last family addition...

We have morning routines, meal time routines, school routines, afternoon routines, evening routines. Meals are always served between 7-9 am, 11-1 pm and 5-6 pm.

I write out routines and schedules. The daily routines, like getting up, meals, clean up and school work are posted on the fridge. The weekly routine for appointments and social activities are made up every Saturday, then the daily activities are adjusted as needed to fit those.

Some weeks, we double up on school, other weeks we do the bare minimum. I do my best to schedule all appointments between 1 and 2 pm. This allows me to finish school, do all my morning routines, get to appointments and be back home in time to get Nesiah off the bus and dinner on the table.

I just revamped our schedule to adjust  to the kids activities and our new helpers.

We have choir  practice and running club on Mondays. Miss D, our mother's helper comes to the house and cleans for me, while I take the kids to their activities. (this is the ideal, which has not happened in 3 weeks and I am fighting tooth and nail to get back on track!) We do math and count the choir (music) and running club (P.E) hours for school.

We babysit on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 2 lil boys, delightful, but energetic. They do really well at adapting to our "big" school days. It also motivates my kiddoes to hurry along so they can play.

Thursdays has become the day for random appointments. As a foster parent we have lots of therapists, caseworkers, and therapists, in addition to Dr appointments, regular and specialists.

Friday has become my CYS day. Miss J, my new helper will be watching the big kids. I hope to run to market for fresh produce on Fridays, taking one kiddoe each week, as a "momma date".  Miss J will help the kiddoes  with school and make  weekly freezer meals for us.

Saturday is kickback day... we like to sleep in, eat pancakes, listen to Ranger Bill and Odyssey.
Saturday is also hair day... 3 african american girls = lots of tears and sweat! #lovemygirlsdreadcombingthem

Sunday is church, we love our little church. The kids are motivated to get moving on Sunday mornings and it is rarely a time we are late. They hate being late! Sundays are a day of rest, literally. I need my Sunday afternoon nap, like an addict needs his next fix.

Coming up next... more schedules and routines. I am OCD. I make no apologies.