We are half way through our first six-week session now and I’m going to be honest with you, it hasn’t been easy. There have been days where I’ve questioned my life choices. But thankfully, my husband has been there at the end of the long days telling me it’s okay and we’re all doing just fine.
So far, I’ve learned that homeschooling with a toddler (a run-full-tilt-till-you-crash-into-something all-boy two year old) is no picnic. But I think we’re on the right track to getting a routine that keeps everyone happy. (And by everyone, I mostly mean the toddler. 😉 )
- I try to be up by 7 to have coffee and watch the news so I can see what kind of insane heat we’re in for. Then I head to the computer (which is in the same room where we school) to try to get some work done on my blog.
- Somewhere between 7:30 and 8 the girls wake up and join me in the school room. They have figured out that if they start getting some of their independent work done at this time, there is more time later for extra science, playing outside or even watching a movie.
- If Little Man is being cooperative, he’ll wake up anywhere between 8:30 and 9:30 (today he is choosing to defy my expectations and is talking in his crib right now, just after 8 am)
- Breakfast is at 8:45 am with a “morning meeting” time as breakfast winds down. This is followed by morning chores [feed the dog, unload the dishwasher, reload the dishwasher, take the dog out, put in a load of laundry if it’s laundry day for someone].
- Then, with bellies full for the moment, everyone heads to the school room. This is where the balancing act begins. I’ll start out sitting with Ladybug to work through her math lesson with her. While we are doing this, Rosie is playing with Little Man. If all goes well and math isn’t too long, the girls will switch and I’ll sit with Rosie for the subject she needs me for that day.
- By now, the kids need a mid-morning snack. While on break, I do any tidying in the kitchen that needs to be done or switch the laundry.
- After snacks, we jump into spelling and the girls take turns with their brother. This takes no more than 40 minutes. Then I’ll go through lessons with whichever of the girls needs me until lunch.
- We stop at 1/1:15 pm so I can go make lunch. After lunch, Little Man sleeps. If he’s in a cooperative mood, he sleeps for 90 minutes up to 2 hours (earlier this week it was only one hour…THAT was a loooong afternoon).
- The plan for Little Man’s naptime is still up in the air. If the girls have finished all of their independent work already, we’ll jump into our science. The other day, they folded their laundry and watched a movie. When it cools down, I’m sure they’ll be spending this time outside.
- After this, when Little Man gets up, everyone has a snack. For now, the afternoons are kind of a free-for-all until dinner. After dinner, hubby and I play with Little Man and the girls usually play together. Little Man hits the hay around 8pm and his sisters follow between 8:30 pm and 9 pm. When I go to bed depends on when I pry myself off of the couch. 😉
And that’s our day in a nutshell. We’ve tried including Little Man in our daily school work, but at 2 years old, he is only entertained by a coloring page or sensory bin for about 5 minutes. Believe me, we’ve tried including him. I do keep giving him the coloring pages, though, because they have ocean animals on them with letters of the alphabet. I like that because I’m slowing starting to work on letter recognition with him.
Speaking of pages I’ve printed, I recently created a place value chart for Ladybug. She needed a visual aid to help her work through her place value lessons in math and I couldn’t quite find what I needed with a Google search. This is what I wanted to share with you today! I created the chart in OpenOffice, printed it out, and then laminated it (I confess, I got a laminator because I wanted to see what all the hoopla was…it’s so cool!). When Ladybug would get stuck in the lesson, she would use a dry erase marker to put the number(s) in the chart so she could better understand what the problem was asking her.
I color-coded the different parts, labeled them, and in the first row underneath, I wrote out the value of each place. I wanted to impress upon Ladybug that, for example, that’s not just ‘4’ but 4,000,000.
It worked so well for us, that I wanted to share it with you!
Click here to get your Place Value Chart!
Let me know how it works for you! How does your day go? Any tips for schooling with a very active toddler? I’d love to hear about it all!
Thanks and have a great day!