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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Home Management: Scheduling

Scheduling is one thing I didn't know I needed to know anything about when I first became a home manager, aka wife & mother. I just did what needed to be done, when it needed to be done and for the most part I had plenty of time for everything and even had time for my hobbies. I didn't have to really follow a plan, I had enough brain power to keep track of everything mentally. hah!

Matter of fact, we made it through 'winging it' for at least the first five years even though our lifestyle was amazing with many moves and lots of international travel. However, after having settled overseas, speaking a different language (really drains brain power), with 3 children, the older two in need of some schooling, outside-the-home ministry commitments, a household to run (complete with an housekeeper - but don't get your hopes up, it was actually MORE work to have hired help in my home), it became obvious that a little formal planning/organization would be helpful if not absolutely necessary.

Fast forward several years, and find me today, add in 2 more children and lots more international moves and...
I would seriously lose my mind without my schedule!
My schedule is my mind on paper. It keeps us all happy. I know what I 'should' be doing, the kids know what to expect next, and it gives me something to show Micah and anyone else who wonders what we do all day!

So, without further ado, see our schedule here.

Some of my notes on scheduling:
taken from pdf link above
A schedule is so helpful as a guide. Yet, I cannot let myself become a slave to my schedule. You see, many times something happens that throws us off, and we need to be flexible enough to
realize that God sometimes ordains interruptions! We use our schedule so that when the
inevitable happens, we can get back on track quickly and easily. Sometimes we pick up where we left off, other times as the situation allows, we skip the stuff that can be skipped and just take from up wherever we are at the time, after we’ve cleaned up the toothpaste from all over the hallway and can focus again on the things at hand :)

Because I’m the main one to keep everyone on task, I’ve listed my name first, then kids in
order from oldest to youngest, and lastly Micah... he’s only on here so that I can have a general
idea of what he’s doing. He’s agreed to all of the above, and his work hours are obviously left
blank. :)

Sometimes {okay, many times}, having multiple children it is hard to keep track mentally
what everyone should be doing at any given moment & the kids are quite expert at scattering... all throughout the day, but, especially during schooltime! On the timetable, ‘table time’ is highlighted to call attention to the times that we all should be gathered together. This is mainly for me, so that with one quick glance at my watch and then the timetable, I can easily see what is coming up :)

Some days we head out at lunchtime to eat a ‘menu’. On these days the schedule will change, @ 12:30pm we’ll leave the house, to return around 2:00pm. We’ll just take our memory
box with us.

On the subject of personal exercise, I don't have it scheduled. If I were really trying to lose weight, or in need of some extra self-discipline in that area, I'd probably schedule it in on the main schedule. However, my reality is that some mornings I do try to get out for some exercise and I have an alternate schedule for those days. Otherwise, I’ll use my afternoon free time when it isn’t TOO hot outside.

Though I have all the kids chores/duties and school subjects listed here for quick reference,
we use other charts/schedules to keep track of those. {I’m ever-so-slightly-list-crazy} Technically, we should be able to get by with just this list.

** Momma’s free time is (barring all exceptions & interruptions which are all too common):
Tues, Thurs, Fri from 2 - 5:30
Mon, Wed from 4 - 5:30

** Bria and Josiah’s school is new this year and is loosely as follows:
9-9:45 (@table) Bible, color, trace/copy letters
10 (@table) Math games
11-11:15 AO Read-alouds (no required narration for Siah) & SWR phonograms
11:15 (@table) Phonograms, Rule cards, 3-5 fingerspell practice drills
Read-alouds at bedtime

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Learn Hebrew

Evonne Mandela helps you teach your kids Hebrew quickly and easily!
I just heard a talk over at the Heart of the Matter Online Homeschool Conference by this fun gal:

Not a Christian site, but lots of fun kids stuff:

Here are some sites that came up in discussion:

BTW, you can still buy a ticket to the conference for only $12.95! and though you've missed most of the conference, it gives you access to the mp3 downloads and the awesome drawings and the freebies/handouts, etc. SO... if you're interested!

Now, I've got to get away from this computer! 2 posts in an hour... and I'm packing!! ;)

Nature Study: Links

Have I posted these already? Well, these deserve a re-visit! Take a look to get inspired for nature study!

Jimmie's CM Nature Study Lens - for the how-to


Handbook of Nature Study Blog - for some serious inspiration!

I can't wait until we get back to the jungle to get going again on our nature studies! I miss it!

For an update on why we are not in the jungle anymore/yet, see my update post here and over here.

** Here is another link that might have some interesting resources:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Reading Readiness.

I found the following list helpful.  CM Reading lessons aren't an exact science, and nothing is set in stone as it were... so these ideas do help to have some idea of what to be working toward.

Early Language Arts Skills:

Pre-reading Skills

  • can ID the name and sound of each upper and lower case letter almost by reflex (which should have developed out of or helped to develop new attention to differences in the appearance of the letters -which is a foundational skill in learning to read and spell the CM way - this prerequisite skill cannot be emphasized enough)
  • associates the sound of each letter with a given word (such as d for
    dog, b for baby.)
  • through word building experiences, understands and is comfortable with the concept that two or more letters can, at times, make only one sound(ie- th, ng, ph, etc.)
  • is familiar with the concept of rhyming sounds
  • understands the concept that a specific group of letters (a word) is a symbol for a specific idea
  • can visualize some of the words explored through early word building
  • has enough habit of attention skills and application of will to attend to the instruction given in short CM styled lessons (but keep them short, even if that means that less than a whole lesson is studied)
  • wants to learn to read
  • has appropriate visual development (to know this for certain requires an
    examination by a qualified professional such as a developmental ophthalmologist. The symptoms of poor visual processing appear much like laziness or fatigue or etc. If, during lessons, you become concerned about weak visual memory, contact your local professional and make an appointment.)

Composition - Word Sense - Linguistic Patterns

  • informal recitation of nursery rhymes, 'real poems', and
  • reading books over several times
  • these two help to develop word sense and linguistic patterns
  • (the reading of a story *one* time is used for 'attention', which is different than developing linguistic sense)
  • the child's telling of his own day
  • the child's interactions with you about nature
  • these two help to develop descriptive and narrative 'composition' skills

    Information compiled by Lorraine Nessman and posted to the AOy0 e-mail list HERE.
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