This year marks the beginning, in my mind, of buckling down and doing school more than we don't do school, if that makes sense. And while that may seem like a long list of subjects to tackle each day, I'm thankful to say that it really doesn't take up very much time each day... most of the time.
When the boys were a little younger and I was just beginning to homeschool I envisioned our school day as a morning of activities that could be adjusted to include all of the little people in our home. I guess when the boys were younger there were less little people. And so that's how we did it.
Circle Time together.
History and science read alouds.
A little coloring and a little singing.
But now, as we begin to enter into a different season, I can see my childrens' abilities and interests begin to span a much wider range. We have those who are in school and those who are clearly pre-school.
Both groups need their mommy but in very different ways. It's been a difficult beam to balance as I adjust to the necessary changes that we've made in our day so that more of me is being spread around to those who need it.
Circle Time together is followed by a short session of School Time for the boys while the younger kids play with something special in their own spaces nearby... We are now saving our big chunk of school work for the afternoons when the Littles are resting. That has been the biggest change. No more Rest Time for the big boys and... no more Rest Time for me.
Giving more sacrificially of what I've always considered "my time" has been a challenge but I think it's for the best.
Hmm. I guess I had a lot to say about how things have changed.
What I really came here to share is what my preschoolers do for their "school".
Here is a little activity that has been popular with Mercy and Josiah:
I've had this little bin of toys since Daniel, now 7, was 2 or 3.
Ceramic animals from years of buying Red Rose Tea make a fun sorting activity for Josiah.
Foam sea creatures are sorted by color and counted "one-two-free-foh".
And nuts. These are very popular among our little people. Don't you want your toddlers to recognize every available nut shell known to man in the Pacific Northwest?
I love this self directed, open-ended and occaisionally quiet activity that I can pull out for my preschoolers to do while I'm involved in something they can't readily participate in.
Ultimately, I realize that I can't be everything to each child all the time. Not in the realm of schooling. Even less so in terms of the development of their hearts and minds into godly men and women. I have to remind myself daily to do my best to love them in all of their different ages and stages and to rely on God to complete the fulfillment of their needs.