I have taken quite a long break from this page since we have returned home from our Singapore adventure. I think exhaustion set in alongside the need to reorganize and declutter my entire home. We had an easy and low key summer filled with backyard play and spending time with friends and family. We took one holiday for a wedding in Scotland and to visit dear friends in England whom we had met in Singapore. We still miss our Singapore days and our friends in Singapore.
After spending a lot of time thinking about our home, our growing family and homeschooling, I think Alan and I have created a space that is beautiful, warm and
inviting and will meet our changing families needs. We have decluttered, and made each room a more usable space. We have even taken advantage of little nooks around the house and turned them into reading corners.
I am feeling like I have more energy than I have had in a long time. A restful summer and an organized home have left me excited to begin this homeschooling adventure here in Ottawa. Little do the kids know, but they have been doing ‘school’ over the summer as well. We try not to replicate school at home but to create an environment and daily habits that are rich in learning opportunities.
Going into this ‘school’ year we are keeping things very simple as baby #4 will be joining us late Fall. The kids are all in a gymnastics class on Monday afternoons as well as one
other activity – ballet for Isla, music for Everly and soccer for Ewan. Ewan and Isla will also be taking part in Nature School on Tuesday’s. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday are our ‘school days’ where we will carry out our morning time activities which consist of lots of reading aloud (about an hour or so), Ewan reading a chapter to us from his own current chapter book, Isla practicing her reading lessons and Ewan’s short math lessons. Afterwards we have snack and then some writing for Ewan and Isla / colouring for Everly. Fridays are open days for field trips and get togethers with friends.
The read alouds are my favourite part – I like the idea of reading many and varied genres of books – fiction, non fiction, fables, art books, poetry and using the Atlas and Encyclopedia. Our changing interests will help determine which stories will be read. The kids can play
quietly while I read, but most often we are all cuddled up on the couch. And this is how I envisioned homeschooling my kids, which keeps me going in the not so good moments.
Our afternoons are more open – the kids get some screen time for their games and learning apps while I take an hour for myself – no cleaning or laundry – usually either napping or drinking tea while reading or using my computer. Afterwards the kids are outside or we are using the playroom in the basement. I will set up some art activities as well as science activities throughout the week, but most often the kids are choosing how they would like to spend their time in the afternoon. We do have a special poetry tea time once a week as well.
We have continued reading, writing, and math over the summer so that these activities will be habits for the kids and so that I don’t have to stress about taking all of December off to focus on baby and the holidays. I am so happy that these activities have become routine parts of their days and that their favourite part is also the read alouds.
I hope everyones schooling adventures are off to a good start this week!