Encouragement - Schooling on Nice days, Winter blahs

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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Encouragement - Schooling on Nice days, Winter blahs

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

When it's nice outside
momspeapods wrote:Hi everyone-
The weather has been nice and the boys would much rather be outside in the sunshine.

We have been using MFWk and 1st this year and we have loved it. Until now! We are about 6 weeks from being finished for the year and each day is getting harder.

We are planning on doing 1st again next year and adventures but have had concerns because of a new baby arriving in June. Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Start a checklist. Let the boys put the checkmarks in. You'll be surprised at how much they'll WANT to do that and the visual motivation to finish is right in front of them.

Just grab an index card and jot basic "stuff" down on it. Make a little box next to each item for the boys to check off.
-Bible memory verse

You get the gist. It's amazing how something so seemingly small can keep you on track each day.

Also, we "had" a new baby too. He was born Dec 15th and we were called to come and get him on Dec 18th. No knowledge that God had made him. No knowledge that he was destined for our home. Completely out of the blue. We took a week or so off from school to get our bearings and then were basically forced to move on and plug along with school.

You can do it. If you initiate the checklist now, you can use it again in the Fall when you'll have those unplanned interruptions that require you to care for the baby. You'll want to save ALL independent work for when you're caring for baby (ie. book basket, coloring history sheets, maybe even art). That way, the boys can do their independent work when you're not available to help. And if anything is left undone, you'll see it on the checklist and can get to it at some other time of the day (believe me, it will help to self motivate them though).

Cut out all fluff (ie. if you had "extras" planned, they may need to wait until the second half of the year). You might even save science for dad to do with kids in the evenings or for the whole family to do together on the weekends.

If you can get a copy of Managers Of Their Homes, you can browse the chapter about scheduling babies as it relates to homeschool (not endorsing everything she "schedules"; just saying it might give you some ideas of how to work things out in your own homeschool).

A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
I invite you to join me THE WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE
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Unread post by Lucy »

This is very normal. I think you would find many of us are feeling the same way and wanting to be finished with school. I like Toni's idea and think that would be helpful for you all.

Another thought is to take a break for a week and just do some fun things not necessarily school related. We all need breaks and I know that they can really refresh us. I know that is very simple but it has worked for us. You may even need to take a couple of weeks over the next 6 weeks.

I also think you will see some maturity in your 1st grader between now and when you begin Adventures. You will do fine especially since MFW 1 will not be all new for you.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
MJ in IL
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Unread post by MJ in IL »

I second the list idea. My kids and I are list people. I make a graph or table with the column heading as subjects. I write the days, lessons, assignments or chapters down each column and we color them in as we do them. When we finish a column, we have a treat! Children love visuals!

We also sometimes change our schedule and push through the morning, stop for lunch and some free time (well, most of us, depending on attitude) and regroup in late afternoon. The kids seem to do better with this...although when we lived in town it never would have worked as the neighborhood children were always coming around to play!

Take your books outside and have a picnic school day. We used to do this with our camper. The fresh air invigorated us and the change of scenery was nice!

Another favorite day here is when Mom puts little pieces of paper with subjects/chores/fun ideas in a hat and we take turns drawing them out. It doesn't do much in developing a habit of routine, but we get a lot accomplished and have fun!

It's raining here today, so I got more school done. It's not supposed to be too nice tomorrow either... We are getting a baby goat this weekend so I am guessing next week might be a bit off!

Enjoy your last few weeks...and the new baby!
dd14 enjoying AHL; ds12 & ds10 in RtR & dd5 working through K!
have done K (2X), 1 (2X), ECC, CtG, & 1850MT
Kim Schroter
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Unread post by Kim Schroter »

I would stop for a while. Take trips to the park, go for nature walks, have fun playing. I see my kids grow the most when they are free to play and create. The hardest part is always for me to fight the thought, "Oh man, we're not getting our schoolwork done... we're going to be so behind." My husband is the best at encouraging me to let the "academics" fall away and let them expore, especially at this age!

We never finished the last week of K or 1st, and yet my daughter is finishing up Adventures this year just fine!

With a baby coming in June, I think you'd enjoy the free time too!

Be free!
Married to John 12 years
Mother to Hannah 9 , Summer 7, Ruth 3 and Charlie 4 months
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Unread post by rachel »


I second Lucy's idea about taking a week "off". The schools around here had spring break a couple of weeks ago and my husband suggested that we do the same thing. It's been great! And I needed the break too. We were all getting a little draggy.

We got a fun new game at Walmart, we've baked cookies... nothing too fancy or that requires too much energy(trying to keep it an actual break for everyone...).
Currently using MFW K/1 and ADV with daughter (2000); 3 Sons (2001, 2003-twins); and baby girl (2007)
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Unread post by LizCT »


Are you playing the MFW 1st grade reading and/or math games these days? They help bring my two girls back into the same orbit with me on some of those rougher days. Or maybe, I should say, it puts me in their orbit.....

Do you have a picnic table outside? Can you do any of your work out there to catch some of the fresh air and sunshine while doing your school stuff?

There is still snow here, so I can only imagine sitting in the sunshine at our picnic table.....aaaaahhhhhhh....soon enough, I suppose.

I hope you can find a way to make things work & get done at least the minimum of what you'd like to accomplish before baby arrives!

Liz in CT
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Unread post by kellybell »

It just sounds like you all need a breath of fresh air (very typical for this time of year).

Maybe sit your little guys down and announce that next week (or whenever) you're going to take YOUR spring break (we often do this but try to do it a week before or after the public schools just so we don't attend a crowded zoo, park, skating rink). Ask them what THEY want to do during spring break. Maybe go to a different park each day. Maybe take field trips to the post office, the fire station, etc. Maybe eat breakfast out one day. Maybe try different art projects each day. Maybe make bread or cookies for neighbors. Maybe, if you are in a shopping mood, you can head to Babies R Us and have each one pick a little toy for the new baby and then paint a picture for the baby's room. If you are feeling a bit tired, then decide that spring break will include a special video each day (doesn't have to be a long one, but something new and fun from the library).

Pray about the funk you are in... The ladies on the board have great ideas but God has the right solution to this problem... My idea is just what we'd do and what we DO do.

Blessings to you. I'm praying for you tonight.

They are just so young. When they get older, school (whether at home or elsewhere) will take more time. But, enjoy the little guys
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by melinda »

My kids are the same ages as yours and we also have spring fever and we have it bad! So...we do whatever phonics in the early morning. I keep it simple, simple, simple. No extra fluff--really just bare minimum. Then my girls are out the door to play, play, play all day long. We fit math in during the few moments when each individual child needs a break. Math right now is really just pattern blocks or some other quiet time activity. The rest of our school day is saved for night school. Read alouds and all other activities have now become part of our bedtime routine. My dd was asking a lot of questions about the oceans the other day, so we're doing a mini unit on the oceans after the sun goes down. It is my opinion that school should be banned on beautiful spring days :) so I just have to think a bit outside the box to fit in what I need to do. Summer will be here before too long and it will be too hot to stay outside for long. That's when we'll get to more meatier subjects.
Melinda & Co.
Girls (ages 8 and 7, 7 (ID twins))
Baby boy (1)
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Unread post by rachel »

I love these ideas!! Encourages me for when Spring Break is over...

I have to remind myself that this is when the school part is easy and to not feel guilty about that...

Currently using MFW K/1 and ADV with daughter (2000); 3 Sons (2001, 2003-twins); and baby girl (2007)
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Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:17 pm

Unread post by momspeapods »

Thank you everyone for all the great advice and encouragement. It's nice to know that I am not alone. Things have gotten better the last couple of days. I think my biggest problem is that I have pushed so hard this year to accomplish everything listed. Up until now it was not a problem. We are going to plan a spring break so thanks for that idea. We will also think about taking our work outside; I honestly had not even thought of that. We have been starting our day with a walk each morning which has really helped to get us up and going. I am going to try not to worry so much about doing every last thing listed and just focus on what is important. It is amazing how much better the children's attitudes are when I have a good one. I also like the list idea and think this will be very good for my children as well. Thanks again for all the great ideas!!

Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:00 am

School outside!

Unread post by niki »

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:56 pm

We did school at the park today. I packed sack lunches, filled backpacks and after the dentist we went to the park - THEY LOVED IT! We didn't accompish everything...but my kids had so much fun (and so did I)!!! Hooray - much relief after hitting a brick wall last week! (besides, a little girl there said, "I want to do what they're doing") God is so good!
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Unread post by Mercy »

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:11 pm

Oh I LOVE school outside!!!

We all enjoy the fresh air and I think we work best out in the sun. It's so nice to be able to take school with you where ever you need. We do that a lot (with appointments, errands, etc.) Sometimes you just have to squeeze school into life wherever it fits!

Posts: 87
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Unread post by Mom2MnS »

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:20 pm

Finding a balance and having the courage to try something new are two wonderful ways to bless our sweeties. I am so glad it was a good day - Thanks for sharing!
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:50 pm

Shake up the Schedule!

Unread post by schoolmom2 »

We were floundering for a few weeks, keeping up with all of our studies, but not enjoying school or each other! I saw a brief article on the CurrClick newsletter about changing your schedule if you were feeling the winter blahs, and I thought, "But, we've always done it strictly the MFW way!" (You know, the template in the front of each manual). After a few more days of really bad school, I thought, "Well, it can't get worse!" And you know what - it has really helped!

I wrote each of our subjects on strips of paper and asked each of my children to put them in the order that they would like. I was hoping there would be a few that were the same, but no! So, I just arranged our day according to what I thought would be fun (yes, it's OK to be selfish once in awhile!). We are loving our days now, and actually looking forward to each subject. And somehow, we are finished with everything much faster than before.

Just an encouragement to shake it up if things are overwhelming or just not fun! I had to realize that the template in the front of the manual was meant to be a suggestion, not a code of law! Now I am seeing that when I am having fun and looking forward to things, my kids do, too!

Re: Shake up the Schedule!

Unread post by cbollin »

schoolmom2 wrote:Just an encouragement to shake it up if things are overwhelming or just not fun! I had to realize that the template in the front of the manual was meant to be a suggestion, not a code of law! Now I am seeing that when I am having fun and looking forward to things, my kids do, too!
ditto to all of that....

today, it was easier to just start with history and book basket, then Bible, then some English, some Wii fit bowling, science.... etc...

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Re: Shake up the Schedule!

Unread post by sojen »

Ahhh..Wii Bowling. I think that may help today. :-) :-)
Jen in GA
mom to dd 11, dd 8, and ds 5
traveling through the medieval world with RTR.
Slowly starting kindergarten with my little guy.
Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Shake up the Schedule!

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

I had to giggle when I saw this. (I'm really goofing off on the board today and finding all kinds of stuff.)

The other day, I came into the school room and my dd had written a schedule on the white board. She had all of the subjects up there, in a totally different order than normal. I said, "Sure - we can do that!" It ended up being the best day ever!!! She had so much fun, just because I let her have a little control. We're not going to do it that way everyday, but I agree - when the doldrums set in, mixing it up is good!
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
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Re: Shake up the Schedule!

Unread post by 1974girl »

What? There is an order? Don't tell me that! Every day, we do it differently but we get it done.
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."
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