Monday, May 22, 2006

Monday Morning Motivation

Ah, Monday mornings. Who needs them eh? I slept in this morning, which wasn't a good start to the week. I fell back to sleep about 5 or 6 times. Steve left for work at 9.30 so I decided it was time to try and drag myself out of bed. When I got downstairs it was lovely to discover that Luke had spread 1/4 box of co-co pops all over the kitchen floor, and then tried to sweep them up himself!

Usually I work out about 6 weeks of the kids schoolwork in advance, and I just stick up the new weeks rota every Monday morning. But now we have got into the swing of things with Home Education I find I can quickly write it out on a Monday morning (easier if I get up on time). I use the Ambleside Online Curriculum as a rough guide, so its not that hard. We also have a morning chore rota which I print out and stick up on a Monday morning. Before work begins the kids must be washed, dressed, their rooms must be tidy, the pets must be fed, and they each have the job of either unloading the dishwasher or tidying the study room. I also schedule showers into this morning list, as I would forget to make them shower, and they would never volunteer! The chore list used to be a lot longer, but I find that the kids are happier getting up later and being more relaxed than getting up early and helping with the house. I know, it sounds like typical children, but they still get their chores and they seem to work better on their school work in a more relaxed environment.

This week we have decided to try something new. We have spread Fridays school work across Monday to Thursday in an attempt to have Fridays off. This means they will study harder Monday to Friday but will be rewarded with a longer weekend. The reason we are trying this is because Sam has stage school on a Saturday and we have a lot of fellowship responsibilities on a Sunday, so Sam and Jude never actually get a completely free day, to do whatever they please. I have warned them though, that this will only go ahead if they work just as hard and learn just as well.

So I have just completed this weeks education schedule. Here it is, for those of you that may be interested:

Maths is always 40 minutes, Free Reading is always 1/2 hour minimum (Sam is reading Jungle book, Jude is reading Carrie Woodlawn), Story of Ireland and Paddle to the Sea are spread across the term, Pilgrims Progress and Secrets of the Wood are read by me,

Monday: Maths, Free Reading, Trial & Triumph ch 21, Our Island Story ch 20, Story of Ireland, Music Listening (Johann Strauss Jr - Blue Danube), Pilgrims Progress, Piano practice for Jude.

Tuesday: Maths, Free Reading, Story of the World ch 4, Creative Writing, Landing of the Pilgrims p10 - 17, Shakespeare, Bible study or film, Piano for Jude.

Wednesday: Maths, Science Lab in a Supermarket, Parables of Nature ch 6, Paddle to the Sea, Art Study (John William Waterhouse), Free Reading, Piano practice for Jude, Archery.

Thursday: Maths, Story of Inventions p259 - 270, Secrets of the Wood continued, Free Reading, Poetry (Longfellow), Bible study or film, Nature Study, Piano for Jude.

Friday: Off!

I find that they can usually complete this work in about 3 hours. So if we get up on time they are done by lunch time. Then, of course, they are learning all afternoon anyway, by doing their own thing. I find that children like to be busy and learning most of the time, naturally, if they are not completely distracted by TV and playstation games. The hardest part is keeping Luke out of their way until they are finished. He just loves to play with them and he doesn't understand why they are so busy. Sometimes he even gets his own books out and says he is doing his school work!


Sheelagh said...

I have always thought of planning a 4 day week, and then I find that I feel at a loose end on the 5th day unless I have something specific planned.... How do you find it Hazel? Also, which 'Story of the World' are you using and what do you and yours think of it? We are almost finished the Ancients and Jake and Hannah love it, but I always wish that we could spend more time on History, it is so much fun!
Gotta go.... love your blog though!!!

Hazel said...

Hi Sheelagh,
Yes it the Ancients we are reading, although we have 4 volumes of the books, but we have just started with the first one. the kids love it. I'm learning a lot from it too.
Doing a 4 day week is just fabulous. What we really need is a day where we are at a loose end. Life is so hectic the rest of the time. I find that Sam and Jude play with Luke more on their day off aswell. I'm loving it so far.