I stopped doing my preschool updates here quite a while ago. The holidays came around and we took a break from doing structured things. I love routine, so towards the end of the holiday season I was really craving our routine again. Then we got a string of foster babies, and we had to tweak things a bit with each new arrival and departure. I changed our routine it a bit and now our days look slightly different than they did in the beginning of the year. Now that we have some stability with Baby B, we've hit on a new routine that is working really well.
Each morning generally looks the same: The boys wake up around 7:30am and eat breakfast. After eating, they get themselves ready for the day and tidy up their room and beds. Baby B also wakes up and eats at 7:30. By the time breakfast is over and the boys are ready for the day, it's time for B to take a nap around 8:30am. The boys and I settle on the couch for 'Bible time': singing hymns, memorizing a new catechism question, and Bible reading. Then it's time to read our chapter book, and the boys play quietly on the floor with Legos while I read. We're currently reading Farmer Boy, and for some reason it feels to me like it's taking us forever to get through it. Probably because I'm not reading as consistently as I'd like to think I am. :)
At some point during all this, Tommy will have his reading lesson; he finished all the books in the Bob Books series so now he is reading from a Bible reader I made. I copied and pasted sections from the New International Reader's Version Bible into a Word document, and divided the text into bite-size chunks for him, so he doesn't get overwhelmed. He's been doing this for a few weeks now and he's already read through the first chapter of Genesis. I got the idea to do this from another home schooling mom and I love it because he's reading something real and important. Early reader books are functional for new readers, but the text is boring and pointless. I love that Tommy is reading something rich and true instead of Dumpy to the Rescue!. And yes, that's a real book.
One thing I've added to our days is learning about art and music. We started off with some of my favorite people: Vincent Van Gogh and Aaron Copland. We talk about the paintings during meal times, we've read some books about Van Gogh and his paintings, and we've tried to copy the paintings. In case you're wondering, a Van Gogh reproduction by a four year old ends up looking more like a Picasso. We listen to Copland's music a few times a week in the house (also during meal times, when they're relatively still and calm!) and in the car. So proud that my boys can identify a Copland piece within the first few seconds of the music.
After 'school time', it's time for Baby B's next feeding. After her feeding we'll go out of the house, either for an errand, a play date, or just for a walk down the street. After this it's time for lunch, then naps for all - Baby B even naps at the same time the big boys have their quiet time. I'm really pleased with the rhythm of our day. I know that one of these days B will change and we'll have to tweak things a bit, but for now I'm really enjoying this sweet spot!
|Enjoying some creek splashing with friends.|
|Picnic lunch and books. A new tradition we've come up with is to have a lunch of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, apple slices, and popcorn, and eat it leisurely on the grass while I read books to them.|