It was good to read some of the articles Kim linked to. I must admit that I didn't resonate with heaps some of them said, but I pulled out some very helpful nuggets that have sharpened my focus and brought some simplicity to my planning.
Some of these would be:
- Self teaching: as much as we have loved our all together time, I saw a lot last year that it needed to take a different shape. The age range is greater than when I just had the older two and it was starting to not work as smoothly. As well, Ar. is ready to really dig in more on his own and seems to prefer this. So, to borrow a term from Cindy at Dominion Family, we will have small Morning Times to enjoy some of those things together like artist study, poetry memorization (kids LOVE this), bible reading, literature, Shakespeare etc. We will still cover some history together but Ar. will do another stream as well (maybe H. as well).
- Stick to the basics! Focus on those and the beauty that comes from the Morning Time themes. Read lots together and alone!
- Include drawing and painting more in our days. The children used to illustrate a number of their narrations but it has slipped as more children have been added to the mix
- Focus on a generous palate in all years, but in the early years (this would include my two youngest) don't worry about chronology or grand schemes. Pile the books up, all sorts, especially good picture books (think Diane Stanley or Demi), and start reading. There are plenty of years to work out the specific chronology.
- Short lessons!
- Lots of time outside- has to be a priority, especially in the September to January bracket (as it is just too darn cold here in the latter parts of the winter to do anything)
- Simplify our outings. Is a child screaming for a new class/lesson/activity? If not, then reasses whether it meets your goals or how it melds with the rest of your life.
- What are the needed areas of focus for each child? How can I best meet those needs?
School planning is in full force here. It is actually far less planning and more refocusing. We know what our vision is. We know what we love and what we don't. We know what works. This season is less one of decision and more one of prayerful consideration of what challenges the new year will bring, individually and collectively, and how best to meet them.
I have also been enjoying the forms for housekeeping on this post (tried the one for emergency quick clean today and it worked smoothly)
The Home Management Journal- Housekeeping forms/lists
I should sign off now. The computer has become a wee bit of a monster for me as of late....of to read some Asterix.