"Common Ground": my little corner of the blogosphere where I talk (a lot-wink) about the things that matter most to me: My relationship with my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, homeschooling, adoption, homemaking, parenting, "spousing." (yeah, yeah....I know that's not a word.....I made it up-it’s my blog-I can do things like that! Ha!)

Since my life isn’t all that different from yours, hopefully we can find some COMMON GROUND & learn from each other. Please share your thoughts!

Through the Lords’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness!
Lam. 3: 22 & 23

Click on pics to see us up close & personal! :)


Monday, November 16, 2009

A New Challenge For Me!

Ok, so I am trying a new blogger challenge today. Another homeschooling mom over at Steady Mom, has a challenge on Mondays(oops, that would be Tuesdays) to “beat the clock,” as it were-to put together an entire post in 30 minutes or less. She is challenging her readers to do it in the interest of disciplining their time……

So….4:57 seconds ago, I started my time. Yep, almost 5 minutes have gone by already-because Microsoft Word (where I usually first type my posts) decided I needed to type in ALL CAPS. Took me five minutes to figure out (with the help of my knight in shining armor) that I had pushed SHIFT & CAPS LOCK at the same time. Love computers, don’t you?!? Ha!!

But, back to the challenge.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My homeschooling venture as the teacher sure isn’t getting any easier.

3 years ago, when we started this, I had one 5 year old, & a dream of meeting my new daughter in Guatemala (we had her referral, & a few months of updates, but we hadn’t been down there yet to meet her).

Needless to say, three years, & TWO toddlers later, homeschoooling isn’t the calm, peaceful journey it started out as.

Nope.

(Now, life is sure more interesting, but it isn’t usually CALM at our house!)

But……..one of the good things about homeschooling, for me, is that it is forcing me to be creative as the mom/teacher/parent.

And thus, I hope, it is helping my tendency toward selfishness & laziness.

Anyway, the last few weeks have sometimes been a NIGHTMARE-I have to be honest.

Trying to break up fights between a two & three year old, trying to entertain demanding toddlers and answer questions about distances on a map, or supervising math problems (while trying to put in an occasional load of laundry & come up with something for supper) caused some hair loss on my part (& maybe a grey one or two also-but do me a favor-if you see any, don’t tell me-ok?)

Anyway, out of desperation, last week once, I sat Natty in his booster chair, Ruth in hers, & gave them both math blocks to play with, while I sat down with Ana & helped her with her schoolwork-all at the kitchen table.

& you know what?

It was peaceful! Again! Just like it used to be during our homeschooling.

Ahhhh!!!

I know a bunch of you other homeshooling mamas out there are probably shaking your heads saying, “Why didn’t she think of that before?” I have no idea why, but this experience got me to thinking-

“I should have activities for them while Ana is working!!!”

After a bit of research online, I came up with what I am calling “Activity Packets”:


ABOVE:
Everything in Ruth's box

Glue & fun stuff to glue on paper.


Sorting Game


"Thread the Button Game."





I am looking forward to seeing if these help return a bit more sanity to our days at home together!!! Got any other ideas for me to put in my packets?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

Time from starting my post to hitting “Publish Post”-32:45! Great challenge-not such great execution! I’ll do better next time, I promise!

Here’s the link to more blogs that played this game today! (Looks like her link isn't up yet, but check out her blog anyway-she is a great inspiration!)

12 comments:

Shawna said...

I thought I'd toss out an idea for the toddler fighting and demanding stuff. We were having similar issues here this year, I was miserable - and they all were because of it.

In desperation I told my small group leader (Homeschool Group) what was going on. She emailed me back and urged me to take a week or two off and get down to business on training. To teach my little ones *how* to obey, and not to fight. That this was the heart of the issue, and doing things to *keep* it from happening, was only saving the training for another day. (and making it worse inadvertantly) Not only that, but there couldn't be harmony when I was not doing my job.

I won't lie and say it wasn't hard hard hard! But the results have been *SO* encouraging. The joy of teaching them at home has been restored, after all that is a main reason we have them here, so we can work through all of this stuff!

Anyhow, thought I'd throw that out there, feel free to toss it if it doesn't apply! :)

jmquilts said...

Cute idea to have the bags! My niece-in-law is doing Tot School with her 2 y/o and he is in his seat at the table for that time usually.

Angi/JaJireh's blog has links for ideas. I showed Angi's to my NIL and she added it to their life. Sounds fun to me!!

Steve and Paula said...

You have officially had an "Aha Moment"!!
Yes, squabbling toddlers usually means bored toddlers.

Dea said...

Those look like great ideas and a great way to keep them entertained! nice work ;)
And i love the pictures in your last post, they are adorable!

Sarah said...

I love your little student learning idea... brilliant! I see many peaceful educational days in your future. ;>
God's blessings, Sarah :D

jenica said...

Ha! I just got off the phone with Rachel and we were talking about bored kids wandering around the house- how it only leads to trouble. She said that's why she started homeschooling even though they are pre-school age. I wish I would have done something at that stage, too. A little structure goes a long ways.

~Leyla~ said...

Just thought I'd share a short cut for the next time you realize you've typed in all caps.

First highlight the text in Word that you want to fix. Next press "Shift" and "F3" at the same time. Each time you do this the text will alter from ALL CAPS, to all lowercase to Only the first letter in the sentence in caps!

I learned this trick in training back when I was doing office work as for a temporary agency.

Susan Tipton said...

I have a 2yo and a 3yo that "help" with our home school too. I like your packets, I do something of the same sort too- but I've not done glue in a while. I think I need to rotate some quiet toys around.

Btw, I've never been to your blog before, glad I found you. I love the word, "spousing".

turnitupmom said...

There are so many things that you could put in those baggies- how about different shape cutouts? Your child could use them like tangrams, and make animals from them. It would go great with Lois Ehlert's book Animal Farm!

Or how about a baggie of toothpicks and mini marshmallows for building?

renee @ FIMBY said...

Very clever. I never did any schooling with my oldest while her sibs were toddlers, she was only 5 & 5 at the time, so I never dealt with the challenge of homeschooling with toddlers. Sounds like you're on to something though.

It Feels Like Chaos said...

I have often wondered how you homeschool an older child with little ones around!

Kim & Dave said...

Thanks, everyone for all the feedback! I even learned how to fix my Word issue-if it ever comes up!

Shawna-it is especially helpful to be reminded to focus where the problem really is-the heart!

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