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Æthelthryth the Texan

Has anyone else's schedule gone to hell in a hand basket?

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As a professional homeschooler (ūüėā) I've gotta be honest and say I am so not feeling it this week. And yes, we are battling past my feelings and getting it done, but I really want to just let the kids play Minecraft and play or whatever while I do...........not a lot. I'd rather fold laundry and listen to my audiobook and am just blah (not the Wu blah- just feelings blah).¬†

 Dh is home off and on for work purposes which throws things off, and life feels very much like it did during Hurricane Harvey around here, except we have no idea when it will end this time (at least then we had a sort of definitive period).....but on a bright note, our house won't flood this time and we aren't living in gut clenching fear of any sort, nor worried that everything we own is about to be under 8' of water, so that's good...... But it's been super hot, and humid, pollen absolutely coating everything and raining off and on just to make it hotter and mosquitos so lots of indoor times- this is not outdoor time at the moment.....

I feel like it's a week of Mourning or something. I am used to Hurricanes/Storms and one can be very proactive during a hurricane. Or, one can leave and drive to normalcy. We can't do that- my town is the most normal around as we aren't under any sort of lock down still at the moment, and things are very much NOT normal though. Just curious if anyone else's schedule had fallen off course this week along with me. I'm strong arming through it, but man, it's more like February with the blahs. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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11 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I feel like it's a week of Mourning or something.

It is, and ignoring it is not making it better. 

Honestly, I've got to get some weights and lift, because that sensory input is what makes me feel calm. I'm ready to POP I'm so under for sensory. Treadmill and stairs is NOT doing it, lol. 

So I think you have to find what makes you feel better, get yourself feeling better. I was realizing I haven't even cried about this. Like we really should, kwim? Cry and then wipe and pull up our boot straps and be ready. But yeah, it's big stuff.

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This week, yes. I got sick over the weekend, and although it's the flu, not the plague, everything is kind of on hiatus. It's rained nearly every day this week, so the boys can't get out and do things, although we've got the giant pumpkin seeds planted and in the oven which is serving as the warming box until they sprout. But yeah, everything is a little off.  I'm hoping that once I'm not coughing up a lung and fever-ridden, things will find a settle point we can work from for a while.

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9 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

It is, and ignoring it is not making it better. 

Honestly, I've got to get some weights and lift, because that sensory input is what makes me feel calm. I'm ready to POP I'm so under for sensory. Treadmill and stairs is NOT doing it, lol. 

So I think you have to find what makes you feel better, get yourself feeling better. I was realizing I haven't even cried about this. Like we really should, kwim? Cry and then wipe and pull up our boot straps and be ready. But yeah, it's big stuff.

I should get back to lifting weights. I've let it slide the last little bit. 

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We're having a very odd week.¬† We ARE under "shelter in place", DH is working from home, everyone is off the routine.¬† Monday we lost an enormous amount of time to me shopping/decontaminating and just having a head full of bees.¬† Yesterday was a bit better, but I forgot a commitment to DH and made him sad.¬† ūüė쬆 I am just totally off my game.

I need to focus on exercise.  I'd been good about getting up early enough to do it, but today slept a bit later + spent a chunk of time brainstorming how to adjust and improve things for DH & I so that we stay sane & reliable.  The boys & my MIL are doing great, hallelujah.  DH & I are fraying. 

ETA: and, have a migraine this morning.  Maybe I WILL cry!!!!  {wry smiley here}

Edited by serendipitous journey
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Yeah, I spent so much time telling PS people to chill out, we ourselves ended up on full blown strewing-and-talking  mode haha. 

Which, I mean, for my kids that includes things like "just reading" Jacob's or AOPS books and doing the exercises that sound interesting, so. 

But like what a great week to build bird feeders out of that insane pile of scrap wood we've somehow amassed in a year and a half. 

We do have on-going weekly online book discussion meetings, which is nice.

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Yeah, we've been doing math and reading daily but that's it. Lots of screen time here. We're also coming off of a chaotic, month-long home reno...very little schoolwork done then. We're struggling to get back in the groove. 

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Yes. It does feel like mourning. And we are grieving some big cancellations. And other big things are still unknown. Mourning is definitely the right word. This week was already spring break for my older kids and now it’s a light week for youngest too. 

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Yes, we're going ahead with our academics, but I'm just not feeling it either. There's the anxiety over the virus, jobs/economy, loss of activities, and how long this will last. There's mourning for things that were important to us being cancelled. I live in an area where winter is long and cold and we're usually so ready for spring weather and getting out more, but it's still cold and wet outside and other events aren't happening.

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2 hours ago, alisoncooks said:

Yeah, we've been doing math and reading daily but that's it. Lots of screen time here. We're also coming off of a chaotic, month-long home reno...very little schoolwork done then. We're struggling to get back in the groove. 

This is where I’m at. Bible, Barton, Math- go play. 
 

I drove into Houston/Harris county this afternoon to take one kid just to a routine check up (no illness!!) the dr office¬†didn‚Äôt want to cancel. And I saw why. Ghost Town. They need the $$$. And they had me sign the craziest ‚Äúfinancial authorization‚ÄĚ I‚Äôve seen in a long time with an iron clad ‚Äúif you don‚Äôt give 48 hour notice on cancellation for any reason, you owe us $50 cancellation fee,‚ÄĚ language. ūüėģ I signed it, did our appointment but not planning on rescheduling anytime soon.¬†
 

Also driving through Ghost Town did not help my mood. I am glad my county is not Ghostly. Well, as much. Not sure for how long. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan

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5 hours ago, serendipitous journey said:

We're having a very odd week.  We ARE under "shelter in place", DH is working from home, everyone is off the routine.  

It’s the 3rd week that my husband is working from home. However this is the first week that DS15’s community college in person classes switch to online so some hiccups (communication and technical) there. I think everyone is going to end up with compassionate As and Bs for community college classes this quarter.

I need to take a walk so will be walking to Safeway to top up on coffee and sugar because even my teens are drinking. So four people drinking coffee at home is a lot higher than me (coffee addict) alone. The weather here hasn’t been great for walking by the creek, foggy and raining intermittently. 

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Yes. The schedule has tanked. And it does feel like mourning because of all the canceled activities. Plus I'm stressed about making sure neither I nor my kids gets the virus so that I can still buy and dropoff groceries to two sets of elderly grandparents and my 19yo nephew who is a firefighter student who has been sent home with fever as of this morning (2 teachers have tested positive so far). It's just hurry up and wait and I'm tense but not panicked.

On the flip side, my kids are loving the Mo Willems Lunch Doodles at 1:00 every day. And we're looking forward to listening to Andrew Peterson read the first book of his Wingfeather Saga series starting Friday night. And we're finally getting around to doing a science video experiment series that I bought a couple of years ago. And the kids are using a basement full of cardboard boxes to build a gigantic "box house" in the living room. So all is well. It's just not what I typed up on my pretty schedule. ūüôā

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My personal schedule has definitely gone to hell in a handbasket in service of protecting my kids' schedule.

My special needs, 2e, mentally ill kiddos can barely handle any unstructured or unsupervised time in the best of circumstances...and this is far from the best of times.  One child in particular is so disregulated currently that he must be kept within arms reach every single moment for the safety of the other children.

We have always participated in many extracurriculars because they were a form of therapy for my kids and respite for me.  Even though we have never been able to leave the children with a caregiver (ever, at all), at least with extracurriculars I could pay someone else to engage with the kiddos for a while and let me just sit and breathe for a few minutes...or until one of the kids required behavioral intervention.

Now it is all on me.  No extracurriculars, no ABA, no therapy, no psychiatric support.  I feel like three of my kids each need about 10 hours of my undivided attention each day and the fourth needs about 24 of my hours.  That adds up to 54 woman hours a day...and that's before I cook or clean or shop or brush my teeth.  My schedule is shot!!

But in good news, we are doing SOOOO much "school".  All our normal stuff, plus an extra hour of read alouds, plus all the virtual visits and classes that are popping up, plus walks and exercise videos, etc.  Honestly, I would love to be able to just let them play outside or in the basement or board games or even on screens, but since that isn't an option, at least we are using our time productively.

Wendy

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My husband is working from home, too.¬†Our library is closed, and a lot of things are cancelled, etc. My first grader‚Äôs and preschooler‚Äôs schools are closed. I like having my¬†kids home, but all of the cancellations mean we can really only go to parks...and it‚Äôs raining all week. We have a lot of fun things to do around the house, but we never just stay around the house for days straight. I can see how full time homeschoolers would be disrupted due to a lot of normal things being cancelled. Hang in there‚ÄĒit‚Äôs a weird week all around!

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Our area just found the second case of community spread, so our schools will be closing for 6-8 weeks. My 4th grade dd was in PS this year, so I‚Äôm at a loss of what to do for her. Plus, I‚Äôve felt really funky this week. Littlest had Flu A a few weeks ago, and after she got better I got a week of congestion/drainage, a week of sore throat, and this week I‚Äôve just been ‚Äúblah‚ÄĚ, but in a ‚ÄúI need to sleep and can‚Äôt get off the couch‚Äú way. No fever, no cough, so I don‚Äôt think it‚Äôs the plague. But our schedule has been trashed!! ūüė쬆Also, TMI, but my cycles are all out of whack, too. So all around, I need a good cry, but there is no time to cry without kids around!¬†

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I wouldn't say to hell in a handbasket, but definitely out of sorts and lacking ability to focus.  Dh is working from home. Dd is home from college. Aspie ds is a anxious mess.  (He was doing ok until yesterday, but this morning he had a melt down.)  My 14 yr old is really struggling with all of her canceled activities.  (It makes me realize just how many our kids were activitely involved in.)

I wanted to give a heads up on being careful around our younger children.  I had to ban talk about the epidemic in front of our 10 yr old.  She was internalizing things in a way that I hadn't originally picked up on.  A few days ago she disappeared and finally found her asleep in her bed in the middle of the day.  When she woke up, I asked her why she had climbed into bed. (She definitely was not sick.) She told me she just felt so sad she wanted to cry.  It is hard b/c she is my 100% extrovert social butterfly, so she is already struggling with not hanging out with friends plus missing all of her activities.  So, the talk about the virus itself was just too much for her to cope with.

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Well, we had spring break from all our lessons and activities, and the time change, and now everything is still stopped.  I have hated being so busy with something everyday, but it helps me get started earlier when I know I have to get X amount of work done before a music or ballet lesson.  I think the kids are restless too.  I need to get them up earlier, do a couple subjects and give them outdoor time before lunch.  Maybe that would make us all more productive.  My husband is staying home for the rest of the week because a coworker who recently traveled is insisting on working.  Not much gets done when Dad is home.  Too much excitement.

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Yeah, our schedule went out the window. The little one isn’t in preschool, so we have to figure out a way to work with DD7 with her around, all the scheduled activities are cancelled, DH is working from home, we’re trying not to leave the house.

I’m compulsive organizer, so I’m going to write up and post a new schedule for us to follow. We do suddenly have WAY more time at home, so I figure our new schedule will have more breaks for playing and more subjects.

I need to move on from the grieving mode, though. I’ve been finding it challenging to function at full capacity.

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3 hours ago, square_25 said:

I need to move on from the grieving mode, though. I’ve been finding it challenging to function at full capacity.

This!!! I am finding I need more self care just to deal with my own emotions. I'm playing new calming music                                             Getz/Gilberto: 50th Anniversary                                      , bought some weights, used my weighted blanket, and am doing things to get myself good first. When I'm good, everything else will be good. I yes, grieving was part of it. Our country was FINALLY getting on track economically, doing well, low unemployment, people with discretionary money to do nice things, and then BOOM. It has just been unfathomable to me. 

So yes, we have to take care of ourselves to take care of others. And you know, if we get our houses clean and decluttered, do some projects, etc., spring will be here. Things must improve, right?

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We were on spring break which was to be spent driving teens to jobs and volunteer activities.

Besides the worry and practicalities of dealing with shopping and the worry about my grandparents and families I know that are already suffering and now this and worrying about the economy and family members' various situations, I am enjoying the time at home. I've gotten to spend time on starting garden seedlings, cleaning house, etc. I hate starting back after a break in a mess. 

But I know our schedule will be crazy. We have activities that we school around. It's going to be all out of whack. I'm trying to mull it over and be prepared. I do want to keep our minds busy and spend time on school. But I also want to catch the daily updates on TV. So I want to keep that in mind too and be realistic.  I want to add in more walks because my kids are used to hours of physical activity several days a week. Losing that will not be good. 

Edited by 2_girls_mommy
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I'm having so much trouble getting motivated to do anything. It's been so grey and rainy here and with all that's going on it's so depressing. I haven't been out of the house for a week other than a trip to the mailbox. Homeschooling isn't going well either. DD is an extrovert who needs lots of physical activity, so with all her activities closed she's out of sorts and not able to concentrate on her work. DS is distracted and not getting work done. He's a junior and I need him to keep going. Mom is worried and calls me multiple times a day. This is the perfect time to get to all those projects that I don't have time to do and I just can't summon the energy.

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Yup. It’s been cloudy outside, which is unusual for us. The kids have been sleeping in late and I’ve been letting them. We were sick a few weeks ago and then dd got it again and it’s been hard to get back on track with everything going on. It’s Day 2 of 30 days of shelter in place. We’ve finished up a couple of subjects and I haven’t started the next set yet so our schedule is lighter. I have added some coronavirus themed lessons to fill in some time but our routine has definitely been thrown out of whack. 

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I'm usually not a pajama schooling Mom. The kids stay in PJs sometimes on days we don't have things......but now we don't have things and,  this week I'm having trouble wanting to move out of Jammie pants. It's just more laundry, right?!

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I did make a "normal" schedule for this week.  And we've been *mostly* sticking to it.  But we're all just going through the motions.  Our brains are elsewhere, and it shows.

I'm having a hard time staying motivated... I have 4 different test/quizzes from yesterday that need to be graded, but  *I don't care*.  I just want to sip a hot beverage and read a book.

I still have some school to finish up with the younger ones, but...

Younger kids are playing Mario Kart. ūüôā¬† And not fighting.¬†

My high school boys have challenged each other to do all the 32 races in Mario Kart tonight. 

Hope our batteries last!

 

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We are running about an hour late starting.  Yesterday we did almost nothing,because it was supposed to rain in the afternoon I had everyone get outdoors in the morning.  Then it didn't rain and no one could settle down to work after lunch.  I will not do that again.  Today college dd wanted to make bread, so we pulled out the zojirushi from the very top cabinet and I talked her through it.  Ds1 is still in pajamas.  I'm trying to get him to plow through his DO calculus so he can be mostly done with it when his dual enrollment classes go online.  

I had been doing Body Beast through Beach Body on Demand for about 6 months and then we got the flu mid Jan and it took forever to recover.  I hope to start back doing it today.

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1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I'm usually not a pajama schooling Mom. The kids stay in PJs sometimes on days we don't have things......but now we don't have things and,  this week I'm having trouble wanting to move out of Jammie pants. It's just more laundry, right?!

Ok babes, here's the gig. Jammie day is ONE DAY A WEEK. Anything beyond that, and it's time to summon your inner Fly Lady and talk truth to yourself. Just saying.

I don't care if it's yoga pants, what. Lay it out the night before and get dressed every day. Find clothes that empower you. Order new things. 

38 minutes ago, Zoo Keeper said:

My high school boys have challenged each other to do all the 32 races in Mario Kart tonight. 

This is stellar! :biggrin:

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12 minutes ago, Mbelle said:

I had been doing Body Beast through Beach Body on Demand for about 6 months

Yes, I've been thinking that that should be my mini project for this quarantine season, fitness goals. We have to fight it and keep perked up. Then will come spring and we'll be proud of what we got done.

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39 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Ok babes, here's the gig. Jammie day is ONE DAY A WEEK. Anything beyond that, and it's time to summon your inner Fly Lady and talk truth to yourself. Just saying.

I don't care if it's yoga pants, what. Lay it out the night before and get dressed every day. Find clothes that empower you. Order new things. 

This is stellar! :biggrin:

Yep. The very first thing I did this morning was get dressed. That is not my normal routine, but mentally, I needed it. To feel in control of something.

We also had our AC serviced. We only have 2 confirmed cases in our county with 20 waiting results. I figured 4 weeks from now, AC is goi g to be at the top of of our want/need list. Better to get it serviced now when cases are very few in number than later bc the number is only going to grow. (Not to mention they arent busy so they were happy to have a call!) He didnt ave to come into the house any more than the foyer bc he could do the temp check from that vent and we did the thermostat. Everything else was done outside.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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38 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Yes, I've been thinking that that should be my mini project for this quarantine season, fitness goals. We have to fight it and keep perked up. Then will come spring and we'll be proud of what we got done.

Yep. We are there, too. Walking on the treadmill, stretching, biking through the neighborhood, etc.

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Yes! In addition to everything being shut down, it’s been raining daily. I’d love to go hiking, but the trails are super sloppy or in areas under flash flood warnings. 
 

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32 minutes ago, Rachel said:

Yes! In addition to everything being shut down, it’s been raining daily. I’d love to go hiking, but the trails are super sloppy or in areas under flash flood warnings. 
 

Yup, I went out for a walk today and felt like a duck!

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Yup, I went out for a walk today and felt like a duck!

We have been getting outside in the neighborhood between rain showers, so at least it‚Äôs something. ūüėä

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Schools are closed, both kids are home, both DH and I are working full time from home... What’s a routine?

The older kid’s school is giving about an hour of work a day, which is nice for giving us things to do.  I’m actually glad we don’t have more work.  I need to do more with the Pre-K kid, but she’s doing pretty well with unstructured time...

My anxiety is starting to come down to a simmer rather than a boil.  But we are in Seattle, so right in the middle of it all.

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Definitely feeling outdone by this week. ¬†The coordinating I do for for two small homeschool¬†groups has me fielding phone calls, making new online plans, and trying to keep my agitation meter in check. ¬†Moving in-person stuff online isnt as simple as just adding a laptop. ¬†I really wish just one parent would ask, ‚ÄúHow can I help?‚ÄĚ ¬†Just the recognition that Ive had to scrap well laid plans¬†and am working to provide something simple and meaningful.¬†¬† Instead, I find myself having to explain changes¬†to parents who arent involved in the details of teaching... ‚ÄúBut so and so is doing ______ and¬†you just get everyone on zoom!‚ÄĚ ¬†Yes, but no. ¬†Argh! ¬†
As for my own student, he’s giving me more grief than usual this week, even with a lighter load.  Anxiety is definitely a part of it, I think.  Baseball and other programs are what give him his own space with his own voice and this is hard for him.   
We went bike riding this morning, had a great morning conversation in¬†our devotion time about time, stress, etc. ¬†But then Algebra happened. ¬†3 hours on Algebra. ¬†ūüėĒ That was it for today, too!

So yeah, the schedule is busted!

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I have decided that I need to create specific daily goals for myself, not just my kids.  I am not used to having so much extra time. 

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15 hours ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

My anxiety is starting to come down to a simmer rather than a boil.

I know, I'm FINALLY getting some things that work. I bought weights so I can do that at home. Removed everything gov't and news and morbid from my FB feed by unfollowing. Got audiobible files so I can listen to that more. Made new music playlists. Gave ds GABA, so he's finally chilled. Decided I'm not going over to Chat right now either. All they talk about is the virus, so I can't do that. I don't need it in my face. Just because it's happening doesn't mean I need to be THINKING about it. 

Now the REAL question--Do we watch the first of the two part season finale of Good Doctor, or do we wait because it's gonna be all intense and about an earthquake? LOL I mean pandemic on top of earthquake. Could be cathartic, right? :biggrin:

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I know, I'm FINALLY getting some things that work. I bought weights so I can do that at home. Removed everything gov't and news and morbid from my FB feed by unfollowing. Got audiobible files so I can listen to that more. Made new music playlists. Gave ds GABA, so he's finally chilled. Decided I'm not going over to Chat right now either. All they talk about is the virus, so I can't do that. I don't need it in my face. Just because it's happening doesn't mean I need to be THINKING about it. 

Now the REAL question--Do we watch the first of the two part season finale of Good Doctor, or do we wait because it's gonna be all intense and about an earthquake? LOL I mean pandemic on top of earthquake. Could be cathartic, right? :biggrin:

Wow, that sounds like a plan I need to get behind. Can you come to my house in a Haz Mat suit and organize me real fast?  

Wait on the intense my .02. Watch Schitt's Creek instead. 

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Ugh. Today, we wound up spending something like 5 hours trying to finish a math lesson that was supposed to take a bit more than an hour (and really it had something like 10 minutes of writing, just some time for thought.) The biggest problem was that a) we had all sorts of random stuff planned on Zoom and that b) the 3 year old is running around and distracting her sister, who isn't used to it. So DD7 can certainly work on stuff she already finds rote, but is finding it really hard to engage with new ideas. 

Help. What do I do? I don't want our schedule to explode like that. I should have probably cut my losses around 2 hours in, but at that point, we were deep into the "sunk costs" fallacy. Ideas for me?? 

Edited by square_25
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2 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Ugh. Today, we wound up spending something like 5 hours trying to finish a math lesson that was supposed to take a bit more than an hour (and really it had something like 10 minutes of writing, just some time for thought.) The biggest problem was that a) we had all sorts of random stuff planned on Zoom and that b) the 3 year old is running around and distracting her sister, who isn't used to it. So DD7 can certainly work on stuff she already finds rote, but is finding it really hard to engage with new ideas. 

Help. What do I do? I don't want our schedule to explode like that. I should have probably cut my losses around 2 hours in, but at that point, we were deep into the "sunk costs" fallacy. Ideas for me?? 

None of mine have ever gone to preschool, so we have always navigated school time with babies/toddlers/preschoolers under foot.

- Rotate back and forth.  Get 3 year old engaged in activity like "washing" dishes at sink.  Sit in adjacent room (with open doorway) with 7 year old for 10 minutes explaining a concept and get her working.  Return to 3 year old to play with her, add a new element to her play (like a whisk, colander, or plastic fish) and mop up the floor a bit.  Back to the 7 year old to explain the check up on her, explain the next concept, give her a chocolate chip for working so well, etc.  Back to the 3 year old.  Etc.

- Change course for now and find math that can include the 3 year old.  Play math games with the 3 year old on your team or playing with adjusted rules.  Stick pushpins in cork boards or Styrofoam or cardboard (or poke holes in cardboard) and make "spirograph" designs with string...have the 7 year old use a compass to arrange her pins or holes at specific angles.  Work with probability with dice, cards, dominoes, coins and let the 3 year old play with her own set of materials.  Or what about exploring hexaflexagons?  I know your girls don't use technology, but you could watch Vi Hart's videos and I bet the girls would both enjoy making and playing around with those.

- Utilize nap/rest time.  My 4 year old only naps every other day at this point, but I still tackle more teacher-intensive subjects with my boys on those days when they won't be distracted or hindered by the littlest.

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5 minutes ago, wendyroo said:

None of mine have ever gone to preschool, so we have always navigated school time with babies/toddlers/preschoolers under foot.

- Rotate back and forth.  Get 3 year old engaged in activity like "washing" dishes at sink.  Sit in adjacent room (with open doorway) with 7 year old for 10 minutes explaining a concept and get her working.  Return to 3 year old to play with her, add a new element to her play (like a whisk, colander, or plastic fish) and mop up the floor a bit.  Back to the 7 year old to explain the check up on her, explain the next concept, give her a chocolate chip for working so well, etc.  Back to the 3 year old.  Etc.

- Change course for now and find math that can include the 3 year old.  Play math games with the 3 year old on your team or playing with adjusted rules.  Stick pushpins in cork boards or Styrofoam or cardboard (or poke holes in cardboard) and make "spirograph" designs with string...have the 7 year old use a compass to arrange her pins or holes at specific angles.  Work with probability with dice, cards, dominoes, coins and let the 3 year old play with her own set of materials.  Or what about exploring hexaflexagons?  I know your girls don't use technology, but you could watch Vi Hart's videos and I bet the girls would both enjoy making and playing around with those.

- Utilize nap/rest time.  My 4 year old only naps every other day at this point, but I still tackle more teacher-intensive subjects with my boys on those days when they won't be distracted or hindered by the littlest.

 

Yeah, we've been lucky to have preschool. It means she gets her socializing done without me having to organize it, gets used to organized activities, and DD7 gets time to work in which it's quiet. And it's only 4 hours a day, so it's not like she doesn't get enough time with us... I like preschool! But obviously I'm going to have to learn to cope. 

I generally try to run our homeschooling in a fairly Socratic dialogue fashion, which is hard to make more compact. (And on bad days, leads to out of control sprawl, clearly.) I imagine this will be possible with both of them when the little one is a few years older, but not yet. I also don't tend to spend a lot of time explaining separate concepts -- mostly, we try to keep conversations going to make sure everything is integrated well in DD7's head. So far, I've been pleased with the results... but again, we're going to have to adapt. 

DD3.75 doesn't nap anymore, because naps led to ridiculous bedtime issues (she couldn't fall asleep for 45 minutes to an hour, no matter when I put her to bed.) I wish she did, because it would certainly make life easier, but her bedtime was unpleasant for about a year before we dropped it, and it really solved the problem. 

We're currently working on algebra (or pre-algebra? No clue what the difference is) with DD7 and also trying to get the deepest possible understanding of multiplication and division, as part of learning to work with algebraic ideas. For us, that would definitely usually involved lots of conversations. I can give her rote work that doesn't involve that for a few weeks, I'm sure, but bigger leaps are going to be hard to attain like that. And I feel like this is going to be the new normal for quite a few months, so I'm a little loath to move to a more rote model...

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36 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Ugh. Today, we wound up spending something like 5 hours trying to finish a math lesson that was supposed to take a bit more than an hour (and really it had something like 10 minutes of writing, just some time for thought.) The biggest problem was that a) we had all sorts of random stuff planned on Zoom and that b) the 3 year old is running around and distracting her sister, who isn't used to it. So DD7 can certainly work on stuff she already finds rote, but is finding it really hard to engage with new ideas. 

Help. What do I do? I don't want our schedule to explode like that. I should have probably cut my losses around 2 hours in, but at that point, we were deep into the "sunk costs" fallacy. Ideas for me?? 

Ditto to what @wendyroo said.  I have never sent any of my kids to preschool.  I have homeschooled through pregnancy, newborns, toddlers, and unfortunately (and Wendy has much worse challenges with her kids than my 1 ds) an out-of-control autistic child.

You have to find a rhythm that works for you.  You have to establish boundaries.  It takes training.  You have to create a way to function and the children have to follow through with what you establish.

I personally always spend time with my youngest kids first.  That means reading a story, playing a game, setting up with an activity, etc.  Then, I expect them to self-entertain while I work with the older kids.  (Self-entertainment--that is the essential life skill all of my children have focused training in from very early childhood.) Running around and interrupting are considered rude behaviors and are dealt with immediately.   A 3 yr old is old enough to engage in activities quietly for decent periods of time.

But, equally, all of that said, there is no way I would have a 7 yr old engaging in ANY school work for 5 hrs, ever, but neither would I plan math for more than about 30-45 mins total for a 7 yr old b/c their entire day wouldn't come to more than 2 to 2 1/2 hrs.  So finding time to school with a 7 yr old around an active 3 yr old would simply be adjusting our day around the 3 yr old's energy level.  If the 3rd yr old is really busy in the morning, I would roll with it and wait and do school a little later when they are more able to sit down and engage quietly vs. forcing the issue. 

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1 minute ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

But, equally, all of that said, there is no way I would have a 7 yr old engaging in ANY school work for 5 hrs, ever, but neither would I plan math for more than about 30-45 mins total for a 7 yr old b/c their entire day wouldn't come to more than 2 to 2 1/2 hrs.  So finding time to school with a 7 yr old around an active 3 yr old would simply be adjusting our day around the 3 yr old's energy level.  If the 3rd yr old is really busy in the morning, I would roll with it and wait and do school a little later when they are more able to sit down and engage quietly vs. forcing the issue. 

 

We normally do about 2-3 hours of schoolwork in the morning, and then she does music at night. So this was just a disaster of epic proportions. I mostly like our schedule the way it is, with DD3.75 out of the house, and I wouldn't change it if I had the choice. As you may have noticed, we currently don't have any kind of choice. We're all stuck at home. Last time we went out, I got so annoyed at people being careless I decided not to go out again for at least a bit, until they shut NYC down entirely (which is coming pretty darn soon.) Obviously, part of the problem is that we're all stir-crazy and the adult anxiety is going through the roof. Thankfully, the kids don't seem to be anxious, although I'm sure a little bit is filtering through to them. 

What I need is to find a schedule that works for MY style of homeschooling. It needs to work with DD3.75 around, but it also needs to fit what I'd like to communicate to my kids. And right now, I'm having trouble figuring out how to make that possible.

 

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10 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

You have to find a rhythm that works for you.  You have to establish boundaries.  It takes training.  You have to create a way to function and the children have to follow through with what you establish.

 

The problem is that it's hard to become invested in this idea, when I actually LOVE what we normally have! DD3.75 loves her play-based preschool. I love having her out of the house while the big girl is studying. I had no wish to change this! I don't want this! 

It's hard to deal with shifting plans when they were forced onto you. And I also have no idea how long this is going to last -- I'm sure it's going to be months, but I'm really hoping it's not going to be years, and it's hard to make major changes to our routines given this lack of predictability... 

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1 minute ago, square_25 said:

 

We normally do about 2-3 hours of schoolwork in the morning, and then she does music at night. So this was just a disaster of epic proportions. I mostly like our schedule the way it is, with DD3.75 out of the house, and I wouldn't change it if I had the choice. As you may have noticed, we currently don't have any kind of choice. We're all stuck at home. Last time we went out, I got so annoyed at people being careless I decided not to go out again for at least a bit, until they shut NYC down entirely (which is coming pretty darn soon.) Obviously, part of the problem is that we're all stir-crazy and the adult anxiety is going through the roof. Thankfully, the kids don't seem to be anxious, although I'm sure a little bit is filtering through to them. 

What I need is to find a schedule that works for MY style of homeschooling. It needs to work with DD3.75 around, but it also needs to fit what I'd like to communicate to my kids. And right now, I'm having trouble figuring out how to make that possible.

 

WHich is why I said you need to find a rhythm that works for you.  But, in essence, it is all going to boil down to training your kids.  You are not the only parent out there who teaches their kids via Socratic dialogue.  Many homeschoolers with large families do and make it work.  It can't work if the younger kids don't cooperate.  Homeschooling is not an individual affair.  It is a family one.  It is why I always share that homeschooling isn't school at home but a lifestyle.  The dynamics of how a family interacts is going to have a major impact on its ability to function.

Your focus is most likely going to have to be on your 3 yr old right now, not your 7 yr old, bc your 3 yr old needs to learn how to adjust to your new normal.  

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Just now, 8FillTheHeart said:

WHich is why I said you need to find a rhythm that works for you.  But, in essence, it is all going to boil down to training your kids.  You are not the only parent out there who teaches their kids via Socratic dialogue.  Many homeschoolers with large families do and make it work.  It can't work if the younger kids don't cooperate.  Homeschooling is not an individual affair.  It is a family one.  It is why I always share that homeschooling isn't school at home but a lifestyle.  The dynamics of how a family interacts is going to have a major impact on its ability to function.

Your focus is most likely going to have to be on your 3 yr old right now, not your 7 yr old, bc your 3 yr old needs to learn how to adjust to your new normal.  

 

I just don't know how much work I want to put into training my 3 year old into behaving better, when I am sure she'll grow out of it naturally and I'm hoping she can go to preschool next year. But I see your point. What do you think would be good activities for her to do while I'm working with DD7? I like the dishwashing idea @wendyroo suggested... maybe we could also do Play-Doh, if Amazon doesn't run out :-P. Any other thoughts? Most things don't occupy her for that long. I could read to her, but that's obviously not compatible with working with DD7 on harder topics.

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You can make playdough at home very simply.  https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/playdough-recipe/ 

Does she have ouzzles/toys/games/building materials that she plays with?  Give her a box with door and windows cut out and let her decorate a house for some of her toys. (My little kids have made houses for Calico Critters, Pet Shops, ponies, small plastic figuirines, etc. 

If she doesn't normally play, set up a reward system and a timer.  If she plays with an activity for  starting with something like 10-15 mins, she receives a reward.  If she cleans it up, she receives a reward.  If she waits patiently at your side without interrupting, she receives a reward.

Expecting a very young child who is used to being told what to do when and does not know how to self-regulate activities and self-entertaink for extended periods to all of a sudden adjust without help is completely unrealistic.  You are going to have to help her by providing activities, rewarding the desired behaviors, and encouraging her to play on her own.

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1 minute ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

You can make playdough at home very simply.  https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/playdough-recipe/ 

Does she have ouzzles/toys/games/building materials that she plays with?  Give her a box with door and windows cut out and let her decorate a house for some of her toys. (My little kids have made houses for Calico Critters, Pet Shops, ponies, small plastic figuirines, etc. 

If she doesn't normally play, set up a reward system and a timer.  If she plays with an activity for  starting with something like 10-15 mins, she receives a reward.  If she cleans it up, she receives a reward.  If she waits patiently at your side without interrupting, she receives a reward.

Expecting a very young child who is used to being told what to do when and does not know how to self-regulate activities and self-entertaink for extended periods to all of a sudden adjust without help is completely unrealistic.  You are going to have to help her by providing activities, rewarding the desired behaviors, and encouraging her to play on her own.

 

I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that she doesn't play. She plays most of the day and usually spends her time largely in activities she picks herself or picks out with her sister. She also gets plenty of independent play at preschool, which is a child-led one and is only 4 hours a day, anyway. 

We spend plenty of time at home together and she's an independent little kiddo. She plays plenty. However, she's used to having a playmate in her sister. It's not that she can't play by herself if her sister isn't around (that happens plenty during her sister's activities), it's that she's not used to her playmate being at home but unavailable. So she keeps bothering DD7 to play with her. 

 

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1 minute ago, square_25 said:

 

I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that she doesn't play. She plays most of the day and usually spends her time largely in activities she picks herself or picks out with her sister. She also gets plenty of independent play at preschool, which is a child-led one and is only 4 hours a day, anyway. 

We spend plenty of time at home together and she's an independent little kiddo. She plays plenty. However, she's used to having a playmate in her sister. It's not that she can't play by herself if her sister isn't around (that happens plenty during her sister's activities), it's that she's not used to her playmate being at home but unavailable. So she keeps bothering DD7 to play with her. 

 

Since she knows how to play, you simply need to train her to not interrupt and play by herself.  Should be very simple based on the above post.  Spend a day training her to not interrupt her sister and that when you are teaching, she cannot interrupt you.

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