Sunday, March 7, 2010

My To Do List

 I like to have a To Do list for each day. Most mornings I sit down with the kids at breakfast and we make a plan for the day for each of us. Everyone gets a piece of paper and a marker and I pass out chore assignments, school assignments, and my plans for the day. I may not even look at my list again until evening, and then be surprised that not much is left undone.

My list stays pretty simple. It is not divided into minutes or even hours, I just simply list 5-10 things I really want to get done. I then note which can wait until another day and which need to be done today. I always put one or two things I would just enjoy doing, like crafting or playing a game. These things may not meet a specific goal, but they give me something to look forward to as the day goes forward.

I have tried a timed schedule: Scripture memory work from 7:30-7:45; spelling with Maggie, while Kirk does math and little guys play with playdoh from 7:45-8:20; 8:20-9:00: math for Maggie, Geography for Kirk, little guys play in living room etc. This just doesn’t work for our family. If I try to help Kirk with math, Maggie needs help with spelling, and the little guys really don’t want to play with playdoh, they want to play cars in Kirk’s room or go outside or anything that isn’t on the schedule. Or if they play with playdoh, MT throws FRitW’s playdoh on the floor and I have to go stop the argument. By the time we find the correct page in the math book it is time for geography, or lunch, or it is the next morning!

Instead we keep it flexible. If it is pouring rain in the morning, we try to get school type work done early and leave time to play outside later, but if it is a beautiful morning, we might head outside and play until lunch and get some school done during naps. This allows us to be so much more successful because I am not stressed by the interruptions, but can enjoy the spontaneity of living with these children we have been blessed with.

So, this afternoon, I will spend preparing for this week. I will plan activities to fill the teachable moments that appear, and be prepared to have as much fun as they do this week. We will cook, sew, craft, plant, dig, run, and ride bikes. We will read and play games. Most of what we do will not look like school, but they, and I, will learn. And next Sunday, I will look back and be surprised again that not much is left undone.


mimi said...

How utterly normal and amusing your post is and the pictures are so cute. Don't you wish all kids could have this time with Mom and each other, learning by playing as well as sit down at the table learning and just having a lot of real fun play time without worry of getting dirty? No standing in lines, being carbon copies of everyone else. They can be themselves, which I know is sometimes amazingly hilarious and sometimes downright maddening.

I remember when ya'll went to school each year, the start of summer was a time of learning all over again that you weren't robots, having to stand in those lines and be carbon copies, but you had a chance to be free, to get dirty, to be silly, some days to play all day and some days to work all day, but always something different to do each week. Getting to sleep in and just spend time with brothers and sisters, both fighting and playing happily. I really wish I had known about homeschooling. Ya'll probably would have been happier with that; even though Papa and I did volunteer in the schools, it wasn't the same. I love ya'll. Have fun today!
love, mimi

Jill said...

Thanks for the schedule info... this will work better for us too.... I had forgotten it could be so easy. Daphne made her list today and ended up learning about shells and coral and reefs because she was playing "Scooby Doo" which was on her list of fun!! I love spontaneous learning!

mimi said...

Daphne really should share about what she had for lunch after your shells and coral and reefs learning. I thought it was pretty interesting!
love, mom