Today is Friday. We've MADE it! Five days down, only 175 more to go! Our first full week of homeschool for the school year... and boy am I glad it's Friday!!! My overall feeling is that it went really well. When I asked the girls how they felt, they said "It was Awesome!"... doesn't get much better than that :-)
Isabella's orange tree I just had to share... the blue and white swirls are "representations of the wind" according to my little Picasso.
I was actually nervous that I had over-planned and things would be too regimented. Thus far, I have been very laid-back in planning and implementation. I was trying out all different approaches, curriculums and schedules over this last year. I think that was great because it helped us all to see what we like and what we don't...
What we seem to have been lacking over the past year that we apparently needed was structure and schedule. I tend to be good at planning, but not too great at follow-through. This week was the definition of "follow-through" in my eyes, and I feel like I was greatly rewarded! I've learned that both of the girls THRIVE when they know what is expected, what's coming next, what the rewards are and what the punishments will be. I've always KNOWN that but I didn't realize the depth of the importance.
Each day I got up nice and early (except this morning, but we had less to do). I had my coffee and time with the Lord while the girls woke up slowly and got ready for the day (and they knew just what they needed to do with the little printable I'm going to share!). I fixed our breakfast and we ate. We then had yoga, CC Review, Bible, Math, Reading, Lunch, then 1-2 hours of additional work (writing, grammar, handwriting, history, science, geo... varies by the day). Getting off on that very firm footing of expectations, schedule and reward first thing of the morning was quite the magic bullet.
The girls LOVE the routine we developed of using the essential oils in the diffuser to wake up (peppermint and lemon). Then, after we wake our minds up and warm our bodies up with some yoga and slight conditioning, we apply Peace & Calming to their feet (and the back of Kali's neck). If anything hurts, I apply Lavender or PanAway and they LOVE it! We then diffuse Peace & Calming while we work. In the evenings they won't let me forget the Valor on their spines or the Lavender on their feet :-) We used Thieves while Kali was sick.
This time of stretching, moving, and physical closeness is just precious. We then have a sweet time of prayer where we ask the Lord for His blessings of wisdom, attention, focus and hard work (among other things). This sets everyone's attitude and mind right on track!
Then our hard work proceeded and BOY did they work hard. Kali's attention has grown by leaps and bounds. So much so, and so quickly, that I can't help but wonder if the essential oils aren't playing a role. We continued some reading into the summer and slacked off inthe middle of July. It seems odd to me that her ability to sit still, read and listen has gone from 5 minutes to 45 minutes in just a month or so without the essential oils playing a role.
We do have frequent breaks between classes, but math is lasting almost 45-50 minutes. She isn't super happy by the end, but she is still maintaining self-control and attention (and putting forth effort). I NEVER expected this... though that's our secret :-) She is exceeding my expectations in every way in effort, attention and ability; and I am SO proud of her and feeling exceedingly BLESSED! I also give a ton of credit to the red/yellow/green system
AND the tickets. They L.O.V.E. the tickets!
Today, we had our first practice spelling test. A month ago, after the third or fourth word, she would've grown frustrated and impatient. She sat there and patiently worked HARD at spelling 15 words that she only learned this week. For me to say I am praising the LORD for His hand in this is an understatement. Here's her hard work:
Still working on not sticking random capital letters into words ;-)
Lastly, a goodie for you. I had a few folks request some of the printables I sharedin pictures earlier in the week for our homeschool organization. Today, I only had time to get this one to you. It's the "What to Do?" daily checklist my girls receive each morning at breakfast to keep them on track for the day. Kali doesn't pay much attention except for first thing in the morning, but Isabella walks around with it lol. She checks off all her little tasks for the day ;-)
Also the Daily Docket that I've been using for some time now comes from the awesome chick over at Simplemom.net (
to a couple of different versions).
I'm going to work on my daily homeschool schedule printable and upload it in a bit. It needs to be a bit more "generic" for others to be able to use it. Stay tuned!!!
Blessings & Love!