Last week, as I anticipated the completion of the majority of our books this year, I also made a schedule that would be our guide on our daily homeschool. I am out of the house until around 9-ish in the morning, so the plan is to start at 10:00am. While I am out, the kids are expected to finish breakfast and house chores.
Our schedule is posted near our working table next to the "house rules" the kids themselves imposed upon themselves. I saw every cool graphics-based schedule for small kids where instead of words, pictures are used to depict the tasks. I think that would be a nice idea for my youngest.
No matter how much we plan though, there are times when I have to unavoidably be out for longer hours, like last Thursday. As a result, the kids were barely able to finish anything. Okay, day off for them. So we had a catch-up session yesterday, Friday, even though it was our off day.
We started with the lessons late in the morning after we finished with our gardening. Chore after chore, kids calling one after the other. At one point, I felt my head was going to explode.
Fortunately, my eldest is already an independent learner. I just need to check on him from time to time, otherwise, he works alone.
For the two smaller ones, we do lots of lesson integrations into one session. This is a real lifesaver! This catch-up session was Science, Bible, and Arts all in one.
Play Dough To The Rescue
I have lots of other tasks to finish and the kids are already conditioned to do their lessons. So I made my special weapon that is designed to get kids to co-exist peacefully while we still achieve our goals for the day.
My lifesaver? A mixture of all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and hot water. Yup! Instant playdough there! Next is to put food coloring to create the colors that the kids will be able to use for their "creations".
To mold things that are God-made and man-made. Our Bible and Mistery of History lessons are about The Creation, while Science is all about seeing colors.
Little Miss created "snow-capped mountains" (see that blue hump with a yellow coat on top?), trees, and river. These belong to the "God-made" category.
That yellow pole standing in the middle is a "crane" trying to lift a giant watermelon. 😅 The crane, of course, belongs to the "man-made" category.
Here's a close up of that "watermelon".
"Imagine these yellow dots are the black seeds," Little Miss said. 🤓 Okay, ma'am, black it is!
Little Man, on the other hand, was supposed to make small bits of play dough that he needed to stick on to his name. The goal was to practice fine motor skills and familiarize himself with our last name (so far, he only knows how to write his first names).
Needless to say, he had other things in mind. He made a "trampoline".
Little Miss thought of giving the Little Man a color recognition exercise. She gave him colored stickers which he needed to match with his colored play dough. She gave him a perfect score! Yey!
You give them play dough and they will be immersed completely, doing all sorts of shapes and whathamacallits without trying to kill each other. This worked well for me as I was able to finish cooking lunch without having to act as a referee.
While I was coming to serve lunch, these two presented their work -- popsicles and yummy ice cream!
Little Mister made the popsicles on the red container, while Little Miss even added ice shavings to her ice cream! Sweet!
All's Well That Ends Well
It's been a hectic weekend and the days preceding that were stressful. The tension was high and these almost ate me up. Glad though, that we made it through and even capped the week in an artistic way.
Surely, with proper time management and planning, things will be less chaotic. There are days when things may not go as per plan. I try to be more forgiving to myself. As for now, I can say, "Play dough saved the day. Again."
How about you, how's homeschooling so far?