Mar 2, 2007

How do you do it?

Got the latest issue of the homeschool court report in recently (this is a publication of the Home School Legal Defense Association), and in it they were asking for members thougts on a subject I would really like to hear your comments on, all 3 or 4 of you who read this blog, please leave a comment! :)
From the magazine...

How do you do it?
How do you entertain younger children while teaching older children?
Or juggle carpooling to soccer practice, cooking dinner and supervising your child's science project? Do you take the Summer off, or school all the way through, or use the summer months for trips and outdoor exploration?

I know that, for us, teaching's a little hairy ( who ever came up with that saying??) these days but that's only because Gracie is still in the just-hitting-1 stage~ you know, the eat everything off the ground I can find, try to kill myself a million times a day by climbing everything I can find, beginning to try out temper-tantrum throwing, and the I'm only taking 15 minute naps now stage.... or is that just us? Lol Don't even get me started on 'I am now going to be fully awake for at least an hour every night again'; my servants heart is really being developed as we speak :)
Soon, this too, shall pass.
I'm really enjoying the pleasurable aspects of this stage- which far outweigh the hard work. The little personality starting to coem out, being able to laugh and joke with her, teaching her words for things, watching her grow and learn with bright eyed ferver! There are a million more things I could list. But anyways!

Still would love to hear anyone's tips/ideas for homeschooling with a toddler and a baby. There must be some of you who do it? Or have done it?

When we were in the 4 yr. old and the older school-age child stage, things were much less hectic. But it still had it's challenging moments. I remember Josh wanting to play with Ty, knowing that he was home, but not comprehending why he could not play since he was here! But he learned to respect Ty's school time and it was such a blessing that we have a door that we shut to keep our kitchen closed off ( does anyone else have this in their homes?) and Ty could work at thr table, without Josh streaking through with his superman cape ( er, towel lol ) on every few minutes. I would never send Ty to work alone upstairs at his desk- that just would not work for us. Not for now, anyways. I would flit between the kitchen and the rest of the house, doing colors and numbers and letters with Josh and grades 3, and then grade 4, with Ty. I was even baby sitting other people's children a lot of that time.

One thing we definately do is keep homeschooling going all year ~ but not all the subjects formally, just Science. Summer is the perfect time for Science! Everything's abuzz outside, there are tadpoles and bird nests and butterfly larvae and creeks and bugs galore- and it's the best time, IMO, for field trips. Obviously, especially outdoors one's. We haven't done a Summer-long camp thing for awhile, and even if we could afford one-it's hard to find one that we would really want to send our kids off to, all day long. Even if there were, it's so much better having them home with me. That way I can teach them 'along the way', all day ;)
Just Nolde Forest alone- our home away from home in the Summer time lol- is a bevy of learning and fun for the boys, and I know Grace will love it, too. If your there this Summer, see you there!:)

We also used the crock pot alot when I had school myself at night, and when Ty had Soccer practices. I'd just start dinner in the morning, instead of around 4 or 5pm. That was a big help. Of course, us home schooler's don't have to plan our entire days around the school's schedule, so that helps us be creative with our own schedules quite a bit :)

Wow, I didn't mean for this to be such a long post... I really am 'verbose' ;) !


Dani said...

Well Stacey I don't know how much you want me to write, but the very first thing is that I can't do it all. Only by God's grace on me each morning can I ever do any of it. Now for me to remind myself of that every time I feel panic-y that I am not doing it all.
there are a few things that I do try to do. First is very very few errands or outside the home stuff. The kids get so excited if we go anywhere because it is a rare treat. Once a month we hit the discount groceries, and i try to fit in the regular shopping either around seven at night, or early saturday morning. The more time we are at home, the more we can seem to get done. We only have one non-church related activity-nate's cubscouts. That takes up two monday evenings a month. We haven't allowed sports because of the time commitment.

I have never homeschooled without a baby around. I don't know what I would do! I use the play-pen alot. A video for the toddlers and just understand there are going to be lots of interruptions. If we get done a whole lesson in one sitting it is wonderful here. I save some things for naptime, like Bible and history. I can get thru alot with Nate at that time. I also have snack time at eleven for all the kids (and me, not that I need it, but usually the third cup of coffee is ness. about then :0 )
I can email you more if you would like.
Hey, I just figured out (actually Joel did) what your little <3 is !
I didn't know what in the world you meant, less than three?? See the math teacher in me comes out. It is a heart, right?!

Sarah said...

Stacy -

Thanks for your comments! I'm glad God has blessed you with the ability to homeschool...I was homeschooled all the way through and loved it! It is absolutely a worthwhile struggle (as I know it is for parents) emotionally and financially - if your children do not thank you now they will. The public school system offers nothing in comparision. Anyway, I am familiar with Sovereign Grace, I have really enjoyed their resources. I don't go to the church regularly, although I have been and really enjoyed the service. My family is attending a different church right now, so I'm going there. I'm afraid I can't give many tips on homeschooling with little ones, as I haven't done it yet, I can only say my mom has done it and as her frequent assistant I know it is very challenging! But, as I said before, it is completely worth it (which will probably be a more relevant statement during the high school years ;).

Keep on loving those beautiful babies!

in Him,

staceyhoff said...

A big Thank You! to both of you, Danielle and Sarah, for your very encouraging comments! :)

It is a good thing to see how other parents are doing it :)

Thanks for both of your words about how even despite all the challenges for time and quiet -lol!- homeschool still can be succesful with God's grace upon it.

I was having a moment of feeling overwhlemed there! Thanks for saying how you have always done this with a baby, Danielle, it will help me to remember that you are doing this with a baby too by God's grace,and! That His grace is sufficient for me.! Every time I think I am finally starting to 'get it' about abounding and abasing- I realize No! I don't fully get it after all! Ha Ha
We are all so glad that God is such a patient father and that His grace is so strong.

Thanks Sarah for letting me see what it was like for a moment for a mother's helper with homeschooling - and to 'hear' you say that it's so worth it to do, even - especially- throughout high school- I have often felt that God is going to tell us to homeschool all the way through. We will see what happens as we go! :)