After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Multitasking and Finding a Rhythm

In September, when we started homeschooling, we had such a nice rhythm and schedule.  Kian took two naps a day, his first at 10am.  From the time the kids woke in the morning until Kian's first nap, we would eat breakfast, do chores, and play.  Once Kian went down, I schooled Logan (K) and Felicity (pre-K) together in the playroom.  Kian would normally sleep for two hours giving us plenty of time to accomplish all the school stuff I wanted to each day....singing songs, paperwork, crafts, reading, etc.  We could move at such a relaxed pace.  However, as the school year went on, Kian napped less in the mornings.  Our morning school time got shorter and shorter.  I started doing the crafts, songs, and more informal things in the morning with Lissy and Logan, and then schooling Logan on the more formal stuff in the afternoon when Kian and Lissy napped.  I didn't love this plan as that afternoon nap time was usually my time to get things done or just rest, but I had to fit in school so that's what we did.  Later in the Fall, my thyroid crashed and so did I.  School became hit or miss.  Thank goodness Kindergarten is a freebie year.  I hated not having a schedule but I was in survival mode.  During this time I discovered and embraced "Unschooling" by using teachable moments and child led learning to accomplish school.  We stopped singing our daily songs, and less boring paperwork was done, but often just going into the yard produced lessons that I just ran with.  The holidays came and with them, a break from school.  By the time the holidays were over, my thyroid was better and I was finally on meds that were helping.  However, by this time, Kian had now stopped napping completely in the mornings.  Every time I'd try to implement a schedule, someone would get sick.  For the whole month of January, there was always someone sick.  Again, I relied on the more informal Unschooling when the moments presented themselves.  And here we are in February.  This month I am learning to let go of my rest time in the afternoons and utilize that time for school.  Some days I need a break so I've learned to set Logan up with an independent project next to me as I sew.  This seems to work well.  I'm also learning to include Kian in things such as clay play, while at the same time making sure to incorporate Logan's school curriculum into the clay play.  I think we will still be learning balance this month but hopefully by March we will have figured out some sort of rhythm that we can start sticking to.  In the mean time, I'm working on scheduling our days to be the most productive as possible while meeting everyone's needs.  If there's one thing I've learned about homeschooling so far, its that you have to be willing to go with the flow when needed, and you must be willing to change.  That's the beauty of homeschool though.  Life changes and when homeschooling, you can just change the schooling to match your new phase of life.  Bring it on. I think I'm ready.  :)

Here's Logan making letters in a tray of salt at the end of my material yardage I was working with.

And while I sewed on that yardage, he worked next to me putting his letter cards in alphabetical order.
We're learning.


  1. It does seem like quite a lot to balance with everyone at different places! And, like everything with kids, once you think you have it figured out, something changes and you have to start over. Keeps us on our toes!
    Good luck and make sure to get in a little you time!

  2. really great post- the words came to my mind: "if there's one thing I learned about homeschooling, it's to be flexible!" Then I read your words a second later, almost the same thing! It is so true- especially with such an array of ages! Have you read "Homeschooling Our Children, Unschooling Ourselves?" I'm re-reading it now and it is very validating. . .

  3. Melanie, I haven't read that book but I read on your blog that you were and I was curious about it. :) I love the idea of unschooling, but can't get over the anxiety of needing to feel "documented", if you know what I mean.

  4. I am in the exact place with you with my oldest Kindergarten-aged, my middle preschool and my youngest a very active and baby. In the beginning of the year, I really tried "school" the Montessori way with a work cycle, but the baby dropped his morning naps and so forth and we had to change things a lot. But in the long scheme of things, babies are only babies for a short while and the rhythm can be readjusted. My homeschooling friend with eight children always reminds me that the children don't even remember much of what you do in the early years so she doesn't worry about it anymore!

  5. I do know what you mean about documenting! I am lucky that the state I am in allows photographs as documentation. Also, husband is a certified teacher and he is able to fill out paperwork for our children at the end of the year- a "teach report." and since he knows very well all the work they've done and what they have learned and accomplished (without needing much solid proof in the form of worksheets and whatnot) it works out very well for us!

  6. Melanie, it sounds like you have a good set up. Since this is our first formal year of homeschool, but it's still concidered a "free" year (Kinder), I haven't looked into what exactly I DO need as far as documentation for our state. That will be done this summer in prep for 1st grade. I hope pictures work here because I take a LOT. I taught briefly before having kids but have been a stay at home mom since Logan was born. I let my credential expire knowing I wouldn't go back to teaching for MANY years, if ever. To keep it active, I'd have to take more classes and log hours in a classroom, so that's why I didn't keep it active. We shall see. We're just beginning to figure this all out.