Next stop China

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Solution to Our Homeschool Chaos

I will admit it, I have been about to pull my hair out doing school this year. It has been soooo hard with the boys who are now 27 months and 16 months old.
They are good boys, but even while being good, they make a ton of noise. I have tried every which way to get school in.
*Try to let all 3 girls work on their work at the same time. This requires me to read instructions for pages, teach new concepts, check to make sure it was done correctly, etc. All the while two little boys are banging toys together, banging heads together, saying "mama watch" on and on and on. I am the type of person who cannot talk or think straight with chaos and noise going on around me. So this hasn't worked real well.
*Send one girl into their bedroom/outside with the boys to watch cartoons/entertain them while I work with the other two then switch around. This normally results in boy meltdowns and fights and screaming within about 2 minutes of closing them up in their bedroom. And if they happen to be getting along, then it is because they are stomping/dancing/yelling loudly etc. and back to my first problem.. I don't think well with noise.
*Wait until noon to start school when the boys go down for their 3 hour nap. Then squeeze in as much as possible in this 3 hour window while being quiet as mice so not to wake the boys up. Unfortunately, by this time of day, we just ate lunch, we all are sleepy and the girls just don't work as fast or effectively starting this late in the day.
After another pulling hair out morning on Monday, I sat on the couch to weigh my options
1. put the girls in school since the chaos is driving me bonkers. (thrown out fast, not an option)
2. put the boys in some kind of Mother's day out/ daycare for the mornings so we can get school done. However, there was the cost involved and the fact that they would most likely bring home a new illness every week.
3.continue in the chaos
Then I came up with a brilliant plan....
I don't know why it didn't come to me earlier.
Mom doesn't work fulltime and needs money. I need a peacefull 2-3 hours each morning for school. I could pay her to watch the boys, it would be cheaper than daycare, it is someone I trust, AND they wouldn't be bringing home illnesses.
So I called her and worked it out where I will pay her to watch the boys every morning for 2-3 hours. After we get up, we will eat breakfast, work a little on chores and then take the boys over to Mom's only a mile away. Then come straight back, work hard on school, get finished in 2-3 hours and go pick the boys up in time for their naps. Eat lunch, put them down for their 3 hour naps and then we can finish any school we have left.
We are on day 2 of this and it is working out wonderfully!!!!
We get done with school well within 3 hours. except maybe some history reading I do myself, so the kids can relax on the couch while I read during naptime.
It is amazing how fast you can do school when you can sit in quiet and focus on the task at hand and not be interrupted 1000 times.
Yesterday, we got done and went to the library, just me and the girls before picking the boys up.
Today, we got done with school and I wanted to walk, it was so pretty, so we packed up the stroller and a bike picked up Seth and went to the park. Left Ethan at Grandma's to take his nap. I walked 2 miles. The kids walked and played for a while and came home and put Seth to bed. So nice to spend the afternoon enjoying the kids/relaxing, etc. instead of rushing to work on school that has drug out all day long. Hope this can continue.

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