Now that it is party way through November, I can say that, while it's not perfect, I am very happy with where we are in our daily routine of life and learning. I see major progress from last year. I see us loving the learning process together. We get into good books and learn so much from them. It's very exciting for me. :)
I feel the area that needs the most work at the moment is the chores. For some reason I'm having a hard time with figuring out what they should look like. But we are getting there, definitely progressing. Attitude is so important, I have to make sure I'm going about it the right way. I want to see joy in learning, and character building and skill learning in the chores.
This is what our general routine is at the moment.
8:00 Eat breakfast (we eat anywhere between 7:30 and 9, depending on when the kids wake up and how long it takes to make breakfast, I just picked 8:00 as a starting point)
8:30 I read 2 or 3 stories from Egermeirs while the kids finish breakfast.
9:00 I do dishes and clean up while the kids do their chores. Right now one washes the toilet/sink/floor while the other changes the cat litter and sweeps the kitchen. Needs work, eh? :)
9:20 We sit down at the kitchen table and I look over their Saxon math books to see what concepts they need to know. If they know them, I don't usually do too much, if they don't know it, then we'll work on it, using manipulates from the kit mostly. I also go over the Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. Myia knows most of it, so I go over a few lessons so she understands the rules she already seems to be able to follow. Samuel can't get past the sounds of letters, so we just sound out a few words together and I ask him what sounds a few letters make. The whole thing takes from 10-30 minutes. We esp love making things with the manipulatives and counting the bears while learning math.
9:40 We lay down and read a few chapters from a book. When we're done, we write about it in our Book Reports. We have read a few American Girl books, a few Littles books, some history books (chapter type books mostly) and some other cute books I have collected along the way.
10:00 This is the kids favorite time. We call it 'half hours' and basically, I set the timer and each child gets half an hour (or less depending what time it actually is, what the plans are for the morning, etc.) with me to do whatever they want. Or, I reserve the right to choose if I think they should be doing something specific. Samuel pretty much always chooses to lay on his floor and play with his Hot Wheel cars. It's not my favorite, but he loves it and talks about it all the time. It really seems to be filling a need. Myia and I tend to do things like crafts, puzzles, games, etc. It's fun and special for all of us.
11-1 Kids play while I prepare lunch.
1:00 We eat lunch as a family. Sometimes we read parts of a proverbs and talk about a verse or two.
1:30-2:30 They each play their computer games for half an hour.
2:30-3:00 We don't always do this, but I try to read some more of the book we are reading.
And that pretty much is our schedule. Drew is gone for the afternoon, so we run errands if necessary. I try to get to the library once a week with the kids. And we read 20 minutes or so before they go to bed. Myia also is allowed to read in her bed until 9:15 and she reads a lot then. It's fun to listen when she doesn't know I'm there. She is getting to be an amazing reader. And her sudoku skills are downright embarrassing! She won't let me write in her book because her handwriting is neater then mine (no joke) and she allows me to help, but doesn't nearly need it. Crazy!
All in all, Drew and I are pleased with how we are progressing as a family. I spend a few hours reading most days. Maybe not as varied as would be wise, but I am advancing my own 'Scholar Phase' and even Drew is starting to read more 'useful' books and enjoy them.
I still have a lot of things I want to do, but I have learned that slow change is better then fast, as it's more long-lasting.
Progress is good.....