Thursday, June 17, 2010

Scheduling woes and triumphs.

So, Scheduling has been a huge struggle of mine... i'm the kind of person who THRIVES on schedules, but naturally has a hard time making it happen. Sort of like an odd left/right brain combo. Perhaps its because my eyes are brown around the pupil and green around the brown, like i'm destined to be constantly in a state of inner conflict. Or maybe not. Anyway, I remember as a kid, my happiest times ever were at summer camp, partly because i was away from my parents, partly because i just LOVED the feeling of the solid schedule they had going on, everything was so nice and predictable.

Now, however, with 7 children, NOTHING is predictable. I can't tell from day to day if someone is going to be sick, or someone screaming for no explicable reason. I can't tell if Elliott is going to be up half the night with the aforementioned random screaming. There's a point between 5 and 6 hours of sleep a night where i just plan become unfunctional. I am a person who's always tended to sleep more than the average person, and i suspect i'd do best with about 8-9 hours, but that goal seems a world away right now. I've found that if i try to tough it out, and stick with my schedule despite lack of sleep, i tend to make myself sick, usually mastitis, which is so devastating and nasty. For me, its really hard to tell the difference between me being lazy and me being legitimately in need of a rest, but i'm getting there slowly. Anyway, Scheduling, has thus been a real problem. I can't tell for certain where i'm going to be at 8 am, 2 pm, or 4 pm on any particular day.

So, out of need of order and inability to make a good functioning schedule that I was truly able to follow, i adopted this emergency schedule plan. Emergency because it is possible to work around all the chaos and i hope to soon give it up (this fall perhaps?!?) and get back to a more solid routine, but in the mean time here it is!

Ok, so we get up in the morning, I get the babies dressed, or at least diapers changed, Asher gets fed, Elliott already nursed half the night and isn't hungry till 11 or so. Then i set up my light therapy light, have breakfast, do my bible study and my suplementary book. Right now, i'm reading "Created to be his helpmeet" Well, i WAS reading it till it disappeared this weekend, ARGH! hopefully i'll find it soon! Anyhoo... so i get all that done, make sure all the big kids are up, dressed and fed, and once all that is done, i go to my markerboard and make a schedule. Sometimes i'll do it for the full day, sometimes just up until lunch. here's what today's looked like. You can click on it to make it bigger. (notice the late start!!)

This summer the kids are doing schoolwork but only math, reading, and science. I'm ommitting anything i'm needed for because i need time to lesson plan and have a good solid break. So basically, I schedule an hour for Alex for science (he got behind this year and needs to finish biology before August) and a half hour for everything else. Each child should get a reading time, a math time and a science time. Also, i have a child schedule to help me with the twins at all times, that way i always have a helper, which i've found is helpful in maintaining my sanity. usually school is done before lunch, and they get the chores done, which is cleaning up after lunch and cleaning the living area, and then they get to play Wii. Sometimes i'll add extra duties or extra school if WII time is in danger of coming too fast, since i don't want them to spend half the day on the Wii!!!

Anyway, its been working beautifully the last 2 weeks and thought i'd share in case anyone else was in difficult times or just wanted a good easy summer schedule. Do you have any scheduling tips or ideas to make your life more workable? i'd love to hear about it!!!


Yesterday was a semi-rite of passage in our family. It was the Kids for Christ annual picnic. Not such a big deal except for a couple things, first our family friend Darcy was promoted to the youth group age, much to Nik's dismay, she's his bff, and Chloe was promoted IN to KFC, which has been a LOOOOONG time coming. She and big brother Nik are really close, and she would ALWAYS want to come with him. I let her come a couple times but word got back to me that that was NOT acceptable. I guess "bring a friend" doesn't include one's sibling!" So now, NO BATTLES, YAY! Here's a few pics from last night... it would have been lots of fun, had i not some major unresolved issues with a particular person that made me really uncomfortable the whole time, but that notwithstanding, the kids had a blast.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

comstock's handbook of nature study

If you are not familiar with this book, its an AMAZING resource. It can be purchased at a number of places, but is also available in its entirety online for *FREE* here I wanted to post this as soon as i saw it on The Graham family blog which i'll also be adding to my blog list on the side. Anyway, check out this blog for great summer activities using the handbook for nature studies.