Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Changes, Learning, and Routine

Ah, routine. It’s a beautiful thing. It doesn’t seem to be very blog worthy, though. Our days consist of chores, school, swimming, and whatever evening activities present themselves.

Chores: The time has come again to redistribute and reorganize. It just has to be done every now and then as kids grow up and schedules change. Our most recent system was put in place when we first moved to Almyra. And, believe it or not, that has been nearly a year! Wow!

In that “nearly a year,” we have adjusted our school schedule twice and all three kids have grown more competent when it comes to helping around the house. None moreso than Steven, though, so we are working to really incorporate him more into the major chore system rather than just designating him as a helper.

One chore change required us to do a DSCF0179wee bit of kitchen rearranging. We have had the plates, cups, and serving bowls we most frequently use stored up in the upper cabinets. (Why I only opened one cabinet door for this picture, I don’t know, but where the pitchers are now is where cups and glasses used to be, and the plates and bowls were on the right.) It was a great storage location except for the fact that the girls always had to get stools to put most of the most commonly used dishes away, and Steven couldn’t help with that part at all.

But, it’s amazing what going into reorganization with a little prayer for wisdom can do for ideas. As we pondered Steven’s ability to help with the emptying of the dishwasher, I wondered if most of what we regularly use would fit in our lower cabinets DSCF0178where we store pitchers and storage containers. Sure enough, the pitchers fit in the upper cabinet; the plates, bowls, cups, and glasses fit on the bottom shelf where the pitchers had been; and our most frequently used serving bowls and Doug’s favorite mugs fit on the top shelf with our glass storage containers. I relocated dish towels to hanging bags (thus eliminating the need to fold them!!!) and put the plastic storage containers that had been on the top shelf of this lower cabinet in the deep drawer (to the left of this lower cabinet) that the towels had been in. Voila! Everything in reach of the children. Ah, what a delight!

Now to implement our new chore chart idea. I’ll share when it’s ready for use!

School: Olivia is tackling long division. Oh, such fun and delight! But, she’s hanging in there. She is also becoming so much more creative in her sentence-writing. It makes grading her language arts papers so much fun! One of her instructions this week was to take a list of verbs, add a helping verb to each one, and write a sentence with each new verb phrase. Here’s my favorite one…

looking – am looking – I am looking for the schoolwork robot and when I find it, I’m using it!

Angela just finished second grade math and delightedly rolled right into third grade. She’s excited about the review lessons, both at the end of her second grade book and at the beginning of her third grade book. Somewhere between 20-30 lessons of review that she can relax and speed through.

Steven is slowing down a bit, which is a blessing for me. Some weeks all we do is read and work on phonics together and he doesn’t touch his workbooks. That keeps him from speeding through his KG stuff quite so quickly. His reading is improving steadily. I’m so proud of him!

Swimming: I’ve already pretty much shared where we are with swimming. Steven is now determined to swim in the deep end without his floaties – oh, and jump off the diving board without them, too! I’ve given him a few requirements that will hopefully slow down that aspiration just a little bit. Angela is learning to swim deeper, and Olivia is teaching herself overhand strokes and is building her endurance. Meanwhile, I’m doing my best to watch all three of them as their little heads go underwater like fishies!

Well, it seems like our routine is a little more blog-worthy than I thought! Of course, my readers might beg to differ…

1 comment:

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh Ann, so often I feel the same way. We have a lot of "daily days". And I love them :D

Julie