Thursday, September 24, 2015

Homeschool Life: Schedule & Attention Struggles

            Hey folks! Some of you may have read a few weeks ago that we started doing homeschool recently...kind of. If you missed that post and would like to catch up, you can do so HERE. As I mentioned at the end of it, this post is going to be all about our struggles to come up with a schedule that works for us and trying to figure out how to work around and deal with the “Hey look! A squirrel!”-ness that is almost 3 year olds.
             I probably mentioned it in my previous post, but a big part of why I'm getting more serious/involved/whatever-you-want-to-call-it about our “school” stuff this year is because I feel like Myka and I would both greatly benefit from some structure, especially now that we're out of “waiting to move purgatory”. Needless to say, we have been very spontaneous, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of people. Don't get me wrong. I still think it's important to do unplanned things and go on unscheduled outings. (Yes, even for children, you schedule Nazis!) But I've gotten to the point in my life where I feel like we would both be less irritable, if nothing else, if there was some sort of consistent flow to our week.
             So far, I seem to have identified two main struggles when it comes to figuring out what schedule would work for us. 1) I still have selfishness issues. More than I care to admit considering I thought I would be better about it after having a kid. My biggest trouble area is mornings. I will admit that I really just want to be left alone in the mornings and get caught up on my stuff. Which leads me to number two...
             2) Since this is all new territory for us, I've been trying to figure out what time of day Myka seems to be most interested in and attentive enough to do “school” stuff. Which, as it turns out, seems to be mornings. Surprise!

             So, the past couple of weeks have been interesting. I'm pretty much useless if I don't get housework done before 1pm, so I've still been managing to squeeze dishes, laundry, etc. in the mornings somehow while still doing fun stuff with Myka. (And that whole “keeping her alive by feeding her” thing too.) Some days are easier than others, of course. Some days Myka might not be that into whatever I had planned for her, so I end up having plenty of time to do my chores. (If she's not into an activity, I don't force her to do it. That's just silly.) Other days I just don't have that much housework to do.
             We've had a couple of good days so far, which I'll get excited about in a minute, but it's still definitely a learning process. I did learn a valuable lesson over Labor Day: Do NOT try to do school stuff on the days John is home. My husband had Labor Day and the day after that off (and already has Wednesdays off each week), so Myka only wanted to do what he was doing or be his little shadow, which is fine. There was no “Come help mommy do this” or “Hey, do you want to get this out?” She wanted no part of it. Now I know!
             Then there are the days where she's just downright cantankerous and/or is easily distracted and not that into whatever I had planned. Those days I usually just say “screw it” and let her do whatever she wants, although I have to admit it's kind of discouraging sometimes. I've been trying to do a couple of activities from the AChild's World curriculum a few days a week, but I'm still trying to figure out if she's just not into the theme we're currently on or if I need to pack more activities into the days she does seem to be really attentive or what. It seems like the few days I've tried to do more it ends up biting me in the ass! Too many variables!
             Like I said, we have had a couple of good days. Today started off good. (Emphasis on “started”.) I laid out her crayons and do-a-dot markers on her learning/craft table along with her letter L hat from 123 Homeschool 4 Me and letter L do-a-dot page before she got up. She noticed it within a few minutes and did a really good job! As usual, I helped her color her hat, but she always wants me to help color anything. 

             Since she was so into that, I decided to push my luck. She kept saying she wanted to paint because 1) she's obsessed with painting and 2) I told her we would last night and we ended up not having time too. :/ So, silly me, I thought she would enjoy painting outside for one of the activities from the curriculum, but “playing” with the cats proved to be too big a temptation. I think she painted for 5 minutes, if that, before smacking the cats, I mean “playing” with them with a stick. -_- *sigh*
             I wish we could have more days like last Thursday, but I know that's asking a lot of a 3 year old. She was in a really good mood, listened, actually paid attention, etc. etc. I was just going to have her help me paint some paper plates for some letter “L” crafts, but we ended up making all three of the crafts. O.o That lasted about an hour and then we went outside for another hour and forty minutes doing projects from A Child's World! Myka even finger painted some more after we ate and I attempted to fix my homemade finger paints.
             Slowly but surely we'll find a rhythm that works for us...By which time little sister will probably be here and completely throw everything off. Lol

             Sorry for such a long post! I love talking about this stuff. (obviously) How long did it take you to come up with a schedule when you had kids? Was it totally thrown off each time you had a new addition to the family?

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