Imparting a classical education at home. Check out the Edwards Academy.

Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer Sanity

The Edwards Academy summer break started one month ago. Sure, we're still plugging away on math and we have daily reading time, but for all intents and purposes school has been out. We've had a few major distractions in the month of May (birthdays, dad in the hospital, finishing our beloved BSF, the homeschool convention) but now we look ahead to a nearly blank calendar in June.

It is time for a summer schedule!

After a few restless days in which I accomplished nothing and the kids' playtime dissolved into bickering, I powered up my Excel spreadsheet and put together our summer schedule and summer chore charts.

I periodically kick off chore assignments, which we generally follow for a few months before circumstances change and we stop for a few days and then I fail to reinstate our chores. But it is time to kick it off again and this summer I'm going to try a zone defense.

I've assigned rooms to each of my kids on certain days. If you are assigned the hall bath, then it is your job to keep it shining all day long. Ditto on the dining room, laundry/mud room, living room, bedrooms, and kitchen. It didn't take long for them to realize that they don't appreciate their siblings making messes in their space!

Meanwhile, we've blocked off time for outside play in the morning, math time, reading time, playdough with Tobias, snacks, Edwards Academy summer art class, and chores. I'm able to keep the laundry moving throughout the day, work on some extra household chores, and devote some time to the book project I'm working on.

We are all happier and live at peace when we are guided by a schedule. Especially me.

Oh! It's time to fold the laundry!


Sharon said...

Mrs Edwards,

We have been having a horrible time lately with sicknesses and I am looking forward to my husband finishing Semester 1 exams in a fortnight. He has four weeks off, and while I was thinking we would just keep going with homeschooling for the first two (which are part of the government school term here), having just talked to the kids' CS last night and heard how jumpy and - well, rebellious is probably the best word - they were yesterday, I am thinking that we might take this entire four weeks off for "character training". (Well, for the last week we're going to visit grandparents on their hobby farm.) I really think we need to focus on obedience for a while, over academics. For my sake as well as the kids, because if I make a concerted effort for a few weeks I am hoping that I will see some improvement in them (which will help my sanity) and I will be off to a good (re-)start with better habits with respect to my mothering. What do you think?

~ Sharon

Angela said...

I would love to see your job chart! Please Post! Please Post!

Mrs. Edwards said...

Just curious: What is the schedule of terms for Australian government schools? America operates on the nine months mostly on and three months off (more or less) schedule, as you probably realize.

I'm right there with you about the character training. Part of the reason I needed a summer schedule was that after a week or two of enjoying a break from structure, we all crave it again, school or not!

We are hitting some character issues (including my own) head on right now. And not that a summer schedule comes easily. My son in particular whines every time we hit a chore time in the day.

Sometimes I feel like the prophets and my children are the nation of Israel. And I say, "How long, O Lord?" :)

But praise be to God, He gave me John 15 this morning: "Apart from Me you can do nothing" and "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you..." I'm praying in particular that God would change my responses to my children's disobedience (which are typically marked by frustration) and replace them with the Word.

I'll pray that your family would be healthy again. It is so, so hard when sickness seems to take residence in our homes! And when you find the secret to keeping better habits of mothering, pass them along!

Mrs. Edwards said...

You asked for my job chart and I never followed through with posting it.

I have kids working on about two or three "zones" per day, rotating through the chart so that they repeat a zone twice a week.

Load Dishwasher
Family Room

Dining Room

Laundry Room/Mud Room
Hall Bath
Windex mirrors and windows

Our actual summer routine has settled in much different from what we envisioned, but we still use the zone defense on our chores. For instance, whoever has the dining room for the day must clean the dining room after each meal: clear dishes and put away food, wipe the table, sweep the floor, push in the chairs, etc.

I admit that I'm better at blogging than housework (and I'm probably not that great at blogging!!) so I'm willing to relax the standards if we have other things going on. But we still fall back into our zones most of the time.

For follow up on this, see my July 8 post.

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