A New School Routine For The New Year

This was our first week back to school and as I mentioned in this post HERE we started a new school routine which has worked out rather well so far. We will be doing our Group studies on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays with Mondays and/or Fridays being left for their independent studies and/or completing assignments they didn’t finish with the group.

A new routine…

We are also using Mondays & Fridays to do the majority of our household cleaning & chores, running errands, etc. This has helped out so much being able to dedicate a big chunk of time on projects that I’ve been wanting to work on and just haven’t been able to get to lately. This included getting our house back in order after the holidays… it was such a MESS! If you don’t, believe me, you should see the pics in this post.

After getting the bulk of the organizing finished up on Monday we were FREE to FOCUS on our school work with minimal interruptions. No pausing to check laundry which normally meant a 15-20 minute interruption. No waiting for stragglers to quit lollygagging around with chores as we have a set time to get them finished or they just wait until the school work is finished. I mean a few dirty dishes or crumbs on the floor won’t kill anyone, right?


Then another BIG change I made this week was using the audio version of the Little House On The Prairie book instead of reading it aloud to the kids. I won’t be doing this every week but it did give me a chance to get to a few things that needed my attention like cleaning out the fridge.

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I’m pretty sure we had a few science experiments getting started in there but it is all nice and neat now. I only did one shelf/door at a time and was able to get the whole fridge cleaned out plus get the sink and counters scrubbed. In between the chapters I asked the kiddos some questions to make sure that they had been paying attention and we discussed their favorite parts of the chapter too.

The little guys played on their new carpet while listening and the girls worked on a vocabulary word search while William colored and played quietly… happy campers.

Isn’t it funny how sometimes we can come across something that just has a totally different meaning for us than it does for anyone else? This was my favorite quote from our reading this week:

It really hit me in so many ways especially since I’ve really been trying to get my devotional time on a better routine… the ‘light’ for me is GOD… and if HE isn’t with me I can’t survive so I need to make sure HE is here and I am as close to HIM as I can be.  I’m working on a post about my devotions for this weekend.

After we finished listening to our selection the girls moved to the smaller table to complete their vocabulary and work on a workbook that I had printed out for them. The links can be found in our Little House On The Prairie Academic Adventure.

The boys worked on their Spelling You See pages and then we did a lesson from Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons and then the little boys wanted to do a lesson from the McGuffey Primer as well. They are so excited to be learning to read. William, however, is not so excited and didn’t want to do anything EXTRA.

We also worked on learning the Jack & Jill Nursery Rhyme and did a couple of fun activities as they love to color, cut and glue. They’ve been talking about vinegar and brown paper non-stop now… lol.

The boys finished up before the girls and watched the ABC Signs Signing Times video. William really loves these videos and some days we really have to rely on sign language to communicate with him.

When everybody had finished up it was time for some lunch. We had some quick ham & cheese sandwiches and watched some fun science videos while we ate. They loved learning about snakes and we learned some cool facts…

Did you know that garter snakes have been known to come out in the winter and have been seen on snowbanks? I did not know this and considering we have one up under our tin roof somewhere this seemed very interesting… I wonder if I could find some snow to lure him out?

They also wanted to watch some videos about snakes here in Florida so of course, we did that too because it is important to be able to identify our local wildlife, right? Then learned about skunks, where our water comes from, pulleys, and the Milky Way among other things… I could really use a Milky Way about now.

I’ve really been wanting to get the Spencerian Penmanship started with the girls but they tend to drag their feet… or should I say pencils??? when doing their written work and we just haven’t had a chance to start using it but I plan to give it a try soon.


Then on Wednesday, we focused on our maths lessons. The girls did some review and a couple of worksheets that I had made up to go with our Ray’s Arithmetic lessons. The little boys worked with the Math U See blocks and are moving through the lessons really well. William loves playing with the blocks and does stay focused for a short amount of time.

After everyone was finished with their ‘bookwork’ the boys watched the Rock n’ Learn Math Rap DVD while the girls finished up some lapbook work from yesterdays lessons.

We took a break for lunch and then worked on our Social Studies. This week we are studying about the Peachy State of Georgia… and again we learned some really interesting facts like Coca Cola was first served in Atlanta way back in 1886… and it was marketed as a remedy for headaches… hmm… maybe that’s why I like it so much?

We also studied Native American clothing and googled some pictures of clothing and moccasins to look at. We compared them to our clothes and then watched a couple of videos about the process of turning a deer hide into clothing.

We also watched a short scene from the Little House on the Prairie series which showed the Indians at the house which was part of our weekly reading. The kids really enjoyed being able to ‘see’ Laura, Mary, Jack, Ma, Pa, and Baby Carrie… they even figured out who was who without being told.

They had quite a few questions about why the movie version was different than the book version too. We definitely need to try to start watching some of the series when we get a little further into the books.

In the afternoon the girls worked on their Khan Academy accounts. I didn’t set a time limit and they worked until it was almost time for dinner as they really like doing the math on there.

That evening we made some Peanut Butter Banana Muffins which I adapted from a recipe we had found in our United States Cookbook when we were doing our Social Studies lessons earlier in the day. We also watched some shows from the Smithsonian Channel about Georgia and the Mississippi River. The kids really loved watching them and we saw many places that we’d like to visit. I made a couple of notes so that I can check into maybe taking a field trip to one or two of the places later this year.


And then Thursday, today, is Mr. Joey’s 7th birthday! He had requested that we take the day off which we didn’t do but it was a fun day as we mostly worked on our Lifes Skills and Arts which they all really enjoy. They really enjoyed their Kids Cook Real Food lessons on flipping and pouring!

Then we reviewed our Skill Trek tasks so that we could see what we still needed to work and which ones could be marked ‘COMPLETED‘ so that they could earn their ‘nuggets’.

They got some recorder sets and a couple of beginner ukeleles for Christmas so they have been anxious to give them a try. As of right now, we have just been playing around on them but I do plan to try to work some lessons into our schedules soon.

The kids seemed to have enjoyed ‘school’ a lot more this week than they have been. It was a little adjustment as we are just coming back from our holiday break but I think everyone has to deal with that at some point or another.

I am always worried that I am not doing enough but never seem to be able to find the time to get in everything that I want to do. I really do need to sit down and get everything entered back into our Homeschool Manager app so it will be easier to keep up with and I plan to make a ‘Master Checklist’ to go along with our lessons so that I can just check off what we have completed and be able to see at a glance what we have left to finish. I know they are learning and doing well but sometimes I do doubt my abilities.

Honestly, this week has been like a breath of fresh air in so many ways. I’ve found myself enjoying my home again and I don’t feel like I’ve been the ‘mean mom’ I felt like I was becoming towards the end of last year. Things were getting so crazy and having a special needs teenager, a special needs tweenager, and a few others thrown in the mix really just made for a stressful situation all the way around. Something had to change and it has been so far and I am so thankful and I really do feel BLESSED again and not so BURDENED.

Right now we are getting ready to venture out into the cold… OK, I know it’s not that cold here compared to other places but its much colder than it has been. We need to go pick up a few things for a birthday dinner and I think I’ll go ahead and do a bit of grocery shopping while I’m out as I have some other plans this weekend.

One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is our new ‘best friend’ Google… stay tuned for a ‘meet & greet’ coming soon!

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