I know most families are just now finishing up their 2021-2022 school year and looking forward to a few months off but we aren’t like most families. We’ve decided to adopt more of a year-round school schedule which allows us more flexibility to take time off whenever we need a break or have something important or unexpected come up… which has happened a lot lately!
We have it planned so that we can take a one-week break every three weeks or so with a two-week break around Christmas and at the end of our school year. We can adjust this as needed, for example, we could complete six weeks of school and take a two-week break if needed. Or we could have two weeks of school with a break and then have four weeks… we have a little bit of flexibility for whatever we need to do without feeling ‘rushed’ to get finished.
We finished our 2021-2022 school year back in March and I was tempted to take a few months off and not start back until August/September but I know from past experiences that this doesn’t go well and that it takes FOREVER to get a couple of the kids back into the school routine. You can read more about last year’s curriculum and routines HERE. Last year was pretty crazy but we adapted and we survived!
Last year I switched to some Living Education Books from Master Books for our Language Arts and Math and we absolutely loved them so we went with them again for this year. We used some materials that we already had on hand and I ordered a few new things to go along with our studies. So far, everything has been working out well and many of the studies have been overlapping/going right along with each other which has been really nice as it helps to reinforce what we are learning and gives a little bit of review as well.
How in the world do we keep little miss occupied so we can get some school work done?
Homeschooling any number of kids can be difficult at times but when you add a baby or toddler to the mix it can get really crazy. Some days are easier than others as she is pretty good at keeping herself entertained but other days she can be extremely clingy and doesn’t want to be ‘left out’. We have to come up with some clever tricks to keep her entertained at times and sometimes we just take turns having someone play with her to keep her happy, although we don’t give in to every little whine or cry because sometimes she will figure out a way to entertain herself without us.
We have the basic routines that we have tried to stick to, even through the rough year that we had last year. During our numerous in-patient stays, I did my best to keep her routine as similar to our home routine as I could. It was difficult but it helped us both tremendously. Big sister also kept the kiddos at home on a regular schedule and that helped keep some of the chaos to a minimum.
Now that we are home and doing well we really had to get a little bit stricter with our routines as we’ve had a lot of adjustments to make. Shyanne missed her big brothers and sisters and they missed her but sometimes they get on each other’s nerves just as all siblings do. It’s a normal part of having a big family but it can lead to many distractions which are not good when we need to get certain things accomplished.
The basic areas we try to include in her daily schedule are:
This recipe is pretty easy to make and I’m sure you could adjust it in many ways to suit your taste. I love that this is full of fiber, protein, and lots of healthy fats that little bodies and brains need!
I’m not sure how long this will keep in the fridge as I need to make a new batch every 3 to 4 days because my kiddos just gobble it up! Little miss loves this for breakfast or a snack.
I have done more than my fair share of research on Down Syndrome and ways to help with development when my older son came into our family. I never expected that ten years later we would be blessed with another very special addition. When we learned of her diagnosis I began researching more and buying more books geared towards babies and younger children.
We all know that our brains and central nervous system dictate all of our functions so I was terrified of her multiple diagnoses and many of the doctors were not very optimistic either. I knew I would need as many tools and resources as I could find to help her reach her full potential.
With certain disabilities like Down Syndrome and Dandy-Walker Malformation, the brain can be adversely affected. Both of these conditions usually cause some degree of developmental delays along with various health issues. The degree of disability will vary from individual to individual so there is no ‘one size fits all’ therapy program to use. When you add in the diagnosis of Hydrocephalus with chromosomal abnormalities and other birth defects there is an even greater chance of severe delays and disabilities.
Even with all of my other research, I’d never even heard of neuroplasticity training before Shyanne was born but I had been doing some research for therapy ideas when I came across this book. (Maybe I had read it somewhere but forgot?) I wish I’d had this book for my first child as I could’ve learned ways to help all of my children with their development.
I thought I had done a post on this but I wasn’t able to find it… there’s no telling what happened as our internet does some really crazy things around here. I know that ‘Getting Organized’ is usually at the top of many people’s New Year’s Resolutions and it is definitely one of our major goals for this year.
If you’ve been following our blog for any length of time you probably know how crazy the past several years have been. We downsized, with 6 kids, to a 600 square foot cabin. After saving up and getting things in order we decided to purchase a home to go next door on some property that Mr. Awesome had.
This post might be a little bit late to catch some of you but I do believe that with the various delays the IRS has had this year, there may be many who haven’t gotten their tax refunds yet. If you have, maybe you haven’t spent it and you are trying to think of sensible ways to spend it. Here are a few of the things that we are using ours on:
It’s been such a blessing to be home for the past few months. We have been trying to put the events from last year in our memory but the reality is that we will never be able to completely forget the health scare that we faced with our little one. It has helped us to see just how truly blessed we are to have such a beautiful family and we have been reminded of just how precious life is… and how quickly things can change.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long while but it seems that I just never have enough time to get it started or completed. I’m going to try to dedicate 10-15 minutes/day until it’s written. I’ll also add to the post as needed. This was actually started a few months ago but I just now got around to finishing it.
This year is a little different for us as Baby Shyanne is undergoing chemotherapy for AML and Momma is away at the hospital with her which makes our schooling a bit complicated but we will find a way. These are the lessons that we have come up with to make life easier for everyone who is helping out at home. I plan to print out copies of worksheets and such for each child’s binders when I am home but in the event that I am not able to anyone can see what needs to be completed for the week.
(Its hard to believe that the featured photo was taken just a couple of weeks before we got her AML diagnosis… how fast life can change!)
I basically took the books and activities that we wanted to include for this next year and then figured out approximately how many lessons were in each one. We plan to school for the 3-4 weeks while we are inpatient and then take a week or so off when Shyanne and Mommy are home. I know that we will be schooling for 36-40 weeks this time around so I just tried to divide them up as equally as possible… Will we finish them all? Probably not but we’ll have fun trying.
I will continue to update this as more books and activities come in or if we make any changes to the plans. (We may switch out our math curriculum when I get a better idea of how well everyone can work independently.) We hope you can find ideas to use in your own homeschooling experience. We happened to have a lot of these resources already available as I have WAY TOO MUCH homeschooling stuff… please don’t tell my husband I saidthat ya’ll! You can also find lots of FREE resources HERE and under the Homeschool Tab.
I wrote the other day about how we’ve been doing some remote learning of sorts. I also mentioned that I had ordered some new curriculum and I think I’ve figured out how to keep it organized… I’ll just post the assignments and links to the videos I want the kiddos to watch on our blog like I did with some of our other studies. Maybe someone else will find this helpful in their homeschool. I do plan on getting those Little House on the Prairie lessons finished up in the future.
As you all know I’ve always been partial to Amazon because you don’t need to leave your house, or couch, to get what you need. While this isn’t always a good thing to have everything just a click away it has been very useful during this COVID pandemic. Here are just a few of our favorite purchases lately:
It’s New Year’s Eve and I, along with many others, will be glad to be putting 2020 behind me. It was a rough year in so many ways. We did have quite a few good things that came from it, like our beautiful baby girl, but it seemed like something new and even more ominous was lurking behind every corner.