Friday, February 17, 2017

Consistency Gets us Through February

Lots of working around the table this week for the younger kids.
It makes it easier for me to bounce between people to help them.

For Valentine's week things were pretty business as usual around here. Homeschool work got done.  Piano was practiced. Food was cooked. Kids got sick. Yes, large family = someone is always sick in the winter. Sigh. I forgot to use my camera until mid-week, so I'll just sprinkle those pictures through this post with captions.
Caleb finding word family pairs.
Tuesday the kids got an early morning visit from their grandma with oreos and candy for Valentine's Day. Mid-morning I snuck up to their bedrooms and decorated with hearts, leaving bags of candy, pencils, and blank books on their beds as gifts. Tuesday also saw the early delivery of our second triple bunk bed and so we now officially have 6 of the 7 boys in one bedroom.
Tobias loves to be included in table time.

Only Tobias is not in there. At just 14 months old he is still happily sleeping in his crib in mommy and daddy's bedroom. The 2 girls and 3 reptiles share the other bedroom. (To be fair though, the boys have the master bedroom with the most space.)

Samuel doing some pattern block puzzles during table time.
Wednesday was really low key. We did school and then Joseph spent part of the day throwing up while Makayla, who still had no voice and was coughing, took a 4 hour nap all afternoon. I played Dragonwood with Daniel. The other kids spent a lot of their free time playing with Legos, dress up clothes, and the matchbox cars. Makayla napped for hours, still sick.

Joseph can just barely grip a large dry erase marker with his cast,
so he does math on the white board right now.
Thursday was the last day of school for the week. We did our lessons, played more games, and it was a good day. Joseph was feeling better but Tobias was beginning to feel not so great and just wanted held and snuggled by the late afternoon. In the evening I got out to a fun Relief Society (women age 18 and up) activity at church - Chocolate Extravaganza. We ate chocolate desserts and then had three interesting get to know you games. I got home in time for my husband to go to bed.

Tobias was 'helping' someone do their chores.
I'm not sure if I have ever really mentioned on this blog about my husband's work/sleep schedule. He's a truck driver making deliveries to gas stations stores and other places (colleges, camps, parks, small grocery stores). He works Tuesday through Friday but because his routes start very early he is usually in bed by 8pm Monday through Thursday nights, leaving the bedtime routine and getting 9 kids to bed to me. He is also in college full time, so most days he has lots of work to do for his classes as well, both in the evening after his full time job and for several hours on his days off. It's a challenging season!

Books this week:

I have really been pretty light on reading. I finished the Fairy Tale series I was reading. After a nice immersive dive into a world I usually flounder around until I find another world of books to dive into. For my break I picked up Spark Joy by Marie Kondo. I read her first book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, about a year ago.

What I've been Watching:

YouTube videos by A Young Mum. I first found her about the time I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up for the first time. Then life got busy and watching You Tube didn't happen. I'm catching up by working backward through her archives at random moments - like when I'm cooking dinner. Her videos are often short, maybe 10 minutes, so if I'm in the kitchen for an hour I get through several videos while cutting, sautéing, and doing all the meal prep. Often kids help me in the kitchen, but lately I've just wanted dinner prep to be my own 'quiet time'. The kids aren't complaining!

Using linking cubes to do patterning and then to build a letter of the alphabet.
One more thing I don't want to forget: We told Mason he could officially 'do school' this week. He turned 5 last month and has been asking for his own school time. He is so happy. For my own memories, here is a list of the types of things he's done for school this week:
  • Story time - We're reading books like "My 'M' Book" as well as fairy tales and other fun picture books.
  • Tracing his name. I write it in dry erase marker on a lap board and he traces over it with another marker. Or it goes on paper and he traces with pencil or crayon or regular markers.
  • Pre-Writing fun pages - these have him practicing straight lines, slanted lines, etc by finishing a picture's decoration. A shirt that needs more horizontal stripes, for example.
  • Math - hands on math concepts with manipulatives, games, or challenges. He wanted to know how to count to 100 this week, so we worked on that too. He worked on patterning (orange, black, orange, black, orange - what comes next?).
  • Puzzles
  • Letter Sounds games
  • Building letters with foam pieces and with linking cubes.
Sometimes it is just the simplest things that work best.

Other posts on the blog this week:

Linking with Weekly Wrap Up.


  1. So sorry to hear that there's still illness in your home. Winter is not my favorite month. I wish I had the willpower to just power through February ... instead we basically ended up with two weeks off due to the February Blues.

    1. Winter is such a hard season! I don't mind time off. This week we only did 4 days. I just do what I can to get us through February and safely into March. ;)

  2. So cute that Mason gets to join in school with the big guys! I love my solo dinner prep time too; I use it to listen to audiobooks. Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Audio books are another favorite for me!

  3. Mason's happy face speaks volumes at the school table, and the pictures of Samuel and Tobias just make my heart melt. Samuel has a sweet quality that speaks to me for some reason . . . at least via pictures! I surely do hope you all get healthy again, and I hope that bedtimes are joyful. I do bedtime without my husband several nights a week, too, and I miss him!

    Happy homeschooling!!!!!

    1. Mason truly has been so joyful about school this week. I love it. Samuel and Tobias make my heart melt often. I love this mothering life!
      Bedtimes are routine, which is better than they used to be. They used to be very frustrating. It is always better when Daddy is home too, just less pressure to handle all the littles and middles by myself.

  4. I think I could use some of your consistency. We're only three weeks in to our academic year but we seem to be spendin more time not homeschooling than actually hitting the books. Thankfully work still seems to be happening,but I'm not really sure when or how! Hope everyone is healthy soon.


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