Friday, May 14, 2010

End of the School Year...What worked and What didn't?

We are pretty much done with school for the year.  It has been really hard for us to get everything done the past two weeks.  We've done ok in the morning...but in the afternoon after quiet reading time and mommy reading time things fall apart!  They don't attempt to do their school work and I don't push them...I guess I'm ready for summer as much as they are!  It's not really a big far as percentages go we are where we need to be (or ahead) in every subject.

I wanted to write down a few things that worked for us this I could remember!  When we started the school year, I had just had a baby and ended a hard pregnancy so we pretty much drifted through the first semester.  Thankfully, our curriculum is all planned out for us so that is possible to do...unfortunately, I'm a planner so I like to do more than drift!  Since we have pretty much shut down for this year I have already started planning a little more detail for next year.

In January we started reciting a scripture every morning before we did our morning jobs.  I've been using the Primary monthly theme and the scripture that is on the back cover of the Friend magazine.  We alternate each day which one we recite.  It was a good addition to our routine. Sienna and Logan always do it as well (Logan pretty much just looks at the pictures and says one our two words...but it works!)

Sometime in the spring I set a time for us to do our scripture and jobs.  9:00 ended up being the magic number.  So often we didn't get to it until 10:00 or later and it just wasn't working for me.  It is the only thing that is currently "scheduled" in our day...everything else is more of a routine.  This change has helped keep us more on track in the mornings.

Just this week we added a couple new things to our scripture time.  We started reading one story from the scripture readers (the ones from Church Distribution)...actually Kessiah and Jenessa take turns reading outloud while Sienna, Logan and I (and Mason) sit on the floor and "listen"  (as well as a 4 year old and 2 year old can listen!).  Then we sing a couple of active Primary songs.  I made this change for the benefit of Sienna and a way to include them more.

Sienna and Logan have been a challenge this year.  I've tried a couple of different things but nothing has really stuck.  I plan to do more preschool stuff with Sienna next year...maybe that will help, maybe it won't.  I need to do something different there...I'll have to search for inspiration over the summer.

Something else we started around the beginning of our second semester (not school related) is Saturday jobs.  I set up a schedule of what each child needed to do and it has worked quite well.  About a month ago I set up a rotating "reward" for each Saturday after their Saturday jobs are done.  We were having a problem with everyone thinking they could pick out a movie every Saturday after their jobs were done.  Let's do the math...4 kids X 2 hour movie = way too much screen time for one day!  So now they rotate between a movie, Wii time, computer time and picking what we eat for dinner.  It has been a great improvement!

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