So this year, I have made some changes in our homeschool at the farm. What I have found is that a toddling cutie pie AND a busy 4 year old are adding new challenges to the school year. I daily remind myself that many years ago I had a toddler and preschooler while homeschooling. The difference? Well that would be that I was only schooling one child and she was in 1st grade. And as much as I never would have believed it at the time, 1st grade with one student is a BREEZE compared to herding the littles while attempting to teach a classical curriculum to a 5th, 7th, and 11th grader...oh and also leading bi-monthly online literature discussions and weekly tutoring of CC Essentials.
I started the year all hopeful and giddy. I do love to start a new school year after all! I filled my diffuser with Young Living Essential Oils and we started out. By mid morning, the diffuser had been spilled, I had pulled a toddler off at least half a dozen places of considerable height (she gets her climbing from her older sister!), and had spent more time dealing with temper tantrums than I care to confess. Had I realized just how humbling my first week of school was going to be, I would have baptized myself and the children all in JOY!
We are now into Week 11 of Tapestry of Grace and I'm still struggling with a daily routine that gives all of the children time with me in addition to time for me to do the regulars, like keeping house, doing laundry, preparing meals, and preparing for my weekly classes. So in the midst of all my busy busy, I was encouraged to stop and read Love the Journey. I will admit that I skipped ahead straight to the scheduling sections, but I still was blessed beyond belief. I was grounded in things I already know, but needed reminding. I was encouraged that everyone who homeschools has similar challenges with large families. I was reminded to make my priorities God honoring. I was filled as I read and am continuing to read this book. I can't recommend it enough for the new homeschool mom or the seasoned homeschool mom who just needs a refresher. She bases her advice and words straight from scripture and it really is a fantastic book for the homeschool mom.
In addition, I'm also going to link some other toddler/preschool specific training articles that I have found helpful over the years. Part of my issue is that I was so busy when my 4 year old was a toddler, that I neglected a lot of training that is essential to peaceful preschool years. He is an absolute delight, don't get me wrong. However, because of that it is at least twice as hard to train him in those childhood skills of attentiveness, obedience, and gentleness than it would have been had I trained him as a toddler. OK...so below are the links. And, I know this post is very random. However, I was just so excited as I read Love the Journey that I had to share it on my blog for those 2 or 3 who may still read it. ;-)
Raising Godly Tomatoes
A very clear and concise plan for how to gain first time obedience. You can read a lot of good information on the website or purchase her book to have it all in one place. The basic idea is that you keep your children close by to train them, rather than punish them. They must be close to you at all times in order to train them and prevent them from developing bad habits.
Tips to Build Attentiveness in Preschoolers
This is a new blog I have found. It uses the premises of Charlotte Mason, to train the character traits you desire. I adore the Charlotte Mason way of education and that is part of why I have switched to Tapestry of Grace. It has a Charlotte Mason "feel" to it and incorporates handicrafts and living books. I also love that this author encourages game playing to train these skill of attentiveness. I have yet to find a child of any age that doesn't love to learn through playing games.
So now I guess I will get back to my morning and focusing on loving my journey in the homeschool life. I hope that if you find this post, it brings encouragement and joy to your homeschool day.